12/28/2005

Without Sharks, Food Chain Crumbles

Reporter: Bjorn Carey, Live Science Writer


Sharks hold a legendary spot at the top of the marine food chain. A new study suggests that overfishing of sharks by humans can cause that chain to crumble.

The project – a coordinated study by the Integrative Ecology Group in Sevilla, Spain and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego – was one of the largest and most detailed investigations of marine food chains and the first study to integrate food chain structure, dynamics and conservation.

The study showed the adverse effects targeted fishing can have on an ecosystem. In the Caribbean, overfishing of sharks triggers a domino effect of changes that carries down to several fish species and contributes to the overall degradation of the reef ecosystem. Overfishing species randomly, the study shows, is not as likely to cause these cascading effects.

When sharks are overfished, the carnivorous fish they feed on increase in number. The carnivorous fish, in turn, prey on parrotfish, which normally graze for plant life on the reef. Since there are less parrotfish to eat the algae off the coral, the entire identity of the reef changes from coral to algae dominated, according to the authors. Thus overfishing of sharks may contribute further to the loss of resistance of coral reefs to multiple human disturbances.

"It appears that ecosystems such as Caribbean coral reefs need sharks to ensure the stability of the entire system," said Enric Sala, deputy director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps.

Because of their comprehensive approach in developing the study, which covered 1,000 square kilometers to a depth of 100 meters, the authors say their results address more than individual species protection and speak to larger ecosystem protection issues.

The study, published in the April 12 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source:
http://www.livescience.com/imageoftheday/siod_050425.html

12/23/2005

Stressed-Out Coral Reefs

Reporter: Bjorn Carey, Live Science Writer

Coral reefs in the United States are stressed out. Despite conservation efforts, coral reefs continue to face both natural and human-induced stressors, including overfishing, disease, pollution, and climate change according to a recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

However, the report indicates that reef management actions are headed in the right direction. The NOAA, federal, state, territory, and local authorities have begun to implement “local action strategies” ot reduce key threats to coral reefs – large, multi-organism living structures that many other sea creatures call home.

“Healthy shallow coral reef ecosystems are a key factor for robust marine ecosystems and the economic well-being of many coastal communities,” said Conrad C. Lautenbacher, retired Navy Vice Admiral and NOAA administrator.

Coral reef monitoring activities are being conducted in 14 jurisdictions, ranging from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa. Scientists are gathering data about water quality, corals and other seafloor organisms as well revising fishing laws and establishing coral reef protected areas.

“The good news is that there are monitoring systems in place which will continue to strengthen the cooperative governance and stewardship of our coral ecosystems,” said Timothy Keeney, co-chair of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force.

*Source:
http://www.livescience.com/imageoftheday/siod_050823.html

12/22/2005

Season's Greetings from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Dear Friends,

We wish you a happy and peaceful Holiday Season! We are looking forward to our work together in the New Year!

Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

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Estimados amigos,

Les deseamos felicidad y paz en estas festividades! Esperando tener la oportunidad de trabajar juntos una vez mas el proximo año!

Secretariado del Foro Permanente para las Cuestiones Indígenas

-------

Chers Amies et amis,

Nous vous souhaitons des bonnes fetes de fin d'annee, en paix!
Nous nous rejouissons de continuer a travailler ensemble avec vous dans le nouvel an!

Secretariat de l'Instance permanente pour les questions autochtones


12/21/2005

Victory: Senate Blocks Alaska Refuge Drilling

Ta'kahi Guaitiao (Greetings relatives):

On behalf of the people of the Taino Nation and other Caribbean Indigenous Peoples represented by the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP), I say bo'matum (thank you) to express our deepest gratitude to all those who responded yesterday to the national call for action on a critical vote taking place in the U.S. Senate that would have opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR) to oil exploration.

This disgraceful action had the potential to destroy this fragile arctic coastal plain, which is recognized as the calving grounds of the Porcupine Caribou, a home to polar bears, musk oxen, and an annual influx of millions of migratory birds. The well-being of the Caribou and other wildlife in the region are also tied to the traditional way of life of the indigenous Gwich'in Nation, who have been at the forefront of protests against oil drilling in the area.

The Republican-led move to drill in the ANWAR has long been seen by many activists and political analysts as a political "test" that if successful would signal the end for all manner of environmental protections as well as the protection of endangered species. A decade ago a Republican-led Congress used a parliamentary maneuver to get an ANWR bill successfully past a filibuster, only to have it vetoed by then President Clinton. This time however, President Bush has made ANWR exploitation a top priority and is "eager to sign a bill."

The UCTP is pleased to announce that the Senate blocked oil drilling in the ANWAR today, narrowly rejecting the measure that had been put into a "must-pass defense spending bill in an attempt to garner wider support."

Supporters of arctic drilling were just four votes short of getting the required 60 votes to avoid a threatened filibuster of the defense measure over the oil drilling issue. The vote was 56-44. The House of Representatives passed the $454 billion defense spending bill earlier this week, 308-106.

Senate leaders are now expected to withdraw the legislation so it could be reworked without the refuge language.

In light of this positive news, the UCTP recommends that all those who wrote to their Senators could follow up on this issue by finding out how they voted on this legislation. If your State Senator voted against this measure, please write her/him a letter of thanks and let them know you appreciate their stance in defense of Attabeira, our Mother Earth.

If they voted for the bill, please let them know that you are very disappointed with their decision and that they should re-evaluate their position on this issue and support stronger environmental protections in the future.

This action in the Senate is proof that public opinion can make a difference and that our community, our Nation, can contribute positively to larger issues affecting the survival of our indigenous relatives and Attabeira, our Mother Earth.

Oma'bahari (With respect),
Roberto Mukaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
UCTP U.S. Regional Coordinating Office
http://www.uctp.org/
http://www.uctp.blogspot.com/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Taino_News/

--------------------------------

AP News “Senate Blocks Alaska Refuge Drilling”

WASHINGTON - The Senate blocked an attempt to open an Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling Wednesday, foiling an attempt by drilling backers to force the measure through Congress as part of a must-have defense spending bill. It was a stinging defeat for Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, one of the Senate's most powerful members, who had given senators a choice to support the Alaska drilling measure, or risk the political fallout of voting against money for American troops and for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

For the full AP story see “Senate Blocks Alaska Refuge Drilling” at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051221/ap_on_go_co/arctic_drilling_14;
_ylt=AscXCdH3olOTGMs7T9.LSlo8rowC;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

12/20/2005

URGENT ACTION: Support needed for Gwich'in Nation and the Arctic Refuge!

Save the Arctic Refuge! Support the Gwich'in Nation!

The fight to save the Arctic isn't over yet. The Senate is expected
to vote TODAY! - Wednesday on the Defense Bill. We can still win the
battle to save America's greatest wildlife sanctuary.

Urgent! TODAY! Tell Your Senators to Oppose the Addition of an
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Provision to the Defense Bill!

Last-Minute Provision Would Open the Arctic Refuge to Drilling

This past Sunday, Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) succeeded in getting
the GOP to add a last minute provision to the Defense Appropriations
Bill that would open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
to drilling. They attached a provision allowing oil drilling in the
Arctic Refuge to an unrelated bill to fund the military and
hurricane recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. On Monday morning
the House passed this version of the bill, 308-106, and the bill is
now moving to the Senate.

Arizona Senator John McCain, a decorated war hero, has called this
move "disgusting."

Most people in DC are saying this Senate vote will take place TODAY!

There will probably be two types of votes: Procedural votes (on
whether the Arctic provision violates Senate rules -- 51 needed) and
a vote on Cloture (ending debate -- 60 needed). Both types of votes
are extremely important and more likely would happen today –
Wednesday!

Call your Senators IMMEDIATELY! The Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224-
3121.

Just tell the operator what State you're from. You will need to
call twice to reach both senators. Here's a sample message you can
leave:

"Hello, my name is _____ and I live in _______. I urge you to
protect the Arctic Refuge by voting to block the Defense Department
Appropriations bill until the provision allowing drilling in the
Arctic is removed. How do you plan to vote?"

URGE your Senator do everything in their power to remove Arctic
drilling provisions from the Defense Authorization Bill so it can be
passed! Tell them to vote against Cloture and vote in support of any
procedural motion that would send the bill back to conference to
remove the ANWR language.

Americans and sovereign Indian Nations must stand together to
protect the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. The future of the Gwich'in
Nation and the concerned Inupiat from Katovik Village depends on
your support.

For more information about the Gwich'in and the Arctic Refuge
see:
http://www.gwichinsteeringcommittee.org/index.html

12/17/2005

UCTP and Garifuna Solidarity Continues

Los, Angelos, CA (UCTP Taino News) - The Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc. (GAHFU) was officially launched on Friday, December 16, 2005. The historic event took place at the Guatemalan General Consulate in Los Angeles, California.

Founded by Cheryl Noralez and Rony Figueroa, the GAHFU is a new non-profit organization which seeks to not only preserve the garifuna culture, but also to maintain its language in the United States. The GAHFU plans to work toward the establishment of a community resource center in the Los Angeles area, to create innovative educational programs that motivate, expand knowledge, build a strong Garifuna community through education, engage in community economic development and education, health and economic independence and technological advancement.

Among the distinguished dignitaries present at the official launching were the Honorable Milton Alvarez, Consul General of Guatemala in Los Angeles; John Hu’acan Vidal, UCTP Representative for California; Roland Castillo, President of G.O.L.A. (Garifuna Organization of LA); Minerva Delgado, Hamalali Garinagu - Garifuna Cultural Group of LA; and AFG (Association of Guatemalan Fraternities) President Mr. Ignacio Motagua.

Expressing his solidarity to the founders of GAHFU and the Garifuna People, Hu’acan hoped that this new initiative would play an instrumental role in the Garifuna movement, not only in California but “throughout the world where ever Garifuna can be found.”


----------------

Editor's Note: Visit the GAHFU website at http://www.garifunaheritagefoundation.org

*Related stories posted on 4/19/2005, 4/20/2005, and 11/24/2005

12/14/2005

Invisible New Yorkers: Kacike René Cibanakán

The New York Times
NEW YORK/Region
Angel Franco
Published: December 14, 2005

Kacike René Cibanakán, 64, helps to affirm the identity of his people, the Taino, the indigenous Indians of the Caribbean. His interest was kindled in 1988, at an American Indian powwow at a Manhattan YMCA. His journal entry translates as: "Taino … that’s what I am in my soul spirit and in life. They felled a tree. They could not yank the roots, the ones that are now sprouting!"




Photo: Angel Franco/The New York Times

12/12/2005

Bolivian Could Be a 'Nightmare' for US

Bolivian Could Be a 'Nightmare' for US
The Associated Press


Caracollo, Bolivia - As a little boy in Bolivia's bleak highlands, Evo Morales used to run behind buses to pick up the orange skins and banana peels passengers threw out the windows. Sometimes, he says, it was all he had to eat. Now, holding the lead ahead of Sunday's presidential election, he's threatening to be "a nightmare for the government of the United States."

It's not hard to see why. The 46-year-old candidate is a staunch leftist who counts Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez among his close friends. Moreover, he's a coca farmer, promising to reverse the U.S.-backed campaign to stamp out production of the leaf that is used to make cocaine.

With his Aymara Indian blood and a hatred for the free-market doctrines known to Latin Americans as neo-liberalism, Morales in power would not only shake up Bolivia's political elite, but strengthen the leftward tide rippling across South America.

"Something historic is happening in Bolivia," Morales told The Associated Press in an interview. "The most scorned, hated, humiliated sector now has the capacity to organize."

At a recent campaign stop in the western highland town of Caracollo, Morales and members of his Movement Toward Socialism party were mobbed by crowds who kissed them, showered them with confetti and draped necklaces of flowers and fruit around their necks. The Movement Toward Socialism "represents not only hope for the Bolivian people, but also a nightmare for the government of the United States," Morales told the supporters.

"I have no fear in saying - and saying loudly - that we're not just anti-neo-liberal, we're anti-imperialist in our blood."

Morales, whose leather key chain sports a portrait of communist revolutionary Che Guevara, has already been involved in toppling two presidents, has come close to winning the presidency once before, and is now running strong against conservative former President Jorge Quiroga and several other candidates. If no one wins an outright majority on Sunday, Congress will choose between the top two vote-getters in mid-January.

The latest poll by Ipsos-Captura shows Morales with 32.8 percent, five percentage points above Quiroga, and gives a margin of error of two percentage points.

"Symbolically, he would represent a fundamental change," said Jimena Costa, a political science professor at Bolivia's Universidad Mayor de San Andres. "It's not just the first time an Indian would win the presidential elections, but he would be doing it with the support of a sector of the white and mestizo community and urban
populations."

Morales has been a problem for Washington since he rose to prominence in the 1990s as the leader of the cocaleros, or coca farmers, in Bolivia's tropical Chapare region, leading their often violent resistance to U.S.-backed coca eradication efforts.

While the U.S. government insists that much of the Chapare's coca becomes cocaine, farmers say they supply a legal market. Coca leaves are sold in supermarkets and can be chewed, brewed for tea, and used in religious ceremonies.

During the last presidential election, then U.S. Ambassador Manuel Rocha criticized Morales, only to see him shoot up in the polls. This time Washington has kept silent, though a statement two weeks ago by the present ambassador, David Greenlee, urging Bolivia not to change course on coca, was widely interpreted as a jab at Morales.

"I hope there aren't changes, because if there are changes for the worse, the country that's going to suffer is Bolivia," Greenlee told anti-drug rally in El Alto, a slum city next to La Paz.

Morales, more comfortable in black Wrangler jeans and sneakers than suit and tie, still maintains coca fields and pledges an international campaign to legalize the leaf and industrialize its production. He insists he will fight drug trafficking, but maintains that the plant has been wrongly maligned in the world's mind.

As a boy, Morales' family struggled to survive. Of seven children, Evo was among only three who made it past infancy. He helped herd the family's llamas and harvest their potatoes, played trumpet in a traveling band and dropped out of high school. When he was 19 the family joined the highland migration to low-lying Chapare in the southeast. There he became a cocalero and in 1993 was elected president of the local coca farmers' federation.

Meanwhile, the nation of 8.5 million was emerging from decades of coups and dictatorships and joining the spread of democracy across the continent. Morales founded the Movement Toward Socialism in 1995, was later elected to congress, and in 2002 narrowly lost the presidential race to Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.

The free market policies that have failed to pull Bolivians out of poverty, coupled with the conflict over how best to exploit the continent's second largest natural gas reserves, has empowered the country's poor Indians to demand change. Morales became an important figure in waves of protest that brought down Sanchez de Lozada in 2003 and his successor, Carlos Mesa, in June.

12/11/2005

UCTP Action on Global Climate Crises

Public Notice: In solidarity with the world-wide movement mobilizing on the issue of the global climate crises, the UCTP supported and participated in a number of actions, which coincided with the United Nations Climate Conference last week in Montreal, Canada. After the UCTP issued an announcement officially supporting the actions, which called for the U.S to join the Kyoto Protocol and build a new national campaign around the issue etc, several initiatives were actively engaged in. Using the resources available via its internationally recognized communications network, the UCTP issued several appeals to Taíno and other Caribbean Indigenous Peoples to support these actions by signing on to petitions and writing letters to public officials including President George W. Bush. Direct action by participating in demonstrations or other initiatives focusing on this issue was also urged by the UCTP leadership.

The UCTP was added as an official endorser on the websites of major organizers of events and UCTP President, Roberto Múkaro Borrero was invited to speak at a demonstration on Friday December 2 and give a presentation at an Inter-Faith Gathering on Saturday, December 3rd. At both events, which were held in New York City, President Borrero was able to express the position of the UCTP on the Global Climate Crises and offer prayers and song in the Taíno language.

The UCTP also issued a resolution on Climate Change with the consensus of its leadership and the resolution was posted for public review on December 9th 2005. The UCTP plans follow up on these initiatives and will report as information becomes available.

12/09/2005

UCTP Resolution on the Global Climate Crises

UCTP Resolution on the Global Climate Crises
UCTP Res/08/12/2005,
Adopted on 9 December 2005

Recognizing: That we, indigenous Taino People have maintained a special relationship with Attabeira, our sacred Mother Earth, and Yokahu Bagua Maorokoti, our sacred Father Sky, since time immemorial; and

Whereas: We, the people of the Unified Taino Nation and other Caribbean indigenous Peoples represented by the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP), invoke the divine blessings of Yaya, the Creator, upon on our efforts and hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and

Whereas: The UCTP is greatly concerned about the impact of global warming and climate change on present and future generations of plant, fish, bird, insect, animal and human communities, our ancestral territories, our economies, our cultures and our relationship to the natural order and laws; and

Whereas: Greenhouse gases (GHG) are recognized as the main cause of global warming and the result of ever-increasing human activities including burning fossil fuels; and

Whereas: The global climate crisis poses significant threats to all life on this planet and is responsible for an increase in heat waves, drought, shrinking water supplies, the premature melting of Glaciers and snow pack, increased rates of asthma, catastrophic fires, floods and storms, coastal erosion, utility infrastructure failure, new diseases, and the loss of traditional plant and animal life on land and in the seas; and

Whereas: The consequences of the global climate crisis cannot be ignored, and cooperation and leadership from all nations is required, especially the United States, to slow the rate of global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;

Therefore Be It Resolved: That the UCTP calls upon the elected and appointed leaders of the United States and other countries, at all levels of government, to accept responsibility for the welfare of future generations and Attabeira, our sacred Mother Earth, by focusing attention and policy efforts on the global climate crises; and

Be It Further Resolved: That the UCTP also calls upon the elected and appointed leaders of the United States to ratify the Kyoto Protocol as a first step toward a commitment to change.

In Witness whereof, and in accordance with the principles set forth in 1998 Declaration of the United Confederation of Taíno People, I, Roberto Múkaro Borrero have caused the seal of the United Confederation of Taíno People to be affixed upon this resolution, which was adopted by consensus on this Ninth Day of December in the year two thousand and five.

Roberto Múkaro Borrero,
President and Chairman
UCTP - Office of International Relations
and Regional Coordination


12/07/2005

Venezuela begins low-cost heating oil deliveries; tribes continue talks

by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

OSTON - The planned delivery of low-cost heating oil from Venezuela's CITGO Petroleum Corp. to Massachusetts and New York state is under way, while American Indians continue talks with CITGO to bring low-cost heating oil and gasoline to tribes.

American Indian activist Robert Free Galvan, who is organizing efforts with CITGO, said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is demonstrating to the world that there is another way to engage in the sale of oil and gas.

''CITGO holds very highly their corporate social responsibility and vision; it is an example for tribal corporations to follow,'' Galvan said. ''The recent oil crisis profited billions to oil companies, but which ones have offered communities anything - besides CITGO?''

American Indian tribes throughout the United States, including tribes in Arizona, Nevada and South Dakota, contacted Galvan concerning Chavez's offer of low-cost gasoline and heating oil after Venezuela made the offer earlier this year.

To see the rest of the story visit:
http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096412046

UCTP Letter to President George W. Bush

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Fax: 202-456-2461

Ta’kahi (Greetings) President Bush:

On behalf of the Taíno People and Nation represented by the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), it is our hope that this communication finds you in good health and Spirit. I am writing not only to introduce you to the work of the UCTP but to respectfully voice our concern on an issue that affects all our relations.

As the UCTP is an international indigenous Tribal Authority, which is represented throughout the Caribbean Island region as well as in the United States, it is our responsibility to voice the concerns of our Nation in the spirit of our ancestors. Recognizing our responsibility to our People and our Mother Earth, we would like you to know that our people are gravely concerned about global warming. As an ancient indigenous people, the Taíno Nation has a special relationship with our lands and territories.

Our Elders are witness to the earth changes and they are in agreement with the world scientific community that the climate crisis is accelerating. Hurricanes are getting worse, the waters are warming and rising; this is affecting the livelihoods of many of our community members.

With this in mind, we strongly urge the U.S. Government to join the rest of the world in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol as a first step toward a commitment to change. The Federal Government must then mobilize to achieve the 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which credible scientists agree is necessary to stabilize the climate. Further, the Government must withdraw its annual $25 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels and create equivalent subsidies for renewable, safe, non-nuclear energy alternatives; it must dramatically strengthen energy conservation and fuel efficiency standards and actively defend the world’s forests. The Government must also provide for a just transition for those most affected by these changes. Achieving these goals will have the added benefit of reducing US dependence on foreign oil and natural gas.

We urge you, as the President of the United States, to take a leading role in changing energy policy and achieving these urgent objectives for the good of our country, the planet, and our future generations.

Bo'matum, Oma’bahari (With respect, thank you),
Roberto Múkaro Borrero (Borikén Taíno),
President and Chairman

CC: U.S. Senators & Representatives;
UCTP Representatives, Affiliates and Tribal Membership;
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

12/05/2005

IITC Gathering to take place in Florida

Dear Community members & friends:

Below you will find an announcement for an upcoming meeting that will take place in Florida hosted by the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC). The UCTP is planning on sending a delegation to the meeting as we have worked in solidarity with the IITC in the past.

Please send the annoucement to reputable Tribal Leaders in your area so they may consider attending. The IITC is the oldest indigenous NGO accredited at the United Nations and is highly respected by indigenous leaders nationally and internationally.

Peace and blessings,
Roberto Mucaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
UCTP – U.S. Regional Coordinating Office
http://www.uctp.org/

---------------------------------------------------

TREATY CONFERENCE FEBRUARY 9 – 12, 2006

ANNOUNCEMENT AND INVITATION

The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) will hold its 32nd Anniversary Treaty Conference February 9 –12 at the “Redbay Stronghold" Grounds, hosted by the Independent Traditional Seminole Nation of Florida (ITSNF). This year’s conference theme is: “Fighting to uphold the Creator's laws and ways as the Supreme Law of the Land; Defending the Humanity, Dignity and Right to Self- determination of the Independent Traditional Sovereign Nation of Florida and all Indigenous Peoples of the World.”

The IITC was founded in South Dakota, USA in 1974 to be an international voice for Indigenous Peoples. The IITC received United Nations Consultative Status in 1977. Since that time it has worked to build Indigenous unity, address human rights violations threatening Indigenous Peoples’ survival and achieve international recognition for Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

The territories of Florida are the traditional homelands of the Seminole Peoples. The Independent Traditional Seminole Nation of Florida (ITSNF) has maintained its traditions, culture, language and sovereign way of life though many years of struggles. They resisted attempts by US military to forcibly remove them in the early 1800’s, when many of the Seminoles were forced to relocate to Oklahoma during the “Trail of Tears”. They have also resisted the federal government’s repeated attempts to purchase their traditional lands in violation of the Worth Agreement made between the US and the Seminole in 1842.

The Conference will support the efforts of the Independent Traditional Seminole Nation of Florida and Indigenous Nations around the world to protect their homelands and traditional territories, subsistence practices and ecosystems, and to safeguard their traditional cultures, ceremonial practices and languages for future generations. Workshops, presentations on critical human rights issues and traditional cultural programs will be presented throughout the conference.

The Conference will be camp-out. Bring camping gear (bedding, tents, eating utensils). Meals, showers and restrooms will be provided, and registration is free of charge. Participants need to arrange their own air or ground travel. The Conference site is on 2600 acres located near the community of Ft. Drum Florida, 25 miles northwest of Okeechobee, about an hour’s drive south of Orlando and about 4 hours drive north of Miami. Rides from the Orlando Airport (the closest airport) can be provided if you send us your itinerary. A driving map, information on travel by bus or train and a list of local motels (to arrange at your own expense) are available upon request.

Participants who will need US visas are urged to make arrangements well in advance. For more information contact: IITC at (415) 641-4482, e mail conference@treatycouncil.org; ITSNF via Amy Clay, (239) 404-3622 or Danny Billie, (239) 825-7125, e mail: dave@seminolebuilt.com, or IITC’s web page, www.treatycouncil.org. Thanks for your interest and we hope to see you there!

12/01/2005

UCTP Takes Position on Climate Change

Public Notice: The United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP), officially endorses the activities of the Climate Crises Coalition (http://www.climatecrisiscoalition.org/), and the Global Climate Coalition as well as others who are participating in the International Demonstrations on Climate Change taking place around the world on December 2-3, 2005. These demonstrations coincide with the First ‘Meeting of Parties’ to the Kyoto Protocol.

To find more information concerning actions around the world, which are focusing on the climate change crisis and the call for the United States to sign the Kyoto Protocal, see http://www.globalclimatecampaign.org/

World AIDS Day 2005

Today is World AIDS Day 2005. HIV/AIDS is the greatest health crisis of our time. Its defeat requires the cooperation of the entire global community. On World AIDS Day, people around the world unite to demonstrate their commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS and to offer prayers and support for those living with HIV/AIDS and for their families and caregivers.

Today, the UCTP pauses to recognize all those who have and will be affected by this tragic health crisis. We urge all the members of the Taino and other Caribbean indigenous Nations as well as our allies to keep these families, individuals and their caregivers in their hearts and prayers. Han han Katu.

11/30/2005

UN Recognizes Unique Situation of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples in Official Report

United Nations, NY (UCTP Taino News) – One year ago, back in December 2004, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 59/174 establishing the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Although it may not be common knowledge, as a result of this resolution’s adoption, the Second Decade officially commenced on January 1st 2005. This resolution also requested that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan submit a report on a Comprehensive Program of Action for the Second International Decade to the sixtieth session of the General Assembly. The Program of Action was discussed and adopted by the General Assembly on November 21st 2005.

Highlighting the importance of participation within the international system, the program of action was developed based upon comments received from the UN system, governments, indigenous peoples' and civil society organizations. Twenty-two indigenous organizations provided input for the program of action. Among these submissions, the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) was the only entity representing Caribbean Indigenous Peoples to submit a formal proposal to be considered within this process. As a result of UCTP participation, the efforts of the Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus of the Greater Caribbean was also recognized within the official report. Based on consultations among regional representatives, the Indigenous Peoples Caucus of the Greater Caribbean submitted various interventions during the fourth session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held in May 2005. The Caucus will reconvene at the next session to be held in May 2006.

UCTP President Roberto Mucaro Borrero stated “our participation within this process should make it clear that our people will not remain silent while governments, academics and others determine what they believe is in our best interest without our input or consent. All Caribbean governments and state-sponsored institutions need to not only respect our regional consultations and aspirations but they need to actively look for ways to work together with us in meaningful partnership as we are the First Nations of the region.”

The plan of action for the Second International Decade will rely on five key objectives which cut across the various areas of the main goal for the Decade established by the General Assembly, namely strengthening international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in the areas of culture, education, health, human rights, the environment and social and economic development. Those objectives also cut across the means set by the General Assembly for the achievement of the goals, namely “action-oriented programmes and specific projects, increased technical assistance and relevant standard-setting activities.”

Within the plan of action, a specific reference regarding Caribbean Indigenous Peoples can be found under Section 6 “Social and Economic Development”, item (b) Regional level, number 86. The recommendation suggests that “representatives of Caribbean indigenous peoples should be included in region-specific consultations and conferences in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on steering committees for planning and implementing the programme of activities for the Second International Decade. Serious consideration should also be given to organizing a special regional consultative session focusing on the unique situation of Caribbean indigenous peoples, which would take place in the Caribbean, hosted by a Member State and a local indigenous community.”

“This recommendation derives directly from the UCTP submission, which was based on consultations with regional representatives” stated Borrero. “This is a reference that community representatives can now use to lobby their local and national governments.”

The plan of action is available for review at the website of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in various languages.

11/28/2005

URGENT: Call for Action on Climate Change Crisis

Taino’ti Guaitiao (Greetings Relatives):

It is my hope that at the time you receive this message you are all in good health and Spirit. I am writing to inform you that from November 28th to December 9th representatives from over 150 nations will be meeting at a crucial Climate Conference in Montreal, Canada. While many of them will be pushing for stronger world action on global warming, the representatives of the United States government will be present working behind the scenes to try and block any positive action. This is the role they have played for several years. Many people justifiably feel that the U.S. government is “fiddling while the earth burns”. We have only to look at recent events, such as the increase in flooding, drought, diseases, and higher asthma rates and respiratory illnesses to affirm the devastating effects of global climate change.

With that in mind, each and every person who affirms Taino identity and heritage should know that as Caribbean Indigenous Peoples we have a moral and spiritual responsibility to care take Attabeira, our Mother Earth, for our present and future generations. If we truly honor this responsibility than we must also realize that global climate change should not be a concern of environmental groups alone. We need to forge alliances with others who are mobilizing around this critical issue.

A call to action has been made by the Climate Crisis Coalition and they are urging peace and justice, business, labor, environmental justice, student, women's, religious, academic, scientific, political, minority and cultural communities to begin working together to advance a clean energy revolution and build a new national and international campaign on this issue. As you read this message, thousands of people from around the people are preparing to participate in demonstrations, which will demand action on global warming and call upon the U.S. to join the rest of the world and sign the Kyoto protocol. Around the United States and in Montreal where the United Nations Climate Conference is taking place, actions are scheduled for December 2nd and 3rd 2005.


You can participate in the following ways:

1.) Sign the “The People’s Ratification of the Kyoto Global Warming
Treaty” online at http://www.climatecrisiscoalition.org/petition.html

2.) Send a letter, like the sample letter below, to President Bush and
your elected officials.

3.) Hit the streets to demand action on global warming. You can find
out if there is a local action happening in your area by visiting
http://www.climatecrisiscoalition.org/local-actions-december-3.html .
For information on what is happening in other countries around the
world check out www.globalclimatecampaign.org .


I will be personally representing the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) at the following actions taking place in New York City and would welcome your support and participation on:

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2005,
4:30 - 6:30 PM Demonstration in Foley Square across from the Federal Building in NYC.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3RD
3:00 - 6:00 pm: a Global Warming Film Festival at the Community Church,
40 E. 35th St., NYC
6:00 - 7:00 pm: an Interfaith Religious Service for the Earth also at
Community Church

On behalf of the UCTP, I say bo’matum (thank you) in advance for your time, consideration, support and participation in this historic mobilization effort. I would also like to commend the members of the Climate Crisis Coalition (CCC) and all others who are organizing these efforts on their noble work for all our relations.

Oma'bahari (With Respect),
Roberto Mucaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
United Confederation of Taino People,
U.S. Regional Coordinating Office
PO Box 4515, New York, NY 10163
1(212)604-4186
http://www.uctp.org/
http://www.uctp.blogspot.com/




------------------------------------------------------


Dear President Bush / Elected Official,

I'm writing to tell you that I am gravely concerned about global warming. Climate change overshadows the many great problems that society currently faces. The world scientific community is in agreement that the climate crisis is accelerating, and that the time for action is now.

The U.S. Government must join the rest of the world in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol as a first step toward a commitment to change. The Federal Government must then take action to achieve the 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which credible scientists agree is necessary to stabilize the climate. Further, the Government must
withdraw its annual $25 billion in subsidies for fossil fuels and create equivalent subsidies for renewable, safe, non-nuclear energy alternatives; it must dramatically strengthen energy conservation and fuel efficiency standards and actively defend the world's forests. The Government must also provide for a just transition for those most affected by these changes. Achieving these goals will have the added benefit of reducing US dependence on foreign oil and natural gas.

I am asking you, as my elected representative/President of the United States, to take a leading role in changing energy policy and achieving these urgent objectives for the good of our country, the planet, and succeeding generations.

Sincerely,

Prayers for Community Members and Relatives

The UCTP respectfully requests that you keep community member Andre Manicatex Garcia in your hearts and prayers as he will be leaving for Iraq and then Afghanistan starting on January 2, 2006. Andre is the son of UCTP Representaties, Evelyn and Joe Kaonabo Garcia, and he has a wife, Dana, and daughter, Bella. We ask the Creator to keep him safe and return him to us in the same emotional and physical condition in which he leaves us…

Please keep our UCTP California representative, elder John Hu'acan Vidal in your prayers as we envision his speedy recovery from his recent hip operation…

The UCTP would like to ask the community to keep Taino elder James Running Fox in mind on November 29th as he will be undergoing an surgery for his serious condition of Glaucoma. As a disabled veteran, elder James is being treated by the Veterans Administration Medical Center...

The UCTP would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Kacike Willie "AmaWarawao" Rios whose father passed into Coaybay recently at the age of 85.

The UCTP would also like to offer our condolences to the families of two great Native American visionaries who have joined their ancestors recently, R.C. Gorman (Dine) and Vine Deloria Jr. (Sioux). They will both be missed...

To review information on R.C. Gorman visit http://rcgormangallery.com/

To review information on Vine Deloria Jr. visit http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/A31

"Ideological leverage is always superior to violence....The problems of Indians have always been ideological rather than social, political or economic... [I]t is vitally important that the Indian people pick the intellectual arena as the one in which to wage war. Past events have shown that the Indian people have always been fooled by the intentions of the white man. Always we have discussed irrelevant issues while he has taken our land. Never have we taken the time to examine the premises upon which he operates so that we could manipulate him as he has us."

-- Vine Deloria Jr. from "Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto," (1969) pp.251-252

11/24/2005

GARÍFUNA SUMMIT DECLARATION



GARÍFUNA SUMMIT DECLARATION
CORN ISLAND, SOUTH ATLANTIC AUTONOMOUS REGION
November 12, 2005

Considering the official invitation from the Government of Nicaragua, the Chiefs of State and Governments of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Belize, Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, as well as representatives and delegations from indigenous peoples and ethnic communities, convened on the 12 of November of the present year, for the First Garífuna Summit on Corn Island, in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region of the Republic of Nicaragua.

Taking into account that UNESCO defines culture as the set of distinctive spiritual and material, intellectual and affective features which characterize a society or social group, and that encompasses, in addition to the arts and letters, the way of life, the style of living together, the value system, the traditions and beliefs.

Considering that respect for cultural diversity, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation, in a climate of trust and mutual understanding, are among the best ways of guaranteeing international peace and security,

Recognizing a greater solidarity based on the recognition of cultural diversity, in the conscience of mankind and in the development of cultural exchanges,

Considering that the Government of Nicaragua has established the projection of the Caribbean dimension of its Foreign Policy as one of its most urgent objectives,

Considering that the Government of Belize has been the pioneer in the effort that led to the Proclamation of a set of elements of Garifuna Culture as Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity,

Considering that the Magna Cartas of the Nation States of Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua uphold the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of their peoples,

Noting the presence and condition of the Garífuna people, which affects other communities in the four countries of the Central American region.

Reaffirming that the peoples of the Caribbean coast of Central America, a part of which is in the Republic of Nicaragua, maintain historical and commercial bonds with the rest of Central America and the wider Caribbean.

Recognizing that the ethnic communities contribute with their knowledge, culture and traditional practices to sustainable and equitable development and to the preservation of the environment.

AGREE TO:

State our commitment to submit to our respective legislative bodies for ratification, the CONVENTION FOR THE SAFEGUARDING OF THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE approved in the UNESCO General Assembly in October, 2003.

Acknowledge the interest of the Garífuna communities in the management and conservation of the ecosystems and the protection and conservation of the environment.

Express our satisfaction at the interest of the ethnic communities, as well as their associations, in participating in the elaboration and definition of strategic policies for the development of their territories.

Recognize the importance of the involvement of the Garífuna communities and the organizations which represent them, for generating actions for the sustainable development of their communities and territories

Encourage the participating Governments in this Summit, which consider it feasible, to establish a National Garífuna Day.

Manifest our willingness to undertake necessary actions to incorporate elements of Garifuna culture into our educational strategies and national education systems, thereby contributing to the implementation of the Action Plan for the safeguarding of the language, music and dance of the Garífuna people.

Recognize and support the efforts of the Garífuna communities in the Central American region towards the development and implementation of the Plan of Action for the Safeguarding of the Garífuna Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Support the decision of the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua, which in its capacity as President Pro Tempore of the Integration System (SICA), will include in the XXVII Ordinary Meeting of the Heads of State and Governments of SICA, next December, a Joint Plan of Action for the coordinated and systematic management which will allow the generation of concrete actions for the safeguarding of the Garífuna Heritage.

Express our gratitude and recognition to the Government of Nicaragua for promoting this Garífuna Summit, which is the first in what is expected to be a series of encounters that will allow the realization of the aspirations of our ethnic communities.

Thank the Garífuna people of Nicaragua, the local authorities and all the ethnic communities for allowing us to share this historic cultural event, in which important Government leaders and community representatives came together, with the certainty that the world and our nations, will gain greater appreciation for our cultural diversity

SIGNATORIES:

Óscar Berger Perdomo,
President of the Republic of uatemala

Said Musa,
Prime Minister of Belize

Ricardo Maduro Joest,
President of the Republic of Honduras

Enrique Bolaños Geyer,
President of the Republic of Nicaragua

Abel Pacheco,
President of the Republic of Costa Rica

Roosevelt Skerritt,
Prime Minister of Dominica

Ralph E. Gonsalves,
Prime Minister Saint Vincent and Grenadines

Bharrat Jagdeo,
President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana

The Truth about "Thanksgiving"

The Truth about "Thanksgiving" by Russell Means
from "Where White Men Fear To Tread".


"When we met with the Wampanoag people, they told us that in researching the history of Thanksgiving, they had confirmed the oral history passed down through their generations. Most Americans know that Massasoit, Chief of the Wampanoag, had welcomed the so-called Pilgrim Fathers-and the seldom mentioned Pilgrim Mothers-to the shores where his people had lived for millennia. The Wampanoag taught the European colonists how to live in our hemisphere by showing them what wild foods they could gather, how, where, and what crops to plant, and how to harvest, dry, and preserve them.

The Wampanoag now wanted to remind white America of what had happened after Massasoit's death. Massasoit was succeeded by his son, Metacomet, whom the colonists called "King" Philip. In 1675-1676, to show "gratitude" for what Massasoit's people had done for their fathers and grandfathers, the Pilgrims manufactured an incident as a pretext to justify disarming the Wampanoag.

The whites went after the Wampanoag with guns, swords, cannons, and torches. Most, including Metacomet, were butchered. His wife and son were sold into slavery in the West Indies. His body was hideously drawn and quartered.

For twenty-five years afterward, Metacomet's skull was displayed on a pike above the whites' village. The real legacy of the Pilgrim Fathers is treachery.

Most Americans today believe that Thanksgiving celebrates a boar harvest, but that is not so.

By 1970, the Wampanoag had turned up a copy of a Thanksgiving proclamation made by the governor of the colony, the text revealed the ugly truth: After a colonial militia had returned from murdering the men, women, and children of an Indian village, the governor proclaimed a holiday and feast to give thanks for the massacre. He encouraged other colonies to do likewise-in other words, every autumn the crops are in, go kill Indians and celebrate your murders with a feast.

The Wampanoag we met at Plymouth came from everywhere in Massachusetts. Like many other eastern nations, theirs had been all but wipe out. The survivors found refuge in other Indian nations that had not succumbed to European diseases or to violence.

The Wampanoag went into hiding or joined the Six Nations or found homes among the Delaware Shawnee nations, to name a few. Some also sought refuge in one of the two hundred eastern-seaboard nations that were later exterminated.

Nothing remains of those nations but their names, and even some of those have been lost. Other Wampanoag, who couldn't reach another Indian nation, survived by intermarriage with black slaves or freedmen. It is hard to imagine a life terrible enough that people would choose instead, with all their progeny, to become slaves, but that is exactly what some Indians did."

11/23/2005

UCTP President Returns from UN Summit in Africa

UCTP Taino News - The President of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP), Roberto Mucaro Borrero returned this week from a successful mission in the North Africa. Borrero and other indigenous delegates from around the world were invited to participate at the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis, Tunisia from November 16-18.

At a special event entitled “Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society”, Borrero reported on situations in Latin American and the Caribbean, highlighting some of the concerns, challenges and best practices of the region’s indigenous peoples with regard to information technology and the growing “digital divide”. The event was sponsored by the Government of Canada and the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. A final report on the event as well as its summary presented in the Summit’s plenary session will soon be available for distribution.

At the opening of the Summit United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan stated "that [WSIS] must be a summit of solutions. It must push forward the outcome of the World Summit held two months ago at the United Nations in New York. It must lead to information and communications technologies being used in new ways, which will bring new benefits to all social classes. Most of all, it must generate new momentum towards developing the economies and societies of poor countries, and transforming the lives of poor people.”

While in Tunisia President Borrero took the opportunity to promote the rights of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples during several news conferences where he presented along with other indigenous leaders such as President Joe Shirley Jr. of the Navajo Nation. According to the U.S. Census the Navajo have the second largest Native American population in the United States after the Cherokee Nation. “This was an important opportunity to again highlight the unique situation of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples before an international forum” said Borrero. “Our participation along side our indigenous relatives from throughout Latin America and from around the world, not only affirms our right to self-determination but we are also providing a platform and precedent for our younger people to get involved”. He continued saying “The use of internet and telecommunications technology is not something of our ancient past but it is something that our younger generations are growing up with and they need know there is an opportunity for them to use this technology as a tool that will benefit all our people.”

Follow up on the WSIS and future work with regard to Indigenous Peoples and the Information Society will continue with the creation of an Indigenous ICT Task Force. The Indigenous Caucus present in Tunis, which included WSIS International Indigenous Steering Committee members (IISC) and others, affirmed that current indigenous members of the IISC will comprise a part of the new task force. The members of the IISC, two delegates per region, were elected at a WSIS indigenous planning conference for Tunisia held in Ottawa, Canada from March 17-18 2005. The new Indigenous ICT Task Force will also include two additional indigenous members from each region. The seven international regions currently recognized in this process are North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Russia and Eastern Europe, the Arctic, the Pacific, Asia, and Africa.

As per the decision of the Latin American and Caribbean delegates present in Tunis, the regional focal points for the new Indigenous ICT Task Force include Eliane Potiguara (Brazil-Amazon), Tarcila Rivera (Peru-Andes) and Roberto Mucaro Borrero (Caribbean). An additional focal point position is reserved for an indigenous delegate from Central America or Mexico.

*Reporter: Roger Hernandez, Boriken Correspondent


Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr.
and UCTP President Roberto Mucaro Borrero
working together in Tunisia

11/14/2005

United Nations to Hold Information Summit

UCTP Taino News - The UN General Assembly Resolution 56/183 (21 December 2001) endorsed the holding of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in two phases. The first phase took place in Geneva hosted by the Government of Switzerland from 10 to 12 December 2003 and the second phase will take place in Tunis hosted by the Government of Tunisia, from 16 to 18 November 2005.

Indigenous Peoples participated during the first phase of WSIS in Geneva and this participation was followed up with a thematic planning conference for Tunis held in Ottawa, Canada in March 2005. At the Conference in Ottawa a delegation of Indigenous Peoples was elected to participate in Tunis via WSIS International Indigenous Steering Committee (IISC). Marcos Terena of Brazil and Roberto Mucaro Borrero (Taíno) were elected as focal points for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Indigenous Peoples are recognized within the United Nations System as members of civil society. Civil society plays an active role in identifying the social and cultural consequences of current trends and in drawing attention to the need to introduce democratic accountability on the strategic options taken at all levels. According to the United Nations, diversity and, often, hands-on approach to issues, make civil society a key player in the renewed international partnership called for by the UN Secretary-General.

Conferences like WSIS have played a key role in guiding the work of the UN since its inception. In fact, the world body was born when delegates from 50 nations met in San Francisco in April 1945 for the United Nations Conference on International Organization. UN Summits provide the grounds for a free exchange of views. UN Conference venues are designated United Nations territory and governed by the rules and regulations of the international body. All delegates and accredited participants as well as the media must be provided access by the host government and enjoy all internationally recognized rights and freedoms wherever the conference may be held.

The WSIS Summit offers a unique opportunity for the global community to “reflect, discuss and give shape to a common destiny in an era when countries and peoples are interconnected as never before”. The UN serves as a catalyst for change by bringing together state governments, as well as the private sector, international institutions and civil society in pursuit of common goals.


Taino, Masaai and Maori Warriors take on the Information Society in Canada.

11/10/2005

Book on Garifuna to be Published...


A Garifuna child participates in a cultural dance

by Tamikah Walker-Peters

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras: Honduras This Week writer Wendy Griffin has written a book about the Garifuna culture, ready for release this February.

Entitled Los Garifunas de Honduras: Su Cultura, Su Lucha y Sus Derechos Bajo Convenio 169 de la OIT (The Garifunas of Honduras: Their Culture, Their Struggle and Their Rights Under ILO Convention 169), the book explores a range of cultural characteristics of the Garifuna community including their agriculture, hunting, dances, medicines, religion, architectural environment, and crafts (including baskets and tools for the processing of the Cassava root to make bread).

One of the key areas Griffin focuses on is how the different elements of Garifuna culture are related to the environment, how ecological degradation has contributed to the loss of land and has been detrimental to the Garifuna people.

“The Garifunas need to know how to unite in the struggle and be successful in protecting their lands,” said Griffin on why she wrote the book.

To Griffin, the most important document regarding land rights is the International Labour Organization’s legal rights convention 169. ILO 169 demonstrates the Garifuna’s legal rights to lands.

OFRANEH, an ethnic federation that represents Garifunas through petitions, press releases and complaints, is also discussed in the book. By highlighting the organizations and laws dedicated to protecting Garifuna rights, Griffin hopes to strengthen isolated Garifuna communities by integrating them into a larger network.

The book discusses the Garifuna community not only from a cultural perspective but also through historical analysis. It outlines the 34 different Garifuna dances that have documented African origins, such as a Christmas dance with music that originates from the Songhai region of Ghana and the well-known Punta dance, which is still danced in the Congo region of Africa.

The Garifuna people can be classified as an Afro-indigenous group made up of a diverse cultural heritage, from the Arawak and Carib Indians to Africans who escaped slavery from the Island of St Vincent and were deported to Honduras in 1797.

Working with the Garifuna as a bilingual educator Griffin came to recognize this blend of cultures and the lack of cultural awareness between Garifunas across the northern coast of Honduras, creating a need for a written record.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Griffin came to Honduras in 1992. She has a masters degree in international development and was educated at the University of Pittsburgh. She currently works with the Garifuna Emergency Committee. They helped to write and fund the book’s publication.

More than 1,000 copies of the 310-page book will be published.

Copies of the books will be distributed to Garifuna schools in Colon, to support the Bilingual Intercultural Education Project, and to Garifuna leaders. The remaining copies will be sold in bookshops throughout Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula. Readers outside those cities wishing to obtain a copy of the book can go to www.garinet.com.

News Source: Caribbean Net News

11/05/2005

Native Trinidadian Awarded Prestigious Icons in Science and Technology Award



Native Trinidadian, Dr. AD Cropper Ph.D, a Kalinago Carib receives the prestigious Icons in Science & Technology Award in Trinidad & Tobago from the Honorable Professor Max Richards, President of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.

10/29/2005

UN Celebrates 60th Birthday

The United Nations celebrates its 60th anniversary in October. A special program celebrating the UN 60th and the one hundredth anniversary of visionary diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld took place at United Nations headquarters on October 27th. The program, which was broadcasted around the world, began with a special presentation by a Native Hawaiian cultural group, and was followed with an opening prayer blessing song by UCTP – U.S. President Roberto Mucaro Borrero (Boriken Taino).

To review Borrero's contribution and the entire program, visit the United Nations online archives from the UN 60 event at http://www.un.org/webcast/SE2005.html . Scroll down to the 2nd event on 10/27/2005.

10/28/2005

Taino Elder's Work Featured in New Calender

Taíno Elder Millie Mucara Torres Speeg has been featured in a new calendar entitled “An Artful 2006”. The calendar is collaboration of Rabun County Artists in the state of Georgia and will be used as a fundraiser for a soon to be published guidebook “North Georgia Trails of Craft Heritage”.

The inspiring piece by Elder Mucara, who is the UCTP representative in the State of Georgia, is featured at the calendar's month of February. This unique calendar is a wonderful idea for a gift -- especially if you have to send gifts out of town. Where else could you get 12 limited edition prints of fabulous art for only $16.95?

If you are interested in ordering a calendar for the holidays, please call 1(706)212-0349 or 1(706)982-1938 or you can contact them by email at ksg13@alltel.net.

10/22/2005

Santiago to welcome Museo del Barrio exhibition

Santo Domingo – Centro Leon Jimenez in Santiago will open "Voices and Visions, Selections of the Museo del Barrio's permanent collection," on 8 November.

The exhibition features media and cultural expressions from pre-Columbian artifacts to contemporary Latin American art, Taino archaeological pieces, Mexican masks and textiles and engravings by renowned Puerto Rican graphic artists.

Museo del Barrio was founded in 1969 in upper Manhattan within the Puerto Rican immigrant community.

Source: Dominican Today www.domincantoday.com

10/20/2005

Rodrigues defends Amerindian Bill against salvoes from groups

By Faizool Deo

AMERINDIAN Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues is refuting the claim by three Amerindian groups that the 2005 Amerindian Bill does not meet the needs of Amerindians in the country.

On the contrary, the minister feels the bill has come a far way from the Amerindian Act of 1951, and once implemented, will give Amerindians much more than they ever had.

At a press conference Tuesday at the Side Walk Café on Middle Street, Georgetown, members of the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), The Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG) and the Guyanese Organisation of Indigenous Peoples (GOIP) voiced their concerns about the Bill, which they dubbed ‘unacceptable’.

They charged that discrimination against the indigenous peoples remains entrenched and manifested in the bill, and their rights to lands, resources and to self determination are neither adequately recognised nor protected.

At a post-Cabinet press conference yesterday, Ms Rodrigues indicated that the bill is not a product of the government, but rather comprises recommendations of the Amerindian people, who were an integral part in the consultation period prior to the formulation of the legislation.

“Forty-six of the 76 recommendations which were made at the consultations we took into consideration,” she said. “One of the recommendations that we took is that the communities could lease land; before they could not. We were advised by the international consultant not to do that, but we did it still.”

The minister said that unlike other countries, Guyana is making it very easy for Amerindian people to acquire land, and the bill stipulates that Amerindians can make claims for lands after occupying them for 25 years.

The groups of Amerindians looking for changes to the bill argue that it gives the minister too much power.

They are quoted as saying in their documentation presented to the media on Tuesday that, in the bill, the minister is vested with “arbitrary and draconian powers” that are incompatible with indigenous peoples’ self determining status and the exercise and enjoyment of other rights and fundamental freedoms.

But Rodrigues said her ministry will only be called in to address situations that could not be dealt with at other levels.

“Every day in the ministry captains come to us with problems which they can resolve by themselves, and we will say to them you can do that by yourselves you do not need us. But there are cases when the council would come to us to make a decision, but this is always a last resort.”

Another issue she put to rest is that of the presumed procrastination on her ministry’s part in implementing the Indigenous Peoples Commission, which is to represent the Amerindian people.

She said her ministry would be happy for the commission to be put in place, but several factors are preventing this from happening.

But there is another grouse that worries the three Amerindian groups.

“What Guyana has done is to include in our national laws some international laws, so we have at least seven international covenants which have been included in our national laws. The Amerindian Act should be compatible with the laws. We are saying at present that it is not. So if it’s passed as it now reads, then we can challenge it in court, because it will be in contravention of the Constitution,” APA representative David James contended.

Rodrigues remarked that even if all the demands of the Amerindian groups opposing the bill are met, she still feels that they will go to court.

But she assured the indigenous people that the bill, once implemented, will enhance the well-being of the nation’s Amerindian population.

10/19/2005

An Open Letter to H.E. Bharrat Jagdeo, President of Guyana

Your Excellency, Honorable President Bharrat Jagdeo:

On behalf of the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), I am writing to express our great concern for our indigenous Guyanese sisters and brothers. As our people, the Taíno, are descended from the First Nations of this hemisphere to encounter Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Indigenous Peoples of Guyana are our blood relations and their struggle is our struggle.

The UCTP is well aware that the indigenous peoples of Guyana have long called for “revision, repeal or replacement” of the existing Amerindian Act of 1951, especially since they have deemed the legislation to be outdated, discriminatory and undermining of their basic human rights.

Considering that we have entered the second United Nations International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, it was our hope that in proposing new legislation the present Government would fully recognize the rights of indigenous peoples of Guyana by following previous national recommendations which call for the “expansion of indigenous self-determination”. Sadly, after our review of “Amerindian Bill 2005, we find that on the contrary, this discriminatory legislation would not only weaken many existing rights but is also incompatible with Guyana’s Constitution and international law.

In particular, we strongly object to the excessive powers the Minister of Amerindian Affairs would be vested under the new legislation as it blatantly contradicts the right to self-determination and is discriminatory in that no other Minister is able to exercise equivalent powers with regard to non-indigenous peoples.

With this in mind, we stand in solidarity with the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), the Amerindian Action Movement of Guyana (TAAMOG) and the Guyanese Organization of Indigenous Peoples (GOIP) and urge the Government of Guyana to seriously consider and implement their recommendations concerning the “Amerindian Bill 2005 (Bill No.13 of 2005).

Honorable Excellency President Jagdeo, as it up to you and your Government to ensure that the rights of Guyana’s indigenous peoples are respected, we call upon you do your best to prevent the passage of “Amerindian Bill 2005” in its currently proposed form. The eyes of the world are upon you.

Respectfully submitted,

Roberto Mucaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP)

CC: United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,
UCTP Representatives, affiliations, and allies

Guyana Government is Poised to Vote on Discriminatory Indigenous Legislation

Georgetown, Guyana, South America - The Government of Guyana will soon vote on Amerindian Bill 2005 (Bill No.13 of 2005), which is being called discriminatory by the indigenous peoples of the country.

Although indigenous Guyanese (known as Amerindians) have long called for “revision, repeal or replacement” of the existing Amerindian Act of 1951, it was their hope that any new legislation enacted would fully recognize the rights. Sadly, the three main national indigenous organizations (APA, TAAMOG, GOIP) have found that the “Amerindian Bill 2005” will not only weaken many existing rights but is also incompatible with Guyana’s Constitution and international law.

The organizations, which have been intensely lobbying on this issue, have called upon the current Government to prevent passage of the Act. If the highly controversial Act is made law, challenges are expected in the courts and international human rights bodies. As Guyana will be reviewed in February 2006 by the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, this issue will undoubtedly be a major focus.

Demonstrations are planned by the national groups with the support of community leadership at the capital during the upcoming session of the National Assembly on October 20, 2005.

10/13/2005

Caribs Celebrate

Perry McLeod-Shabogesic, left, of the Canadian delegation, and Falcon Skye-Shabogesic listen to colleague Bob Goulais at Tuesday's launching of the Amerindian Heritage celebrations in Arima.

Tomorrow, members of the local Carib community will celebrate Amerindian Heritage Day in Arima.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of their celebrations and the Caribs will be joined by overseas delegations of indigenous peoples from North America, Latin America and the Caribbean for the big occasion.

At a press conference held last Tuesday at the Arima Town Hall, Ricardo Bharath, deputy Mayor of Arima and president of the Arima Carib Community, announced plans for this year's celebrations.

In his turn at the podium, Mayor Eustace Nancis praised Bharath's work in keeping alive the rich tradition of the Carib community in Arima.

He said the Arima Borough would continue to support the celebrations of the "First People" of this nation.

An invocation chant by three members of the Canadian delegation launched the proceedings.

Bob Goulais, Perry McLeod-Shabogesic and Falcon Skye-Shabogesic pounded little drums and chanted praises for the gifts bestowed by the Creator.

Hayacinth Ruffino of the Guyanese delegation spoke briefly and said she looked foward to the big celebrations.

In a ceremony taking place today, Nancis will formally welcome the indigenous peoples, while an address will be delivered by Senator Joan Yuille-Williams to the delegates.

Deputy Chief Nelsonson Toulouse of the Anishinabek Nation in Ontario, Canada, will deliver the feature address.

Tomorrow morning the celebrants will take part in a Smoke Ceremony at Hyarima Park and then proceed to the Arima Town Hall, where distinguished speakers will address the gathering.

A gala cultural peformance tomorrow evening will bring down the curtains on the celebrations.

Parang music, folk music, calypso, steelpan, chutney dancing, Spanish dance and poetry reading will be part of the grand cultural concert at the Basket Ball Court, near the Arima market.

The Canadian delegates will also perform an Amerindian dance, while dances by other groups include the may pole, snake dance, Aboriginal dance and Seminole Stomp dance.

Last Friday, a display of artifacts of the local indigenous people was launched at the National Library, Port of Spain, and, according to Ricardo Bharath, these artifacts were worth viewing.

A lecture by Dr Basil Reid entitled "First Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago, History and Impact, Archaeological Perspective" was scheduled for October 12 at the National Library, Port of Spain as part of the celebrations.

There was also a lecture by Ricardo Bharath on "Indigenous Rituals" and a performance from Brother Reststance.

--------------

Source: Trinidad Express

10/12/2005

Suspendido el juicio contra los 'taínos'

Suspendido el juicio contra los 'taínos'
Miércoles, 12 de octubre de 2005
Por Agencia EFE

El juicio contra el grupo de autoproclamados descendientes de los taínos, que se iniciaba ayer, fue suspendido a petición de las dos partes en litigio, informó la Rama Judicial.

El grupo es juzgado en el Tribunal de Utuado por el delito de usurpación, debido a que realizaron una protesta dentro de los terrenos del Parque Ceremonial Caguana en ese municipio, que consideran un terreno sagrado.

La defensa solicitó descubrimiento de prueba a fin de que la fiscalía le presente, por ejemplo, quiénes son los testigos en contra del grupo. La Fiscalía, por su parte, solicitó al tribunal 30 días para contestar la petición de la defensa, según dijo a EFE Jorge Umpierre, oficial de prensa de la Rama Judicial.

Enfrentan cargos Naniki Reyes Ocasio, Taína Rosado Córdoba, José Xuerix Camacho García, Edelmiro Guatibirí, Joan Grisel Nabori Martínez y Valeriano Shahisra Rodríguez Valentín.

También enfrentan un cargo por desacato debido a que no asistieron a la primera citación del tribunal.

El juicio continúa el 6 de diciembre a las 2:00 de la tarde en la sala cuatro del Centro Judicial de Utuado, con la jueza Laura López Roche.

Source: El Nuevo Dia: San Juan, Puerto Rico - 12 de octubre de 2005.
http://www.endi.com/

10/11/2005

Demonstrators call on IPRC to drop charges

A group of people claiming Taíno ancestry demonstrate outside the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture in Old San Juan on Monday, calling on the agency to drop criminal charges stemming from a protest occupation at the Caguana Ceremonial Park in Utuado earlier this year. From left, Elba Anaca Lugo, Naniki Reyes Ocasio and José Xuerix Camacho García.

Excerpt from the San Juan Star

10/10/2005

Indigenous Peoples Day: Interviews with UCTP President and Chairman

Monday, October 10th, 2005: Roberto Múcaro Borrero, President and Chairman of the United Confederation of Taíno People's U.S. Regional Coordinating Office appeared on Democracy Now to discuss the Columbus Day Controversy at 8:30am (EST) with award winning journalist Amy Goodman as well as with JW Night Wolf on Pacifica Radio WPFW 89.3 FM at 9:30am.

To review the Democracy Now interview, visit http://www.democracynow.org/

Indigenous Peoples Day: Support the Boriken Taino Demonstrators

Indigenous Peoples Day: Support the Boriken Taino Demonstrators

Below you will find a press advisory and a petition letter that we are requesting you consider sending to the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) immediately. The petition request that the ICP not criminalize a court case against Taíno protesters who occupied a state run indigenous ceremonial center to bring attention to the profaning and desecration of national patrimony in Boriken (Puerto Rico).

Please call 1(787)724-0700 (Ext. 4201, 4208) to voice your support or fax your letter to 1(787)724-8393. Thank you.

----------------------------------------
Press Advisory
For Immediate Release

We, the indigenous Taíno Boricua demonstrators of the “Sacred Reclamation and Cry of Caguana” have and will continue to exert our right to free expression.

The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) is intent on criminalizing this right.

We chose our main and most important Indigenous Ceremonial Center of the Caribbean, CAGUANA, to emphasize the deterioration of our national patrimony.

Our Demand is:

Stop the profaning and destruction of our sanctuaries, ancestral deposits, coaibays (cemeteries), ancestral remains, funerary and ceremonial objects, sacred places and ceremonial centers NOW!

Press Conference to be held:
Monday - October 10, 2005
Indigenous Peoples Day
At 11:00 am

At the entrance Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP),
Viejo San Juan

For more information contact:

Tel. 787. 847- 5039
787. 366- 2256
787. 568- 1547

Email: caney@prtc.net
anacaotoa@hotmail.com
uctp_ny@yahoo.com

http://www.uctp.blogspot.com/

----------------------------------

LETTER OF SUPPORT

To: Dr. Jorge Luis Vega,
Director,
Institute of Puerto Rican Culture

We support the indigenous demonstrators and their right to free expression that they manifested during the “Sacred Reclamation and Cry of Caguana”, which called for an end to the profaning and destruction of sacred places and archeological sites belonging to the people of Borikén (Puerto Rico).

We are therefore petitioning that the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture not criminalize this right which the following indigenous Taíno Boricua demonstrators exerted:

Naniki Reyes Ocasio, Elba Anaca Lugo Perez, Taina Rosado Cordoba, Jose Xuerix Camacho Garcia, Edelmiro Guatibiri Baez, Juana Grisel Nabori Martinez Prieto, Valeriana Shashira Rodriguez Valentin

Dia de los Pueblos Indigenas: Apoye los manifestantes Taino Boricua

Dia de los Pueblos Indigenas: Apoye los manifestantes Taino Boricua

Debajo encontrará una comunicado de prensa y una carta de apoyo que estamos solicitando considera enviar al Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP) inmediatamente. La petición de la petición que el ICP no criminalize un proceso legal contra los manifestantes indigenas Taíno que ocuparon un centro ceremonial indígena para resaltar ante del pueblo Puertorriqueño el deterioro en que se encuentra su patrimonio nacional.

Favor llame el ICP en 1(787)724-0700 (exterior 4201, 4208) para expresar su apoyo o enviar su carta por telefax a 1(787)724-8393. Gracias.

--------------------------------------------------

Comunicado De Prensa

Nosotro, los manifestantes indigenas Taino Boricua del “Reclamo Sagrado y Grito de Caguana”, estabamos y continuamos ejerciendo nuestro derecho a la libre expression.

El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena (ICP) intenta criminalizar dicho derechos.

Escogimos nuestro principal y mas importante Centro Ceremonial Indigena del Caribe (Caguana) para resaltar ante nuestro pueblo el deterioro en que se encuentra nuestro patrimonio nacional.

Nuestro reclamo es:

Detengan la destruccion y profanacion de nuestros Santuarios, Yacimientos, Coaibays (cementerios), Osamentas y Restos Ancestrales, Objectos Funebres y Ceremoniales, Lugares Sagrados y Centros Ceremoniales AHORA!

Habra Conferencia de Prensa
Lunes- 10 de octobre de 2005
‘Dia de los Pueblos Indigenas’
A las 11:00 am
Frente Instituto de Cultura (ICP), Viejo San Juan

Para mas informacio:
Tel. 787. 847- 5039
787. 366- 2256
787. 568- 1547

Correo electronico: caney@prtc.net
anacaotoa@hotmail.com
uctp_ny@yahoo.com

http://www.uctp.blogspot.com/

-----------------------------------------

CARTA DE APOYO

Atención: Dr. Jose Luis Vega,
Director, Instituto de cultura Puerto Puertorriqueno

Apoyamos el derecho a la libre expression de los manifestantes indigenas del “Reclamo Sagrado y Grito de Caguana” y su reclamo de detener la destruccion y profanacion de lugares sagrados y arquelogicos del pueblo de Boriken (Puerto Rico) por cual solicitamos; que el Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena no se criminalice por ejercer dicho derecho de:

Los manifestantes, el Pueblo Indigena Taino Boricua y:
Naniki Reyes Ocasio, Elba Anaca Lugo Perez, Taina Rosado Cordoba, Jose Xuerix Camacho Garcia, Edelmiro Guatibiri Baez, Juana Grisel Nabori Martinez Prieto, Valeriana Shashira Rodriguez Valentin

10/07/2005

Cerebrating on Columbus and his Legacy

By: Editors Report / Indian Country Today


Fairly or not, Christopher Columbus continues to be the whipping-boy representation of all things evil with Western civilization. Staff of political life to some, tiresome to others, protests over the celebration of the admiral's day, Oct. 12, continues.

Columbus is symbolic of the ongoing cultural encounter within the Americas, and of European settling that proved immediately deadly and oppressive to Native peoples. His writings are scrutinized, and his motives and actions are increasingly condemned, by many who study them. Columbus introduced the pattern of colonization, Christianization and slavery that characterized the conquest: first by Spanish and later by Portuguese, Dutch, French and English powers.

Admittedly, Columbus was a man of his times and of his culture and training. He was as well a mystic of the Catholic prophetic tradition, a man driven by the ambition of a brilliant intuition to find the mysterious and coveted western route to the Orient; he was an adventurer who sought to gain immense riches, guaranteed by wars of conquest, to make himself a man of great wealth. For this, as was the custom of his time, his mindset accepted and welcomed the possibility of mass killing to reduce whole peoples to servitude, to serve and die as slaves.

Denial of nationhood and even of humanity followed quickly on the heels of contact, with wars of conquest always coming close behind. Columbus led the way into the holocaust of the Caribbean but his deed repeated itself and reproduced itself, first south and then north, over and over, regardless of initial greetings (mostly friendly) by Native peoples. Five hundred years have gone by; and to the Native peoples, the relative gains in scientific advancement do not make up for the horrendous loss of life, liberty and, particularly, the denial of the happy pursuit of self-determined cultures and societies.

Perhaps it cannot be helped that Columbus would be and become the symbol of the villainy. Perhaps too much focus is on Columbus himself, although certainly the dynamic of the migratory conquest of the Native Americas begs for a symbol of shame and blame to pinpoint the terror that occurred. But too much fervor directed at the long-dead mariner can turn into anger for its own sake, sometimes accompanied by ethnic slurs: negative factors that further confuse people.

The protest full of angry insult at Columbus himself - whether he was Genoese or Italian or Spanish - sometimes obscures the larger point: it is the constantly self-repeating pattern of European conquest and colonization, forcefully riding on a religious philosophy of scorn and even outright hate for all non-Christian peoples, that is the long, wide and black mantle of Columbus. This is the origin of the so-called ''doctrine of discovery'' that continues today to propel the underlying presumption of dominion of American Indian peoples by the European-derived governments. This denial of nationhood, of self-government, marks the beginning of modern racism in the Western Hemisphere - again, a pattern that persists, with dramatic impact on millions of people to this day.

A more natural way of life - not perfect but finely adapted and, as in all cultural contexts, always evolving, self-corrective and humanly guided under powerful natural spiritual systems - was here to greet the European migration. Thousands of small and not-so-small nations were uniformly decreed to be peoples and lands for the taking by Christian powers. Judged to be beyond the redemption of the Christian God, they were, more often than not, forced to give up jurisdiction over their lands and resources for the privilege of being instructed in the Christian faith.

Refusal to Christianize or simple disinterest was not tolerated. Infidel or non-Christian meant savage, primitive pagan - to be killed and enslaved at will. It implied a people without humanity or lacking preparation in the religion of the one true God, the Christ of the Catholic Church. This condemned all Indian peoples, who would be themselves, to subjugation or destruction.

Today - as we write - the last of the naturally free Indians in the hemisphere, the remote tribes of the Brazilian Amazon, are just meeting Columbus. In fact, the whole of the Amazon, incredibly reduced and destroyed just in the past 20 years, now finds the last remaining independent tribal groups of American Indians. The current rape of the Amazon is vintage Columbus.

The rapid deforestation - the constant and axiomatic destruction of the natural world, so constant in the 500-year-old Columbus narrative - now has the Indians of the Rio Pardo river system of the state of Matto Grosso on the run. They are among the last to see the white man, and he comes into their sovereign and traditional lands at the point of a chain saw and rifle.

Modern Brazil, engulfed by the corrupting rules of the global economy, is unwilling or unable to stop the destruction. The loggers who are razing the Amazon consider the Indians ''pagan savages'' who don't have the capacity to properly exploit the land and its resources, who therefore should have no right to their traditional lands.

Beyond Columbus, it is this pattern of exploitative philosophy and jurisprudence that tolerates, even mandates, the injurious and false taking of lands and properties based on a prejudiced religious argument that continues to suffocate the Native peoples of the Americas. The imposition of faith, of the denial of the right to a people's own spiritual lifeway and government, persists as well.

10/06/2005

A Message from the UCTP as Columbus Day nears...

Taino'ti Guaitiao (Greetings Relatives):

On behalf of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP), it is my
hope that at the time you receive this message you are in good health
and spirit.

I am writing to remind you that as we draw closer to Columbus Day,
there will be various activities happening throughout the country to
protest this so-called holiday and we hope that you will consider
supporting any such events in your area.

Please also consider other ways that you can help to educate a wider
audience about Columbus the Exploiter. Some suggestions include
sending information to your children's schools; boycotting stores
that promote Columbus Day and patronizing those that don't; or
writing a letter to your local newspaper about this issue.

There are many ways, individually or collectively, we can help to
raise awareness. If you should require any resources, hand-outs or
talking points, please visit our award winning UCTP Web Portal at
http://www.uctp.org/archives.html#7a

As always, we thank you in advance for your support and please
inform us if you are participating in or organizing any other
anti-Columbus Day activities as we would like to publish this
information in our hard copy News Journal "La Voz del Pueblo Taino"
and here on the Taino News List.

Peace and Blessings,
Roberto Mucaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
UCTP – U.S. Regional Coordinating Office
http://www.uctp.org/
http://www.uctp.blogspot.org/

10/03/2005

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS

Public Notice: INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS

The 2001 Indigenous Peoples Summit of the Americas was held in Ottawa, Canada. This summit represented the first step in the creation of an Indigenous Peoples movement that paralleled the Organization of the Americas’ State Summit process. The Indigenous Peoples Summit provides a forum to discuss the impact of state policy on the life of Indigenous Peoples in the Americas. In 2001, the delegates attending the first Indigenous Peoples summit drafted a declaration that recognized the need to continue meeting in assembly to further the inalienable human right of self-determination, and to establish a collaborative plan of action to ensure the ability of Indigenous Peoples to exercise their inherent rights to self-determination.

The 2005 Second Indigenous Peoples Summit of the Americas will be held in Buenos Aires from October 27 to 29, 2005. The Theme of this summit is :

DETERMING OUR FUTURE: GUIDED BY OUR TRADITIONAL TEACHINGS AND MOTHER EARTH

For more information & to download important documents, please visit the Summit website at:

www.indigenoussummit.net (English) or www.onpia.org (Spanish)

Alternatively, for additional information, send an email: summitinfo@afn.ca (English) or 2cumbreindigena@onpia.org (Spanish)

9/30/2005

Ref: SCBD/STTM/DCO/va/48601 ³Advice on the report of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Genetic Use Restriction Technologies

To: Hamdallah Zedan
Executive Secretary
Convention on Biological Diversity,
United Nations Environment Programme
scretariat@biodiv.org
FAX: 1 514 288 6588
World Trade Centre
413 Saint-Jacques Street
Suite 800
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H2Y 1N9

RE: Ref: SCBD/STTM/DCO/va/48601 ³Advice on the report of the Ad Hoc Technical
Expert Group on Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTS)

Greetings Hamdallah Zedan:

On behalf of the Caribbean Indigenous Peoples represented by the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), we join in solidarity with indigenous peoples around the world and call upon the Working Group on Article 8(j) to advise the Eighth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP8) that GURTs is a dangerous technology that threatens biodiversity, Indigenous knowledge systems, smallholder farmers and global food security.

We call upon the Parties at the COP8 to fully consider the AHTEG Report on GURTS, and approve the Report¹s recommendation that governments develop national regulations to prohibit commercialization of GURTS.

In recognition of the negative impacts GURTs poses to indigenous peoples, local communities, peasants and small-scale farmers we call on the Parties to the COP8 to strengthen the recommendation of paragraph 23 of decision V/5, that no GURTS should be approved for field testing or commercial use.

In recognition of the negative impacts that GURTs pose to Indigenous peoples, the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Secretariat must ensure the full and effective participation of Indigenous peoples in all future processes of the CBD related to GURTs.

Respectfully,
Roberto Múcaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
United Confederation of Taíno People,
U.S. Regional Coordinating Office
http://www.uctp.org/

*Original Letter was sent to the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environment Programme on Friday, Sept. 30, 2005.

For additional information on Terminator Seeds and GURTS please visit www.banterminator.org