The Indian Caribbean Museum (ICM) is a unique and specialized non-governmental institution that is owned and operated by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha Inc. of Trinidad and Tobago by Act 41 of 1952. It was established in 2006 and opened to the public by the Honourable Winston Dookeran, Member of Parliament for St. Augustine on May 7th, 2006.
The museum seeks to capture and highlight the experiences of the East Indians who came to the Caribbean between the years 1838 and 1917 as indentured labourers, many of whom have made these lands their new home never returning to India. In fact, roughly seventy-five percent of those who came chose to remain in the Caribbean.
The ICM can be described as a national treasure, a keeper of culture, a window to the past and an opportunity to see history come alive. It is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean and already over fifty thousand persons, both foreign and local, have visited our collection which comprises old musical instruments, traditional clothing, religious texts, emigration documents, books on indenture ship throughout the Caribbean, an Art gallery featuring the works of local East Indian artists as well as a library with close to three hundred publications.
The benefits derived from this museum are numerous as those of the older generation can recall their past experiences by viewing the museum’s rich cultural collection. Students can research assignments for examination purposes or others can simply visit us or surf the web to find out more about the museum. The beneficiaries of this institution go beyond the immediate community as its varied collection is national in scope. Despite its focus on the East Indians, the museum embraces visitors from all ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds. It has also welcomed many foreign dignitaries, diplomats and other personnel of state agencies and private sector conglomerates who have visited our shores from time to time. School children, from kindergarten to university are our most frequent visitors.
In order to make the museum more users friendly, accessible and visible, its website will now be available to provide global access.
In 2013, National Geographic Magazine named the Indian Caribbean Museum one of “500 Sacred Places of a Lifetime”. See this and many other reference library books and articles from writers such as Dr. Kumar Mahabir, Dr. Dennison Moore, V.S. Naipaul, Dr. Brinsley Samaroo to name a few.