UCTP Representative to Speak at Indigenous Peoples’ Day Philly 2019

Philadelphia, PA (UCTP Taíno News) - Indigenous Peoples’ Day Philly 2019 (IPD Philly) is a family-friendly, Indigenous art and culture celebration that will take place from 11:00AM – 5:00PM on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at Penn Treaty Park (1301 N. Beach St.). The Indigenous resistance of the Taíno people began on October 12, 1492, and Tai Pelli, a representative of the United Confederation of Taíno People will be one of IPD Philly's featured speakers. 

According to the organizers, IPD Philly 2019 will be an "acknowledgment of 527 years of the strength and resilience of Indigenous Peoples." IDP Philly 2019 seeks to create "an important space for increasing awareness and encouraging dialogue about the Indigenous people of this land and the collective history that we all share as Americans.” 

The IPD Philly 2019 celebration also honors the Lenni-Lenape of today, whose traditional homelands are where Philadelphia now stands and bring community together for a celebration of song, dance, beautiful art, and traditional foods. What is now Penn Treaty Park is a significant place where the Great Elm Tree of Shackamaxon once stood. It is where many sachems of the Lenni-Lenape and other tribes from the Lenapehoking territory would meet for council.

Additionally, the celebration will present the work of local Indigenous artists and offer interactive programs, which will encourage guests to engage with educators to learn about Indigenous traditions and culture. 

IPD Philly has a "pay-what-you- wish/suggested donation" of $10 adults and $5 for children 12 years+ and elders. Tickets are available online at https://ipdphilly2019tickets.eventbrite.com or at the door. 

UCTPTN 10/04/2019


Youth-led Climate Actions Mobilize Millions Across the Globe

Members of the Bohio Atabei; the Guainía Taíno Tribe, and others participated in the September 20 Climate Strike delegation organized by the United Confederation of Taíno People.
New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) – Over 4 million people, in more than 150 countries around the world, rallied and marched on Friday, September 20, 2019, as part of the growing youth-led global climate strike movement. In New York, according to various media sources, an estimated 250,000 people took to the streets to share a unified demand for action on the climate crisis. 

The actions in New York and around the world took place three days before world leaders met for the United Nations Climate Summit. In a press conference held days before the Global Climate Strike, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated that “[Young people] are absolutely right to press us to do better and to unite behind science." 

The New York Climate Strike included opening and closing rallies and a massive march from Foley Square to Battery Park that was organized and led by youth activists, inspired in part, by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg

Thunberg attended and addressed the event stating that political leaders are not acting to reduce carbon emissions despite the 2018 warning issued by the world’s leading climate scientists, who reported that the world must cut global emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. 

Among the frontline communities participating in the march were local and international representatives of Indigenous Peoples. Opening and closing remarks and cultural offerings were presented by and or on behalf of members of the Ramapo Lenape and the Schaghticoke First Nations, as well as Indigenous Peoples of the Brazilian Amazon, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico, and a delegation of Taino peoples organized by the United Confederation of Taíno People, an indigenous representative institution that officially endorsed the September 20 action. 

In her statement from the main stage, Bibi Vanessa Inarunikia, representing the Bohio Atabei Taíno Women’s Circle encouraged continued actions and leadership by youth, noting this was just the beginning. Her statements were followed with the delegation singing a unity song in the Taíno language. 

The Climate Strike coincided with the second anniversary of when Hurricane Maria devasted Puerto Rico and centered on three core demands including calls for a Green New Deal; Respect of Indigenous Land and Sovereignty; and Environmental Justice. 

UCTPTN 09/21/2019


UCTP Representative will participate in Indigenous Political Engagement Summit

Tai Pelli, United Confederation of Taíno People
Des Moines, Iowa (UCTP Taíno News) – Seeding Sovereignty, an Indigenous womxn-led collective, in collaboration with the National Network Assembly, has curated the first Indigenous Political Engagement Summit taking place from August 22-25, 2019. The summit, which will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, is being organized for indigenous leaders to learn, network, and strategize around political engagement on the own Nations and in the U.S. Congress. The summit will bring together 35 innovative indigenous leaders including UCTP representative Tai Pelli.

The Indigenous Political Engagement Summit takes place in tandem with the National Network Assembly where over 200 grassroots leaders and organizers from across the country will be present to focus on deeping relationships and broadening skills. Tai Pelli is a Borikén Taíno, a member of the Guainía Taíno Tribe, and co-founder of the Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization. Her presentation will focus on using the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as other United Nations mechanisms accessible to Indigenous Peoples.

The United Confederation of Taíno People is an indigenous representative institution established in 1998 to protect, defend, and preserve the heritage, spiritual traditions, and human rights of Taíno Peoples.

 UCTPTN 08/20/2019 


Tata’niki Iraheta Takes First Place in Junior Men Traditional Dance

Tata'niki Iraheta (Taíno) at the 2019 Mohegan Wigwam Festival.
(Photo credit: Marisol Velasco)
Uncasville, CT (UCTP Taíno News) – Tata’niki Iraheta, a member of the Guainía Taíno Tribe, took first place in the Junior Men Traditional Dance at the Mohegan Wigwam Festival, which was held August 17 -18, 2019 in Connecticut. Eight-year Tata’niki has been participating in the Northeastern pow wow circuit since he was two-years-old, attending with his mother Chali’naru Dones, a representative of the United Confederation of Taíno People. His 1st place recognition at the Wigwam Festival follows two other place awards this year achieved during the Bear Mountain Pow Wow in New York and the Narragansett Pow Wow in Massachusetts. 

 UCTPTN 08/19/2019


UCTP Liaison Officer Angel Oritz attends Mohegan Wigwam Festival

Connecticut (UCTP Taíno News) - The second day Mohegan Wigwam Festival is taking place today, August 18th, 2019 at Fort Shantock in Uncasville, Connecticut. The annual festival is free open to the public and coincides with the corn harvest. The gathering will feature traditional Mohegan and other American Indian food, music, jewelry, vendors, and dancing. Hundreds of dancers are expected to attend. UCTP Liaison Officer Angel "Lionheart" Ortiz will represent the UCTP carrying the UCTP flag in the Grand Entry that starts the dancing each day at 12noon. The festival opens at 10AM and concludes at 7PM. 

UCTPTN 08/18/2019


Taíno Representative to Participate on International Round Table on International Indigenous Day

UCTP Taino News – Representing both the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) and the Caribbean Amerindian Development Organization (CADO), Tai Pellicier has been invited, as part of the activities of the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Day, to participate via Skype in an event that will focus on the Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The invitation was extended by members of the indigenous Crimean Tatar community in Ukraine. The event will be attended by several international experts on the rights of indigenous peoples and other indigenous peoples’ representatives. Pellicier will be the sole indigenous person from the western hemisphere to participate in the round table program taking place on August 9, 2019. The UN International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is celebrated around the world. It was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994, marking the day of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in 1982.

 UCTPTN 08/09/2019


Kasibahagua will present Taíno cultural at Bear Mountain Pow Wow

Some members of the Kasibahagua Taíno Cultural Society along with family members. 

Bear Mountain, NY (UCTP Taíno News) – Members of the Kasibahagua Taíno Cultural Society will share two cultural presentations, one on Saturday, August 3rd and one on Sunday, August 4 at the Bear Mountain Pow Wow. The group will also have an educational booth to continue to educate attendees throughout the weekend. Founded in 1994, members of Kasibahagua have promoted Taino culture and educated thousands using music, song, dance, and art at Pows Wows, festivals, conferences, and other events around the world. The Annual Bear Mountain Powwow will be held at Anthony Wayne Recreation Area, in Stony Point, New York. A Grand Entry of Dancers begins at 1 p.m. and again at 5 p.m., rain or shine. The event is open to the public who are welcome to bring lawn chairs. The Bear Mountain Powwow is hosted by the Redhawk Native American Arts Council. For more information contact native@redhawkcouncil.org or you can visit the Redhawk Native American Arts Council’s website at https://redhawkcouncil.org/. The Kasibahagua Taíno Cultural Society is a member organization of the United Confederation of Taíno People
UCTPTN 08/02/2019


Taíno delegation at Boston Puerto Rican Parade

Members of the Taíno delegation at the 52nd Annual Puerto Rican Festival in Boston, Massachusetts
(Photo courtesy of Chali'naru Dones) 
Boston, MA (UCTP Taino News) - The 52nd annual Puerto Rican Festival was held on Sunday, July 28, 2019, at Boston City Hall Plaza. The day began with a parade whose route began in Copley Square and ended at City Plaza. Among the parade participants was a delegation of Taíno people organized by Chali’naru Dones, a representative of the United Confederation of Taíno People. Dones is also a member of the Guainía Taíno Tribe. The annual celebration of Puerto Rican cultural heritage attracted thousands and festival featured cultural entertainment including storytelling and workshops, traditional food stands, and a health fair, as well as rides and games for children and adults.

UCTPTN 07/30/2019


UCTP Liaison Nova Saigo Attends Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe's Freedom Walk

UCTP Liaison Nova Saigo with Congresswoman Deb Haaland
attending the Annual Saginaw Chippewa Freedom Walk.
Mount Pleasant, Michigan (UCTP Taíno News) – The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan (SCIT) held their Annual Freedom Walk and their 35th Annual SCIT Pow Wow on July 27th, 2019. The SCIT Annual Freedom Walk promotes an alcohol-free and drug-free lifestyle. Participants are also encouraged to join in the Walk’s “recovery pledge.” The annual events began at 7am with an opening prayer and breakfast followed by speakers from the Tribal Community. The walk began at 9am with its route going from the Eagles Nest Tribal Gym to the Pow Wow grounds. The walkers entered the Pow Wow circle via its eastern door and proceed to circle the grounds. Among the walkers present at the event were U.S. Congresswoman Deb Haaland and UCTP Liaison Officer Nova Kaobana Saigo who was representing both the United Confederation of Taíno People and the Redrum Motorcycle Club.

UCTPTN 07/28/92019 


Puerto Rico’s Governor Expected to Resign Today

Some of the indigenous community members participating in the mass mobilization in San Juan on Monday, July 22, 2019. 
(Photo courtesy of Bibi Aya Joanna Aviles Soto)
Borikén (Puerto Rico) – Various news sources are reporting that Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is expected to resign today, Wednesday, July 24 after more than a week of demonstrations in San Juan, the island’s capital.

Hundreds of thousands of islanders have been taking part in demonstrations for over 10 days calling for Rossello’s resignation after the Center of Investigative Journalism 
published a series of leaked chat messages between the governor and his senior staff that included degrading "jokes" about victims of Hurricane Maria, as well as homophobic and misogynistic language about political opponents and government officials.

The leaks were published on July 13, which was the same week the FBI arrested Education Secretary Julia Keleher and Angela Avila Marrero, executive director of the island's health insurance administration as part of a federal corruption investigation. Rosello’s Chief of Staff, Ricardo Llerandi Cruz submitted his resignation on Tuesday, July 23. If Rossello does resign, he would be replaced by Justice Secretary Wanda Vazquez.

The demonstrations brought out Puerto Ricans from all sectors including members of the island’s indigenous peoples. Ahead of the massive action on July 22, a diverse coalition of Taíno and other indigenous peoples of the island published a declaration on July21st affirming solidarity with the public actions calling for Rossello’sresignation.

Indigenous solidarity was not limited to within the island as support actions took place across the Diaspora with Taíno people participating in these actions and in online "#RickyRenuncia" campaigns.

Taíno supporting the actions in solidarity from New York City.
(Photo courtesy of Bohio Atabei)

UCTP Taíno News 7/24/2019


Declaración de parte de miembros de los Pueblos Originarios de Borikén y de todo su territorio ancestral

Hoy, por este medio deseamos expresar como miembr@s de los Pueblos Originarios de Borikén, Pueblos Indígenas en toda su manifestación incluyendo la territorial ancestral y en la diáspora, unimos nuestras voces y apoyo al reclamo del Pueblo Borikua y Puertorriqueño para exigir la renuncia del actual gobernador de Puerto Rico, Ricardo Roselló Nevares.

Es en éste momento histórico, donde como miembr@s de la comunidad originaria de Borikén y quienes por siglos hemos sido recipientes de la opresión de un sistema impuesto colonial, decimos presente en un acto de solidaridad con tod@s nuestr@s herman@s.

¡Basta ya! La resiliencia y reivindicación de toda nuestra gente es la que ha permitido que hayamos enfrentado los retos más difíciles y que podamos decir de frente y de pie; ¡Aquí estamos y estaremos! La colectividad de abusos; como lo son la destrucción de nuestros modos de vida; el costo de vida inalcanzable y los sueldos que no suben a la par; el tener que habernos despedido de nuestros seres amados por verse obligad@s a cruzar el océano para tratar de protegerse del abandono social y el saqueo económico, mientras tras bastidores se buscaban medios de cómo lograr enriquecer a algunos a costillas del pueblo; los atropellos a nuestr@s niñ@s al cerrar escuelas; los atropellos a la salud de nuestra gente; donde las enfermedades no-contagiosas como cáncer, alta presión, enfermedades respiratorias, niñ@s que nacen con malformaciones sigue en aumento y donde los medios de atención médica siguen mermando; donde se ha abusado y continúa abusando de nuestra Madre Tierra con deforestación, contaminando nuestro aire, agua y tierra, y quien la defiende es criminalizad@, con el gobierno favoreciendo y utilizando la fuerza policiaca para defender las acciones de quienes nos matan poco a poco con sus contaminantes y prácticas.

Somos originari@s de un sistema matrilineal, donde siempre ha existido el respeto y la integridad a la mujer, al igual que a tod@ miembr@ de la comunidad. Somos un pueblo que brinda respeto a sus muert@s. Somos un pueblo donde la integridad y la dignidad preceden nuestras acciones.

Es por ésto y muchísimas razones más que despedimos a Ricky Roselló, determinamos que renuncie a su puesto. Consideramos que es el mejor modo de ponerle un fin a la incertidumbre, indignación que vivimos tod@s ante su empeño de permanecer en un puesto donde no lo queremos. ¡Que renuncie y se vaya de nuestro territorio! Que piense en sus hij@s que no merecen crecer en un ambiente en donde su padre es despreciado; Ell@s no merecen tener que vivir ésto; pero el pueblo tampoco, ni el cuerpo policíaco de Puerto Rico. Sabemos que algunos se hallan entre la espada y la pared, como también que algun@s se prestan para hacer daño a sus propios compatriotas. Sin embargo, reconocemos que no se puede catalogar a tod@s en general. De manera que tanto ell@s como sus familias también han de ser considerad@s.

La Representación Indígena no se va a detener, como tampoco ningún Borikua o Puertorriqueño que ya esté cansado de los atropellos y un futuro incierto. ¡No nos pararán!

¡¡¡ Descolonización ya !!!

Nota del Editor - La Declaración colocada arriba fue compartida por diversos individuos indígenas buscando apoyo; no es una declaración de la Confederación Unida del Pueblo Taíno (CUPT/UCTP, por sus siglas en inglés). La Declaración se ha publicado aquí en las noticias de la CUPT con propósitos informativos y educacionales.


UCTP Liaison Officer Fox Tree Presents Program on Stereotypes

UCTP Liaison Officer Claudia Fox Tree (at center in red) with members of
Marblehead's Indigenous Day Committee.
Marblehead, Massachusetts (UCTP Taíno News) - The Indigenous Peoples Day Committee of Marblehead invited UCTP Liaison Officer Claudia Fox Tree to present at a public program held the St. Andrews Church on April 29th. Fox Tree shared an activity about stereotypes, speaking for about an hour and 15 minutes on relevant history and reasons stereotypes are a problem. The program ended with 15 minutes of Q & A.

The event was well attended, and Fox Tree was able to distribute information and speak to people who attended the program to learn about their heritage or who were just interested in the subject. There were many elders in attendance. During the Q & A Fox Tree responded to various interesting topics and questions, including to persons who wanted to “focus on eliminating reservations and integrating indigenous peoples into the larger culture,” others who felt "everyone is an immigrant so why was IPD was needed,” and those who didn't think “one day was enough.”

Fox Tree also joined the group earlier the same day to raise awareness about Indigenous Peoples Day. Next week, Marblehead’s townspeople will vote on whether to change the name of Columbus Day to I
ndigenous Peoples Day.

UCTPTN 04/30/29/2019


UCTP Liaison Addresses Indigenous Peoples Corn Conference in Mexico

UCTP Liaison Officier Tai Pellicier speaking at an international conference
Tlaxcala, México (UCTP Taíno News) - The International Indian Treaty Council held its 4th International Corn Conference in Vicente Guerrero, Tlaxcala México from March 7-8, 2019. Indigenous Peoples from throughout the hemisphere and the Pacific attended the conference whose theme was “By our ancestral rights, we protect and guarantee our Food Sovereignty and that of our future generations.” The United Confederation of Taíno People was represented at the conference by Tai Pellicier, a UCTP Liaison Officer. 

Taking place on day one of the conference, Tai’s presentation was entitled “Transgénicos, una amenaza que va más allá que semillas.” It focused on Borikén (Puerto Rico), as an example, and touch up colonialism; the U.S. invasion; land grabbing; contamination of soil, air, and water, environmental racism; subsidies given to corporations not provided to local people; and free corporate access to water.

Panel topics at the conference included the History and Importance of Corn for Indigenous Peoples; Threats to milpa systems by genetically modified seeds, pesticides, loss of fertility of the land, dispossession, false solutions and the green economy; Youth and Food Sovereignty; International Work on Food Sovereignty; Practical uses for corn; and Strategies, Projects and Solutions. A conference declaration was also developed and adopted.

UCTP Taíno News 03.8.2019


Taíno Elder Hector “Barakutei” Gonzalez Crosses into the Spirit World

Taíno elder Hector Barakutei Gonzalez displays a traditional Taíno drum
Groton, Connecticut (UCTP Taíno News) – Elder Hector “Barakutei” Gonzalez Benitez, 71, a member of the Guainía Taíno Tribe and a Liaison Officer of the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) crossed into Koaibei, the Spirit World on Friday, February 22, 2019.

In a condolence message sent to the Gonzalez family, UCTP President, Roberto Múkaro Agüeibaná Borrero stated “Arakoel Barakutei, was a Taíno guaribo (warrior) who now has a special place with the ancestors.”

Elder or arakoel Barakutei was a veteran of the 19th and 20th Special Forces Group, which are the two National Guard groups of the United States Army Special Forces. Elder Gonzalez was also a retired security officer of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. As Liaison Officer for the Confederation, he consistently sought out ways to raise the visibility of the indigenous Taíno Peoples and regularly gave talks on Taíno culture. A passionate flute player, he often voluntarily performed for children at local area hospitals.

“The passing of this dear brother leaves a profound feeling of sadness in our hearts, as he was a beloved community member, a warrior, yet a gentle loving man who loved this Taíno Family and all Native American Peoples” stated Angel Lionheart Ortiz, a UCTP Liaison Officer in Connecticut.

Barakutei Gonzalez is survived by his 4 children Michelle Cruz, Myree Allen, Melody DaSilva, and Marc Gonzales, as well as 13 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild. His is also survived by his mother, Francisca Gonzalez Benitez and his brother, Julio Gonzalez Benitez.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 9th from 11am-1pm at the Byles-Groton Memorial Home, 310 Thames Street, Groton, CT.

UCTP Taíno News 03.7.2018


Taíno Daka Receives Award at Wisconsin Film Festival

Filmmaker Alez Zacarias; UCTP Liaison Officer, Martha Bahaku Brito; and UCTP President, Roberto Borrero attending the screening of Taíno Daka (I am) at the 2019 Green Bay Film Festival
Green Bay, Wisconsin (UCTP Taíno News) - The 7th annual Green Bay Festival took place January 31-March 3, 2019 at St. Norbert College’s Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts in De Pere, Wisconsin. Among the various selected entries screening at the festival was the documentary “Taíno Daka (I am)” by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Alex “Guaragua’ko” Zacarias. After the film’s screening, a question and answer session was held with Zacarias and Roberto “Múkaro Agüeibaná” Borrero, President of the United Confederation of Taíno People. Borrero was featured in the film. Taíno Daka was awarded 1st Runner Up in the Audience Choice/Wisconsin’s Own category. The film is currently available for download at the VIMEO platform

UCTP Taíno News 3.4.2019


Claudia Fox Tree, UCTP Liaison, Speaks at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event

UCTP Liaison Officer Claudia Fox Tree at the World of Wellesley MLK event
Wellesley, MA (UCTP Taino News) - Claudia Fox Tree, an educator and a Liaison Officer for the United Confederation of Taíno People spoke at the World of Wellesley’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. event on January 21st, Martin Luther King Day. The event featured Ms. Fox Tree’s keynote address which highlighted the need for allies and an introduction into First Nations history including atrocities committed by Columbus and the contributions of Caribbean Indigenous Nations. The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College also performed. The World of Wellesley is an organization dedicated to making Wellesley, MA a welcoming community where diversity is celebrated. 

UCTPTN 01.23.2019


UCTP News Photo of the Day: January 19, 2019

UCTP Photo of the Day: Pedro Peña (Taíno/Lumbee) and Cliff Mathias (Taíno/Kichwa), International President of the Redrum Motorcycle Club display the flag of the United Confederation of Taíno People at the Women's March in Washington D.C. on January 19, 2019.  


UCTP News Photo of the Day: January 18, 2018

UCTP Photo of the Day: Roberto Múkaro Borrero, President of the United Confederation of Taíno People, speaking on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. during the Indigenous Peoples March and Rally held on January 18, 2019. This is the same location that Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963. (Photo credit: Lidia Arriagada-Garcia) 


El Grito de Koaiuko (Coayuco)

Contemporary representations of Taíno kasike Mabodamaka and Agueibaná "el Bravo" in Borikén (Puerto Rico
Did You Know: January 3rd is the anniversary of “El Grito de Koaiuko (Coayuco)” also known as the Taíno Rebellion of 1511 in Puerto Rico (Borikén). Two of the main leaders or kasike (chief/s) associated in this uprising were Agüeibaná "el Bravo" and Mabodamaka. According to local history, the kasike (chieftain) Agüeibaná "el Bravo" convened a council with the main chiefs where they decided to launch a military offensive against the Spanish invaders. An associated attack against Villa Sotomayor was organized and most of the Spaniards who had settled there were killed. Other offensives were not as successful and both Agüeibaná "el Bravo" and Mabodamaka were killed by the Spaniards during other battles taking place in Aimako (Aymaco) and Yagüesa (Yagüeza/Yagüeca). UCTP Taino New 01/03/2019