Taino Welcomed by Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples

Arima, Trinidad (UCTP Taino News) – On October 16th, 2007 Indigenous leaders from throughout the Caribbean meet in Arima, Trinidad to discuss critical regional issues under the auspices of the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples (COIP). Hosted by Trinidad’s Santa Rosa Carib Community, delegates attending the COIP meeting represented Indigenous Peoples from Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad, and Puerto Rico.

In an historic affirmation of Caribbean Indigenous solidarity, COIP officially welcomed Puerto Rico’s Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos as full voting members. As COIP is a recognized by Indigenous Peoples, governments, inter-governmental organizations as a Caribbean regional organization, the inclusion of the Consejo General now provides an opportunity for Boriken Taino to officially raise their concerns within this collective.

During the meeting, another important agenda item focused on COIP representation at International Forums such as the United Nations. The increasing visibility of COIP at this level is already evident as a communication from the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was received and transmitted to the participants during the opening ceremony for the meeting.

Held in Arima’s Town Hall, the opening ceremony for the important meeting began with welcoming remarks from the honorable Mayor of Arima, Adrian Cabralis, as well as Government Ministers, Excellencies Penelope Beckles and Joan Yuille-Wiliams.

Funding for many of the delegates to attend the meeting as well as the concurrent activities celebrating Trinidad’s “Amerindian Heritage Week” was made available by the government of Trinidad and Tobago.

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