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What are your thoughts on federal recognition for the Taino people?

Why is this important or unimportant? What do you expect it to add to the Taino Nation as a whole?

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Xochi. It is true that I have never seen much sense in the idea of hoping for federal indian recognition for Tainos but I find your comments here in this discussion thread a little curious. "Funny"? I'm not sure I see what's funny about any part of this discussion. You recently sent me a greeting comment posted on my comment wall and I would be happy to chat with you.

Hola, Taino Ti, Nanu:

The question you ask about the importance or unimportance of being recognized by the Federal government is a super charged one.

First off, we as an Indigenous people are survivors.

Secondly, Our stories, Areytos are to be respected by everyone on this planet. According to the United Nations charter, verbal history is just as valid as paper trail documentation.

Thirdly: mtDNA testing and its results are proof that many of us who are within Haplogroup C, A, D, and X have maternal ancestral roots to our Indigenous ancestors. Albeit, mtDNA reflects only 16 % of the information within our human genome, that mtDNA reflects that which is within that genome which is comparitively much larger in percentage.

Fourthly: Puerto Rican DNA is pretty complex. Scientists will never admit that they can find that elusive Indigenous ancestor who fathered our antecedants. They tell us that the yDNA has been overwritten by the introduction of yDNA of the Europeans who invaded the land. But what they will not admit is that beneath all that genetic overwriting lies hidden and waiting to be discovered our Indigenous first father. The science is quite young yet, but genetic scientists rather bend over backwards to find more illustrious DNA than to dedicate themselves to sorting out the genetic sequences of Indigenous peoples.

When I say bend over backwards one case in point is revealed in genetic science work in discovering the DNA derived from Neanderthal fossils. They then pursued the genetic thing to see if any of those Neanderthals had descendants who are living. They did find a lot of them. Then why can they not find who our first father was?

As for the Federal Government...Does the sun need our permission to rise and set? Does it crave our acknowledgement for giving us life? No. So why should we strive to seek permission to be who we are?



My brother Gerardo I can understand your passion and the motivation for your opinion but there are some important facts about the process of federal recognition of an Indian tribe in the United states that have to be taken into consideration to understand our status as Tainos. The original laws that govern federal recognition of Indian tribes were created to apply only to Indigenous people living in the 50 states of North America. They were never meant to be applied to Native people of any other part of the United States (which is the reason why Hawaiian Natives are not recognized as a federally recognized Indian tribe). Even though it is now clear that there are people that can be legitimately called Taino Indians in the United States this tribe can not received federal recognition because its original home region is not part of the original geographic area that was taken into consideration when the first federal recognition laws went into effect. That is why I don't believe Tainos will ever be officially accepted as a United States federally recognized tribe.

Greetings miguel....what about U.N. recognition?

Greetings Guamiguajiba

This is a very good point you are raising. In fact the Taino people have received full recognition as a legitimate Indigenous community by the United Nations, largely as a result of the efforts of rthe UNITED CONFEDERATION OF TAINO PEOPLE and particularly through the untiring labor of the UCTP president Roberto Mukaro Borrero.

Kasike Mukaro has represented the interests of Tainos in the United Nations for almost fifteen years.

Please click the two links below to access information on the participation of Taino people in the United nations via the work of the UCTP



This topic needs to be brought up again since National Geographic did a piece on Taino Indians still being alive.

I moved to Oklahoma, and a lot of facilities need for you to have a native I.d card in order to be seen. This has been quite difficult for me recently trying to seek medical attention.

Taino ti

I realize that this is a very old post, but it's still relevant.  I will think of a more detailed response another time, but I absolutely think recognition is important to educate people on our very existence and to stop the paper genocide more than anything else.

I also recognize that it might be very difficult, as the Taino peoples were traditionally scattered throughout what are today 5 different nations (6 if you include the Lucayo in the Bahamas).

I think federal recognition would really help with rights such as rights to artifacts and sacred places which are currently locked away by the gov. and museums. It would also allow people to bring back traditional ways with legal recognition as an official religion. Taino artists could also officially sell their work and have some legal legitimacy.

Since the federal government has never abided by ANY of the treaties for the federally recognized tribes, I do not see the point. 

Besides, Taino is the colonial Spanish name for our indigenous ancestors and people. Are we seeking to become a nation? A tribe within that nation? Which tribe(s)? Does PR recognize it? What funding or protections does that get us? 

I do believe it's important to ensure the protection of our sacred grounds and go from there. 

Greetings relative. I generally agree with you that I feel there is very little benefit to United States federal recognition. I feel we Taino will do better by asserting our own relevance in the current world through our own Resurgence Movement. I do disagree with you on tyhe issue of our tribal name. There is definitive historic proof that the tribal name of our people is the word TAINO. I know that there is now a very popular trope that the word "Taino" is not really a legitimate title of our tribe. It's become quite the fad for younger members of our Resurgence Movement to scream at us the older generation that they knw better than us about our own tribe. That's OK, we feel its cute to see this attempt by some to to express their independence by belittling the belief of those of us who have been at this since before they were even born.  I think the most amusing stream of this "No Taino" movement is the inclination to call us "Arawaks" and "Lokonos". These words are actually the tribal name of a particular tribe living in Guyana. I am pretty sure that the real Arawaks, the real Lokonos will take a pretty dim view of another tribe appropriating their name. This "Arawak" confusion arises from the fact that linguists. concluded that the Taino language belongs to a huge language family that includes the Lokono (ArawaK) language, as well as other South American tribes such as the Wapishana, the Wayuu and the Campa. The linguists chose to name this language family "ARAWAKAN" borrowing the term from the name of the Lokono tribe. In other words, the Taino language is a member of the Arawakan language family. That doe not make Taino "Arawak" . Taht is ridiculous. The English language belongs to the Germanic language family. That does not mean that the inhabitants of Great Britain speak "German". That would be ridiculous also. Just because English is a Germanic language does not mean that English is German, any more than any of the other members of the Germanic language family such as Dutch and Flemish. They are all individual unique languages that happen to all be related. By the same token the Taino language is a member of the Arawakan language family but IT IS NOT ARAWAK. The Taino speak TAINO, The Taino are Taino, NOT ARAWAK. 

Taino ti brother.  With respect, I don't think our sister was trying to be difficult or rude or offensive by saying that Taino wasn't the original name.  Because the colonialists tried so hard to wipe out our culture, it can be difficult to know what to believe when we try to research.  There are many conflicting claims about our culture and history and it can be difficult to discern what is real, what is legitimate.  I've heard this claim too, that the name "Taino" was not what we called ourselves originally.  There's so much misinformation out there that we are bound to have different or incorrect ideas about it sometimes.  Hahom

I agree that there is always room for respectful difference of opinion even considering the topic of our tribal name. A person who knows that I self-identify as Taino and says: "Besides, Taino is the colonial Spanish name for our indigenous ancestors and people" knowing that this term is the one that I use to identify my tribe is not approaching me with respect. That person is attempting to "school me" and you know that. I am respectful to those who are respectful to me. That tone was the tone of someone who feels that she has the right to "correct" me not someone who offers the question: "I have heard that the word Taino is not the legitimate name of our tribe. I see that you use that word for the name of our tribe. I want to respectfully ask, could you share with me why you use that word?" I would have reacted much more positively to that tone. You spoke with respect. She did not.


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