An Elder Passes into Coaibei...

UCTP Taino News - East Harlem Taino supporter and activist Carmen Gonzalez passed away Monday- August 27th, battling painful cancer for the past 4 years. Carmen provided the food concession with her son - Ricky Gonzalez y family at the first Orchard Beach Taino Areito co-sponsored by Presencia Taina in 1996. Her sizable contribution to that preliminary event helped to formulate the multi group foundation of the United Confederation of Taino People.

Carmen was a tireless warrior who raised countless East Harlem youngsters during the turmultious "60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and 2000's. Her last wish was to proudly attend her granddaughters Quincenera celebration which occurred on Saturday. It was a wonderful party attended by her entire family which spanned 4 living generations who immigrated to NYC from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. "Our people are beautiful" she always commented and she had alot of love for everyone she was in contact with. Her passing was is a heartbreak to the entire Latino community of New York City.

Photo above: Friends and family of Carmen Gonzalez with her coffin outside Our Lady Queen of Angels, a church in East Harlem that closed earlier this year. (Photo: Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times)


Puerto Rican Citizenship Applications Now Online

Boriken (UCTP Taino News) - Puerto Rico’s Secretary of State Office has recently begun offering "Puerto Rican citizenship" certificates to all interested individuals considered eligible. Certificates of Puerto Rican citizenship are issued to any persons born on the island as well as to those born outside of the island but who have at least one parent who was born on the island. Any U.S. citizen with at least one year of residence on the island is also eligible for the official citizenship certificate.

Registrants will now be among the Puerto Ricans in history to have been issued an "official" certificate of Puerto Rican citizenship.

While some Puerto Ricans who have obtained their Puerto Rican citizenship certificates have also renounced their U.S. citizenship, this action is not requirement nor is the certificate a valid travel document such as a passport.

As a result of the island's "commonwealth" status, the certificate and the concept of "Puerto Rican Citizenship" have already sparked criticism with regard to their value and symbolism. The Puerto Rican Secretary of State, Fernando J. Bonilla, affirms however that the certificate guarantees "countless fundamental rights" and can be used to apply for or request services from different government agencies. Bonilla has also expressed that the certificates "effectively displays the Puerto Rican citizenship, which is separate and distinct to U.S. citizenship".

Information and applications forms which can be mailed in or completed online can be found at the Puerto Rican State Department's website at http://www.estado.gobierno.pr/Ciudadania_PR.htm


Amerindian Heritage Day in Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad & Tobago (UCTP Taino News) - Amerindian Heritage Day will be celebrated in Trinidad & Tobago on October 14, 2007. The Santa Rosa Carib Community of Arima will be hosting a series of events that will take place from October 14 - 19 to commemorate this annual observance recognizing Trinidad's indigenous cultural heritage. Daily educational radio spots are scheduled to be presented focusing on Arima's Indigenous community, traditional foods and medicines, history, customs, arts as well as other related topics. Lectures, cultural events, and a meeting of the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples are also set during this time with delegates arriving from throughout the Caribbean including Taino representatives of the Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos (Puerto Rico) and the United Confederation of Taino People.

Photo: Members of the Santa Rosa Carib Community during the feast of Santa Rosa in Trinidad. From Catholic News


Say NO to Columbus Day!

Before Columbus sailed the Atlantic, he was a slave trader for the Portuguese, transporting West African people to Portugal to be sold as slaves. The Columbus legacy is steeped in blood, violence, and death. Why Transform Columbus Day?

The Transform Columbus Day Alliance actively rejects the celebration of Christopher Columbus and his legacy of domination, oppression, and colonialism. We also reject historical misconceptions regarding Columbus and his "discovery" of the Americas. By saying NO to Columbus and his day we are saying YES to a new future of mutual respect, collaboration, and equality, a future that respects:

=the rights of indigenous peoples

=the natural environment

=democratic & economic justice

=gender equity over global patriarchy

=free and equal speech over hate speech

Indigenous Resist!

For more info visit http://www.transformcolumbusday.com/

The United Confederation of Taino People is a member of the Transform Columbus Day Alliance


Hurricane Dean pummels Jamaica

This NOAA satellite image taken Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM EDT shows a dangerous category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Dean, bearing down on Jamaica with winds of 145 mph. This storm is on track to make either a direct hit on the island's southern shore or a very near pass later on today. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Hurricane Dean pummeled Jamaica with gusting winds and torrential rains Sunday after the prime minister made a last-minute plea for residents to abandon their homes and head for shelter. Many residents ignored the call, however, while tourists holed up in resorts with hurricane-proof walls.

The storm, which had already killed eight people on its destructive march across the Caribbean, triggered evacuation calls from the Cayman Islands to Texas, and forced the Space Shuttle to cut short its mission. Cruise ships changed course to avoid Dean, but some tourists in Jamaica could not get away before the island closed its airports late Saturday.

Read the full story at:


story image Play AP Video


Suriname commemorates International Day for Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples in Suriname Celebrate
National Indigenous Day on August 9th 2007
Photo: OIS

Story by Ivan Cairo
Caribbean Net News Suriname Correspondent
Email: ivan@caribbeannetnews.com

PARAMARIBO, Suriname: For the first time in its history Suriname last week observed International Day for the Indigenous Peoples as a national holiday. Nationwide festivities and cultural activities were held by Amerindian organisations in Suriname, while indigenous peoples worldwide held ceremonies in recognition of their rights.

At the main event in the Palmentuin (Palms Garden) in Paramaribo, President Ronald Venetiaan argued that the proclamation of August 9 as a national holiday is a recognition of the position of the indigenous groups. Representatives of the Amerindians, Suriname's original inhabitants, for years pressed for a national holiday recognising their historical rights and position in the country.

In his statement, President Venetiaan called for unity between the indigenous groups and the government to tackle problems and issues these tribal folks have to deal with.

"Let's put our hands together," said the Head of State, adding that disunion would lead nowhere.

Amerindians in Suriname are the least developed group in Suriname, since most of their communities and villages are located in the remote areas of the country. Most of the villages lack basic facilities and government services such as schools and medical clinics, electricity and running water, while the cost of transportation to the capital is very high.

Nardo Aloema, chairman of the Organisation of Indigenous Peoples in Suriname (OIS) called for recognition of the rights of these groups. Currently indigenous tribes are fighting for ownership of land rights in Suriname, while they also want to see more development in their communities, since most forestry and mining activities are taking place in their traditional habitat.

"We have covered a lot of ground, but there is still more work to be done. This national holiday is not the beginning or the end, but just a milestone and a very important success," said Aloema.

Several top government officials, diplomats and business leaders attended the ceremonies, while an indigenous group from French Guiana was also present.

The International Day for the Indigenous Peoples has served to raise awareness on how indigenous peoples worldwide suffer marginalisation, exploitation, expulsion from their land and destruction of their culture, identities and habitats.

Every year a growing number of indigenous communities are resisting and speaking up for their own rights.

Story Source: Caribbean Net News


Related UCTP Story:
Suriname to Celebrate National Indigenous Day

See Also: Indigenous Peoples of Suriname Speak Out on UN Declaration - Review letter of Leon Ericson Wijngaarde, the President of the Organization of Indigenous Peoples in Suriname (OIS) at: http://indigenouscaribbeancaucus.blogspot.com/2007/08/indigenous-peoples-of-suriname-speak.html


International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples Commemorated at the United Nations

UCTP Taino News (New York) – The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples was celebrated at the United Nations and around the world on 9 August, 2007. The official observance at UN Headquarters focused on the urgent need to preserve indigenous cultures, and languages, as well as the role of indigenous youth.

Opening the full day of events in New York were representatives of the local Iroquois Nations followed by a message from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which noted that “the international community has grown increasingly aware of the need to support indigenous people -- by establishing and promoting international standards; vigilantly upholding respect for their human rights; integrating the international development agenda, including the Millennium Development Goals, in policies, programmes and country-level projects; and reinforcing indigenous peoples’ special stewardship on issues related to the environment and climate change.”

In relation to the promotion of international standards and human rights, a number of official statements issued on the International Day made direct reference to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2006. The Declaration is currently being considered for adoption by the General Assembly.

In a message from the Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz stated that “The imminent adoption by the General Assembly of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples could well be a major step towards eliminating the widespread human rights violations suffered by Indigenous people worldwide.”

Tauli-Corpuz continued strongly appealing to all the member-states of the United Nations to adopt the Declaration before the 61st Session ends in September 17, 2007. She noted that the Declaration was the “result of more than three decades of indigenous peoples’ engagement with the United Nations” and that it is a “moral imperative” for States to adopt it to “seriously address more than 500 years of injustice and oppression suffered by indigenous peoples.”

The themes of peace and unity were also highlighted throughout commemorative program. Addressing these themes a group of over 50 indigenous youth organized via the “Spirit of the Youth: Unity Run” made an overnight journey by foot from upstate New York to the United Nations to deliver historic declarations, which highlighted various community concerns. The youth also expressed their full support for the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

A sacred pipe ceremony was also conducted to honor indigenous youth, languages, and sacred sites. Indigenous representatives, UN and government officials, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participated and shared the sacred pipe. The ceremony was facilitated by Miksuya and Makasa Looking Horse (Lakota), Johnny Smith (Shinnecock), Jason Whitebear (Saulteaux), and Roberto Mucaro Borrero (Taino). Borrero, who is the Chairman of the NGO Committee on the UN International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples also served as the International Day’s Master of Ceremonies.

Other events scheduled during the International Day included a film screening and discussion focusing on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and a panel entitled “Honoring Indigenous Youth and Languages.”

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is officially commemorated on 9 August annually in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982.


UCTP Taino News Editor’s Note: Click here to view the programme of events and background information on the International Day of the World´s Indigenous People.

To view the events on archived UN Webcast see Special Event: Ceremony to mark the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. [
Website ] [Webcast: Archived Video - English: 1 hour and 8 minutes]

Special Event: Panel discussion on "Honoring Indigenous Youth and Languages". Speakers will include: H.E. Mr. Alberto Virella, Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations and Ms. Dawn Hill (Mohawk Nation, USA). [ Website ] [Webcast: Archived Video - English: 2 hours and 16 minutes]

RealPlayer Needed to view webcast click here for free download



As Guyana and the rest of the world commemorate another International Day of Indigenous Peoples on August 9, 2007, the Guyanese Organization of Indigenous Peoples (GOIP) and the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) are calling on the Government of Guyana to vote for the approval of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration) when it again comes before the UN General Assembly next month.

See full story at:


Radio Interview with UCTP President and Chairman: 08.12.2007

UCTP Taino News (NY) - This Sunday, August 12th, 2007, UCTP President and Chairman, Roberto Mukaro Borrero will be interviewed on "Janet's House World Radio Show",which airs on WURD 900am in Philadelphia, PA from 3:05p.m. – 4:00p.m (EST) with host El Shafiyq.The radio program is streamed online and anyone with a computer can click here to listen as well as call in to the show's 800# at 1-866-361-0900. Click here to visit the Janet's House World Radio Show website.

UN Photo/Mark Garten


Suriname to Celebrate National Indigenous Day

Suriname, South America (UCTP Taíno News) - The Organization of Indigenous People in Suriname (OIS) will commemorate and celebrate “National Indigenous Day” on August 9, 2007.

This commemoration in Suriname is organized in cooperation with local authorities, the Indigenous communities of Grankreek, Columbia and Maho and the OIS.

Leon Wijngaarde, the President of the OIS states “The activities will take place at monuments square in Groningen, district of Saramacca and will culminate in unveiling of a new Indigenous Monument there, by Indigenous artist Leo Toenaé.”

The day will also include the performances of several Cultural Groups, a crafts-fair and family activities.

Photo: Karina Participant of the 2006 Commemoration, OIS Photo

UCTP Taíno News Editor's Note: Suriname is home to several Indigenous and Maroon Nations. Among them are the Arawak and Carib Nations both of whom are part of the ancestral and cultural heritage of the Taíno Peoples of the Caribbean Islands.


Guyana's Amerindian Affairs Ministry to launch website

Guyana, South America - The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs will later this month launch a website to ensure that information on issues pertaining to Amerindians and their rights are more readily accessible, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

Minister Carolyn Rodrigues said this development follows government's recognition of the growing need for information on existing services, entitlements and opportunities available to Amerindians.

According to GINA, the minister said that persons utilising the site will have access to information pertaining to land rights, the Amerindian Act, the hinterland scholarship programme and a variety of other social services provided by the ministry.

She explained that candidates for the scholarship programme would have access to features such as online application forms, entry requirements and the list of academic and technical-vocational programmes facilitated through the ministry.

Extended infrastructural facilities such as electricity in some hinterland areas have facilitated previously inaccessible services such as internet access.

This has opened up avenues for information sharing, educational research and existing opportunities on the coastland.

It is hoped also that the new initiative would encourage increased use of the internet for data retrieval by Amerindians, GINA concluded.

Source: Stabroek News