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Below is a brief timeline of important events in the history of our Caribbean island of Dominica. Historical events and dates which have made Dominica Island what it is today. One of the most poorest islands in the Caribbean. Maybe that’s why Dominica is the nature isle. Get it… Can’t have your cake and eat it.

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c3000 BC Stone age tribes, the Igneri from the Orinoco, first populate our island.

c1000 AD Kalinago (Island Caribs) moving up through the island chain become dominant, and give the island the name of Wai’tukubuli, meaning ‘Tall is her body’

1493 Colombus visits the island and names it Dominica.

1627 Dominica and other islands were granted by patent to the Earl of Carlisle who was a Proprietor.

1748 Pressure from France led to the Treaty of Aix-La Chapelle which forced the British to give up claims to the islands of the 1627 Patent including Dominica.

1763 Dominica was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris. The Royal Proclamation establishes “Government of Grenada” with jurisdiction over Grenada, the Grenadines, St. Vincent, Tobago and Dominica – one Governor and one Legislature for the group.

1768 Separate Legislative Assembly established in Dominica.

1778 The French repossessed Dominica. The Legislative Assembly continued to function as usual.

1783 The French returned Dominica to Britain by the Treaty of VersailHes.

1784 Governor Orde convenes Assembly to deal with internal Maroon revolt.

1831 Full political and social rights granted to free non whites.
1832 Coffee constituted 32 per cent of the value of Dominica’s exports.

1833 Dominica grouped in the Leeward Islands administrative union under one Governor.

1834 Slavery abolished.

1838 Mulatto Ascendancy form a majority in House of Assembly of Dominica, the first in the British West Indies.This was under the leadership of the flambouyant, self-educated newspaperman George Charles Falconer.

1865 Crown colony government had been instituted by the Dominican Legislature.

1871 Administrative union of the Leeward Islands converted to a constitutional Federation – with a federal Executive Council nominated by the Governor and a federal Legislative Council consisting of ten (10) nominated members and ten (10) elected members elected by the unofficial members of the legislatures of the member islands. Dominica administered by a President (later titled “Commissioner” and subsequently “Administrator”).

1898 Crown Colony Rule is introduced in Dominica with Sir Hesketh Bell as its first Administrator.

1922 The Wood Commission visits and makes possible the election of four (4) members to unofficial side of legislature.

1932 The Closer Union Commission further weakened Crown Colony Rule and set the basis for the West Indies Federation of 1958.

1938 The Moyne Commission visits and makes possible union and party formation in Dominica.

1940 Dominica withdrawn from the Leeward Islands con stitutional Federation and placed in the Windward Islands Administrative Union.

1945 First Trade Union formed in Dominica, the Dominica Trade Union. 1951 Universal Adult Suffrage introduced, replacing property-ownership or payment of taxes as qualifications for voting.
Qualification for membership on the Legislative Council reduced.
Legislative Council with a clear elected majority established – consisting of two (2) ax-officio, three (3) nominated and eight (8) elected members, with Administrator having a casting vote.

1955 Ministerial system introduced. The Legislative Council remained unchanged, but a fourth elected member was included in the Executive Council – three of whom were appointed Ministers on a majority vote of elected nominated members of Legislative Council and removable on majority vote of whole Legislative Council. One (1) ex-officio member was added but the official member was to be appointed only if requested by Executive Council.
The First Representative Party was formed – The Labour Party of Dominica.

1956 The British Caribbean Federation Act 1956 was passed enabling Her Majesty in Council to provide for the Federation of the West Indian Colonies of which Dominica was one.1957 Dominica had its first Chief Minister.
The Second Representative Party was formed – The Dominica United Peoples Party.

The West Indies Federation was constituted under the West Indies (Federation) Order in Council 1957 which was brought into operation in Dominica on the 3rd day of January, 1958 by the West Indies (Federation) (Commencement) Order in Council 1957.

1962 With the dissolution of the Federation by the West Indies Act 1962, Dominica was restored to its original status.

1967 Dominica granted Associated Statehood – virtual independence, with Defence and External Affairs in the hands of the U. K. Government.
Dominica had its first Premier.
New Constitution sets up legislature consisting of eleven (11) elected, three (3) nominated and an ex-officio member (the Attorney General if a public officer) and the Speaker of the House of Assembly (if not a member of the House).

1978 Full independence attained under a republican Constitution. Unicameral legislature consisting of twenty-one (21) elected and nine (9) nominated members – with a Prime Minister (Patrick John) and Cabinet based on the Westminster model.

1979 Hurricane David devastates the island.

1980 Eugenia Charles replaces Patrick John as Prime Minister, becoming first female prime minister in the Caribbean.

1981 Two coup attempts; Patrick John tried and acquitted.

1985 Patrick John retried and found guilty – sentenced to 12 years imprisionment.

1993 Eugenia Charles resigns as DFP leader but continues as prime minister.

1995 United Workers Party (led by Edison James) win general election with 11 seats. Freedom and Labour parties both take 5 seats. (Full results) Eugenia charles retires from politics after 27 years.

2000 Close general election. (Full results) Labour and Freedom parties form coalition. October 2000: Rosie Douglas, Labour Party leader, dies. Pierre Charles becomes new party leader.

2001 International Monetary Fund called in.

2002 Govt. implements 4% ‘Stabilization Levy’ tax to tackle the financial crisis.

2003 May: Caribs celebrate 100th anniversary of the founding of the Carib Reserve.
June: austerity Budget sees public sector job cuts.
Oct: Mr. Nicholas Liverpool becomes next President.
Nov: Dominica celebrates 25th anniversary of Independence.

2004 Jan: PM Pierre Charles passes away suddenly at 7:45pm Jan 6th following health concerns. Roosevelt Skerrit named new Prime Minister.
March: Dominica establishes diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, prompting Taiwan to end ties with Dominica.
June: PM Skerrit presents his first budget as PM, and declaring that the economy has turned the corner, announces the end of the Stabilisation Levy.

2005: Election fever grips the island. The filming of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3 is a major boost to the economy in the early part of the year.
May 5th: PM Skerrit leads the Dominica Labour Party to a General Election victory.
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Compiled by avirtualdominica.com

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About Dominica Weekly

Dominica Weekly is a blog that provides information on what’s going on Dominica island, and attempts to Share Every Dominican Moment with the World; whether it’s News, Politics, tourism, Carnival, local events, or personalities – all tied together with a bit of Dominica vibe.

We started posting on Dominica Weekly on June 7, 2006, and it’s now one of the most widely read Dominican blogs in the world (website statistics for advertisers). It has around 220 RSS and email subscribers. Dominica weekly was founded by Christophe Joseph and is written by a team of Dominica enthusiasts. If you would like to contribute to Dominica Weekly, please visit our Contribute Page to learn more about the ways you can contribute to DW, or just drop us an email at dominicaweekly@gmail.com.

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About Dominica:

Dominica Waterfalls

Known as “The Nature Island” and located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean, the independent nation of Dominica (pronounced “Dom-in-eek-a”) is the largest and most mountainous of the Windward Islands, encompassing an area of nearly 290 square miles. Of volcanic origins with mountains reaching heights of nearly 5,000 feet, rainforests that are considered among the last true oceanic rainforests in the world, more than 365 rivers, waterfalls, the second largest Boiling Lake in the world and pristine coral reefs, Dominica’s natural diversity is truly unique.

Dominica is also home to the last remaining settlement of the Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean – The Carib Indians. A place where man and nature live in harmony, adventurers and nature lovers alike will revel in the Island’s eco-tourism options which include scuba diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking/trekking, whale, dolphin and bird watching, sailing and fishing.

Dominica Island

Dominica continues to be recognized for its attributes and responsible tourism efforts, including being the first country in the world to receive Benchmarking designation from the prestigious Eco-tourism organization Green Globe 21.

National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destination ranked the island as the top sustainable island in the Caribbean and among the top ten in the world. Most recently, Dominica was recognized by Islands Magazine and was included in the 2007 Blue List for being a leader in responsible tourism and ensuring an environmentally and culturally sound island for future generations.

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