Native Runners Continue On Sacred Journey

Photo: Two Peace and Dignity East Coast runners - Maximus Matos and Rafael Landron - joined by supporters Vanessa Inarunikia and Kuyayaku Pastrano displaying some of the sacred staffs that are being run in an incredible journey from New York to Panama.

UCTP Taino News – Runners participating in the East Coast Tributary route of the Peace and Dignity Journeys have made their way from New York through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland heading toward Virginia. With their final destination scheduled for Panama, the group of runners and supporters began their journey in New York City on June 13 with sacred staffs representing the prayers of various Indigenous Nations. This year’s East Coast route is a historic first for the Peace and Dignity Journeys inter-continental run, which has taken place every four years since 1992.

At a ceremony for the East Coast runners held at Riverbank Park in Manhattan, approximately 75 representatives from many Indigenous nations gathered in one circle to welcome the sacred staffs the runners will carry throughout their journey. At the ceremony led by Grupo Cetiliztli Nauhcampa Quetzalcoatl, six representatives from East Coast Native Nations offered prayers. Messages of support were also received from Tonya Frichner (Onondaga) a UN representative, and Chief Dwayne Perry (Sachem Maqua/Chief Bear) of the Ramapo Mountain Lenape Nation.

The group of runners included Elizabeth Rexford (Inuit/Alaska), Elvira Colorado (Chichimec/Otomi), Hortensia Colorado (Chichimec/Otomi), Teyekahliyos “Dagots” Edwards (Onieda), Jennie Luna (Xicana/Caxcan/Mexica) as well as two Taino community members Maximus Matos (Taino) and Rafael Landron (Taino). At sunrise on Saturday, morning June 14, representatives of the United Confederation of Taino People
(UCTP) presented an additional unity staff to the group. The presentation was made by community leader Roberto Mukaro Borrero who explained that the Taino staff was a symbol of unity between the Arawak, Carib, and Taino Nations as well as a representation of the Guaraguao or Caribbean Red Tail Hawk within the Eagle and Condor prophecy.

Following the sunrise departure ceremony the group crossed the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey and made their way to Pennsylvania where they connected to Art Woolsey, PA coordinator for the Longest Walk II. Woolsey was instrumental in the logistical organizing for the runners through the state. While in Pennsylvania the group visited the grounds of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and offered prayers at the institution’s cemetery. Over 100 indigenous children who were taken from their parents to attend the infamous boarding school died there and were interred on the grounds.

According to t
he East Coast Run coordinator Jeannie Luna the runners met up with the Longest Walk group in Greensburgh, PA. The two groups were able to share experiences and ceremony before the Peace and Dignity runners headed to Pittsburg where they were greeted by Taino community member Miguel Sobaoko Koromo Sague. A member of Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center – the only Native Center in all of PA - Sague along with other PA Native community members contributed supplies and extended much appreciated hospitality to the group. Sague who is also the founder of the Caney Spiritual Circle offered an additional Taino staff to join the UCTP’s prayer for Taíno unity.

Following their visit to a local Pow Wow in Farmington, PA that was held to honor the birth of a White Buffalo at a local zoo, the runners made their way to Friendsville, MD and Petersburgh, West Virginia.

The runners will also visit Washington DC plan and while in the area they plan to link up with the Haudenosaunee Spirit of the Youth Unity Run. These two groups will continue running together until July 5th when they will unite with the Trail of Tears runners in Tahlequah, Oklahoma for the closing ceremonies of the East Coast portion the route. From Oklahoma the sacred staffs will be run to Taos, New Mexico where they will join the main group making their way south.

This southern route from New Mexico will unite all runners of the East Coast Tributary and other routes and connect them to the main route, carrying all the prayers, work and energy towards Panama.

UCTPTN 06.29.2008


The Not-So-Lost Tribe

Photo: The photo of the "Lost Amazon Tribe" widely distributed by sources such as Reuters and Survival International was a part of a hoax.

by Mike Krumboltz

Even in an age when cynical sleuths can hyper-analyze stories for truth and accuracy, the occasional hoax still slips through the cracks. Such was the case with a so-called "lost Amazon tribe."

A few months ago, mainstream news outlets (including, ahem, Yahoo!) reported that a photographer had found a lost tribe of warriors near the Brazilian-Peruvian border. Photos of the tribe backed up his claim.

As it turns out, the story is only half true. The men in the photo are members of a tribe, but it certainly ain't "lost." In fact, as the photographer, José Carlos Meirelles, recently explained, authorities have known about this particular tribe since 1910. The photographer and the agency that released the pictures wanted to make it seem like they were members of a lost tribe in order to call attention to the dangers the logging industry may have on the group.

The photographer recently came clean, and news outlets, perhaps embarrassed at having been taken for a ride, have been slow to pick up the story. Now, the word is starting to spread and articles in the Buzz are picking up steam. Expect a lot more brutal truth in the coming days.


Museum Recognizes Caribbean Heritage

Photo: Several works by Arawak artist Foster Simon of Pakuri Territory in Guyana will be exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History’s Caribbean Festival.

New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) - The American Museum of Natural History will host a Caribbean Heritage Festival in recognition of the region’s cultural legacy and diversity on Sunday, June 22, 2008 from 12 noon – 5:00 p.m. The celebration will highlight the region's contributions and cultures through family friendly programs with guest presenters, performers and films. A Caribbean art display will be featured in the Museum’s Grand Gallery with artists representing Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Caribbean indigenous artists Aguilar Marrero and Reina Miranda of Taino Spirit as well as acclaimed Lokono Arawak artist Foster Simon of Guyana will have works exhibited. The program is presented in collaboration with the Haitian Centers Council, Inc. and is free with suggested Museum admission.

UCTPTN 06.20.2008


Annual International Indian Treaty Conference to begin in Guatemala

Chimaltenago, Guatemala (UCTP Taino News) - The 34th Annual International Conference of the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) begins this week on June 19-22, 2008 in the city of Chimaltenango, Guatemala. The conference will focus on strategic topics that designed to assist in the promotion and defense of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

According to a recent IITC news release, the organizers are looking forward to the most diverse, pluralistic participation of representatives and authorities of Indigenous Peoples from the IITC member countries, as well as from all countries whose people have a keen interest in discussing strategies, plans, programs, visions and goals to continue working towards the challenging objective of ending the racism, discrimination, oppression, marginalization, exploitation, and imposition that Indigenous Peoples, are currently facing.

The conference organizers also note that although certain advances have been made in the field of domestic and international law, they are as yet insufficient and Indigenous Peoples are still facing difficult situations worldwide.

A delegation representing the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) is now in Guatemala to attend the conference and includes Naniki Reyes Ocasio of the Caney Quinto Mundo, and Mildred Karaira Gandia (UCTP Liaison), and Justin Seiba Ziegelasch, a youth delegate. In an historic moment for Taino People, the UCTP is scheduled to be officially welcomed as IITC affiliates before the assembly gathered in Chimaltenago.

The history and current situation of Mayan Peoples in Guatemala as well as implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the local to the international level will be some of the featured issues discussed at the conference. Other topics to be addressed include land and natural resource rights, treaties and agreements, reparations and redress processes, free prior and informed consent, self determination, environmental and racial justice. Dialogs will take place via panels, workshops, commissions, and training sessions.

Communications related to the conference can be directed to Conferencia2008@treatycouncil.org and additional information can be found at IITC website at http://www.treatycouncil.org/.

UCTPTN 06.18.2008


Runners Manifest Eagle and Condor Prophecy

New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) – Although most "mainstream Americans" may have never heard of the Peace and Dignity Journeys this monumental, grass roots community effort has occurred every four years since 1992 to manifest the indigenous prophecy of the Eagle and Condor. This prophecy states that we are living in a time when Indigenous Peoples of the Western Hemisphere shall reunite spiritually in order to help heal their Nations and work towards a better future for the present and coming generations. Starting with runners on opposite ends of the continent from Eklutna, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Chile, the participants will make an incredible journey over seven months traveling through hundreds of indigenous communities.

While visiting various communities these indigenous ambassadors will be carrying sacred staffs representing the spiritual solidarity of various Nations and take part in local ceremonies and dialogs as well as receive community prayers.

Currently, runners that began in Alaska, May 1st are now in Canada and have formed two groups. One group of runners will travel west down to California and the other will make their way through the central part of the U.S. through the Great Plains.

Simultaneously, there is a route retracing the Cherokee Trail of Tears and for the first time in the Run's history an East Coast Tributary route has been organized to begin in New York City on Saturday, June 14th 2008. Organizers are in the process of outreaching to Native Nations on the East Coast in the spirit of bringing unity for this sacred prayer. Among the runners confirmed to leave from the East Coast route will be a Taino community member, Maximus Matos.

Maximus, whose family originates from the island of Boriken (Puerto Rico) has never run a marathon so one may ask just why would he get involved?

"First and foremost I run for my People, the Taino Nation" stated Maximus. "I run to unite us as one and yet there is so much more as this historic run will also unite Indigenous Nations, Reservations, Sacred Sites and Communities stretching from the North to South America."

In recognition of his effort and vision the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) has pledged to provide Maximus with a sacred unity staff gifted to the Taino from the Lokono Arawak Nation as well as some supplies for his journey.

"This is an historic moment for the Taino People" stated Roberto Borrero, a UCTP representative. "Maximus is taking on a very important role as a Taino ambassador and as community we understand that he is not just representing himself but he is representing our present and future generations on and off the islands"

Maximus, like other runners, will also need financial contributions to help support him on this incredible journey. Runners will need food, personal supplies, and clothing for various weather conditions in addition to camping equipment and other items. Supporters accompanying the runners in vans also need assistance with gas money etc. as the Peace and Dignity Journeys receive no corporate money and all fundraising is done through grants and grass roots community fundraising. Some money has been raised by the New York committee but according to run organizer Jeannie Luna it is not enough to sustain their journey.

While there have been some pledges to receive the runners and provide overnight housing and food Luna also states that a "majority of the route still needs places that will host runners, give [them] a place to sleep, shower, wash clothes, and have a meal."

Open to all "colors and cultures", the Peace and Dignity Journey is scheduled to conclude when the runners reach the center of the hemisphere in Panama on November 13th, 2008. In Panama City runners and supporters will be greeted by the Kuna Nation.

For more information on the Peace and Dignity Journeys visit their website at http://www.peaceanddignityjourneys.com. To donate directly or get involved in the East Coast Run contact Jeannie Luna at lalunaxicana@yahoo.com or 646.245.1216. For donations to sponsor the Taino runner please contact the UCTP at uctp_ny@yahoo.com or 1(212)604-4186.

The theme of this years Peace and Dignity Journey is "Honoring Our Sacred Sites".

Photo 1: Condor Runners from the South (Credit: panddblogadmin)

Photo 2: Eagle Runners from the North (Credit: panddblogadmin)


Taino Solstice Gathering in the Bronx

New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) - In recognition of World Peace and Prayer Day and the summer solstice, the Cacibajagua Taino Cultural Society and Iukaieke Guainia will host a ceremonial gathering and purification ceremony at Brook Park in the Bronx, New York on Saturday, June 21, 2008. A special focus of this event will be to offer prayers of unity for the participants of the Peace and Dignity Journeys Spiritual Run and the Longest Walk II. A naming ceremony for several community members will also take place. The gathering will begin at 12noon sharp and the event is free. The organizers have requested that attendees please bring food to share and consider monetary donations to the Friends of Brook Park. The park is located at 141st Street and Brook Ave in the South Bronx. For more information on the gathering contact uctp_ny@yahoo.com or call 1(212)604-4186.

UCTPTN 06.13.2008


UCTP Opens Online Taino Shop

UCTP Taino News - The United Confederation of Taino People has created an online “Taino Shop” hosted at CafePress.com. The new virtual store located at http://www.cafepress.com/tainoshop features a number of high-quality products displaying unique United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) graphics. Confederation representative Roberto Borrero notes that the “the new Taino Shop is an excellent opportunity to contribute directly to the precedent-setting work of the UCTP.” Proceeds from sales directly benefit the organization.

“There is no doubt that the UCTP has been pioneering the use of Information and Communications Technology to increase the visibility of Taino and other Caribbean Indigenous Peoples” continued Borrero. “Online sales - indigenous entrepreneurship -
are just another part of Nation building.”

Orders can be conducted online or by phone toll-free at 1-877-809-1659 and merchandise is backed by a 100% money back guarantee. The product line at the Taino Shop focuses on the UCTP logo, which represents a unified Taino Nation reaching out in solidarity across the waters to relatives in all the sacred directions.


Smithsonian Bilingual Website Focuses on Caribbean Indigenous People

UCTP Taino News - The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian has launched a revised bilingual website of the exhibition The New Old World:Antilles/El Nuevo Viejo Mundo: Las Antillas with new images, video and additional materials. The revised website is located at the same url as the previous version. "The New Old World" exhibition is a documentation of the contemporary lives of Taino and Carib indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is an institution of living cultures dedicated to the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The museum includes the recently opened National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall; the George Gustav Heye Center, a permanent museum in lower Manhattan; and the Cultural Resources Center, a research and collections facility in Suitland, Md.

Photo: NMAI in Washington D.C.

UCTPTN 06.04.2008


Gateway to Nations Pow Wow to feature Taino Culture

New York (UCTP Taino News) - The Gateway to Nations Pow Wow is a celebration of Native American culture that will take place at Brooklyn’s in Floyd Bennett Field, Gateway National Recreation Area from June 6-8, 2008. Along with Native American dancers, singers, Native American arts and jewelry, food vendors this year’s Pow Wow will feature select cultural presentations from members of the Cacibajagua Taino Cultural Society. The group will share Taino music, song, and dance as well as offer general information on Taino culture.

Other featured attractions at this annual event will be the Native Drum competition in classes from tiny tots to adults and showcase dances such as the Pura Women's Fancy Dance, Jingle Dance, Chicken Dance and Grass Dance.

Gates open on Saturday and Sunday at 11am and the Pow Wow continues all day until 7pm. The Grand Entry of Dancers begins at 1:00P on both days. On Friday, June 6th the Pow Wow grounds will be open to school groups from 10AM to 4PM.

Gateway to Nations Pow Wow is sponsored and organized by the
Redhawk Indian Arts Council and more information on the event can be found at their website at http://www.redhawkcouncil.org/calendar/june19.htm.

Photo: Redhawk Indian Arts Council

UCTPTN 06.01.2008