Taíno participate in 26th annual "Medicine Wheel" Vigil

Boston, Massachusetts (UCTP Taino News) -
 Taking place on December 1, 2017, in conjunction with World AIDS Day/ A Day With(Out) Art, “Medicine Wheel,” a 24-hour vigil with a major art installation brought together a diverse representation of society to commemorate the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic, or any loss, in their own communities and worldwide. Medicine Wheel is an epic work of art created by Michael Dowling, Artistic Director of Medicine Wheel Productions, whose primary visual component is the wheel itself: thirty-six pedestals and portable shrines arranged in a circle. Among the 1000 artists and community members taking part in vigil where Patricia Chali'naru Dones and her son Vinny Tata'niki Dones. Chali'naru and Tata'niki are registered with the United Confederation of Taíno People and members of the Guainia Taíno Tribe. 
Dowling developed Medicine Wheel to be a part of A Day Without Art, the visual arts community’s annual response to the AIDS crisis that flowered in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in New York City and other artistic centers. Medicine Wheel has grown in importance as Boston’s largest annual observation of World AIDS Day.  Each year the installation is based around a different element: fire, water, earth or air.  This 26th incarnation of the Medicine Wheel is an AIR year and will focus on the power of art to heal, nurture, and transform.

UCTP Taino News 12/03/2017


UCTP Representative addresses gathering on Alcatraz Island

UCTP representative Tai Pelli addresses the crowd gathered on Alcatraz Island
(Photo courtesy of Native News Online)
Alcatraz Island  (UCTP Taíno News) - Continuing an over 30-year tradition,  International Indian Treaty Council organized the 2017 "Indigenous Peoples’ Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island" on Thursday, November 23, 2017. The event, which was streamed around the world, was attended by close to 5000 people. Cultural presentations and special guest speakers continued throughout the morning commemoration. In an historic first for the event, Tai Pelli, representing the United Confederation of Taíno People addressed the crowd in the English, Spanish, and Taíno languages. A member of the Guainia Taíno Tribe, Pelli provided updates on the current situation in Borikén (Puerto Rico) and the reality people on the island face as a colony of the United States. Although not scheduled to appear, former San Francisco 49rs quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, also addressed the crowd in solidarity and was honored by elders for his work. 

UCTP Taino News 11/25/2017


48th Day of Mourning/Remembrance features Taíno Speakers

Roberto Borrero shares a Taíno song at National Day of Mourning with fellow Taíno David Rodriguez and Vanessa Inarunikia Pastrana
Plymouth, Massachusetts (UCTP Taíno News) - Since 1970, American Indians and their allies have gathered at noon on Cole's Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US Thanksgiving holiday. The 48th annual Day of Mourning Rally and March through Plymouth's historic district was held on Thursday, November 23rd. Participants honored Native ancestors and the continuing struggles of Native peoples to survive today. According to the United American Indians of New England, the organization that organizes the event, "It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression, which Native Americans continue to experience." The day began with prayers and song continuing with statements presented by indigenous leaders from the region and beyond. Among the speakers were two Taíno, Bibi Vanessa Inarunikia Pastrana of the Bohio Atabei and Roberto Múkaro Borrero, President of the United Confederation of Taino People. Borrero was also representing the International Indian Treaty Council. Both Pastrana and Borrero focused their presentations on the current situation in hurricane ravaged Borikén (Puerto Rico). Borrero also shared a Taíno song accompanied by Pastrana and David Rodriguez, a Taíno who was among the front-line water protectors at Standing Rock pipeline action. The organizers pledged a part of the proceeds toward relief efforts in Borikén. The event culminated in a grand "pot luck" feast provided to participants free of charge. 

UCTPTN 11/24/2017


Taino Confederation Representation at Pequot Pow Wow

UCTP Liaison Officer Angel Ortiz at the 2017 Honoring the Veterans Powwow
Mashantucket Pequot Reservation, Connecticut (UCTP Taíno News) - For the 6th year in a row, UCTP Liaison Officer Angel "Lion Heart" Ortiz  represented the United Confederation of Taino Peoples at the "Honoring the Veterans Powwow", Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Connecticut. 

A Guainia Taíno Tribal member, Ortiz commented "As every year, the Pequot Nation received us with profound respect including us not only at annual Grand Entry, but also at the Sacred Ceremony of the posting and retiring of the Flags." This year Ortiz's wife,  Carmela, also participated representing the U.S. Coast Guard and carrying the American Flag. 

Several Taíno Women and their family members also traveled from far distances in order to make it to this event, among them, 
Chali'Inaru SmileznBill Dones from Massachusetts and Nicole Luz from Rhode Island. 

Throughout 2017, the UCTP flag was presented by Ortiz at multiple Powwows throughout 
New England.

UCTPTN 11/12/2017


National Day of Action supported by Taíno Confederation

Roberto Múkaro Borrero, President of the United Confederation of Taíno People addresses the crowd gathered for the National Day of Action on behalf of Puerto Rico at Union Square Park in New York 
Union Square, NY (UCTP Taíno News) - Hundreds of Puerto Ricans and allies came out on Wednesday, October 11 to Union Square Park to support a "National Day of Action" on behalf of Puerto Rico, which was ravaged by Hurricane Maria last month. Millions of people across the archipelago are still without electricity. There continues to be limited access to food, water, and many residents have completely lost their homes. The Climate Justice Alliance called action urging people to organize marches and hold rallies to support a “just recovery and transition”for Puerto Rico. Speakers called for full debt relief for Puerto Rico; permanent lifting of the Jones Act; transparent decision-making process for the distribution of resources; detailed screening for environmental justice concerns; among other demands. Roberto Múkaro Borrero was among the first to address the assembly affirming the support of the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) for the National Day of Action. He also recognized the island's over 500 years of colonial history as a part of the root cause of its current situation. The UCTP has set up a webpage for updated information following the hurricane and is working with community members on and of the island toward relief efforts.

UCTPTN 10/12/2017


Confederation Launches 'Reconsider Columbus Day' Website

A screen shot from the new Reconsider Columbus Day website

Manhattan, NY (UCTP Taino News) - On October 9th, 2017, the United Confederation of Taino People launched a website entitled  "Reconsider Columbus Day." The site was developed to archive work, by the Confederation and others, to abolish the Columbus Day holiday in the U.S. and promote an alternative commemoration - Indigenous Peoples Day. The website features the 2009 collaboration between Nu Heightz Cinema and the Confederation, which produced a video public service announcement entitled "Reconsider Columbus Day." The PSA and its accompanying awareness-raising campaign called for the recognition of a National Native American Holiday and the efforts to achieve such a day continue. A "work-in-progress," The Reconsider Columbus Day website includes a blog highlighting articles focusing on this and related issues.

UCTPTN 10.09.2017


CADO Launches Relief Mission for Kalinago in Dominica

On foot, Chief Charles Williams surveys the
destruction iacross the 8 villages of
Kalinago Territory in Dominica

Barbados (UCTP Taíno News) – The Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization (CADO) recently launched an appeal for hurricane relief focusing on the indigenous Kalinago Nation of Dominica. In cooperation with the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), the CADO office in Barbados will receive donations to ship by air for the Kalinago Territory. In a recent post on social media, a number of donation items needed included dry food light-weight items, large tarpaulins, building tools/equipment (hand saws, hammers etc), rain-proof tents and sleeping mats, lanterns, assorted nails and screws, coolers, water purifiers, and pampers for elderly and babies were among the request. 

The first shipment of relief donations to Kalinago Territory will depart today, Friday Oct. 6, 2017. An additional shipment is scheduled for the following week. Contact with the CADO office can be made by email to caribbeanamerindian@gmail.com or by sending a message to CADO's Facebook page

While no deaths have been reported in Kalinago Territory as a result of the storm, community members have affirmed that many homes were completely destroyed and communications are still difficult. Both CADO and the UCTP have pledged ongoing support and will issue updates on the situation as reliable information becomes available. 

UCTPTN 10.06.2017


Taíno Confederation Launches Update Page on Hurricane Relief

Borikén/Puerto Rico (UCTP Taíno News) – In support of hurricane relief efforts around the Caribbean, The United Confederation of Taíno People recently launched a dedicated webpage to post up-to-date information concerning Borikén (Puerto Rico) and other Caribbean Islands. The page will be updated regularly and compliments similar efforts on the UCTP’s social media network. The “Hurakan Maria Updates” page can be accessed at http://bit.ly/2wBNPP5. The Confederation is also considering a campaign for financial donations that would assist specific families who will need assistance beyond what local and federal programs can provide. 

UCTPTN 09.25.2017


Hurakan Maria Devastates Borikén and other Caribbean Islands

Borikén/Puerto Rico (UCTP Taíno News) — After devastating others islands in the region such as Dominica, Guadeloupe, the U.S. Virgin Islands and others, Hurakan Maria battered Borikén for hours before it spun out into the Atlantic Ocean on its way to the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. Early reports affirm that the Category 4 storm knocked out all power, caused dangerous flooding, toppled cellphone towers and tore the roofs off homes and businesses throughout the island. This was the strongest hurricane to hit Borikén in almost a century. Maria struck just days after the region was hit by Hurricane Irma. 

UCTPTN 09/20/2017 


Taíno Welcome Indigenous Relatives from Guyana

Taíno Community members Little Wolf and Kasike Múkaro Borrero welcome the Wapishana Cultural group Karao while the Hon. Sydney Allicock, Vice President of Guyana looks on
Brooklyn , NY (UCTP Taíno News) - The Karao Cultural Group is visiting New York from the South Rupununi, Guyana to take part in Guyana Folk Fest 2017. The group, made up of indigenous Wapishana tribal members, has captivated audiences with their cultural presentations since their arrival to the U.S. On Thursday, August 31st, the Karao Group gave a presentation at the "Desrey Fox Memorial Lecture" held in Brooklyn, NY and organized by the Guyana Cultural Association of New York (GCA-NY). Taíno community members, Kasike Roberto Múkaro Borrero and Little Wolf were invited to provide a welcome and spiritual opening at the event, which also included a presentation by Guyana’s Vice President and Minister of Indigenous People's Affairs, Hon. Sydney Allicock. The event also featured a lecture on Guyana’s indigenous languages presented by Dr. Walter Edwards and remarks from President of the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Dr. Vibert Cambridge, and other executives of the body.

UCTPTN 08.31.2017


A Taíno Kasike joins other Indigenous Leaders at Historic Gathering in Peru

Kasike Roberto Múkaro Borrero (at left) with Chief Caleen Sisk (Wintu - at center) and Casey Campy (Ponca - at right) at the Pachacamac Ceremonial Center in Peru

Pachacamac, Peru (UCTP Taíno News) –
Indigenous leaders from throughout the Western Hemisphere gathered in Peru from 23-25 August 2017 in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The events where organized by the indigenous organization Chirapaq and the agenda included a ceremonial gathering at the sacred ceremonial center of Pachacamac and a two-day conference, which focused on the history of the global indigenous movement including a current assessment of state of Indigenous Peoples around the world. Among the respected delegates invited was Roberto “Múkaro Agueibaná” Borrero, chief of the Guainia Taíno community and President of the United Confederation of Taíno People. Borrero was representing the International Indian Treaty Council and invited to share information on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Post2030 Agenda.

Before the two-day conference, participants gathered at the sacred ceremonial center of Pachacamac, which
is about 40 kilometres southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurín River. While the ancient ceremonial complex is now designated as a museum, Indigenous Peoples from around Peru continue to use the ceremonial grounds for spiritual purposes at various times during the year.  In earlier times, the area was used by pre and post-Inca cultures after being first settled around A.D. 200. It was named after the "Earth Maker" Creator Pacha Kamaq and its role as a significant ceremonial center flourished for about 1,300 years until the Spanish invaded.

The ceremony held on August 23rd was led by indigenous women and it focused on peace and the health of Indigenous Peoples’ communities. Borrero was the only male who was invited to share a statement and a ceremonial song at the historic gathering.

UCTPTN 08.30.2017


Taíno People Participate in Mohegan Wigwam Festival

UCTP Liaison Officer Angel Ortiz carrying the Taíno Confederation Flag at the Wigwam Festival
Uncasville, CT (UCTP Taíno News) - Indigenous Peoples from across the country converged for a family-friendly weekend of traditional Native American crafts, foods and dance competitions held at Fort Shantok in Uncasville, Connecticut from August 19-20, 2017. The festival represents a significant part of the history of the Mohegan Tribe as it began in the 1860s as a fundraiser for the Mohegan Church and as a way for Mohegan descendants to revitalize the tradition of the Green Corn Festival, which celebrated the annual corn harvest. 

Among the delegates of the many Indigenous Nations represented at the festival, one of the United Confederation of Taíno People’s Liaison Officer’s in Connecticut, Angel Ortiz, participated in the Festival’s Grand Entry carrying in the Confederation’s flag. Other Taíno community members were also present participating in inter-tribal dances.

The annual event was hosted by the Mohegan Tribe and next year’s program is already scheduled for 18 & 19 August 2018.

UCTPTN 08.29.2017