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Froyla Tzalam makes history: first Indigenous Governor-General in Commonwealth

Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2021. 10:13 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Today is the first day on the job for Governor-General designate (as of this writing), Froyla Tzalam.

She is being installed at the Government House (House of Culture) in Belize City, in the presence of Acting and Deputy Governor-General Stuart Leslie; Prime Minister John Briceno; Bishop Philip Wright of the Anglican Church; Acting Chief Justice Michelle Arana; Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber and Mayor Bernard Wagner; the various members of the diplomatic and consular corps and others.

The National Anthem was sung by Nelita Castillo and the Belize Defence Force provided the guard of honour.

Tzalam, originally from San Antonio, Toledo District, identifies herself first and foremost as a “woman, wife, mother, sister, auntie…and the dominant role is whatever is needed at the time.”

In her public life, she has been an anthropologist and cultural archivist and most recently a voice of the Maya community of Toledo through the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM).

But to those who lament her departure from that role, she says to take heart as she now has a wider forum to represent her people and all of Belize in her new role.

Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, issued congratulations, recognizing the value of the choice made by the Government and the worth it will bring to the nation and wider region and world.

 

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