#13 Highgate Gardens, Wildey. St. Michael,
Barbados W.I. BB 14005


From left to right - Damon Corrie, Roberto Borrero, Ovide Mercredi, and Leilani Stewart meet in Ottawa, Canada to follow-up on the OAS Summit of the Americas process.

Interested readers may follow the developments of the 3rd ILSA at the OAS run website www.summit-americas.org as well as its FaceBook site.

"We need to continue to work together" stated Andrea Montilla of the OAS as she explained the on-going process in the Draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Some advocated believe the proposed OAS Draft Declaration could be stronger than the UN Declaration - if the USA joins the rest of the 34 member OAS community and supports the Declaration instead of obstructing it.

Montilla also noted the importance of the OAS as well as its genuine desire to work with Indigenous Peoples throughout the Americas. The audience concurred, for all have taken note that the Organization of American States HAS indeed prosecuted MORE cases in favor of Indigenous Peoples of the Western Hemisphere than even the United Nations!

Grand Chief Ed John of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada and Celeste McKay of the Native Womens Association of Canada both gave informative opening addresses and likewise both re-affirmed the positives of collaboration with the OAS in a spirit of equity, and made excellent suggestions as to formats the OAS could consider adopting - which would enhance this special relationship between Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and the Organization of American States.

The floor was then opened for audience feedback/questions/comments.

Former Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Ovide Mercredi – who presided at arguably the most tension-filled time in recent memory of relations between Native Nations and the Neo-Colonial Government of Canada in the 1990's (Oka Crisis) - addressed the gathering.

Ovide, still no stranger to controversy and an inspiration to a generation of anti-assimilationist native leaders, eloquently explained the difference between Indigenous Leaders and Political Leaders of the Nation States of the Americas.

"I am a leader of MY indigenous people - not the Prime Minister of Canada.” Likewise the Prime Minister of Canada is the leader of HIS non-indigenous peoples of the Neo-Colonial Political State of Canada. The OAS must find a way whereby the Indigenous Leaders of the Americas recognized by their own Indigenous Peoples - not merely representatives who may potentially have no actual mandate to speak on behalf of any Indigenous Nation - must be able to sit across the table from the Political Leaders of the 34 Neo-Colonial Nation-States of the Americas and have a genuine and equitable dialog for I believe this is the only way that over 500 years of inequity can be successfully addressed and redressed - in order to create a better future for generations to come.”

President Tony Belcourt of the ICCTA (Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas) spoke in detail about the need for a secretariat or Permanent Forum to be created by the OAS to allow for more effective participation by Indigenous Peoples within the OAS system. The suggested entity could function as a nexus between the Indigenous Leaders and Political Nation State leaders as Ovide had suggested.

Ellen Gabriel - the outgoing President of the Quebec Native Womens Association & Veteran of the crisis years of the 1990's (Oka crisis) that also propelled her to International Fame as a committed Indigenous Rights leader in Canada - raised the issue of the need to protect traditional knowledge as a way to mitigate and survive the Global Climate change that is already effecting us all – and Indigenous Peoples more severely than any others.

President Clement Chartier of the Metis National Association of Canada supported Ovide Mercredis call and added to what Tony Belcourt had said highlighting the fact that presently there exists no separate category in the OAS system for 'Indigenous Peoples' - and much to all our chagrin - we still fall under the broad (and inappropriate in our minds) category of 'Civil Society' which lumps us in with religious organisations, charities and sexual orientation advocacy groups; when in truth and in fact our issues are that of the intricately delicate relations between Colonizers and those they forcibly Colonized.

President Roberto Mukaro Agueibana Borrero of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) - who has been almost singlehandedly pushing the agenda of Pan-Caribbean Indigenous Rights for over a decade - delivered a very enlightening presentation where he made several recommendations covering some areas not addressed previously. President Borrero exposed the fact that the UCTP had sent information from the 3rd ILSA (Indigenous Leaders Summit of the Americas) to virtually EVERY CARICOM (Caribbean Common Market) country asking them if they were aware of the issues being discussed with the OAS - which they are also members of - and asking for their official position on these matters. Unfortunately, true to their form of first decade of the 21st century not a single Caribbean Government had even the courtesy to respond.

Following the 5th Summit of the Americas and the 3rd ILSA (April 2009), the ONLY CARICOM government to report anything on the subject of Indigenous issues was the Government of Guyana. Unfortunately Guyana took the opportunity to blow it's own horn about its Amerindian Affairs Minister (a political appointee of the President of that country - NOT one voted for by any democratic majority of Guyana's 100 Amerindian Chiefs/Toushaus) and it's Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. In its official report to the OAS, Guyana says nothing of relevance about the Indigenous Leaders Summit of the Americas or OAS Draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples process.

In conversation with President Borrero of the UCTP, Leilani Stewart, Vice President of the Pan-Tribal Confederacy of Indigenous Tribal Nations gave a very insightful analysis, which beautifully explained the validity of oral tradition as a vehicle to factually transmit information. Stewart also stress the need to strengthen the voice of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples through the well-positioned UCTP 'Indigenous media octopus'. President Damon Corrie of the Pan-Tribal Confederacy of Indigenous Tribal Nations pledged to supply the UCTP with as much information as he receives from allied communities in the Caribbean Region.

PTC.PR – 12.2010


Taíno Celebrate Rare Solstice Event

UCTP Taíno News – Over the weekend and through Tuesday December 21st, Taíno people acknowledged the winter solstice with gatherings and areito (ceremonies) in their island homelands and the Diaspora. This year’s winter solstice was even more significant as it coincided with a total lunar eclipse and a full moon. The last time an eclipse took place during the solstice was in the year 1638.

Acknowledging the significance of this celestial event and the associated Taíno areito, Miguel Sobaoko Koromo Sague stated “Our ancestors are watching for signs that we are committed to bringing back these powerful traditions.”

Commenting from Borikén (Puerto Rico) on Tuesday a young Taíno woman, Yari Sierra stated “Today is a day to heal and reflect on the incredible gift the great Mother has give us, which is one we will not experience again... I only hope people will come to value these gifts the universe has shared.”

The next eclipse to coincide with a solstice will occur in 84 years.

UCTPTN 12.22.2010


U.S. Will Endorse Indigenous Declaration

Washington, D. C. (UCTP Taino News) - President Barack Obama announced today that the United States will endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Obama announced the decision during the second White House Tribal Nations Conference.

The United States is the last country to endorse the U.N. Declaration, which was ratified by 143 countries in 2007. Only four countries, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, voted against it.

President Obama stated that “The aspirations [the Declaration] affirms – including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of Native peoples - are one we must always seek to fulfill.”

The news of the U.S. position on the Declaration is being commended by Indigenous leaders in the United States and beyond.

The United Confederation of Taino People’s Office of International Relations and Regional Coordination issued a brief statement welcoming the decision as it ‘potentially benefits not only U.S. federally recognized Tribal Nations” but others like the Taíno who reside in U.S. Territorial possessions.

The official White House statement notes that the decision to support the Declaration is a “response to the many calls from Native Americans throughout this country” and an effort to “further U.S. policy on indigenous issues.”

UCTPTN 12.16.2010

Taíno Author Releases New Children’s Book

New York (UCTP Taíno News) - Inspired by the true story of how the people of Borikén (Puerto Rico) saved Bieke (Vieques) from environmental destruction, author Rafael Landrón has written a bilingual children’s book entitled “Beba and Little Sister Island” published by Campanita Books. The story focuses on a young manatee named Beba who is summoned by her animal friends to travel and discover the origin of the thunderous noise they keep hearing from other side of their beautiful island home. Illustrated by award-winning artist María Antonia Ordóñez, the story is a timeless tale of courage, solidarity, love, and justice set in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean.

In Beba and Little Sister Island, the animals play the role of the real-life heroes whose courageous acts tipped the scale and literally saved the island. Much of Bieke (affectionately called la Isla Nena - translated in the book as Little Sister Island) had been turned into a radioactive, polluted, devastated landscape. With the departure of the U.S. Armed Forces the island is on its way to recovery, but it will be decades before the damage is reversed.

“The story never makes direct reference to where the big ships come from, or what they are doing there”, explained Landrón. “I wanted the message to be universal”.

A Borikén Taíno, Rafael Landrón is a Professor at Boricua College in New York, as well as an emerging poet, performer, and writer. Beba and Little Sister Island is his first children's book and is available at Amazon.com.

UCTPTN 12.16.2010


CUNY-TV to Focus on Taíno Revival

New York, NY (UCTP Taino News) – CUNY-TV’s weekly series “Independent Sources” will air a segment on the ‘Taino Revival’ tonight at 8:30pm (EST) on Time Warner Cable’s Channel 75. Along with the debate over Taínos claiming their ethnic identity, this edition of Independent Sources will also address what's next for Haiti after protesters recent election results and the growing movement in New York to save endangered languages. The program will repeat on Thursday, December 16th at 7am, 1pm, 11pm and again on Saturday, the 18th at 9am. Outside of the New York metropolitan area, check your local cable listings for CUNY-TV.

UCTPTN 12.15.2010


Sub-regional Indigenous Peoples Meeting to Include North America and the Caribbean

Ottawa, Canada (UCTP Taíno News) - The OAS Summits of the Americas Secretariat, in collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), and the Inuit Circumpolar Council [Canada] (ICC), will host a Sub-regional Meeting with Indigenous Peoples’ representatives North America and the Caribbean in Ottawa, Canada, on Monday, December 13, 2010.

The main purpose of the Sub-Regional Meeting of Indigenous representatives from Canada, the United States and the Caribbean region is to provide an opportunity to follow-up on the implementation of the April 2009 Declaration and Plan of Action of the III Indigenous Leaders Summit of the Americas (III ILSA) “Implementing the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas for Present and Future Generations”. Additionally, this meeting will provide an opportunity for indigenous peoples to begin preparations for the IV ILSA.

Representatives of the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) will participate at the meeting to provide a briefing on Caribbean regional follow-up to the III ILSA. Other Caribbean regional representatives are scheduled to attend the meeting from Guyana, Suriname, and Barbados.

This event will make up part of a proposed series of such meetings to allow indigenous peoples from various sub-regions the opportunity to dialogue and coordinate their participation in the Summits process. Each face-to-face event will be complemented by the participation of interested parties through the Indigenous Peoples Group of the Summit's Virtual Community website.

UCTPTN 12.12.2010


Taíno Condemn Chile’s Attack on Rapa Nui

Indigenous Rapanui Pia Tuki among those wounded in a violent attack by Chilean Govt. forces on Easter Island.

UCTP Taino News –
On Friday, December 3, Chilean troops opened fire on unarmed Rapa Nui (Easter Island) People who have been peacefully occupying tribal land taken over by the State. The attack has left 19 Rapanui wounded with 3 needing to be evacuated to mainland Chile to be treated for their serious wounds.

Roberto Mukaro Agueibana Borrero, a representative for the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) stated that “As Indigenous Peoples we must condemn these acts of violence perpetuated on the Rapa Nui by the Chilean government. In solidarity with the Rapa Nuii the UCTP calls on Chilean President Sebastian Pinera to be directly involved in finding a peaceful and lasting resolution to this crisis.”

Borrero continued stating that "As Chile adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 they have a moral obligation to halt the evicitons and work in harmony with the Rapa Nui."

In recent years, tourism and migration have increased pressure to control available land on the 10 mile by 15 mile island. The Rapa Nui have increasingly taken matters into their own hands, seizing a dozen properties they claim were illegally taken from their families generations ago.

The latest media reports state additional reinforcements have landed on the island and the island's top government authority, Valparaiso Gov. Raul Celis, says "the evictions will continue."

UCTPTN 12.05.2010