Trinidad & Tobago will host CARIFESTA IX

Trinidad & Tobago (UCTP Taino News) - The twin-island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago is set to host CARIFESTA IX. Several indigenous contingents from throughout the Region will participate in this event. The town of Arima, the Carib capital of the island, will be the host for the indigenous delegations. During this same time the Secretariat of the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples (COIP) is scheduled to be passed from Guyana to Trinidad. The “handing-over” ceremony will be a hall mark event of CARIFESTA.

The theme of CARIFESTA IX is “Celebrating our People: Contesting the World Stage” and it will take place from September 22 – October 1st 2006. The Ninth Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA 1X) is envisioned as an avenue to showcase Caribbean art and culture, giving impetus to developing the arts, and facilitating and encouraging artistic and intellectual exchange within the Caribbean Region. CARIFESTA is also considered an event that will accrue trade and economic benefits to the Region.
UCTPTN 08.31.2006


UCTP Taino News: Regional Briefs from the Caribbean

Tropical Storm Ernesto makes its way through the Caribbean to Bimini (Florida)*

The season's fifth tropical storm Ernesto has already affected the East Caribbean, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

Southern Florida is now feeling the affects of the storm, now designated a “Tropical Depression.

A weakening Ernesto may linger across parts of South Florida into early Thursday. Although flooding, strong winds, and even tornados are possible, the national weather service reports that no hazardous weather is expected beyond Thursday with relation to this system.

*Bimini is a Taino term for the area known today as Florida

Heavy Rains Displace 1,500 Dominicans

Santo Domingo, Aug 28 (Prensa Latina) Heavy rains in the last few days have flooded various Dominican provinces and displaced nearly 1,500, revealed the Center of Emergency Operations (COE) on Monday.

COE director Col. Juan Manuel Mendez stated that those evacuated remain in homes of relatives and friends, although some families have returned to their homes as the weather conditions have started to improve.

Mendez estimated 400 affected houses in the provinces of Santo Domingo, San Cristobal, Sanchez Ramirez and the National District, where the flooding and drainage problems, mainly in the poorest zones, forced immediate evacuation of the population.

The National Meteorology System forecast continuing rains, but with less intensity, accompanied by electric storms and occasional gusts as a consequence of Tropical Storm Ernesto.

Dengue Hits Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, Aug 28 (Prensa Latina) Dominican Public Health Secretary Bautista Rojas reported an epidemic of dengue with 2,262 cases.

Medical School President Enriquillo Matos said it was inadequate to declare an epidemic with 1,800 cases, 600 in the capital and Santo Domingo province, which began to fumigate since last Thursday.

Still, Bautista Rojas announced the beginning of campaign in coordination with the mayor's offices to control breeding sites of its transmitter, the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

He also proposed a garbage collection drive, elimination of disposable containers called for raising public awareness.

UCTP Taino News Note: The UCTP requests that our community keep all those affected by Tropical Storm Ernesto and the Dengue Fever epidemic in your prayers and thoughts.

Amazon Logging Feeds Hurricanes

Manaus, Jul 20 (Prensa Latina) Studies presented by leading world scientists forecast dire consequences for the Caribbean and southern American regions if deforestation of the Amazon is not halted, said the head of a development agency here in Brazil.

Traveling with leading scientists, religious leaders and politicians in the Amazon waterways, Lelei LeLaulu, president of Counterpart International, a Washington-based non-profit agency, said continued massive logging of the rainforest will disrupt the flow of warm air in the atmosphere, leading to increased hurricane activity in the Caribbean and the Gulf states of America and Mexico.

LeLaulu said "climate scientists have compiled studies which conclude the vast Amazonia is more the heart of the planet for its role in pumping moisture and rain to South America and beyond," asserts LeLaulu.

"Basically, the scientists are telling us forest destruction in the Amazon leads to a failure of forest transpiration, the forest pumps, leaving heat in the southern north Atlantic which in turn gives birth to more extreme hurricanes in the Caribbean," he cautioned.

It also means the bread baskets of southern Brazil and Argentina could be turned to desert without the rain generated by the Amazon, he added.

Quoting from submissions made by top Brazilian scientists and their colleagues from the leading European and American academies of science to a high-level meeting on the Amazon, LeLaulu asserted, "we are now able to explain why the sea temperature of the southern Atlantic has been rising, giving birth to more extreme hurricanes which ravage the Caribbean and North America."

Tom Spencer, vice chairman of the Institute for Environmental Security in the Hague, said this is the missing link and holds the possibility of a new deal in the international climate negotiations such as the Kyoto Protocol.

The scientists are telling us we are running out of time as forests struggle to survive. The upcoming United Nations climate conference in Nairobi this November has a new sense of urgency, said Spencer.

Since 1995, Religion, Science and the Environment series (RSE) has convened five symposia to study the fate of the world's main bodies of water, which cover seven-tenths of the earth's surface.

These assemblies of scientists, environmentalists, policy-makers and representatives of the world's main religious faiths have established an environmental ethics movement, and drawn global attention to the degradation of the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, the Danube River, the Adriatic Sea, and the Baltic Sea.


Tobacco Museum: Cigar Rings and Playing Cards

Teresa de Jesús Torres Espinosa

Havana, Aug 25 (Prensa Latina) Cigar rings, postcards and playing cards mix in an exhibition at the Tobacco Museum called Coleccionando (Collecting), where everything surrounds tobacco as the symbol of the Cuban national identity.

A close look at the sample, open to the public during the months of August and September on one of the galleries of the Museum of Tobacco, reveals different compositions from Danís Mederos Rivero, who establishes a kind of game with tobacco rings and creates wonderful pictures with images, which could as well adorn an office, the living room or the dormitory of a child.

Advertisements from cigars and postcards from Brazil, from the beginning of the 20th Century, French match cases, Chilean playing cards, ashtrays and wooden as well as cardboard boxes from different brands of Havana cigars, such as Guantanamera, Cohíba, Partagás, Montecristi and Romeo y Julieta, are also integrated to the project that engages the collector Roberto Arango Soler.

From his personal collection, which comprises about 40 thousand tobacco rings from Cuba and 10 thousand from other countries, Arango Soler, who is also a cultural promoter, selected those which were related with playing cards with motives regarding the leave (the period from 1880-1953), from Mexico, the United States and Cuba.

Bachelor Zoe Nocedo, director of the Museum located in the old colonial mansion of Mercaderes number 120, in Old Havana, made good use of the opening of the exhibition to announce numerous activities to be held in the Museum of Tobacco during September, among them the vitofilia workshop and the space Talking With, which will include Roberto Zurbano, director of the Casa de las Américas editorial fund as a guest.


Curanderos at 'El Cachote'

by: Jose Barreiro / Indian Country Today

Eloy Rodriguez and the cloud forest

SIERRA DE BAHORUCO, Dominican Republic - Even here in these ancient mountains that mesmerized and paralyzed the Spanish conquistadors, where the myth of extinction is attached to anything indigenous or autochthonous, there he is still: an old-time curandero on the side of the rough mountain road, sitting on his haunches and slightly hidden by the dense forest. When we stopped our grizzled truck, he stood, gruff, craggy face blending to a greeting smile. We identified ourselves and he welcomed us to his mountain ranch. There, a couple of students from Cornell University, part of a much larger contingent from several colleges, listened in as we talked.

His name was Esporminio Felix, and some folks in the high mountain area renowned for its dense, cloud forest cover, as Esporminio himself will tell you, consider him a brujo. He vehemently denies this, of course. ''I am a curandero (healer) and a comadron (male midwife),'' he shrugged. ''My mother was a midwife and my father also cured using the herbs, the trees and even the rocks.''

Esporminio uses many plants; and he is not alone among his Dominican and Haitian neighbors to know and use local plant medicines for physical or even spiritual ailments. But of the various folks we met in several days of trekking and driving on dense trails and nearly impassible mountain roads, he was at once the most forthcoming and the most recalcitrant of people. Immediately, matter-of-factly, he shared his recipe for common colds and other problems, then an exacting, long list of plants and spices that when mixed the proper way, he claims, will cure hepatitis. ''You may or may not believe it,'' he said. ''But people get cured.''

A man standing next to him, machete in hand, nodded. He had stopped by to pick up a medicine from the curandero.

Esporminio went on to relate the uses of a number of plant and spiritual medicines, to answer many questions and ask a few of his own, fascinating the students with the keen sense of natural-world knowledge that resides among the common folks in these Caribbean mountains.

Students, and their mentor from Cornell University, Eloy Rodriguez, had inquired on Taino or Caribbean indigenous contexts still reflected in the mestizo mountain cultures. I asked don Esporminio: ''Maestro, when you pick your medicine, do you concentrate, spiritually, do you connect to the plant?''

''You mean, ask permission?'' Esporminio's eyes lit up with energy. ''Well, of course. You want her to give you her strength, to know why you would disturb her, even specifically who you intend to help.''

Another telling sign of indigenous legacy: Esporminio, of obvious mestizo extraction, prays using the four directions (los cuatro cardinales), always, and also invokes mother earth (la madre tierra). On the subject of picking medicine plants, he professes to always leave something behind, even a coin (una moneda) for the plant. It is a type of reciprocity with medicines found among many Native cultures. Katsi Cook, Mohawk midwife, also on the interview, exchanged information on treatments for a laboring woman.

The students are fascinated, perhaps having assumed people such as don Esporminio had simply vanished from Dominican Republic, which along with Haiti forms Hispaniola, the second-largest of the Caribbean islands. It has been a full morning, including a long visit at an extremely poor Haitian family homestead - this gave much cause for reflection - and two other family mountain hamlets, all of which use plant medicines daily, from house gardens and from the bush.

At base camp of El Cachote, Rodriguez lifted the leaves of a plant to the small ray of sunshine shooting through the thick, cloudforest canopy. He whispers the scientific name to the student who had brought the recently harvested specimen. Rodriquez is a Cornell professor famous for his work on rainforest and traditional medicines. Next to him, don Fran Usmal, a local elder, and Carlos Pena, a noted Dominican professor, also discussed the uses of the plant. ''It's good for scars and cuts,'' said don Fran, the old man of the mountain and well-respected for his knowledge of plants and animals in his environment, ''applied as a poultice.'' The student noted the information.

In recent years, Rodriguez has taken hundreds of college students, including many North American Indians, into Dominican Republic, Venezuela's Amazon and the Maya peninsula in Yucatan to work with community folk and in-country scientists, intending to understand most fully the uses and scientific bases of traditional plant medicines. ''We directly study diseases, work with patients to understand the nature and conditions and the most effective treatments.'' Funded in part by the National Institute of Health, Rodriguez's program is highly sought after by students who seek experience in the field and ''among the regular community people,'' said Rodriguez, who was profiled on the cover of The New York Times Magazine in 2002 and is recognized as a founder of the science of zoopharmacognosy (''zoo'' for animals, ''pharma'' for drugs and ''cognosy'' for recognition).

A Chicano with roots in the California fields, Rodriquez, Ph.D., is the James A. Perkins Professor of Environmental Studies at Cornell University. Rodriguez's studies with animals in the bush, to determine useful medicinal plants good for parasites and other tropical ailments, is highly respected. His biggest passion, however, is introducing young people to science and to the natural world.

This particular camp of El Cachote, in the high cloud-mountains of Dominican Republic (Quisqueya), provided a few rustic cabins in the high canopy, a meeting room and a kitchen and dining area, although most students slept in tents, sharing latrines and bathing in concrete shower rooms with cold water. El Cachote - as an eco-center with strong community support - sustains rain- and cloud forests of substantial biodiversity, where dozens of medicinal plants and trees, birds and other species are still in the process of identification and study 500 years after Columbus first spotted these mountains. The local community manages and supports a largely volunteer project to protect the mountain's green canopy and biodiversity and has pursued partnerships in a program of sustainable, academic eco-tourism. Rodriguez's program, which demands a hands-on approach, has been an important supporter of the community-led effort.

''Scientific training, research methodology, actual plant use: this is very important,'' said Rodriguez. ''But the most exciting for me is to see some quite privileged students, from across the North American spectrum, come and meet the range of people in remote and economically poor areas like on this mountain. I see how it changes them. This is where I see the compassion and the sharing begin to happen. To see this part of people open up gives these educational tours a real-world dimension.''

The use of natural medicines in combating illness in Native communities of North and South America is a driving force for Rodriguez. His extensive work among Amazonian tribes revealed a plague-like level of malaria among rainforest villages. This is presently a major focus of his attention. The other is the epidemic proportions of the ''sugar disease,'' diabetes, among Northern indigenous peoples. ''We need a major alliance of medicine people, scientists and foundations, to tackle these major diseases which are killing so many Native forest and mountain people.''

One evening as the sun receded and the frogs and insects intoned their nocturnal songs, don Maltiano Moreta, main organizer of the local association of forest protectors, recalled the history of the sierras we were overlooking. The Bahoruco is the mountain chain where the Taino cacique or chief, Enriquillo or Guarocuya (Nighthawk), fought the conquistadors to a standstill from 1519 to 1534. The Enriquillo war resulted in the first treaty of the Americas between an indigenous nation in arms and a European power. ''That was a long time ago,'' don Maltiano recognized, ''but it can be said that Taino fought hard for these mountains.''

Pointing to distant peaks that protruded through a ring of clouds, Rodriguez added, ''Perhaps Cacique Enriquillo walks these mountains still.''

*Source: http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096413449

Spanish university students set to explore Dominican Taino legacy

Tahina-Can Bancaja Expedition begins today

Santo Domingo.- 60 university students from Spain will arrive today Friday in the Dominican Republic to participate in the 3rd Tahina-Can Bancaja Expedition, for an 18 day tour of this Caribbean country, itinerary that includes adventure, cooperation and journalism.

The Tahina-Can Expedition is a project organized by the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Bancaja Foundation, consisting in traveling to study in a Latin America country, where students of all disciplines and Spanish universities take part.

Within the trip’s framework, students receive conferences and workshops on the visited country and conduct different journalistic works. Each student receives 400 euros from Bancaja to finance his trip.

Under the title "Across the Land of the Tainos: The door to the new world," the Tahina-Can Expedition will tour the Dominican Republic, so the expeditionaries know the legacy of the Taino culture, study Columbus’ first voyages and experience this Caribbean country’s history.

*Source: Fundacion Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE). Iban Campo.

**Photo of Petroglyphs from Las Caritas, Lago Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

Rename the Island: Quisqueya, not Hispaniola

"Quisqueya" honors Taino culture whereas "Hispaniola" recalls the Amerindian genocide
By Odette Roy Fombrun

The Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic share a Caribbean island, one of the four islands of the Greater Antilles that the Tainos, before Columbus's arrival, called Haiti, Bohio or Quisqueya – meaning "Mountainous Land" or "Great Land." The island was baptized La Isla Española (Hispaniola) by the Spanish colonizers. French colonizers subsequently called it Saint-Domingue. When proclaiming its independence on January 1, 1804, the Western part of the island of Saint Domingue took back the Amerindian name of Haïti (Ayiti). From that date on, the entire island was known throughout the world as the island of Haiti.

In 1930, to avoid confusion between the name of the Republic of Haiti and that of the entire island, the U.S.G.B. (United States Geographic Board) decided, unilaterally, to name the island Hispaniola in homage to the Spanish colonizer, thereby erasing all traces of the Amerindians who occupied the island before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Unfortunately, Haitian and Dominican authorities of the time did not protest this decision with enough force or perseverance, nor did they mobilize any interested parties against this assassination of the island's Amerindian past. It is important to rectify this serious error as soon as possible: the Taino martyrs deserve immortality.

Such was the opinion of the historian Edmond Mangonès in 1934. At a conference held in Montevideo, he vehemently protested the arbitrary decision of the USGB that completely ignored the historical truths of the island (see the Bulletin de la Société d'Histoire et de Géographie d'Haïti, Vol 5, No. 15, Juillet 1934; see also Odette Roy Fombrun, L'Ayiti des Indiens (1992: 138,139)).

At a time when the Caribbean moves toward unification, when Europe speaks of sponsoring only those projects that take into account both parts of the island, and at a time when bilateral activities are planned in the tourism industry to take advantage of the Amerindian cultural heritage, it is important to adopt for our island a name recalls not the genocide of its aboriginal people, but rather a name that recalls the past of resistance to oppression, a past shared by the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti. These two Republics cannot renounce their valiant Amerindian ancestors such as Caonabo, Hatuey and Cotubanama, nor can they forget the abominable massacres of Vega Real and of Xaragua, the murder of Queen Anacaona, nor the triumph of Cacique Henri, as Marie-Hélène Laraque has shown in her life's work devoted to the study of the cultural heritage of the American Indians.

Laraque's research has shown that the first Agreement signed between the Americas and Europe was The Treaty of Cacique Henri (Le Traité du Cacique Henri) in the 16th Century. Spain had to send an ambassador to meet with the Cacique. The emperor Charles the Fifth sent Barrio Nuevo as his delegate to sign the Agreement with Henri. Thus, the first Treaty ever signed in the Americas was signed on this island in the 16th Century. It was The Treaty of the Cacique Henri (Traité du Cacique Henri). It recognizes the right of freedom to the Cacique Henri and to his fellow companions.

In memory of this important history we share, I call upon:

- Dominican and Haitian leaders and historians
- all those who believe in the importance of the Taino cultural
- other Caribbean countries
- organizations of Native-Americans and of other native populations
throughout the world
- the United Nations

It is time to fight against this name that constitutes a serious injustice against these people, recognized as martyred, and a violation of the right of Haitian and Dominican people to their common Taino heritage. The goal of this mobilisation is for the U.S.G.B. to give back to this West Indian island a name that evokes its rich Amerindian heritage. We propose the adoption of:

"Quisqueya" recalls Taino culture whereas "Hispaniola" recalls the
Amerindian genocide.
"Rename the Island: Quisqueya, not Hispaniola" is a translation by
Thomas C. Spear of Odette Roy Fombrun's original essay, "Renommons
l'île: Quisqueya, non pas Hispaniola" (December 2000).

© 2000 Odette Roy Fombrun ;
© 2003 Odette Roy Fombrun & « île en île » for the translation.
All rights reserved

*Source: Haitian Arawak Movement


Puerto Rico investigates manatee deaths

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Associated Press) - Authorities are investigating the deaths of five manatees killed after a boat collided with the endangered marine mammals last week in San Juan Bay, officials said Tuesday.

Bodies of the manatees - four males and a female - were found around the bay between Wednesday and Friday with broken ribs and punctured lungs. They appeared to have been killed by the same large propeller-driven boat, said Antonio Mignucci Giannoni, director of the Caribbean Stranding Network.

"An investigation will be conducted to allow us to clarify what happened there," said Javier Velez Arocho, secretary of the island's natural resources department. He said no suspects have been identified.

Manatees are protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, which imposes fines on anyone found guilty of harming animals threatened with extinction.

Puerto Rico has a small population of the large animals, about 300 to 350, Mignucci said.

Four other manatees have been found dead this year on the island's coasts, according to Mignucci. On average, six to nine are found dead each year, many killed by collisions with watercraft.

Manatees are found throughout the Caribbean and are migratory and vegetarian. They live in saltwater but search by instinct for fresh water and underwater plants.

Navajo Nation talk business without Fidel

Aug 23, 2006 — By Marc Frank

HAVANA (Reuters) - The highest-level U.S. delegation to visit Cuba since Fidel Castro handed over power left the island on Wednesday with a historic deal on trade between the communist country and a Navajo agribusiness but no message for Washington.

New Mexico Rep. Tom Udall, a Democrat, said his delegation had met neither the ailing Cuban leader nor acting President Raul Castro, Fidel Castro's younger brother.

"If they had wanted to talk I would have been willing to do it," said Udall, when asked if he carried any messages back to the Bush administration.

"I spent my time on cultural and trade issues," added Udall, who was accompanied by New Mexico state's Secretary of Agriculture Miley Gonzalez and a group of businessmen.

Udall's group will be going home with a contract for the Navajo Nation to sell farm products grown by its Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, which cultivates some 68,000 acres in New Mexico.

"We signed a letter of intent between the Navajo Nation and Cuba to sell beans, corn, wheat and other products," Gonzalez said.

"I think this is historic in terms of a Native American tribe and Cuba signing an agreement," Udall added, saying there was a great deal of empathy between tribal and Cuban representatives.

Tsosie Lewis, general manager of Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, said his business would now have to study the various U.S. regulations on doing business with Cuba.

"We sell millions of tons of beans to Mexico, but this will be much more complicated because of the red tape," Lewis said.

The trade embargo has exceptions for agricultural goods paid for in cash and Cuba has purchased more than $1 billion in U.S. food since 2002, mainly corn, wheat, rice, chicken and soy products.

Fidel Castro often meets with visiting U.S. lawmakers and their agriculture delegations trying to sell food and has always shown an interest in Native Americans, but did not meet with this group.

Castro temporarily handed over the reins of power to his brother on July 31 after undergoing emergency surgery to stop intestinal bleeding attributed by the Cuban authorities to his workaholic pace.

The Bush administration, which has labeled the hand-over of power from one Castro brother to another as an unacceptable "dynastic succession," has in recent years tightened enforcement of a more than four-decade-old trade embargo on Cuba.

It has also stepped up pressure for a transition to multi-party democracy since Fidel Castro temporarily stepped aside.

Copyright 2006 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


UCTP Public Notice: The Passing of Maori Queen...

Taino’ti Guaitiao (Greetings relatives),

The United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) pauses to offer its sincerest condolences to the Maori Nation of Aotearoa (New Zealand) on the passing of the great Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

Much like the traditional teachings of the Maori, our ancestral teachings affirm that that she will continue to watch over and guide you all from the home of your ancestors. Our thoughts are with you at this time.

Oma’bahari (With respect)
Roberto Múcaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
UCTP Regional Coordinating Office

Naniki Reyes Ocasio
Founder, Caney Quinto Mundo,
Boriken (Puerto Rico)

Elba Anaca Lugo,
President, Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos,
Boriken (Puerto Rico)

Don Cesar Serraty,
Fundacion Luz Cosmica Taino,
Quiskeya (Dominican Republic)

Chief Reginaldo Fredericks,
Joboshirima Lokono Arawak Community
Estado Bolivar, Venezuela


FINAL VOYAGE: The waka carrying the casket of the Maori Queen
Dame Te Atairangikaahu glides down the Waikato river on its way to
Taupiri Mountain for the burial.
JOHN SELKIRK/Dominion Post


Related Story: http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411749/815504

Rejecting Papal Bull: Indigenous in Americas Just Say 'No' To Papal Bull

Rejecting Papal Bull
Indigenous in Americas Just Say 'No' To Papal Bull

Brenda Norrell,
Indian Country Today,
August 16, 2006

"Phoenix, AZ: Indigenous in the Americas are demanding that the 'doctrines of discovery,' the papal bulls that led to the seizure of American Indian homelands, be rescinded. At the Summit of Indigenous Nations on Bear Butte in South Dakota, delegations of indigenous nations and nongovernmental organizations passed a strongly worded resolution condemning the historical use of the doctrine of discovery as an instrument of genocide.

Tupac Enrique Acosta, coordinator at Tonatierra in Phoenix, said the effort at Bear Butte continues the indigenous battle to halt genocide of indigenous peoples and seizures of their homelands in the Americas. Tonatierra was among the organizations at the Summit of Indigenous Nations taking action to rescind the doctrines of discovery:

Papal Bull Inter Caetera of 1493 and the 1496 Royal Charter of the Church of England. 'The Indigenous Nations have resolved, here at the base of Mato Paha [Bear Butte], that the Pope of the Catholic Church and the Queen of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury rescind these doctrines of discovery for having served to justify and pave the way for the illegal dispossession of aboriginal land title and the subjugation of non-Christian peoples to the present day,' according to the summit's statement.

Forty delegations of indigenous spiritual and political leaders, as well as NGOs, signed the resolution. 'These papal bulls have been the basis for the extinguishment of aboriginal land title and the subjugation of indigenous peoples of Abya Yala [North and South America]. The implementation of the papal bulls evolved in the United States through the Supreme Court decision of Johnson v. McIntosh [1823] which established the precedent for the denial of aboriginal title to American Indian lands in the United States,' according to the summit.

'It has been resolved by 23 Nations and NGO's and 100 individual signatories that the 'Doctrine of Discovery' is a legal and political fiction in violation of the rights of indigenous peoples and intellectual act of oppression which continues to serve to suppress and repress the indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere.'"



To read the 1493 Papal Bull and to learn more about its effects on Indigenous Peoples, visit the website of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) at:


Taino Presentation Tonight in the Bronx

Bronx, NY (UCTP Taino News) - Roberto Mucaro Borrero will give a presentation on Taino culture for familes as part of a series of multicultural programs organized by the community organization Mindbuilders. The program takes place in the Bronx, NY and starts at 7:pm sharp. It is free and open to all.

Mind-Builders is located at 3415 Olinville Avenue, just off Gunhill Road (near White Plains Road). By train it is the #2 to Gun Hill Road (at White Plains Rd.) - walking West on block past the ON THE RUN gas station and making a left onto Olinville Ave. Walking in 1/2 block, you'll see Mind-Builders on the right side of the street with the bright blue doors.

UCTPTN 08.16.2006



New York, NY - Louie Leonardo, a Taíno from Quiskeya (Dominican Republic) stars in the film “End of the Spear”, which was released in theaters in January 2006. The film, based on a true story, is now available on DVD. Leonardo is a member of and performed with the Cacibajagua Cultural Society and has extensive stage and film experience. He has frequently appeared on television in such episodes as “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” “Law and Order,” “ER,” and “Charlie’s Angel’s,” among others.

Leonardo has also appeared in a number of motion pictures, including "Fragments," and "Exile," director Ron Shelton's "Play It To The Bone," "Shaft," directed by John Singleton, and director Fred Schepisi's "A Few Good Years." He was the Director Jim Hanson’s first choice for the important leading role of the Waodani Warrior Mincayani.

The film takes place in the Ecuadorian Amazon as a missionary group journeys to the heart of the jungle in search of the Waodani, a tribe of fierce warriors on the brink of extinction. When five of the missionary men are speared to death by a group of tribesmen led by a fierce warrior (Louie Leonardo), their families are left husbandless and fatherless. Undeterred by their tremendous loss and spurred on by hope, the families decide to remain in Ecuador, and risk living among the Waodani. But the effects of that first encounter have yet to subside: A young boy (Chase Ellison), struggling to unlock the secret of his father's death (Chad Allen), must learn to accept a tragedy he cannot change in this powerful, true story of sacrifice, courage and redemption. For more information on the film visit End of the Spear website.



New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) - The commemoration of the United Nations International Day of the World's Indigenous People will continue at the American Museum of Natural History on Saturday, August 12th from 1:30pm-5:00pm.

A screening of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues educational film ‘Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Vol.1' will begin the program. Following the screening will be a discussion with Sonia Smallacombe of the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum.

The program will also include musical performances by the indigenous ‘fusion’ group MATOU and by Tama Waipara (Maori) of New Zealand. All these programs are free with suggested Museum admission. For more information visit the Museum’s website.
UCTPTN 08.11.2006



New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) - The United Nations commemoration of the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples was held successfully on August 9th 2006 at UN headquarters. Following a screening of the film “Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations (Vol.1), messages from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Vicky Corpuz, the Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, among others, were read to a diverse audience of Indigenous Peoples, NGO representatives and UN officials.

Kofi Annan noted “the annual observance of this International Day recognizes the achievements of the world’s indigenous people, who number more than 370 million and who live in some 70 countries. But it is also a moment to acknowledge the critical challenges they face.”

The program, entitled “Indigenous Peoples: Humans Rights, Dignity and Development with Identity,” opened with a prayer blessing and welcoming songs from Barbara James Snyder (Washoe/Paiute). Presentations were made by UN agency representatives, a representative of the government of Peru, PFII member Chief Wilton Littlechild (Cree), and actress Q'Orianka Kilcher. Ms. Kilcher is of descendant of the Huachipaeri and Quechua Nations and she gave an impassioned statement from a youth perspective. The young star who portrayed Pocahontas in the film “The New World” stated that she felt a “strong responsibility towards the dream for universal dignity, compassion and basic Human Rights as a form of true human development.”

Kilcher also recognized “clear connection between pressing environmental issues and human rights abuse” as well as inaccurate portrayals of indigenous peoples in popular culture, media, and cinema.

The event’s Master of Ceremonies, Roberto Mucaro Borrero (Taíno), welcomed Kilcher’s statement and provided as an example the racist portrayal of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples in their Disney’s film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”.

Cultural presentations were made by members of the Crimean Tater Association (indigenous from the Ukraine) and by Tama Waipara (Maori). An Indigenous Art Exhibition by Inty Muenala (Kichwa) was also on display.

Borrero closed the Day’s activities with a song in the Taíno language.

In 1994, the UN General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World's Indigenous People shall be observed on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People. The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

Photo: The Borrero family at the UN with actress Q'Orianka Kilcher

UCTPTN 08.10.2006

*To review statements made on UN IP Day visit the following websites:



New York - As the United Nations today marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the annual commemoration should serve as an opportunity to reflect on the critical challenges confronting these populations.

“Much remains to be done to alleviate the poverty faced by indigenous people; to protect them against massive violations of human rights; and to safeguard against the discrimination that, for example, forces many indigenous girls to drop out of school,” said Mr. Annan in a message.

There are estimated to be more than 370 million indigenous peoples in 70 countries. Many of them struggle with a lack of basic healthcare, limited access to education, loss of control over land, and economic and social marginalization.

Among the observances planned to mark the Day was including a daylong programme of panel discussions, art exhibits, cultural performances and a film screening at UN Headquarters.

Speakers will include Q’orianka Kilcher, lead actress in the 2005 Hollywood film “The New World.” The young actress is a descendant of the Huachipaeri and Quechua people of Peru and will speak about her recent trip to the country.

Discussions this year will draw upon the theme of “Partnership for Action and Dignity, ” the central focus of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, which runs from 2005 to 2015.

The observance comes two months after the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the new Human Rights Council at its inaugural session in Geneva. The General Assembly is expected to adopt the Declaration by the end of the year, and advocates believe it will serve as a crucial tool for protecting indigenous rights.

The Secretary-General called the Declaration “an instrument of historic significance for the advancement of the rights and dignity of the world’s indigenous peoples.” He added that “the perspectives, concerns, experiences and world views of indigenous peoples have a crucial role to play in addressing global challenges.”

“Indigenous people around the world continue to live in hardship and danger,” said Sergei Ordzhonikidze, the Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva at a ceremony last week. “Many outstanding issues remain between indigenous peoples’ interests and national or private development, between the livelihoods of the peoples concerned and public policies and projects.”

Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), said his agency was particularly concerned about the “thousands of indigenous women who are victims of gender-based violence in need of legal protection and health services, the high maternal mortality rates of indigenous women, and the lack of information on sexual and reproductive health and development opportunities for indigenous adolescents and youth.”

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Colombia renewed its call on armed groups there to avoid targeting the indigenous population. The agency has repeatedly warned that indigenous groups there are increasingly at risk of disappearing, as violence associated with four decades of civil conflict and the cocaine trade has forced thousands to flee their ancestral lands into neighbouring countries.

“Indigenous culture is closely linked to the land and often based on belief that the spirits of ancestors and magical beings live in the earth and water of their reservations,” said UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis at a press briefing in Geneva on Tuesday. “Forced displacement leads to the loss of tradition, culture and language – and often to the disintegration of the group’s identity.”

2006-08-09 00:00:00.000

UCTP & Ecospirituality Foundation Follow-up Pirates of the Caribbean Protest at recent UN Meeting in Geneva, 31 July – 4 August

Geneva, Switzerland (UCTP Taino News) – A declaration issued by the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) concerning the racist portrayal of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples in the recent Disney film “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” was presented to the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva.

In solidarity with the Taino People, the declaration was presented to the Acts of the Working Group and approximately 1000 copies were distributed to the meeting’s participants by representatives of the Ecospirituality Foundation.

The Ecospirituality Foundation is an Italian based NGO in consultative status with the United Nations. The issue was also promoted at a special Side Event organized the by organization, where additional copies of the UCTP Declaration were distributed. The UCTP Declaration can be reviewed at the website of the Ecospirituality Foundation (http://www.eco-spirituality.org/menu-e.htm).


Manatee Seen as a Good Sign to Taino People

New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) - A recent sighting of a massive manatee traveling up New York’s Hudson River is seen as an important event by Taino Indians in New York. A representative of the United Confederation of Taino People, Roberto Mucaro Borrero noted that “for some of our community this rare occurrence is seen as a positive prophetic sign.”

The Taino were the first Indigenous Peoples in the Western Hemisphere to encounter Columbus and manatee is a Taino word. Manatees are commonly associated with the warm waters of Florida and the Caribbean.

“We relate this sighting to another that took place some years ago in Boriken (Puerto Rico). Both of these occurrences are seen as an opportunity for a renewed relationship with the natural world and responsible action” continued Borrero.

The Taino traditionally view the manatee in a manner similar to the way North American Plains Indians view the buffalo.

Borrero also observed that “this manatee comes to New York at a perfect time as we will commemorate the 12th International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples at United Nations headquarters tomorrow on August 9th and we will certainly bring the spirit of this sacred sea-going relative to the United Nations.”

While a rare sight it is not unprecedented for manatees to travel this far north a few have been sighted along the shores of Long Island and even as far north as Rhode Island.

The manatee has been spotted at 23rd Street near Chelsea Piers, West 125th Street, and later in Westchester County. It appeared to be healthy.

UCTP Taino News 08.08.2006


Taino'ti Guaitiao (Greetings relatives):

On behalf of the Taíno People and Nation represented by the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP), we express our solidarity with the recent resolution concerning the “Papal Bull Inter Caetera of 1493 and 1496 Royal Charter of the Church of England” issued at the “Summit of Indigenous Nations” held in sacred the Black Hills Mountains of South Dakota (3 August 2006).

As the Taíno, Carib and Arawak Nations were the first Indigenous Nations to suffer the genocidal effects of the “Doctrine of Discovery” and as the UCTP has and continues to actively campaign for the rescission of the Inter Caetera Bull (Papal Bulls) of 1493, we wholeheartedly welcome this initiative being put forth by our indigenous relatives from throughout Abya Yala (North and South America).

In the Spirit of our Ancestors,
Roberto Múcaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
UCTP Office of International Relations and
Regional Coordination

Naniki Reyes Ocasio
Founder, Caney Quinto Mundo,
Boriken (Puerto Rico)

Elba Anaca Lugo,
President, Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos,
Boriken (Puerto Rico)

Don Cesar Serraty,
Fundacion Luz Cosmica Taino,
Quiskeya (Dominican Republic)

Chief Reginaldo Fredericks,
Joboshirima Lokono Arawak Community
Estado Bolivar, Venezuela

UCTP PN 08.08.2006


UCTP Taino News Editor's Note: To read the 1493 Papal Bull and to learn more about its effects on Indigenous Peoples, visit the UCTP Website at http://www.uctp.org/papalbull.htm


United Nations International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Activists to celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on 9 August at the UN

Living with dignity, human rights and meaningful development to be highlighted; Indigenous Hollywood actress to take part

New York, 7 August – The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People will be celebrated around the world on 9 August. At United Nations Headquarters, core issues and concerns of indigenous peoples will take centre stage in day-long events in New York.

Along with an art exhibition by Kichwa artist Inty Muenala from Ecuador and a film screening, a panel discussion on “Indigenous Peoples: human rights, dignity and development with identity” will be held. Speakers include Q'orianka Kilcher, lead actress in the 2005 Hollywood film, The New World. The young actress is a descendant of the Huachipaeri and Quechua people of Peru and will speak about her recent trip to the country. Phrang Roy, Assistant President, International Fund for Agricultural Development; Wilton Littlechild (Cree Nation-Canada), Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; and Romy Tincopa, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Peru to the UN will also speak at the event. Roberto Mucaro Borrero (Taino), Chairman of the NGO Committee on the United Nations International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples will be the event's Master of Ceremonies.

Messages by Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Coordinator of the Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will be delivered at the event.

This year’s observance coincides with a number of landmark events for indigenous peoples around the world. A significant achievement has been the recent adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in June this year at the inaugural session of the newly elected Human Rights Council. Indigenous peoples are looking forward to the final adoption of the Declaration by the General Assembly before the end of 2006. Advocates believe that the Declaration, once adopted by Member States, will serve as a crucial international instrument to protect and ensure indigenous rights. Celebrations and discussions this year will also draw upon the theme of “Partnership for Action and Dignity”, the central focus of the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, which runs from 2005 to 2015.

Estimates point to more than 370 million indigenous peoples in some 70 countries worldwide. While they are from diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds, they share common difficulties which include lack of basic healthcare, limited access to education, loss of control over land, abject poverty, displacement, human rights violations, and economic and social marginalization.

Another issue of concern for indigenous communities, that of development, is also likely to be discussed this week. Experts say development programmes often ignore the needs of these communities and their traditional knowledge. For development programmes, including the Millennium Development Goals, to truly have an impact on indigenous peoples, their participation in decisions that affect their lives and their visions of development need to be incorporated effectively into national plans.

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is commemorated each year on 9 August in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982. This year’s observance at the UN is being organized by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Department of Economic and Social Affairs; and the NGO Committee on the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

Accidental tourist: Manatee cruises Hudson River

NEW YORK, New York (AP) -- In the heat of summer, all sorts of tourists head north to cooler climes. This year, a manatee has joined the crowd, cruising past the nightclubs of Manhattan and continuing north.

The massive animal has been spotted in the Hudson River at least three times in the last week -- first off the Chelsea and Harlem sections of Manhattan, then to the north in Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County.

"It was gigantic," said Randy Shull, who said he spotted the unusual visitor Sunday afternoon while boating at Kingsland Point Park in Sleepy Hollow. "When we saw it surface, its back was just mammoth."

Last month, trackers saw the manatee as it swam north, first near Delaware, then Maryland, then New Jersey. By Saturday, it was seen in Manhattan.

Kim Durham, rescue program director for the Riverhead Foundation, a nonprofit group devoted to marine mammals, called it a "bona fide" sighting, but there isn't photographic proof.

It is unusual for one of the creatures -- often associated with the warm waters of Florida -- to travel so far north, although they have been reported along the shores of Long Island and even Rhode Island.

Manatees are an endangered marine mammal. Florida wildlife experts counted 3,116 in their annual survey in February.

John Vargo, the publisher of Boating on the Hudson magazine, said his alert about the sightings was met with disbelief by some boaters.

"Some were laughing about it, because it couldn't possibly be true," he said.

"I'm 70 years old, and I've been on the river my entire life," Vargo said. "I've seen dolphins and everything else, but never a manatee."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

*Source: CNN.com


Wakapao residents ask President for school, medex...

GUYANA - President Bharrat Jagdeo visited the Amerindian village Wakapoa in the Pomeroon River two Sundays ago to monitor development works and give residents an opportunity to inform him about issues that affect their daily lives.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release when Jagdeo visited the Region 2 village residents made a number of requests. Residents asked the president to provide a medex for the community as the position is now vacant and the village health worker is presently training to become a nurse. They also complained that the community needs a microscope to aid in the diagnosis of malaria as ordinarily they would have to travel to Charity for the tests to be done. The community also requested an engine for the boat that is used to ferry children to school and, after demonstrating how a chainsaw is used to grind the cassava used to make cassava bread, asked for equipment that will allow them to do this on a larger scale. The villagers also asked for equipment that will facilitate large-scale farming and for the solar system in the community to be upgraded. The villagers also asked for a secondary school to be constructed in the area and raised concerns about the delay in the construction of a multi-purpose centre that has been approved for the area as plans are in train to host programmes for high school dropouts, women and other community development projects in the building.

In response to queries about health services the president said another villager must be selected to be trained as a health worker. Jagdeo told residents that Regional Chairman Ali Baksh and Director of the Regional Health Services Unit in the Ministry of Health Dr Bheri Ramsarran will assist with getting 200 impregnated bed nets to the community for distribution as research has shown that consistent use of the nets will help to stem the transmission of malaria. The president also told villagers that plans are in train to make Charity into a township "so goods can be shipped to and from abroad and you don't have to go to Georgetown," and as such a new state-of-the-art hospital is being constructed at Suddie. The hospital is near completion and a second doctor who will soon be stationed at the Charity hospital, will also be tasked with providing services to neighbouring communities like Wakapoa. In relation to industrial equipment, the president said the government will consider the request for the engine but a feasibility study would have to be done before equipment for cassava bread making could be obtained. As regards the construction of the school, the president said secondary schools are only constructed in heavily populated areas and officials from the Minister of Education will be dispatched to assess the situation. However, GINA said the community has a population of about 300 and as such the primary school programme could be extended to cater for secondary school students as is done in other communities. Businessman Alfred Alphonso, who accompanied the president on his visit, said in one year's time telephone and internet service will be available in the area. This, the president said, will fall under the government's Information Communication Technology strategy programme. Jagdeo also pledged to investigate whether approval was granted for the construction of the building and urged residents to make full use of it once it has been completed.

The president also told residents about plans to expand the revolving loan programme to other communities following complaints that the interest rate on loans obtained from the Institute for Private Enterprise Development was too high. Jagdeo also commissioned a museum and craft shop established by the community with funds from two overseas volunteers and researchers.

*Source: Starbroek News, July 31st, 2006

Jagdeo hands over land titles, extension to Amerindian communities...

GUYANA - President Bharrat Jagdeo handed over two land titles and one extension to Amerindian communities last week, telling them his government was to serve not to rule over them.

Cabinet approved titles to Kaburi in Region Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni) for 42 square miles and Fairview in Region Eight (Potaro/ Siparuni) for 82 square miles.

The extension of 62 miles was granted to Annai in Region Nine (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo), the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

This increases Annai, the largest Amerindian community in the North Rupununi with some 1,700 persons, to 247 square miles, GINA stated.

Jagdeo said he knew "how dear land issues" were to the Amerindians as they have been "custodians (of) these lands for time immemorial."

Also at the handing over ceremony at the Office of the President was Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues.

She thanked representatives of Iwokrama Inter-national Centre, Toolsie Persaud Limited (TPL), and the North Rupununi District Development Board as well as the Toshaos and communities for their mutual respect and dedication as their cooperation ensured that the process was successful.

Fairview is located within the Iwokrama rainforest and Kaburi is inside a TPL logging concession. Rodrigues said since 1992 land titles to Amerindian communities have increased from 74 to 85.

*Source: STARBROEK NEWS, Thursday, August 3rd 2006