The Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry is set to kick off its month-long calendar of activities on Friday, in observance of Amerindian Heritage Month, which is being observed under the theme “Proud of our Indigenous identity, celebrating in Unity.”In an interview with Guyana Times, Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Aletha Grant, said the Hallelujah Group from Jawalla in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) would be the headline performance at the prayer service scheduled for Friday. She said the Ministry chose the Group since not a lot of coastlanders are aware of the Hallelujah religion.“So it’s basically, we have a member of that group blowing a horn which means that you’re welcoming people, you’re calling them to gather and when that’s done we have this religious dance…. we form a circle and we go around and members of the group leading that procession will sing hymns of course in their own language and we will be participating,” she explained.This year, the Ministry expects the Heritage Village at the Sophia Exhibition Centre, Greater Georgetown, to be bigger than previous years and has since taken the initiative to add two tents to facilitate additional exhibitions.Currently, the organisers do not have a direct count of the amount of exhibitors but Grant noted that persons are indicating their interest on a daily basis so the number is forever growing. She adds that the ceremonial opening of the month’s activities is scheduled for Saturday at the Sophia Exhibition Centre and Heritage Village will run from September 1-5.There are a lot of activities planned for the Hertiage Village exhibition. It was related that there will be a number of Indigenous artistes. Additioanlly, there would be 10 groups from the various regions travelling to Georgetown to showcase their talent.“We’re trying to bring talent out there that people would’ve never known about. So we’re trying to spread it out so that everybody can have an equal opportunity and other Guyanese can say wow, Indigenous people are really talented,” Grant explained.The cultural extravaganza is expected to last for two hours on each night and starts at 19:00h, with follow up entertainment by various artists, such as Blaze Antonio, calypsonian King Harpy and the Mighty Perai.One of the most anticipated activity of the Amerindian Heritage Month’s celebration is Heritage Sport which will see Indigenous sportsmen and women competing in football matches, archery, cricket, swimming and volleyball. TheIndigenous People’s Affairs Ministry PRO, Aletha Grantgames would be held at the Everest Ground on the weekend of September 23.“We just recently… last week came back from the North Pakariama Games and that was really exciting; very very exciting. Paramakatoi in the finals defeated Kanapang 5-2 (in the football match), so of course they are so excited to come meet Region One because they hear so much about the Mabaruma team and they want to come head on. These guys are really really preparing to show the ball weaving skills they have,” Grant said.Additionally, MoIPA will be hosting Grade Six students from Monkey Mountain in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Baramita, Region One (Barima-Waini) during the week of September 10 as a part of its educational tour schedule. The students would be exposed to various historical sites and monuments while understanding the workings of city life. This is to better equip them with the skills needed to sit the National Grade Six Assessment examinations.This year, MoIPA is aiding exhibitors in the creation of a brand for their products so as to ensure uniformity and easy understanding for those intending to purchase. Grant explained that they would be providing the exhibitors with labelled bottles and packets for their products to be displayed and sold.“What we’re trying to do is get that Ministry brand out there, so these products will be branded properly; it will be visible enough so as soon as you look at it… and that is what we want out there so that people can see every year we try to improve our presentation,” she said.The month of activities will culminate with the annual Fundraising Dinner at the Mirage Banquet Hall on September 29. Tickets costs $10,000 and all proceeds would go to enhancing the Amerindian Hostel located on Princes Street, Georgetown.