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French Guiana (France): Indigenous people

Last modified: 2017-03-11 by ivan sache
Keywords: indigenous peoples |
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Flag of the indigenous peoples in French Guiana - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 11 February 2017


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Presentation of the indigenous peoples in French Guiana

There are about 9,000 indigenous inhabitants in French Guiana (about 5% of the total population), divided into six ethnic groups:
- Kali'na (3,000), from the Cariban language family;
- Wayana (1,000), from the Cariban language family;
- Teko / Emerillon (3,000), from the Tupi-Guarani language family;
- Wayãpi (500), from the Tupi-Guarani language family;
- Palikur / Paykweneh (600), from the Arawak language family;
- Lokono / Arawak (300), from the Arawak language family.

The indigenous peoples are represented and have their rights promoted by two main organizations:
- FOAG (Fédération des Organisations Amérindiennes de Guyane / Federation of Amerindian Organizations of Guiana), established in 1981 as AAGF (Association des Amérindiens de Guyane française /Association of Amerindians from French Guiana) and renamed in 1992;
- ONAG (Organisation des Nations Autochtones de Guyane / Organization of the Autochthonous Nations of Guiana), established in 2010 as a splinter from from the FOAG.
Since 2016, however, the two organisations seem however to work more and more together.

Olivier Touzeau, 11 February 2017


Flag of the indigenous peoples in French Guiana

A flag representing the six indigenous peoples of French Guiana is used in various demonstrations and events organized by the ONAG and the FOAG (photo, photo, official poster).
Rather complex in its design, the flag, in proportions 3:4, displays the names of the six nations, with one colour for each linguistic group (green for Cariban, purple for Tupi-Guarani, and yellow for Arawak) and the two nations of each linguistic group on the opposite side of the flag. The central circle with a compass rose in the middle features one emblem for each nation.

Olivier Touzeau, 11 February 2017