Taino TV Updated

UCTP Taino News – Taino TV, the internet video television channel of the United Confederation of Taino People has been updated with several video shorts featuring the Cacibajagua Taino Cultural Society. The videos were taken by Taino artist Reina Miranda at the November 2007 celebration of Puerto heritage at Hunter College in New York City hosted by the Comite Noviembre.

The footage featuring the recent presentation of Cacibajagua adds to the increasing collection of Taino-related media available at the Taino TV channel site. Videos shorts of cultural presentations, interviews, lectures and more can be found in the “Favorites” as well as the “Playlist” sections of the Taino TV channel internet page.

Taino TV is available free to the general public and viewers can visit and subscribe to the channel at http://www.youtube.com/Tainotv.

Photo (by Mamarazzi): Members of the Cacibajagua Taino Cultural Society


Noel’s Devastation Still Affecting Caribbean

UCTP Taino News – Last month, Tropical Storm Noel devastated parts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas, with incessant rains and massive flooding that took the lives of several dozen people and destroyed thousands of homes, crops and infrastructure. According to preliminary assessments conducted by the U.N. and other international agencies, the Dominican Republic was the hardest hit, with close to 85 persons dead, 48 missing, and an estimated 66,568 displaced.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) reports that as a result of the storm the potential for an outbreak of dengue fever in the Dominican Republic is high. Mosquito nets and water purification and collection material are critical focus of relief work. As of November 15th CRS also reported that many roads are still impassible in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and communication infrastructure is severely damaged “leaving thousands stranded.”

The organization - CRS - has committed $500,000 dollars to the relief effort and is seeking additional donations at http://crs.org/haiti/noel-floods/

Photo: The Madre Vieja Bridge over the Nigua River in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic. Photo by José Luis Guigni/CRS


Kearns: Federal grave robbing of Taino remains

by: Rick Kearns / Indian Country Today
© Indian Country Today November 23, 2007. All Rights Reserved

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its associates took ancient indigenous remains and artifacts from a newly discovered site in Puerto Rico in late October and flew them to a lab in Atlanta, Ga., for tests. There are laws in Puerto Rico prohibiting anyone from removing these kinds of materials from the island, and there are Taino people, real live human beings, who are furious over this latest episode of federal body snatching.

Probably in response to the public complaints of Puerto Rican scholars and archaeologists, the feds have promised to return everything that they have stolen, although we have to take their word for what has recently appeared as the list of items that will be returned.

As Yogi Berra once said, ''This is deja vu all over again.''

For Puerto Ricans of all kinds, especially for those of us with Taino roots - and that means most Puerto Ricans - we've heard this line before and we have no reason to believe them. On top of everything else, there is a sad echo effect at play here: It's the racist way in which the United States treats Puerto Rico and the way some officials treat Tainos or even the idea of Tainos that creates a sickening echo, one that keeps ringing in our ears and should be telling us something.

That something is to gain sovereignty for the island. It's the only way we can protect our heritage, our people and even the remains of our ancestors, as our Native cousins in North America have learned over and over again.

The series of events that lead to this latest outrage played out fairly quickly. Within the last few months, the Corps started clearing a section of southern Puerto Rico for the construction of a dam, for the purpose of preventing flooding that is all too common in that region. At some point the Corps hired New South Associates, an archaeological and historical consulting firm, to handle any potential discoveries. It has been widely known that the area north of the city of Ponce was home to some major Taino ceremonial sites; the centers at Tibes and Caguana are good examples of these highly developed community areas.

Near the end of October, a major Taino site was unearthed during the construction process. Archaeologists from both the United States and Puerto Rico are hailing it as being the best-preserved pre-Columbian site in the Caribbean, with the potential to reveal many aspects of Taino and pre-Taino life in the area, from eating habits to spiritual ceremonies. The newly discovered site has a ritual ball field (known as a batey) that measures 130 feet by 160 feet, surrounded by giant stones etched with petroglyphs, one of which portrays a masculine human figure with legs of a frog. Along with the plaza, many ceramic pieces were unearthed as well as graves of ancient peoples, some of whom were buried facedown with their legs bent at the knees.

Experts are already estimating that the site includes materials dating back as far as 600 A.D. with other items from approximately 1,500 A.D., a few years after the invaders arrived.

These facts are the only points of agreement. Otherwise, the tableau turns into a crime scene.

According to members of the General Council of Borinquen Tainos, leading Puerto Rican archaeologists and scholars from the island's Institute of Culture, the Corps and New South destroyed untold amounts of artifacts and human remains with bulldozers and backhoes. Puerto Rican archaeologists and local Taino leaders then protested these procedures, eventually embarrassing the federal grave robbers enough so that they had to halt the excavation. Sadly, the official chicanery did not stop there.

See full story at:


Nightwolf Radio Special on National Day of Mourning

UCTP Taino News – In recognition of the National Day of Mourning, “Nightwolf - the Most Dangerous Show on the Radio” will broadcast a 3 hour live special from 9am - 12 noon, Thursday, November 22, 2007.

Featuring the show’s host Jay Winter Nightwolf, a wide range of indigenous perspectives will be presented by special guests to the WPFW/Pacifica Radio studios in Washington DC and by telephone. At 10am (EST), one of the featured interviews will highlight recent controversy surrounding a recently uncovered archeological site in Puerto Rico. Discussing the issue and community concerns will be Roberto Mukaro Borrero, a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People.

Nightwolf is regularly broadcast each week on Pacifica's WPFW 89.3 FM Sunday evenings at 8:00 pm EST. The shows are webcast and listeners can tune in at http://www.wpfw.org/.

UCTPTN 11.21.2007

Photo: Jay Winter Nightwolf (yillah ©2004)


American Indian Airwaves: Protecting the Ancestors

Wednesday, 11-21-07,
on American Indian Airwaves "Protecting the Ancestors and Thanks, but No Thanks: The Moral Benevolence of Genocide"

Part 1:_____________________________________

Roberto Mucaro Borrero (Boriken Taino Nation). Roberto, from the United Confederation of Taino People (http://www.uctp.org/ ) joins us today to discuss defending the Taino ancestors and the misrepresentations, lies, and deceptions entailed in the recent Associated Press article titled: "Archaeologist DiscoverMajor Pre-Columbian Site" which recently was published in"Indian Country Today"http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096416037

Part 2:_____________________________________

George E. (Tink) Tinker (Osage Nation), Professor of American IndianCultures and Religious Traditions at Iliff School of Theology joins us today to discuss the settler societies notion of celebrating the moral benevolence of genocide (Thanks, but No Thanks Day or Thanks-taking Day) and how governments, institutions, and agencies are using the month of "November" to establish "Native American Heritage Month" ("Indian in the Cupboard Syndrome") as a means to coopt indigenous peoples from engaging in critical forms of decolonization, self-determination and sovereignty.

American Indian Airwaves regularly broadcast every Wednesday from 3pm to 4pm(PCT) on KPFK FM 90.7 in Los Angles, FM 98.7 in Santa Barbara, and by Internet with Real Media Player, Winamp, & Itunes at http://www.kpfk.org/

SPECIAL NOTICE: weekly shows can now be heard on the KPFK web site under "audio archives" located on the left. Scroll down and click onAmerican Indian Airwaves.



Second Annual Puerto Rican Artisans Fair Highlights Taino Culture

New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) - On Saturday, November 17, 2007, Comite Noviembre is sponsoring its second annual Puerto Rican Artisans Exhibition and Fair at Hunter College in New York City. Held in recognition of Puerto Rican Heritage Month, the event will transform Hunter College’s West Building into a “typical Puerto Rican Plaza” with artists, sculptors, and food venders from 11am – 5pm. This year, Taino culture will feature prominently in the celebration with a Taino opening blessing, and a special presentation of Taino music and song with members of the Cacibajagua Taino Cultural Society at 3:30pm.

A family workshop on “Taino history and music” will take place at 11:30am (Rm. W217) and a “Taino Petroglyph Pendant” workshop for children will be held at 12:35pm. All day several prominent Taino artists will be featured in the celebration’s exhibition including Aguilar Marrero, Reina Miranda, and Esperanza Martell.

Established in 1987, Comité Noviembre is the only collaboration of its kind in the United States that brings together the collective talents and resources of the some of oldest and most prestigious Puerto Rican organizations in existence.


Latin America and the Caribbean Advisory Group of Indigenous Leaders meet with the UN System

Quito, Ecuador (UCTP Taino News) - The Regional Meeting of the Advisory Group of Indigenous Leaders with the UN System in Latin America and the Caribbean held from 5 to 6 November in Quito, Ecuador, was jointly organized by UNICEF-LAC, OHCHR and SPFII. It was attended by more than 60 focal points of United Nations regional offices, indigenous members of the Advisory Group of UNICEF, Ms. Otilia Lux de Coti of the PFII, and indigenous authorities from Quito.

Representing the United Confederation of Taino People, Roberto Mukaro Borrero was appointed to the group and participated actively in all discussions. Borrero also had the opportunity to meet with local indigenous leaders of the regional informal gatherings organized in recognition of the meeting.

During two days UN agencies, funds and programmes dialogued with indigenous representatives on the strategies to implement recommendations of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration). As an outcome, recommendations were prepared to Resident Coordinators within the context of the Declaration, the UNDG draft guidelines on indigenous peoples’ issues and the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People in order to integrate indigenous issues in the work of its agencies.

UCTPTN 11.10.2007


Caguana Ceremonial Center

Sitting in the lush central mountain range of Puerto Rico (Borike), the ancestral home of the Boriken Taíno people, Caguana is the largest and most complex ceremonial site in the West Indies. Caguana Ceremonial Center consists of a large central plaza, a ceremonial dance area, ten rectangular earth-and-stone– lined ball courts and plazas and one circular plaza, as well as the remains of an oval-shaped structure and a sacred cemi mound. Ethno-historical accounts of early "explorers" noted that ceremonial sites like Caguana were places where highly important ceremonial ball games were held. Today, one can still see stone collars, elbow stones, and petroglyphs carved on perimeter stones. Caguana is today one of many sacred sites for the Taíno people.

Because of its rich archaeological significance, Caguana became a National Historic Landmark in 1993. However, this designation has not prevented vandalism and tourist devastation to the ceremonial center. Now, the Taíno are calling upon the Puerto Rico government and the U.S. National Park Service to "ensure that any governmental projects promoting tourism go hand in hand with protecting and safeguarding the integrity of local Taíno culture, sacred sites and the environment. "

Read the full report written by DeAnna Rivera with UCTP President R. Mucaro Borrero and Grandmother Naniki Reyes Ocasio at the Sacred Lands Film Project.


The Continuity of Caribbean Indigenous People

UCTP Taino News – On the internet, a UK article entitled “The Continuity of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples” contains a section focusing on Caribbean indigenous revival, solidarity between the “Carib Nations” and the Caribbean Organization of Indigenous Peoples (COIP). The article also highlights the role of the internet in promoting indigenous culture. See the article at http://www.southwark.gov.uk/Uploads/FILE_25934.pdf


Italians against Columbus Day

UCTP Taino News – In solidarity with American Indian nations, a group of Italian citizens have decided to actively support protests against the celebration of Columbus Day by establishing a petition against it the controversial holiday.

The petition, which was written in Cannara (Perugia) - Italy on October 9, 2007, will be presented to Italian municipalities, presidents of Italian regions, and to Italian American associations.

Mike Graham (Cherokee) of United Native America, Oglala Lakota Patriot Russell Means, and UCTP President Roberto Mukaro Borrero (Taino) have endorsed the effort.

The Italian petition against the celebration of Columbus Day can be found online at http://www.petitiononline.com/cd1ptoit/petition.html.


Maori Activists Won't Be Charged As Terrorists

Photo: Armed police roadblock at Ruatoki caused controversy

Aotearoa/New Zealand (UCTP Taino News) - Terrorists charges have been dropped against New Zealand activists arrested in military-style police raids in October. Reports indicate that the alleged evidence Police Commissioner Howard Broad would “stake his reputation on” was insufficient to sustain “terrorist charges.” Five activists have already been bailed including famed Maori leader Tame Iti.

Referring to New Zealand’s Terrorism Suppression Act, Solicitor General David Collins stated the legislation is “so complex and incoherent that it cannot be applied to domestic terrorism.” Collins also stated the flawed Act “doesn’t look good for government.”

A number of indigenous Maori and environmental activists are still facing various firearms and weapons charges but they are now able to be with family and friends.

Upon their release today, several Maori activists commented that they were overwhelmed by the support from the global activist community.

Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples called on police to apologize while others are calling for the resignation of the Police Commissioner.


Related story at:

Review news video at:



Scholastic Highlights Taino Culture During Native American Heritage Month

UCTP Taino News – In recognition of Native American and Puerto Rican Heritage month, the Taino People and culture are featured in Scholastic’s online news magazine. Scholastic is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology.

Announcements focusing on the article, entitled “Taino Sounds,” were also featured in the company’s print versions of Scholastic News for Kids.

The highlight on the Taino has the potential to reach millions of students and teachers around the world via the internet and the print sources. The article focuses on particular aspects of Taino world view, including relationships to the natural world and the music of famed Puerto Rican Taino cultural icon, Paseo Taino: Travesia Taina. Under the direction of Elba Anaca Lugo, Paseo Taino is one of the oldest continuing Taino presentation troupes on the island.

“The music, performing, and presentation style of Paseo Taino: Travesia Taina has influenced and given birth many if not all contemporary Taino cultural groups on and off the island whether they are aware of it or not” stated Roberto Mukaro Borrero a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People.

Speaking on Scholastic’s Taino focus, he continued noting “What is important about this focus is that it presents our people in a contemporary light and not as extinct, relics of the past.”

“Scholastic’s ‘Taino Sounds’ article is a positive example of a partnership that was based on consultation and mutual respect” Borrero also stated “As an indigenous community that extends throughout the Caribbean, these are the types of relationships that we are striving to cultivate and promote.”

Taino Sounds was recorded during Paseo Taino: Travesia Taina’s featured presentation at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, January 2007. The article will remain available at www.scholastic.com/news with its link at Scholastic’s “Special Reports.”
Photo: Elba Anaka Lugo and Pablito Haguey Rosario of Paseo Taino: Travesia Taina at the American Museum of Natural History, January 2007. (AMNH Photo/R. Mickens)


Hurricane Noel to dump rain along East Coast

Caribbean death toll rises to 124; storm deadliest in Atlantic for 2007

NASSAU, Bahamas - Hurricane Noel, the deadliest storm to hit the Atlantic this year, paralleled the U.S. coast on Friday, losing strength as it headed north toward Nova Scotia.

Noel slammed the Caribbean earlier this week with heavy rains that caused flooding and mudslides, leaving 124 dead, officials said.

After drenching the Bahamas and Cuba on Thursday, the Category 1 hurricane’s sustained winds were at 80 mph on Friday and its center was about 425 miles south of Cape Hatteras, N.C., the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Noel is moving to the north-northeast at about 17 mph but was expected to pick up speed.

Read the full story at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21526342/


Taino Leaders Speak Out on Sacred Site in Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico (UCTP Taino News) – Taino community leaders Elba Anaka Lugo and Naniki Ocasio Reyes will be interviewed tonight on 1320 Radio Isla starting at 10 PM to provide an update on the recent Taino archeological find in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

During the two-hour program they will also provide commentary on Taino community concerns as well as ways the community plans to address this controversial situation.

Lugo is the Director of the Consejo General of Tainos Borincanos and Ocasio Reyes is the founder of the Caney Quinto Mundo. The first local indigenous organizations to respond to violations being committed at the site known as PO29, the Consejo and the Caney have continued to monitor the situation closely. Besides meeting with local officials to address the issue, the organizations have also jointly organized spiritual ceremonies on behalf of the Taino ancestors, which have been carried out at the site by Taino elders and spiritual leaders.

Listeners can tune in tonight for the 2 hour special program in Spanish by visiting the station's live on-line link at http://www.radioisla1320.com/index_html.php.

UCTPTN 11.02.2007