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 Taino News 12/03/2017
|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
|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.
|UCTP Liaison Officer Angel Ortiz at the 2017 Honoring the Veterans Powwow|
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