Elder Valeriana Shashira Rodriguez Valentin, Kasike Elba Anaka Lugo Perez, and Kasike Roberto Mukaro Agueibana Borrero celebrate 10 years of solidarity.
UCTP Taino News – Representatives of the Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos renewed their sacred ties with the United Confederation of Taino People in a special unification ceremony on Saturday, April 26, 2008. Boriken Council leader Kasike Elba Anaka Lugo Perez and elder Valeriana Shashira Rodriguez Valentin made the trip from Puerto Rico to meet with UCTP representatives as well as participate in the Seventh Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
“This trip is about unification because we are one Taino family on or off the island” declared elder Shashira. She also affirmed before all those gathered that “the Consejo is with the UCTP as the UCTP is with the Consejo.”
The historic solidarity ceremony took place at the home of UCTP Liaison, Evelyn Koai’cu Cruz-Lear in New Jersey.
A number of UCTP representatives and community members attended the gathering that was not only a celebration but a chance to receive firsthand updates on the island’s current situation. The Boriken leaders shared their experiences at the Jacancas site in Ponce as well as information on some of their projects throughout Puerto Rico. Another important moment in the meeting was the official welcoming of Mildred Karaira Gandia into the “Circle of Boriken Taino Grandmothers” by elder Shashira. The Boriken Council elder urged those gathered to continue to look toward Karaira for council and leadership now and in the future.
After the discussions and the “Guaitiao ceremonies” led by elder Shashira, the Boriken leaders were surprised with a birthday cake as they both celebrated birthdays in April.
Of the gathering Elba Anaka Lugo - a pioneer of the Taino resurgence movement - stated that to “connect through ceremony” was for her one of the most important moments of this recent trip to the States.
Kasike Lugo also looked forward to receiving all her relatives in the ancestral homeland of Boriken sooner than later as there was “much work to be done.”