GCC concerned over the erosion of indigenous language, particularly among iTaukei youths – GCC Chair

GCC concerned over the erosion of indigenous language, particularly among iTaukei youths – GCC Chair

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Friday 01/03/2024
GCC delegates during the traditional welcome ceremony held at the Yatu Lau Lagoon Resort earlier this week.

The Great Council of Chiefs is gravely concerned over the erosion of iTaukei language in our society today, and this has to be discussed in the Bose Vanua, village council or forums at the village level and other forums while acknowledging the various programs being implemented to address the matter.

While speaking to the media after the 2-day GCC meeting at Yatu Lau Lagoon Resort in Pacific Harbour, GCC Chairman Ratu Viliame Seruvakula said the Prime Minister's speech set the tone of the 2-day meeting where he underscored the government's statement and his view that the GCC should work for the benefit of all Fijians, promoting racial harmony and tolerance and that is where the GCC took its cue from.

He says the GCC endorsed the Draft Action Plan of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and urged the Secretariat to take the plan through a robust consultation.

Ratu Viliame says to save the burden of the existing iTaukei traditions and customs, particularly on the impact on ordinary iTaukei, they have endorsed the modification of some traditions and culture without losing the essence, and the final decisions lie with the respective Vanua, villages and family.

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GCC Chairman, Ratu Viliame Seruvakula

He adds the GCC has endorsed the use of village guidelines to be used as a framework to develop village by-laws.

The GCC Chairman says they have also endorsed the GCC China report, and the Rewa Province will be used as a pilot province for some of the best practices brought back by the team.

He says the GCC also endorsed the Memorandum of Understanding with the King of Aotearoa in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Maori King, Kiingi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII

Ratu Viliame says because they cannot go and sign a MOU directly outside the sovereignty of Fiji with another sovereignty, this MOU will go through the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

He says they have also endorsed the update from the i-Taukei Land Trust Board and its proposal to review outdated legislation, which will contribute to poverty alleviation.

The GCC Chair highlighted that the GCC will work with the Government and the churches to address the escalating drug problem, which is a real concern for them.

Ratu Viliame also gave an update on the works underway for the Vale Ni Bose complex and said that it will be completed before mid-next year.

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