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

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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/

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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.