The Taino Tradition of Generosity Lives in Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona (UCTP Taino News) - Desire Caballer, a Borikén Taino of the Guainia Tribal community, lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, and began organizing to assist homeless persons in her area in June of this year. Her volunteer efforts have grown from a personal initiative, to receiving food, clothing, and toiletries donations from others; bringing her interactions with Flagstaff’s homeless community up to 3 times per week. 

Desire was inspired to make a difference after seeing a homeless teenager begging on the street for money. The scene touched her personally, as she also experienced life on the streets of Phoenix as a teen before being taken in by a concerned family who treated her as their own child. Once she was able to secure employment, the family urged her to get her on place, which she did. Today, she is married and has two beautiful children, a son - Pedro - and a daughter - Katrina. She really “wanted to give back” and her husband, Lorenzo Lee, and children are supporting her initiative with the area’s homeless. 

Katrina Caballer,  Desire Caballer, and Lorenzo Lee documenting their work in Flagstaff
“All the people [I meet on the streets] have different stories,” stated Desire, who does not have a non-for-profit, is on a fixed income, and is dealing with her own personal health issues. She continued stating, “I believe that we all need not to judge, instead we need to learn how to help, love, care, and give.” When Columbus encountered Taino People throughout in the Caribbean, he continuously remarked on their generous nature. While history is clear on Columbus’ response to this generosity, Desire Caballer is proof that the traditional Taino spirit of giving still lives among contemporary Taino people living far from their island homelands. 

 UCTPTN 10.22.2014


Schaghticoke and Taino Declare Unity

East Haven, CT (UCTP Taino News) – History was made at the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe’s Fall Gathering when a historic “Declaration of Unity” was signed with the United Confederation of Taino People. The treaty signing was part of the special event held at the landmark Old Stone Church in East Haven. The gathering also featured inspiring presentations by Doreen Bennett (Maori) of Aotearoa/New Zealand, Mashu Whitefeather (Cherokee), Neil Chaske (Dakota), and several distinguished members of the Schaghticoke Indian Tribe. 

Schaghticoke Sachem Robert Hawk Storm Bergin and Roberto Mukaro Agueibana Borrero, the president of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) were the main signatories of the treaty, with several community members acting as witnesses including Heriberto “Guaragua’niki” Martinez (Taino), Angel Ortiz (Taino), and Ed Wolf-Walker Conley (Schaghticoke). 

According to the treaty document, the Declaration of Unity was entered into with the “present and future generations” of both Peoples in mind. Both leaders remarked on the importance of this level of recognition and solidarity between Indigenous Peoples and are looking toward to possible joint programs in the near future. 

 UCTP Taino News 10.19.2014


Treaty Council Commemorated 40th Anniversary in Oklahoma

UCTP President R. Mukaro Borrero; Alabama Quassarte Ceremonial Ground Mekko Bobby Yargee; UCTP Liaison Officer Tai Pellicier; and Bonnie Deere attend the historic 2014 IIITC Conference 

Muscogee Nation Territory, Oklahoma (UCTP Taino News) - The 40th anniversary  conference of the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) took place in Muscogee (Creek) Territory on September 10-12 at a newly constructed roundhouse dedicated to the late, revered Muscogee spiritual leader and activist Phillip Deere. The IITC conference was entitled “40 Years Defending the Rights and Recognition of Indigenous Peoples.”  

The IITC conference addressed the ongoing challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples throughout the Americas, the Caribbean, and the Pacific such as racism, food sovereignty, environmental health, climate change and reproductive health, among others. Campsites and meals were provided to the local and international participants. Two buffalos were donated from the Inter-tribal Bison Cooperative one from South Dakota and one from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nation, to feed attendees at the conference.
Various dynamic issues panels were convened and conference participants adopted a number of resolutions for IITC work focus for the next year and beyond. Three organizations requested and were approved as IITC affiliates by the conference general assembly; among them was the Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization (CADO).
The International Indian Treaty Council is an organization of Indigenous Peoples from North, Central, South America, the Caribbean, the Arctic, and the Pacific working for the Sovereignty and Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures and Sacred Lands. Since 1977, the IITC has been recognized by the United Nations as a category II Non-governmental Organization (NGO) with Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council, making it the first indigenous NGO to gain such status.

UCTPTN 09.13.2014


Indigenous Peoples Corn Conference Begins

Berenice Sanchez (Otomi) and Tai Pellicier (Taino) at the 
2nd International Indigenous Peoples Corn Conference

Okmulgee, Oklahoma (UCTP Taino News) - The 2nd International Indigenous Peoples Corn Conference entitled "Vce Ohfvnkv en Heromkv, “Corn is a Gift from the Creator” kicked off this morning at the Mvskoke Dome located on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Claude Cox Omniplex in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The event is co-sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Conference (IITC) and the Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative (MFSI). This two-day event brings together Indigenous traditional farmers, knowledge holders, food sovereignty activists, Tribal leaders, youth and elders together to share information, seeds, traditional knowledge and strategies to defend corn and other traditional foods vital to our ways of life as Indigenous Peoples. Among the distinguished delegates attending from throughout the hemisphere and beyond, Tai AnaYuisa Pellicier is participating in the conference as a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) and the Caribbean Amerindian Development Association (CADO).

UCTPTN 09.08.2014


Peoples Climate March in NYC

Indigenous Peoples’ traditional teachings have long warned that if human beings failed to protect and care for Mother Earth and the natural world, the survival of humanity would be threatened. Today, increasingly severe impacts of climate change threaten ecosystems and food production around the world and Indigenous Peoples are on the frontlines of climate change impacts.
Indigenous Peoples are participating in the People’s Climate March to bring attention to the devastating impacts of climate change and to share our hopes and teachings for living in harmony with Mother Earth.

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