As relatively new as it is, the culture of Seychelles is rich and diverse. Seychelles is a country whose population is of mixed ethnic origins; African, Asian and European, resulting in a cultural melting pot which has given us our Creole identity.
This successful melting pot provides Seychelles with vast resources, be it tangible or intangible, in terms of cultural resource materials. These cultural resource materials may be called our cultural heritage. It is our foremost duty to protect it, and ensure that its exploitation is to the ultimate benefit of firstly, our people, so that we may be empowered to enjoy it, appreciate it and understand it.
This is necessary in the development of a national cultural identity. Secondly, we owe it to the rest of the world to share it as part of the world cultural heritage, in a manner that is respectful to our laws and our people, and in a manner that is respectful to our sources, be it institutions, individual informants, tangible and intangible materials.
It is for this reason that a proper research protocol needs to be established so that researchers in Seychellois culture, local and international, may be guided by formal procedures which will have the advantage of guaranteeing the authenticity of the end products whilst also guaranteeing some form of benefits to the sources or facilitators.
The Cultural Institutions of Seychelles are the custodians of a variety of resources in terms of cultural properties and trained human resources. The resources altogether constitute major assets for the country and are increasingly attracting interest among researchers, both locally, regionally and internationally.
This increased interest has had various impacts, some positive in the way they provide contacts and open avenues for cooperation; but in many circumstances there have been many negative impacts, at times amounting to abuse of materials and misinformation.
There is therefore a necessity to develop and enforce mechanisms to ensure better management of our cultural resources so that the Cultural Institutions derive more benefits from them as well as to exercise greater control over their usage and management in general.
This proposal aims to address the issue of cultural resources management. While it will serve to encourage and facilitate research on the Cultural Heritage of Seychelles, it will also ensure that research outcomes bring benefits for the Cultural Institutions and other sources, and depending on levels or types of research, the country in general would require.
The Research protocol working committee
The Committee is composed of the following persons:
- Marcel Rosalie (Chair) National Heritage
- Jean-Claude Mahoune (Secretary) Anthropologist, Culture Division
- Allen Lucas – National Archives
- Peter Lalande – Heritage Foundation
- Penda Choppy – Creole Institute
- Cecile Kalebi- National Museums
- Julienne Barra – National Heritage
- Ann-Mary Roberts – National Library
- Sybil Labrosse – National Heritage