Maximilian Forte's Blog (40)

Land, Labour, Power, and Colonial Mythology in Trinidad

Focusing on the history of the Arima Mission in the Island of Trinidad, ostensibly a mission for Indigenous people, the documentary below features what was learned from the baptismal registers of the Mission of Santa Rosa de Arima—in conjunction with historical texts, government documents, and official memoranda and reports of the time. What we encounter are four main “myths,” or working fictions: 1) the myth that the Mission was for Indians alone; 2) the myth of…

Added by Maximilian Forte on February 14, 2020 at 9:50pm — 1 Comment

Pearls, Grenada: Histories of Resistance by an Old Runway

A view out toward the sea, from the beach at the end…

Added by Maximilian Forte on October 13, 2019 at 10:22pm — No Comments

Colonial Myth-Making and the Mission of Santa Rosa de Arima, Trinidad

Was the Arima Mission an “Indian Mission”? For what purposes, and in whose interests, was the Arima Mission established? How many Indigenous people lived in the Arima Mission, and in Trinidad as a whole? Who counted them? How were they counted, and why? Why did…

Added by Maximilian Forte on October 13, 2019 at 6:02pm — No Comments


Arima Born: Revealing the History of Arima and its Mission through the Catholic Church’s Baptismal Registers, 1820–1916

ARIMA BORN The Catholic Mission of Santa Rosa is something that helped to make Arima a distinctive town in Trinidad, accounting for nearly half of the Amerindian population of the colony in the 1800s. The baptismal registers of the Catholic Church in Arima, including…

Added by Maximilian Forte on October 1, 2019 at 12:26am — No Comments

Newest 10 Posts on Review of the Indigenous Caribbean

So far July has proven to be an exceptionally busy month of posting on the Review of the Indigenous Caribbean. In case you missed any of these, here is the list so far:

  1. New Carib Queen Elected in Trinidad: Jennifer Cassar…

Added by Maximilian Forte on July 4, 2011 at 9:53pm — No Comments

Funeral Ceremony for Trinidad Carib Queen Valentina Medina

The late Carib queen, Valentina Assing Medina, had three wishes. They were granted. Paying tribute to Medina, her daughter Loretta Medina-Grant said, “She wanted a pink rose in her hair. She also asked to see several people including Senator (Penny) Beckles (who read her eulogy), and Councillor Metevier. She especially asked for Msgr Christian Perreira to do her service.” The celebration and thanksgiving for the life of Medina, fondly known as Mavis, took place at the Santa Rosa RC Church,…


Added by Maximilian Forte on May 16, 2011 at 10:38pm — No Comments

A Caribbean Indigenous Atlanta!

Rock art specialists from around North America have finally solved this century old archaeological riddle. The stone slab is evidence that native peoples from Puerto Rico or Cuba once lived within the interior of Eastern North America.

One day, long before Christopher Columbus claimed to have landed on the eastern edge of Asia, a forgotten people cut steps in the rocks leading up a steep bluff near the Chattahoochee River in the northwest section of the State of Georgia. They carved… Continue

Added by Maximilian Forte on May 3, 2011 at 2:54pm — No Comments

Carib Identity, Racial Politics, and the Problem of Belonging

The resilience of Carib identity, in places such as Trinidad & Tobago, is something remarkable, not to mention the renewal, resurgence, and social revalidation of this identity. This resilience is remarkable not only when one considers a consistent pattern of European colonial military onslaughts, enslavement, expropriation of lands, and social marginalization, but also the cultural stigma histroically attached to Caribness, such that even surviving…

Added by Maximilian Forte on May 1, 2011 at 1:13am — No Comments

Carib Queen Valentina Medina Passes On

By Leiselle Maraj Monday, April 25 2011

Published in Newsday

Carib Queen Valentina Medina passed away at her home on Saturday after battling cancer for the past three years. She was 77 years old.

She has been the Carib Queen of the community in Santa Rosa for the past ten years. May 6 this year would have been her 78th birthday and marked her 11th year as Queen.

Medina’s daughter,… Continue

Added by Maximilian Forte on April 25, 2011 at 12:28am — No Comments

The future of this NING network?

Hi everyone,

I don't know if any of you have read about this -- see this message from the NING directors: -- but it looks like if we don't pay NING, this network will be shut down, and everything created here, all of the information shared, will be lost for good.

As the person who set up the network early in 2008, as an alternative to something else that was then… Continue

Added by Maximilian Forte on April 18, 2010 at 4:06am — 11 Comments

Denigrating & Celebrating, Forgetting & Commemorating: Reports on the Caribs of Trinidad

Hello everyone,

If you get a chance, please see:

and kindly leave a comment there if you wish.

Added by Maximilian Forte on October 24, 2009 at 7:51pm — No Comments

This Network is Now Indigenous Controlled

As of 16 June 2009, I am no longer the network administrator, a position one occupies when you found a network on NING. When one establishes a network, even those you invite to serve as co-administrators still have fewer "privileges" than the founder, who can remove them all at any time. For several months that has been the situation with ICN, as Nanu, Orocobia, and Carrie joined me in administering the site.

Given many competing duties and interests, and the fact that there was no… Continue

Added by Maximilian Forte on June 18, 2009 at 11:00pm — 5 Comments

The Peruvian Massacre and a “Socialist” Fig Leaf for World Capitalism

James Petras, in an essay that is being widely reproduced across the web (as it will be here as well), articulates a series of critical points regarding the nature of the Peruvian regime, the political history of President Alan García (…


Added by Maximilian Forte on June 14, 2009 at 2:31am — No Comments

Resisting Free Trade, Racism, and the State: Peru’s Amazonian Indians Fight Back

‘Peruvian Indians are being driven to desperate measures to try and save their lands which have been stolen from them for five centuries.

‘Their protests signal that the colonial era has finally drawn to a close. No longer are Amazon Indians prepared to put up with the illegal and brutal treatment which has been routine. That’s finished. This is the…


Added by Maximilian Forte on June 14, 2009 at 2:30am — No Comments

Decolonizing Bolivia

Bolivians back new, pro-indigenous constitution

AP, January 25, 2009

LA PAZ, Bolivia – Bolivian voters embraced a new constitution Sunday that promises more power for the poor indigenous majority and grants leftist President Evo Morales a shot at remaining in office through 2014.

But the charter's low support in Bolivia's lowland east — which controls much of the nation's wealth and fiercely opposes Morales' plans to empower long-suffering highland… Continue

Added by Maximilian Forte on January 25, 2009 at 11:49pm — 2 Comments

You Are On Indian Land

You Are on Indian Land

Mort Ransen, 1969, 36 min 48 s

The film shows the confrontation between police and a 1969 demonstration by Mohawks of the St. Regis Reserve on the bridge between Canada and the United States near Cornwall, Ontario. By blocking traffic on the bridge, which is on the Reserve, the Indians drew public attention to their grievance that they were prohibited by Canadian authorities from duty-free passage of personal purchases across the border,… Continue

Added by Maximilian Forte on January 22, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance

Kanehsatake 270 Years of Resistance

Alanis Obomsawin, 1993, 119 min 15 s

On a July day in 1990, a confrontation propelled Native issues in Kanehsatake and the village of Oka, Quebec, into the international spotlight. Director Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 nerve-wracking days and nights filming the armed stand-off between the Mohawks, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. This powerful documentary takes you right into the action of an age-old Aboriginal… Continue

Added by Maximilian Forte on January 22, 2009 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

New Chat Function, Other News

Just to state the obvious, this network has a new chat function. The previous chat room, which was external to the network, has been closed. Luckily, we now have a solution that appears to be better than all previous attempts.

The settings for this network have now been set to private. Exchanges can longer be freely seen by anyone on the Internet, nor searched and cached by entities like Google. Initially, the openness of the network was to allow others to benefit from the many… Continue

Added by Maximilian Forte on January 21, 2009 at 12:24pm — 1 Comment


It would seem that at least one person is not happy with my work with this network, and issues of "ownership" have been raised. As with the Caribbean Amerindian Centrelink, and Kacike, I have been actively seeking to transfer these resources. The proof of the latter facts is to be found within the Groups in this network by the way, specifically:…


Added by Maximilian Forte on January 20, 2009 at 12:00pm — 18 Comments


Dear Network Members,

as the site administrator it was never my intention to moderate discussions, nor monitor every utterance for any possible inappropriate or offensive statement, as I considered that rude, intrusive, and presumptuous.

At the urging of now more than a few dozen members, I have been asked that at least a rudimentary code of conduct be established. Of greatest concern, that is, the concerns that repeated themselves across what were 37 messages at last… Continue

Added by Maximilian Forte on January 20, 2009 at 12:00am — 12 Comments

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