7/03/2017

Caribbean Indigenous Peoples participate at Mashpee Pow Wow

In photo from left to right, Gustavo Cardona, Tataniki Dones, Chalinaru Dones, and Claudia Fox Tree were some of the Caribbean Indigenous Peoples present at the 96th Mashpee Wampanoag Pow Wow 
Historic Mashpee Wampanoag Territory, Massachusetts (UCTP Taíno News) – A contingent of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples participated at the 96th annual Mashpee Wampanoag Pow Wow this past weekend from June 1-3 2017. Taíno and Arawak Tribal members joined this historic celebration of culture, traditions and heritage in solidarity with the Mashpee Wampanoag and other Indigenous Peoples from throughout the Northeast and beyond. The Pow Wow featured indigenous dancing, drumming, games, food, art, jewelry, wampum (beads made from quahog shells), gifts, crafts, and clothing. Drum and dance competitions also took place with United Confederation of Taíno People’s Massachusetts Liaison Officer, Claudia Fox Tree winning the “spot” dance and receiving a prize. This year’s Pow Wow theme was “Honoring Our Traditions” and several thousand visitors were received at the event over the weekend held at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in East Falmouth, MA.

UCTP Taíno News 07.03.2017

6/02/2017

Caribbean Indigenous Peoples Condemn Trumps withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement: A Joint statement from the United Confederation of Taíno People and the Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization


The United Confederation of Taíno People and the Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization condemn the shameful June 1st, 2017 announcement made by the President of the United States that his government will withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. 

Indigenous Peoples around the world, including the Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean are on the frontlines of the global climate crises. Our communities contribute the least to global warming, yet we are and will continue to be affected the most by its negative impacts. 

In the Caribbean region, the effects of climate change are real. We are experiencing erratic and shifting weather patterns, rising sea levels, increased intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes, negative effects on local fauna, as well as the bleaching of coral refers, which are integral component of the Caribbean Sea and its ecosystem. All these biophysical impacts will continue to evoke significant economic, social and political consequences in the near and distant future in the region and beyond. 

While the Paris Agreement did not fulfill all our aspirations and by itself, will not solve the global climate crises, it is an important step forward that includes the “rights of indigenous peoples” in its framework. 

The U.S. government’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is an irresponsible act that not only supports an immoral anti-environmental agenda, but also it also threatens the well-being of our future generations. We therefore call upon the U.S. government to reconsider its current position and convert this injustice into an historic opportunity to ensure a safer future for our children’s children.

Signed: 

Roberto Múkaro Borrero, President 
United Confederation of Taíno People 

Damon Gerard Corrie, President 
Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization

5/01/2017

Taíno Join May Day Demonstration in NY

Members of the Bohio Atabei and Taíno iukaieke Guainia were some of the Taíno community members present at the May Day Rally in New York's Union Square 
Union Square, NY (UCTP Taíno News) - May Day is considered by some to be a celebration of spring days to come, but globally it is also known as International Workers Day. On May 1st, across the U.S., both in major cities and smaller communities, people took to the streets to rally and march to celebrate and promote advances for the working class while others used the opportunity to highlight related social and political issues such as women's rights, oppressive governmental policies or immigration reform.

In New York, protesters in Union Square and Washington Square Park chanted, played instruments and waved signs with various slogans in English and Spanish, such as “Workers united will never be defeated.”

Among the demonstrators at Union Square, Taíno community members joined the rally in solidarity with the thousands of protesters who blocked roads and marched in Borikén (Puerto Rico) to bring attention to the decade-long economic crisis and looming austerity measures. Taíno community members were also amongst the mass of protestors in Borikén.

Both on the island and in New York demonstrators denounced the U.S. territory's leaders as well as the U.S federal control board overseeing its finances.

 UCTPTN.05.01.2017

4/30/2017

Indigenous Peoples lead Peoples Climate March in Washington D.C.

Indigenous Peoples at the frontline of the Peoples Climate March are joined by actor Leonardo DiCaprio
WASHINGTON D.C. (UCTP Taíno News) — On Saturday, April 29, over 200,000 people took to the streets in Washington D.C. to demand action on Global Climate Change on the local, national, and international level. Indigenous Peoples were among those who led the march, which took place in sweltering heat that tied a record for April 29. The People’s Climate March for “climate, jobs, and justice” coincided with U.S. President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office. Along with the main march and related activities in Washington D.C., more than 300 “sister marches” were held across the U.S. and around the world. 

“This is more than a march, it is a global movement to affect positive change.” said Roger Guayakan Hernandez, a Borikén Taíno representing the United Confederation of Taíno People at the march. Hernandez was a “bus captain” for one of two buses from New York organized by the International Indian Treaty Council to assist local NY Tri-State Area Indigenous Peoples, as well as indigenous delegates to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues participate in the Peoples Climate March. 

A large and diverse representation of Indigenous Peoples from around the country and the world were present at the march. Indigenous Peoples began the day with a sunrise water ceremony that opened with a welcome from Gabrielle Tayac of the local indigenous Piscataway Nation. During the march, Indigenous Peoples were a part of the led contingent, representing frontline communities. Among the Indigenous Peoples represented at the march from throughout the Americas and the world, were Taíno, Lokono-Arawak, and Maya from Belize alongside Lakota, Dine (Navajo), Schaghticoke, Sapara, Mexica, Mohawk, Quechua, Maori, Nuba, Maasai, and many, many other indigenous Nations.

“I am marching for Mother Earth and our future” said Mainaku Borrero, Taíno/Tlingit, 10yrs old. “Climate change is real.”

 UCTPTN 05.09.2017

9/30/2016

Taíno join opposition to Financial Control Board for Borikén (Puerto Rico)

Vanessa Inarunikia Pastrana and Roberto Mukaro Borrero sound the guamo 
(conch shells) to open the demonstration in New York opposing the 
U.S. imposed Financial Oversight and Management Board for Borikén 
(Puerto Rico). Photo courtesy of Mario Rubén Carrión
New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) - On Friday, September 30, a diverse group of human rights defenders rallied in New York to voice their opposition to the first formal meeting the newly created and U.S. imposed Financial Oversight and Management Board for Borikén (Puerto Rico). The rally was held outside the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York, home to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in NY. The rally opened with an indigenous Taíno invocation to the 4 directions and followed with about 3 hours of passionate calls to abolish the board and end colonialism for Puerto Rico. 

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico was created by the Obama administration’s Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or Promesa as a way to deal with Puerto Rico’s economic crisis, which includes a debt of over 70 Billion dollars. Many activists and analysts note that it is the colonial condition of Puerto Rico that has created the crisis and the U.S. should be accountable for the debt. This control board named Jose Carrión III as chairman, clearing the way to officially take over financial decision-making from Puerto Rico’s government. A Republican, Carrión was recommended by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). He also presides over the Puerto Rico subsidiary of HUB International, a global insurance brokerage company. His appointment is controversial as he is the brother-in-law of Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s non-voting member in Congress. 

At the demonstration, Roberto Múkaro Borrero stated the “imposition of this financial control board by the United States violates Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination.” Borrero continued stating that “Promesa and along with the continuance of the Jones Act are clear proof of the island’s colonial status.” Borrero is a community leader representing the Guainia Taíno Tribe and is the current President of the United Confederation of Taíno People. Borrero continued stating that a specific area of concern with the legislation is that “it gives the board the power to expedite approvals of energy and other projects they deem critical, which could have severe consequences to the island’s environment if the projects are not evaluated properly.” 

Puerto Rico’s central government, three retirement systems (teachers, judicial and employees), university (UPR) and all its public corporations, including the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority and Electric Power Authority, are now under the immediate control of the new entity. The board also has oversight over the restructuring negotiations with creditors. The governor of Puerto Rico holds a non-voting position on the board, In addition, the board and its employees are exempt from liability claims. 

There is no information as to when the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico will meet next. 

UCTPTN 09.30.2016