The Carib Territory (Kalinago territory)
The Carib Territory was established in 1903, the reservation is located in the parish of St David on the eastern coast of the island of Dominica. The Carib Territory is home to Dominica indigenous people, the Caribs. The Caribs once occupied all the islands of the Caribbean according to historical documentation by Christopher Columbus and other explorers to the region. The constant battle with Europeans, disease and enslavement diminished the number of Carib Indian living In the Caribbean drastically. Today Dominica has the largest population of Caribbean in the Caribbean and a few can be found on the island of St Vincent and Venezuela also has a small population.
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The population of the Carib Territory in Dominica is estimated to be in the region of 3000 and there are many who have moved to other parts of the island. The Carib Territory is made up of a total of eight (8) small communities; Bataca, Sineku, Crayfish River, Salybia, Mahaut River, Gaullete River, St Cyr, Tuna Aute (Concorde). The Carib Territory is estimated to occupy an area of 3,700 acres of land.
The Carib Territory is headed by a Carib chief who is elected by the population in the Carib Territory. Elections for Carib Chief are held every five years and can be contested by persons who live in the Carib Territory. The indigenous people are also represented in government by an elected Parliamentary Representative. Lands in the Carib Territory cannot be bought or sold but the natives can occupy vacant land once the approval of the Carib Council has been granted.
Today the natives of the Carib Territory like their ancestors make a living out of craft and art which include basket weaving and sculpting. Fishing is also an important way of life for the indigenous people of the Caribbean island of Dominica. Other forms of Carib culture are very much alive including dance and cuisine. The natives are also excellent farmers who continue to cultivate cassava (Manioc) and other agricultural produce. Canoe making is still done by a few persons in the communities.
The Carib Territory remains one of the key tourist attractions on the island. Many visitors make their way to the Carib villages to purchase hand crafted souvenirs made by Carib families and to interact with the local. A Carib model village has been built which gives visitors a taste of life in the traditional Carib village. The model village comprises of homes and other Carib structures, food and craft as well as history is available.