29 June 2006

The "New" CAC

The Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink has been revised, restructured and redesigned. There will be more content to add, and current content that needs to be corrected. However, a much slimmer and easier to use CAC is now available, starting with the front page itself. Previously, visitors were faced with a wall of text and a possibly confusing array of options, few of which really indicated the nature and purpose of the site. Here is a screen capture of the previous version:
The present version, starting from the first screen, presents the main options available on the site, and an immediate indication of the scope and content of the site:
The site is more navigable now, with a more logical structure and a menu bar that appears on each of the pages of the site.

The following pages have been eliminated from the CAC:


The following services will either no longer be available or will not be maintained and presented on the CAC itself:

Message Board
Mail Form
The CAC Discussion Board and Chat Area
Free Hosting
Classified Ads
Free E-Mail
CAC Users Survey
CAC Website Awards

We look forward to your visits and your feedback.

24 June 2006

Breaking Bread

[I felt compelled to present this letter from Joel Bastedo to the Caledonia Citizens' Alliance, regarding residents of Caledonia and their physical attacks against Natives reoccupying their lands. Given that the media have popularized characterizations of Six Nations protesters as "terrorists," who should be dealt with in the same way as a foreign military force ("call in the army!"--presumably to ultimately shoot at peaceful civilians), that the United States' ATF was called in for surveillance (an ironic, voluntary surrender of Canadian sovereignty in an attempt to assert Canadian sovereignty), and condemnations of Natives acting as a "nation within a nation," Joel Bastedo's letter underscores the sad ironies underlying these positions. I thank him for his kind permission to reproduce his letter below.]

From: Joel Bastedo
Subject: Bread and Cheese day
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006

Hello Citizens of Caledonia Webmaster,

I have heard that on Victoria Day, citizens of Caledonia threw bread and cheese at the Six Nations protesters, in reference to the Six Nations' custom of distributing bread and cheese in their May 24th celebrations. I certainly hope I'm misinformed. That day is used to commemorate the military service of Six Nations people in defense of the crown during the War of 1812-1814, and during the American Revolution. For that service, they were granted the land they occupy (and a good deal more), in much the same way as the white Loyalists in the rest of Ontario were granted the land they occupy as a reward for their loyalty (except that the whites were subjects of the crown, whereas the Six Nations were independent allies).

If the reports of this "bread and cheese fight" are true, then as your website predicts, the day may well live long in the history books as one of the grossest infamy conceivable, where white residents of Caledonia twisted the most enduring symbol of friendship and common cause between the Six Nations and white Canadians into an offensive and bitter memory for all....We can never undo those things, but I hope Caledonians will realize the extent of their offense and try to make amends.

In closing, I find it appalling that protesters from Caledonia were singing "Oh Canada" and waving their maple leaf flags as they protested against a group that did much to make the True North "strong and free." If I could send a message to Caledonians, it is that Canadians are sympathetic to their plight (being caught in the middle because of a negligent government is completely unfair, no question), but that we cannot support intolerance and hatred, no matter how provoked and warranted Caledonians believe those feelings to be. Please stop defiling Canada's national symbols.

Yours respectfully,

Joel Bastedo.

22 June 2006

Garifuna Protest Disney, Anaheim, CA, June 24

Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United
Cheryl L. Noralez
Phone (562)366-9396
P.O. Box 10054
Long Beach, CA 90810

Press Release

June 20, 2006

Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United organizes a protest against the World Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures’ Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man’s Chest.

Long Beach, California – Tuesday, June 20 2006: GAHFU’s President and Founder Ms. Cheryl Noralez announced that on Saturday, June 24 2006 between the hours of 2:00 to 4:00 pm, her organization along with a group of concerned Garifuna leaders in the Los Angeles area will be protesting the premiere of Disney Pictures’ Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

GAHFU, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in Long Beach, California. Our purpose is to preserve the uniqueness of the Garifuna culture, history, language, music, arts & crafts and values by working closely with the Garifuna community not only in Los Angeles County, but throughout the world. We seek to enhance and showcase the image and vision of the Garifuna people through education, music and the arts.

“It has been brought to our attention that the Walt Disney Company intends to film a movie called The Pirates of the Caribbean in which the Caribs or Calinago, the ancestors of the Garinagu (as we refer to ourselves in our language) are portrayed as cannibals.” These are the words of Michael Polonio, of the National Garifuna Council of Belize.

We believe that not only the Garifuna people have been wrongfully portrayed in the movie as cannibals but also other indigenous people of the Caribbean who are closely related to us as in the case of the Taino people; therefore, we have invited the Taino community in Los Angeles to participate and they have promptly accepted the invitation to stand united with the Garinagu.

We are inviting all of the indigenous people of the Caribbean to join us in this protest. The meeting place to protest will be at Harbor Blvd.’s front entrance of Disneyland in Anaheim, California starting at 1:30 pm. We strongly urge participants not to bring sticks, drums, shakers or anything that could be used as a weapon to the event. Also, teenagers are encouraged to come with their parents to join us for this peaceful protest.

“Eibugaba lidan ligemeri Inaruni - Walk in the light of truth “- James Lovell

Cheryl L. Noralez, President & Founder

20 June 2006

"Canada" Opposes UN Draft Charter for Indigenous Peoples

The Government of "Canada" is determined to oppose the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, joining other colonial powers also opposing the motion, such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand. "Canada's" opposition was announced in Parliament by Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Jim Prentice. Ironically, just a few short weeks ago, Phil Fontaine, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, had praised Jim Prentice on CBC News as someone who was sensitive to the situation of aboriginal peoples in "Canada," as someone who was very knowledgeable, "someone we can work with"--comments made by Fontaine as he opposed the Six Nations protesters in Caledonia. Fontaine's reward for loyalty? Nothing.

More on this story appeared in CBC News online at:

Research Position Available: Essex, UK


in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex
The AHRC-funded project

'American Tropics: Towards a Literary Geography'

seeks a Senior Research Officer to play a full role in its development. Applicants will have a background in studies of the US South, the Caribbean, or Latin America. Further details about the project, and further particulars about the post, can be found at http://www.essex.ac.uk/literature/American_Tropics/index.htm.

Appointment to this full-time post, which will run from October 2006 to September 2010, will be made at £25,633 per annum. Application details may be obtained by telephoning Colchester (01206) 872462 (24 hours) quoting reference RE124, by writing to the Personnel Section, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, or by visiting our website: http://www.essex.ac.uk/personnel/jobs

Closing date: 28 July 2006

Peter Hulme
Professor in Literature
Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
University of Essex
Colchester CO4 3SQUK
Telephone (office) +44 (0)1206 872608

American Tropics: Towards a Literary Geography

Upcoming Changes to the CAC

During the next few months the Carbbean Amerindian Centrelink will be undergoing several changes. The intention is to redesign the site (once again), not so much in graphic terms as in navigability and manageability. As a result, several of its current services will be deleted. The services to be deleted include:

The CAC Discussion Board and Chat Area
Free Hosting
Classified Ads
Free for All Links
Free E-Mail
CAC Users Survey
CAC Website Awards

The focus of the CAC will be on its Directory, The CAC Review, Issues in Caribbean Amerindian Studies, and resources for Research and Teaching. We are also planning some exciting new additions to the CAC's base of research information.

Most of these facilities have either been too under-utilized to merit continued management or they have become redundant through either disuse or the creation of alternative means of contact and discussion.

Should anyone be seriously inconvenienced by these changes, please contact Max Forte.

Six New Articles Published in KACIKE

I am very happy to announce the publication of the following articles in KACIKE: The Journal of Caribbean Amerindian History and Anthropology.

By Divaldo Gutiérrez Calvache, Rasco Fernández Ortega y José González Tendero

18 June 2006

Caribbean-American Heritage Month

[Thanks to CAC Editor Cheryl Noralez for forwarding both this information, and the news concerning the impending release of Pirates of the Caribbean (see post of June 17, 2006). We are reprinting this communique from the White House. No endorsement of the contents or the source of the statement is necessarily implied.]

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 5, 2006

Caribbean-American Heritage Month, 2006
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

During Caribbean-American Heritage Month, we celebrate the great contributions of Caribbean Americans to the fabric of our Nation, and we pay tribute to the common culture and bonds of friendship that unite the United States and the Caribbean countries.

Our Nation has thrived as a country of immigrants, and we are more vibrant and hopeful because of the talent, faith, and values of Caribbean Americans. For centuries, Caribbean Americans have enriched our society and added to the strength of America. They have been leaders in government, sports, entertainment, the arts, and many other fields.

During the month of June, we also honor the friendship between the United States and the Caribbean countries. We are united by our common values and shared history, and I join all Americans in celebrating the rich Caribbean heritage and the many ways in which Caribbean Americans have helped shape this Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2006 as Caribbean-American Heritage Month. I encourage all Americans to learn more about the history of Caribbean Americans and their contributions to our Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.


The Reclamation of an Indigenous Continent

[This essay was authored and presented by Roberto Rodriguez of Column of the Americas. He has asked readers to please post this essay, to forward and disseminate it widely. If you would like to receive news from the Column directly, write to them at: XColumn@gmail.com.]

JUNE 19, 2006


Along the U.S.-Mexico border, the body count continues to pile updaily. Meanwhile, the Minutemen patrol the U.S.-Mexico border and shameless politicians find it easy to denounce illegal immigration as the cause of all the nation's problems – including linking it with"the war on terror."Amidst all the clatter, the only views not being heard are the ones that matter most. Thus here, we bring you a truly historic column, featuring the views of those that have come before us to these lands: American Indians:

"The immigration issues are many and are so very complex; however, we cannot have a productive dialogue about anything when we begin theconversation, thinking it is 'us against them' or when the truth' is only half true or we only use rhetoric to back our claims. We can't resolve any of these complex issues if we label our neighbor as an'immigrant and not as a relative, friend or human being."
Nadine Tafoya
Mescalero Apache -Salt River Pima -Maricopa
"I feel that as Native Peoples of the Americas, we have the right to be anywhere on this continent as we have for generations. To hear people telling my relatives that they are 'illegal aliens and criminals and to get out of our own land is very disturbing!"
Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, PhDPresident/Director, The Takini Network
"Indigenous peoples haven't known any borders. Colonial borders are new. It's ironic that essentially white men of privilege who created the category of white - that it is they who determine who gets permitted into our lands."
Winona LaDuke, founding director, White Earth Land Recovery Project
"From the point of view of the laws of the indigenous nations of North America, the Europeans are the original illegal immigrants in the area of North America. The United States… has, for more than 200 years, methodically and militarily violated indigenous law, and even solemn treaties, in order to take over and occupy the vast majority of the lands of Indigenous nations and peoples.… it is hypocritical in the extreme for the people of the United States to now pretend that it is a paragon of virtue, and a country that has always conducted itself on the basis of the rule of law."
Indian Law Scholar, Steven Newcomb
"The movement to try to force the Mexican people to learn the English language and the culture and traditions of America to stay in this country may not be totally successful. I can tell you from firsthand experience that when the federal government tried to strip me of my language and traditions, it did only a partial job, because of my resistance to being subdued. Today I am glad I have retained myculture, traditions and the Keres language, for that is where my heart and soul belong"
Katherine Augustine - Laguna Pueblo, retired nurse
"Too bad WE didn't think of insisting that European arrivals speak OUR language. We'd all be speaking Ojibwemowin right now."
Patty Loew, Assoc. Prof., UW-Madison
"In an important and emphatic way, the indigenous peoples of the Americas are reclaiming their continent, whether with the ballot, by boat, by air, or on foot. Let us call it repatriation on the march."
Shirley Hill Witt, Coauthor, El Indio Jesus
"The white supremacists masquerading as patriots are building a fence at the southern border to keep out the brown people. Notice that they aren't building a fence at the northern border… Recall too that the 9-11 terrorists were here legally, complete with freakin' flyernumbers. I'm for all the Native people to have cross-border privileges up and down our hemisphere, and would close the borders against all the peoples from other places who look down on us."
Suzan Shown Harjo - Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee - Director, Morning Star Institute
"I suspect at least half those people coming across that southern border are indigenous peoples who have been directly or indirectly affected by anti-indigenous rights policies and U.S. lead neo-liberal free trade regimes often resulting in the privatization of land. I am concerned the U.S-Mexico border is becoming a war zone giving rise to old world colonial attitudes spawning white-lead vigilante militias with U.S. military support. Indigenous peoples of the U.S. and our tribal governments must demand border justice and not be used by the homeland security program of the U.S. to undermine the civil liberties of our indigenous peoples and mestizo brothers and sisters of theLatin American countries."
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
"The argument used by the Minute Men, that their mission is to keep terrorists out of the U.S., cannot be ignored: With terrorist training camps recently found just north of the U.S.-Canadian border, their mission makes little sense and gives weight to my belief that the Minuteman movement is clearly racist. So is the new U.S. policy to keep our southern relatives out by militarizing the border to the south. Not that troops are wanted on the northern border either, but why send 6,000 troops to the southern border when no terrorists ever have been detained there?"
JoKay Dowell, Quapaw-Peoria-Cherokee, OK Eagle and Condor Indigenous Peoples' Alliance
"Indigenous peoples are brothers and sisters, regardless of which sideof the line drawn in the desert sand they are from. Our historic relations pre-date any European conquest. Our 'free trade' was much less conflictual, and was on more of an equal basis. Corporate 'free trade' is the driving force behind American politics and international actions…. It continues to be, contradictory to the interests of humanity."
woliwon chi miigwech, Karen S., Ypsilanti
"Are 'immigrants' the appropriate designation for the indigenous peoples of North America, for enslaved Africans and for the original European settlers? No. Are 'immigrants' the appropriate designation for Mexicans who migrate for work to the United States? No. They are migrant workers crossing a border created by US military force. Many crossing that border now are also from Central America, from the small countries that were ravaged by US military intervention in the 1980s and who also have the right to make demands on the United States. So, let's stop saying 'this is a nation of immigrants.'"
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz – mixed-Cherokee activist, professor, writer
"False and violent borders have been imposed upon our many peoples and upon the landscape, dissecting our Mother Earth, our home continent, in two and attempting to sever our deep connection with the land, and with each other… We maintain our recognition and respect for all our Indigenous brothers and sisters of the Western Hemisphere, with whom we traded, learned from, loved and laughed with for millennia. We are Indigenous, of this place on Mother Earth, called Turtle Island, the Middle Place, Abya Yala and the Fourth World. And we remain bonded together forever, knowing ourselves as the K'iche and Karuk, Saraguro and Cheyenne, the Cherokee, Xicano and Chumash, we are all relations."
Tia Peters, Zuni, Seventh Generation Fund
"If America is a shining beacon of hope for legal immigrants perhaps the laws should be adjusted to make it a reality for the illegal immigrants. They also see America as a place where dreams can be lived. Ironically, most of the illegal immigrants are Indians, or Indios as they are known in Mexico, and in Central and South America. Most of their ancestors did not come over on the Mayflower or on the Spanish galleons. They were indigenous to the Western Hemisphere."
Tim Giago, president, Native American Journalists Foundation
"Americans can say, surely not with pride, that our country knows from centuries of personal experience how unchecked immigration devastates life and why it's an issue that deserves the best of our thinking and empathy. These are thoughts that cross some of our minds when we hear rhetoric about the so-called invasion of illegal immigrants (many of whom are -- gasp -- Indians) and calls to protect "our" land. If we smile in response, it's not so much out of agreement. We see a paybackcoming home to roost."
David House - mixed Cherokee/Scots-Irish, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"It's never been clear to me why animosity exists toward today'si mmigrants, considering the founding fathers arrived as immigrants. Are today's anti-immigration voices afraid of a new Manifest Destiny?… Many Native prophecies foretell the demise of U.S. indigenous people from European invaders. But the stories also speak of a time when the land will be reclaimed by indigenous people.Perhaps the time has come.
Jodi Rave reports on Native issues for Lee Enterprises.
On Haudenosaunee citizenship & naturalization:
"Naturalization was not race-based as the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) granted citizenship to other ethnic groups. Once a person became a Haudenosaunee citizen they were expected to discard any previous connection to their birth nation. They had to speak an Iroquoian language, dress as Iroquois, contribute to the security of their host nation and provide for the well being of their new families and communities though a host of activities ranging from hunting, fishing, food preparation and home building. They took part in the elaborate ceremonies which defined Haudenosaunee spirituality and were given extensive instruction into the history, customs and beliefs of their new nation. In the end, the Haudenosaunee people expected the new citizen to undergo an almost complete transformation; physically, mentally and spiritually. This process worked extremely well… [it] secured our survival and provided for our prosperity"
Doug George-Kanentiio Mohawk writer
The Popul Vuh – one of the most important books ever written on this continent -- offers us a valuable lesson and roadmap about migration disputes. The volatile conflicts among the Maya finally ended when those who were new to the land accepted those who were here before them as their guides. In this spirit, we do the same. So too should the general public, Congress and the president.

Feel free to send your views to XColumn@gmail.com or 608-238-3161. You may also post them here.

The original bilingual columns are posted at: http://hometown.aol.com/xcolumn/myhomepage/

Info regarding their Amoxtli San Ce Tojuan documentary and origins/migrations research can be found at:

17 June 2006

Boycott Disney, Pirates of the Caribbean

Starting in February of 2005, we began to post a number of items regarding Walt Disney's proposed plans for showing Island Caribs as blood thirsty man eaters. In Dominica, where parts of the film were shot, then Carib Chief Charles Williams loudly protested the movie and condemned select members of the Carib Territory for collaborating with Disney. The Government of Dominica warmly welcomed Disney, guided by the incredible notion that a media giant showing local natives as cannibals would promote tourism to the island. The movie was also shot in St. Vincent. Since then, Chief Williams was deposed by the Government of Dominica (although to what extent Williams embarrassing the government over this issue played any role in the government's decision is unclear for now). Other indigenous communities, including Tainos, Garifuna, and the Caribs of Trinidad, also vigorously protested the movie in the news media. Indian Country Today in the United States ran an editorial that was very critical of Disney's plans.

Now, the movie is about to hit theaters and, if anything, it appears to be worse than was first imagined. A trailer for the film clearly shows the Caribs roasting live people on spits and holding captives to be eaten...in a stark reminder of some of the most vile imperialistic imagery produced in the early colonial era. Such images are getting a new lease on life thanks to Disney, which with the resources that rival those of a colonial power, has now dedicated itself to popularizing and internationalizing images of the Caribs as "cannibals". You can see the movie trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAx02SQ5Mjs&mode=related&search=pirates%20of%20the%20caribbean%20dead%20mans%20chest. Images that follow are stills from the trailer, accompanied by one colonial illustration that seems to have been part of the corpus of visual imperial denigrations that the movie so cheerfully enhances.

Let us keep in mind that such depictions were used to enslave and murder the ancestors of today's Caribs, there was never anything innocent or "fun" about these portrayals. In addition, generations of Carib descended school children in the Caribbean have been taught that their ancestors were savage cannibals. Shame over ancestry was inculcated as a matter of routine. In my own field research experience, I have encountered individuals in their forties and fifties who told me very directly that the main reason they did not wish to self-identify as Caribs is that people in the wider world see Caribs as cannibals, as inhuman man eaters, and they found the stigma unbearable. Disney is playing its part in centuries of ethnocide.

This action on the part of Disney, flying in the face of countless protests, is not accidental, nor just uninformed carelessness. Let's place these images in their current context as well. This is a time of renewed generalizing about the "non-West" as the "uncivilized" world of inhumane acts of savage atrocities. Anti-immigrant attitudes are on the rise in many Western countries. Anyone "brown-skinned" is deemed a potential terrorist. This is not inflammatory exaggeration on my part: for a glimpse at the tip of the iceberg, look at reports produced within the Canadian media itself:

Many white citizens adjoining Native reserves seem to feel empowered now to express openly derogatory views about Natives, even joining in the occasional riot where they can bash some in the face. A peaceful gathering of Natives in Canada is widely depicted as "terrorism". You don't believe me? Please have a look at pages from the Caledonia Citizens Alliance where members of the public submit their feedback on the issue of the Native reoccupation of their territory.

Images specifically of charred bodies, hung like roasted offerings, have also been popularized in the international press, especially when showing the "horrid" acts of Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah who captured and killed four American mercenaries in March of 2004.

All of the raw material, daily news, centuries of inherited stereotypes, revived bigotry, fear, hatred and paranoia are all out there ready to be fused in people's minds who are thus predisposed to making a series of associations. One line of association is that linking Al Qaida with all Muslims, then immigrants, "brown skin," Natives, and finally Caribs. The other line of associations to complement the first: terrorism, insurgence, resistance and cannibalism.

This is the world we are inheriting, folks! Either we deal with these issues head on, or sit back and let the tide of a new nazism wash over us with the help of our own quiescence.

Disney's concept of family "fun" is about as light hearted as showing groups of Jews as rats. Disney won't do exactly that, since that is anti-semitism, and numerous holocaust memorials tell us "never again." But really, never again? That seems to be either unduly hopeful or just terribly naive.

You are encouraged to actively protest and boycott Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and any and all Disney products. Such cultural imperialism cannot be allowed to pass without consequence.

16 June 2006

Taino Language Dictionary by Alfred Carrada

The Dictionary of the Taino Language, prepared for free online access by Alfred Carrada (see: http://www.alfredcarrada.org/index.html), was apparently completed almost three years ago (unfortunately, I only discovered this very recently). Many readers are interested in learning as much as possible of the Taino language, as well as the names of places, historical figures, topographical features, fruit, trees, animals, etc. The notes for this site are fairly extensive. The dictionary is of a fair length. What is not too clear on first sight is how this differs from or adds to other Taino language resources online, including other Taino language dictionaries.

Alfred Carrada explains in his own words how he came to this project:

"I started collecting Island-Arawak (Taino) artifacts more that twenty years ago. Although I grew up in the West Indies I did not become fully acquainted wit this culture until I made a holiday trip to Santo Domingo in the late Seventies. I became fascinated and bewitched by the beautiful and intriguing objects made by the Taino artisans, and collecting these objects became a passion that took a life of its own. At the same time I began collecting Taino artifacts I started to acquaint myself with their culture by reading whatever material I could get may hands on. The first book I read was Fred Olsen's On the Trail of the Arawaks and it was an eye opener for me. I also became very intrigued by what the meaning of geographical, topographical and historical Indian names could mean. I had read that according to Julian Granberry 'words in Arawakan languages are monosyllabic' and so, with this in mind I began to make notes that would help me reach an etymological meaning to some of their names and words. So, here are the names and words I found relevant to my quest, with my etymological root value interpretation; as well as information I came across that I found of interest. I am publishing my findings in the internet in case that someone other than myself finds it interesting and worth looking into it."

Thank you Alfred, I am certain many people will be interested, and it is a beautifully designed site on top of everything else.

13 June 2006

The Last Puerto Rican Indian

We are happy to announce the publication of a new book titled, The Last Puerto Rican Indian: A Collection of Dangerous Poetry by Bobby Gonzalez.

The Last Puerto Rican Indian, is a book of poetry that challenges the reader to confront preconceived notions about the history and contemporary struggles of the Native Peoples of the Americas. The book is the first title issued by the recently formed publishing company www.cemipress.com, which is a subsidiary of www.galeriacemi.com.

Bobby Gonzalez will be reading and signing his latest book on Thursday, June 22 at 6:30 PM at the Brooklyn YWCA located at 30 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (between Atlantic Avenue and State Street in Boerum Hill, near the Downtown section of Brooklyn.). For information call:718-875-1190 Ext:223.

Mr Gonzalez will also be presenting his book on Friday, June 23 at 7:00 PM in the Bronx at El Maestro located at 700 Elton Avenue off 156th St. and Third Avenue, Bronx, NY.

Writing from the perspective of a modern Taino Indian, Mr. González takes on such varied themes as religious freedom (or lack thereof), cultural & physical genocide, violence against women, homophobia and the issue of racial/political identity.

“Dangerous memories.
Stolen histories.
Identity theft on a Cosmic

Who/what determines
Who/what we are?

The Last Puerto Rican
with an abundance of love,
bites into a Cuban sandwich on the corner
of 145th Street and Brook Avenue.”
There are also verses that pay tribute to outstanding indigenous leaders such as Anacaona of Haiti, Guamá of Cuba, Cotubanamá from Quisqueya (the Dominican Republic), Sitting Bull of the Lakota and Osceola of the Seminole.
This unique volume contains many rare and intriguing graphic illustrations which document the lifeways, art and spirituality of Natives folk from the Amazon and the Caribbean. Most of these pictures are over one hundred years old and have not been viewed by most of the general public since the late 19th century.

An added bonus is a suggested Taino reading list which is a guide to both primary sources and current publications.

"The Last Puerto Rican Indian is beautifully written with a multiplicity of voices that capture both profound sadness and passionate defiance. Rich with spiritual meaning, Bobby Gonzalez brings us closer to the indigenous men, women and children of the Americas as he harmonizes between the past and the present, traveling great distances in time from before the conquest, through mass genocide and the resistance, to the contemporary and beyond. Affirming the enduring strength of our heritage, González declares, 'The Last Puerto Rican Indian has not yet been born.'" - Iris Morales, community activist/former Minister of Information, the Young Lords Party

Visit Bobby González' website at http://www.bobbygonzalez.com/

10 June 2006

Soca Warriors! Trinidad Pride at World Cup 2006

Fantastic! A thrilling match to watch as Trinidad's Soca Warriors, ranked 47th in the world, held off Sweden, ranked 16th, and that was with one man less than Sweden for almost the entire second half of the match today in Dortmund, Germany. This is the first time ever for Trinidad & Tobago at the World Cup, and they started their round in Group B undefeated. The match's final score of 0-0 earned them one point.

Back in January, Cristo Adonis, the shaman of the Carib community in Arima, Trinidad, told me that he and other members of the Carib community were called upon to perform a smoke ceremony for an inter-religious ceremony to bless the Soca Warriors on their path to the World Cup. They were the first to perform, in honour of their being Trinidad's first peoples. I am sure that Cristo will be beaming at the thought that his service may have somehow guided, blessed or otherwise aided the Warriors.

A Trinidadian fan welcomes the World Cup trophy to Trinidad

The Warriors themselves did a brilliant job: calm, confident, solid, professional, great control of the ball, perfect passing, none of the cry baby melodrama and fake dives (perhaps Sweden should take a hint about how real men play the game), precision and no prima donna attitudes. This is some of the best playing I have seen at the World Cup since I saw my first match back in 1978.

Congratulations Trinidad & Tobago! Let's see some more great play!