(UN Photo/Evan Schneider)
The program was called to order with the sounding of the guamo (conch shell horn) by Roberto Múkaro Agueibana Borrero (Taíno) who served as the program’s Master of Ceremonies.
A welcoming song by Native American singer Kevin Tarrant and opening statements by UN dignitaries including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were presented. The participation of the UN Secretary-General highlighted the event’s high-level profile.
Four short films were presented during the event including "Taíno Indians: Counted out of Existence" by Alex Zacarias (Taíno). Zacarias is an Emmy-award winning documentary film maker whose family comes from Bieke (Vieques). His film deals with the Taíno People's struggle for recognition in Borikén (Puerto Rico).
“Film is a great way of communicating people's stories” stated Zacarias.
Sylvia Kaonamahakuio Marrero, a Borikén Taíno who attended the program agreed.
“It was an honor to be part of this important event and share with others; not only our Taíno people but also with other Indigenous Peoples” said Marrero. “The program was very educational.”