Among those in attendance, representatives of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) participated in the plenary sessions and working groups as well as during spiritual ceremonies led by the local Mayan traditional spiritual authorities. Naniki Reyes Ocasio of the Caney Quinto Mundo, UCTP Liaison Mildred Karaira Gandia, and youth representative Justin Ziegelasch contributed directly to the drafting of the final conference resolutions via specific working groups. As a result of their participation the Taino People are specifically mentioned in the resolutions on “Land, Territories and Natural Resources, Treaties and the Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” and the “Sacred Sites”.
The IITC reaffirmed for example the “land rights and self determination of Indigenous Peoples including the Taino, Cree, Dakota, Yaqui and Mayan peoples that are divided by colonial borders”. The IITC also calls upon the “United States Government and the Island of Boriken (Puerto Rico) to recognize the Taino People of Boriken as the original inhabitants and Indigenous Peoples with full rights as recognized by the UN Declaration, including the right to self-determination.
“This much appreciated support from our indigenous sisters and brothers is extremely important for all our Taino People” stated Mildred Karaira Gandia. “It shows that the Taino are indeed part of the larger hemispheric movement defending the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Karaira added “Making these connections today as our ancestors did long ago not only unifies us across borders but it strengthens us on a spiritual level.”
Other resolutions adopted at the conference focused on the position of the CANZUS group and the UN Indigenous Rights Declaration, Lakota and Dakota Treaties, The Right to Food Sovereignty, The Rights of Women and Children, and Economic Justice and Migration.
The final resolutions will be posted at the websites of the International Indian Treaty Council and the United Confederation of Taino People in English and Spanish.