To consolidate all descendants of First Peoples in Trinidad and Tobago; to work proactively with all communities who share the common interests of these indigenous traditions.


Santa Rosa First Peoples / Press Release  / National Community Invited to Participate in Lecture Series – September 19 & October 6 2017

National Community Invited to Participate in Lecture Series – September 19 & October 6 2017

The First Peoples National Holiday Planning Committee invites the General Public to attend a series of lectures organized to provide information as the Nation prepares to celebrate the “One-Off” Public Holiday in recognition of the Contribution of the First Peoples in Trinidad and Tobago for National Development. The Lectures are as follows:

  1. Topic: The Nepuyo Chieftain of the 17th century, warrior Hierryma/Hyarima. Fact or fiction?

Speaker: (Dr. Claudius Fergus, former Head of History Department, UWI)

This topic is very relevant given   the  role that  our history – and  supported by  the oral traditions of the First Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago –  has identified  Chief Hierryma/Hyarima as the  chieftain who escaped from a Spanish encomienda and with the  aid of the Dutch,  who were in Tobago, destroyed the  Spanish Capital of San Jose (ST Joseph) in 1637. That date in 1637, October 14th was selected by the government since 2000 as the ‘Day of Recognition’ of the First Peoples Presence in Trinidad and Tobago and is being celebrated for the last 16 years. However when the chairman of the Conference  Dr. Balkaransingh, in his conference presentation,  called for the recognition of  Chief Hierryma/Hyarima as a National Hero and for Hierryma to be conferred with this country’s highest national award, suddenly public controversy arose as to whether this person ever existed. The lecture will be delivered along with an excerpt from the play “Hyarima” by Pearl Eintou Springer.


Delivery Date:  19th September 2017

Time: 5.30 p.m.


  1. Topic: The results of DNA testing of the First Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago: identification of their genealogical ancestry.

Speaker: Dr. Jada Ben Torres of the University of Pennsylvania

This has been an ongoing research assignment currently being undertaken by the   University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with National Geographic Magazine. This pilot project has already begun and some results have been obtained using selected samples from the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community. The researcher has verbally agreed to come to Trinidad to undertake one or two public lectures on the role, scope and methodology of their current research and their findings.

Lecture Venue: UTT (Academy of Performing Arts) Port of Spain

Delivery Date:  6th October 2017

Time: 5.30p.m.