Confederation Commended for Census Campaign

Photo: Victor Vassallo, Roger Guayakan Hernandez, and Virginia Pastrana.

Ponce, Boriken/Puerto Rico (UCTP Taino News) – Last week Victor Vassallo, a representative of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, commended the Boriken Liaison Office of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) for their work promoting the 2010 U.S. Census. In an official partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, the Confederation organized events, produced literature, and developed an online campaign to promote Taino participation in the 2010 Census.

The United States conducts an official census every 10 years. While the UCTP was an official partner with the U.S. Census Bureau for its campaign in 2000, this year’s activities included a major event at the Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center in Ponce. The activity featured local Taino cultural presenters Wakia Arawaka Taina and was attended by the general public as well as U.S. Census Bureau officials from Washington D.C. and Boston, Massachusetts.

Vassallo not only praised the Confederation’s work increasing the visibility of Taino descendants but its work promoting the protection of indigenous sacred sites in Boriken. In particular, Vassalllo thanked the UCTP for bringing the issue of the Jacanas ceremonial site to his attention. Vassallo has since introduced formal legislation to protect the Jacanas cultural area.

Expecting more than 15,000 households to identify themselves as Taino in the Census, UCTP Boriken Liaison Director Roger Guayakan Hernandez stated "The U.S. Census is a mechanism for Boriken’s indigenous families to be recognized officially.”

He continued stating that in his opinion "Tainos must be responsible to make themselves count because nobody else will."

The UCTP also administers an alternate Taino Census Registry not affiliated with the U.S. Census Bureau.

UCTPTN 10.28.2010


U.S Reviews Indigenous Declaration

Kimberly Teehee of the White House Domestic Policy Council responds to questions during discussions on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (Photo courtesy of indianlaw.org)

Washington D.C. (UCTP Taíno News ) -
Representatives from more than 20 tribes met last week with officials from the White House, the Department of State, Department of the Interior, and other federal agencies to discuss the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This was the third round of conversations in the U.S. review process of the Declaration, which was ratified by the UN General Assembly Sept. 13, 2007. 144 countries voted in favor of the Declaration. The U.S was one of four countries to vote against its passage along with Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Today, the United States and Canada remain the only countries in opposition to the Declaration as New Zealand and Australia have officially reversed their positions.

“The Declaration is not only an issue important to federally recognized Tribe Nations but to State Recognized Tribal Nations as well as Indigenous Peoples like the Taíno whose ancient homelands are now U.S. territories” stated Roberto Borrero, a representative of the United Confederation of Taíno People.

He continued noting that “The Confederation has submitted a position paper to the State Department calling on the U.S. to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples without qualification.”

According to participants at the meeting federal officials would not confirm when a decision on the Declaration would be made. U.S. Officials did report however that more than 2000 submissions concerning U.S. endorsement of the Declaration have been received.

State Department officials also announced that written submissions will be accepted through October 31, 2010.

UCTPTN 10.20.2010


Remembering the Ancestors

NEW YORK CITY - Luis Ramos has become a local hero amongst the Indigenous Indian people of New York. Luis Ramos a very humble man of medium built has managed to put together a powerful celebration. This event is called "Indigenous Day of Remembrance". This event takes place in the heart of New York City at Columbus Circle.

You see Luis is a Taino Indian and he has a vested Interest in the history and truth of Christopher Columbus. The Taino people were the first to discover the Mass Murderer Christopher Columbus. Many do not know that Columbus was much hated by his own peers, he could not get support in Portugal, so he went to Spain charmed Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. When you get a chance read "the Book Of Privileges" these Privileges were set up as contracts between Columbus and Spain.

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451, in Genoa Italy. Most school children are left to believe their hero was born in Spain. They are also being taught that he set foot in the United States when in reality it was Sal Salvador. The journey was suppose to be heading for Asia I have doubts that he was really lost when in fact he had help from the Moors whom were master explorers and navigators.

Perhaps he even deceived the King and Queen of Spain perhaps he had a hidden agenda and needed funding for his quest. These arguments and thoughts are still being discussed within my circle of researchers and friends.

As we assemble in Columbus Circle, Prayers are being sent out to the Creator for all the Indian people that have crossed over, lost their lives to this Mass Murderer, Christopher Columbus whom was the first Mass Murderer and Serial Killer recorded in American history. At least by Indigenous people.

We as Native people protest the Myth of Christopher Columbus and demand that his Statue come down, I would like to see the Board Of Education take responsibility for much of the Myth of this man. It gets pretty lame when you have to tell Indigenous children"forget about the truth just pass your test and get your diplomas then go speak the truth"

I want to thank Luis Ramos for this Remembrance day. I am hoping that the event grows and grows it was so good to see all Nations coming together for the one thing we have in common which was the domino affect that Columbus had on us all.

If you are in New York get information on Columbus from U.C.T.P which stands for the United Confederation Of Taino People, and their friend and brother Luis Ramos organizer of the event.

Author: Firebird Graywolf
Source: Indian Country Today


American Indian Women meet in Cherokee Territory

Cherokee, NC (UCTP Taino News) - The Conference for American Indian Women of Proud Nations (AIWPN) held a successful gathering September 16-17, 2010 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel in Cherokee, NC. The conference, held annually, was organized collaboratively by AIWPN, the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, and the Western Carolina University - Cherokee Center.

This year’s conference theme was “Nurturing and Empowering Our Communities Through Leadership.” The organizers noted that “women are increasingly taking on the mantle of leadership in a variety of ways. Although the rate of participation by women in tribal government and community leadership is still less than men, women play a significant role in tribal politics and community building.”

Native women from throughout the nation were welcomed to attend this conference, which offered statewide and national applications.

Among the attendees was Monika Mamona Ponton-Arrington, a Liaison Officer for the United Confederation of Taino People.

Expressing her feelings about the successful gathering Ponton-Arrington stated “I found that we [Native Women] are not that different, being indigenous and having our lands, languages, ceremonies, and housing destroyed. Our peoples were lied to, taken away, murdered, and sometimes even forced into various types of servitude. Our actions, thoughts, and feelings were very similar.”

Ponton-Arrington, a Boriken Taino also stated “there was so much to speak about and not enough time.”

UCTPTN 10.13.2010


Possible pyramid discovered in Dom. Republic

Kiskeia/Dom. Republic (UCTP Taino News) – A local Dominican newspaper reported the discovery of a possible ancient pyramid in the Puerto Plata district of the Dominican Republic on Friday. The so-called pyramid is in the form of a large pile of stones that was found by the property owner who is deciding to remain anonymous at this time. The owner also claims to have alerted local authorities who he feels are ignoring an important archeological find.

Reactions from the Taino community have been mixed as there is caution over the report which could turn out to be a hoax.

Taino community member Miguel “Sobaoko Koromo” Sague states “I am skeptical concerning the possibility that our ancestors were so influenced by Maya and other Mesoamerican cultures that they would have begun to build pyramids". Sague continued stating that in spite of the doubts “it is a little exciting to allow myself to imagine that maybe... this man is really saying the truth.”

Another community member, Vanessa Inarunikia said that “As Taino, we know exchanges took place with Mesoamerica but [if this claim is true] this would confirm our oral tradition as fact for the academics and others who usually tend doubt everything unless they say it was so.”

In addition to local Taino oral tradition contacts between Mesoamerica and the Caribbean have been sporadically documented over the years. In his journal Columbus identified a group of Maya traveling from the Yucatan to the Caribbean islands by canoe. Recent archeological finds in Cuba have also confirmed some trade interaction. Several anthropologists and linguists have also noted some Mesoamerican influence in Taino culture and language.

Roger Guayacan Hernandez, a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People in Boriken (Puerto Rico) states that “we have heard about some mound type structures from a few elders here on the island. They say that many of these were destroyed with the building of modern roads. Unfortunately, we have not been able to physically verify these claims so it will be interesting to see what the find in Kiskeia is really about.”

Reports from internet archeology groups indicate that an archeology reporter, Mairobi Herrera from the newspaper Listin Diario will follow-up on this story. According to these sources Herrera has so far contacted Dominican archeologist Adolfo Lopez to investigate the claim and he has pledged to provide an update soon.

UCTPTN 10.05.10 Justify Full




The group The Maboities, Guatiaos of Puerto Rican Art and Culture, with their head office in Jayuya, will celebrate for the third consecutive year the Birth of Elpidio Collazo “Maboiti” {R.I.P.}. The entire month of October 2010 will be dedicated to celebrating, remembering and honoring the life and work of Maboití. Elpidio Collazo considered the most outstanding, recognized and prize-winning artisan carver of Puerto Rican birds of Puerto Rico . This master artisan was born on October 28, 1937 and passed away on November 5, 2007.

Every person or institution that wants to join with us, The Maboities, or independently join in this celebration will be very well received. Among the activities that may be carried out during this celebration will be conferences, presentation of documentaries, oral readings of the biography of Maboití in schools and universities, conversatorios, among others.

It would be helpful if we knew about other activities relating to his birth in order to include them in our calendar which will be produced and promoted in relation to the birth of this great artisan carver of Puerto Rican birds now deceased.

In regards to the majority of the activities, they will take place in The Center of Art and Culture Elpidio Collazo Maboití, located on Highway 144, kilometer 9.3 in the borough of Coabey in Jayuya. We will have the patronage of the Autonomous Municipality of Jayuya. The activities taking place during the month are: The Unveiling of the Stone Monument and the exhibition of toys from the infancy of Maboití which will be on October 1, 2010 at 7:00 am, on October 3 from 10:00 am will be the selling and exhibition of antiquities, and at 2:00 pm will be the presentation of the Walter Murray Chiesa National Award to Mr. Héctor Rodríguez artisan promoter of the “Compañía Fomento Industrial” (Industrial Development Company) among the other activities to take place during the month.

On October 28, 2010 at 10:00 am, all those who want to join in this posthumous homage to Maboití will deposit floral gifts at the Monument Stone Maboití. This is the first time in Puerto Rico that one month has been designated to honor an artisan annually.

For more information you can contact the Center of Art and Culture Maboití at (787) 828-1241 with the Director Mrs. Magalis Gordillo.

Graciela Collazo



Encuentran ruinas podrían ser pirámides aborigen en Puerto Plata

PUERTO PLATA, Rep. Dominica - El descubrimiento arqueológico aborigen más trascendental de todos los tiempos de República Dominicana, podría haberse producido en una comunidad rural cercana a esta ciudad. Se adelantó que trataría del descubrimiento de las ruinas de un conjunto piramidal y un asiento indígena sujeto a ser confirmados por los arqueólogos que están siendo contactados por uno de los propietarios de la tierra donde se hizo el hallazgo.

El informante, el cual rehusó identificarse, afirmó que de comprobarse la veracidad del hallazgo, este descubrimiento podría cambiar la historia de la época precolombina criolla en muchos aspectos.

Reveló que el sitio donde supuestamente están situadas las pirámides, está ubicado en un área elevada que estaba cubierta de árboles y arbustos durante cientos de años, razón por la cual no fue encontrada antes.

Dio a conocer que el hallazgo de las presuntas ruinas se produjo de modo fortuito el pasado 2 de septiembre, mientras un trabajador suyo realizaba trabajos de desyerbo en las inmediaciones del lugar donde construye una vivienda y un sanitario.

“Vamos a traer un agrimensor para medir el área y traer los arqueólogos, los geólogos y los antropólogos para que examinen los restos de las pirámides y localizar el asentamiento y el cementerio indígenas.

Explicó que se trata de un conjunto enorme de piedras calizas ubicadas en un promontorio que los aborígenes fueron tallando y dándoles forma piramidal, el cual nadie había descubierto, hasta que Dios dijo: “mi hijito, a ti es que te vamos a premiar permitiendo que seas el descubridor”.

Informó que llamó al Departamento de Sismología de la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) y solicitó al geólogo Humberto García que viniera y “todavía al día de hoy estoy esperando su llamada”.

Asimismo, manifestó que también hizo contacto con un funcionario del ministerio de Medio Ambiente que es geólogo, de apellido Frometa y está esperando respuesta, para hacer una prueba con carbono 14 para determinar los años de las ruinas.

Fuente: El Faro