Carib Territory,Dominica (AP) -The leader of the last remaining pre-Columbian tribe in the eastern Caribbean says outlawing marriage to outsiders can save Dominicaâ€™s dwindling indigenous population, but legislators are balking at deciding who can marry whom.
Chief Charles Williams has proposed a law requiring ethnic Kalinagos to marry only each other for self-preservation. He also requested that foreigners be barred from living on the tribeâ€™s 3,800-acre reserve.
â€œWe would like as many Kalinago people to respond and pair off so that we can multiply and protect the race,â€ Williams said during a recent news conference.
An estimated 1,000 Kalinagos of the roughly 4,000 who live on the reserve are considered full-blooded Indians. Carib women who marry non-Indians traditionally leave the reserve, while men who do the same are allowed to stay.
Several legislators said Friday that they refuse to entertain the marriage proposal. Such a measure would be â€œlegislating who a person can marry, and this cannot be so,â€ Sen. Claduous Stanford told The Associated Press.
Kent Auguiste, a member of the Carib Indian council that oversees the reserve, said the culture should be preserved but not at the expense of personal freedom.
â€”â€”- Personal Note â€”â€”-
I was appalled to read that such a law was even proposed! We had ridiculous anti-miscegenation laws in some states in the USA; as a matter of fact, Mildred Loving, who successfully won a case in our Supreme Court to overturn such laws, died only last week. Were such a law in place, it would only result in making some children illegitimate. Marriage should be legal between any pair of one adult man and woman not too closely related.