BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The National Cultural Policy in St. Kitts and Nevis, which was revised to capture the people’s unique identity, and preserve, protect and promote that identity in a manner that brings benefit to all citizens, nears completion, according to Director of Culture, Troy Mills.
“We are actually activating the final steps so we will be able to put the draft policy at the table of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Shawn Richards, to hopefully be tabled in Parliament shortly thereafter,” Mills said. “In a nutshell, it basically will be saying what the people can expect of culture and what the culture expects of the people. …”
Mills said the policy is an essential piece to document culture in the Federation as it will help persons understand that culture has both intrinsic and extrinsic values.
“It is important to have a broad perceptive, involvement and to document things, because if we don’t, you and I could have a meeting and we discuss AB but you go away remembering that we discussed BC and it’s problematic,” Mills explained. “So once we have a policy, something written… something that will shape us as a people then we could really stand up and say I am a Kittitian or Nevisian from a cultural policy point of view.”
Stanley Knight, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, said it was prudent to revise the policy as the original one was focused on the actions of the Department of Culture and the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in relation to the preservation and promotion of culture, as opposed to the interaction of citizens.
He added that there are seven pillars that will guide the revised policy.
“One [pillar] is to promote national identity through the documentation, coordination and promotion of cultural values, practices and mores. So this now is what we talk about, the person on the road being able to identify with it,” Knight said. “The second is to promote the cultural sector as a vehicle of social development. Then target the cultural and creative industries as an area of major economic activity.”
Preserving, protecting and promoting the Federation’s intangible and tangible cultural heritage also form part of the pillars. This is significant and it should be noted that St. Kitts and Nevis is signatory to all of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO’s) Conventions including the protection of both intangible and tangible cultural heritage.
The other three pillars are: Establish the links between the cultural policy, and the other national policies and legislation to achieve the goals and objectives of the National Cultural Policy; Ratify and create linkages between the cultural policy and regional and international agreements and conventions; and Conduct research and measurement of the socioeconomic contribution of the Creative and Cultural Industry.