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Council of the
borikua taino nation

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Our Council

The council consists of 13 Naboria Borikua Taino. Each month the council votes on a number of funding proposals and program applications aimed at promoting growth and prosperity.

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Our Collective Vision

Our collective dream is Borikua led community engagement and Indigenous Nation building that will live on after our spirits have returned to Coabey. Our indigenous traditions have always been a footnote in American history, yet indigenous Borikua culture permeates the global consciousness via our food, music, art and science. We want to decolonize the national understanding of Borikua heritage through revitalization and re-education of tribal ways in modernity. The lessons of our ancestral ways live on, and we must be willing to sow seeds of prosperity and protect our motherland from the vestiges of colonialism. 

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Borikua Community Land Trust

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Establishing Land Sovereignty

The Borikua Community Land Trust represents a dedication to land sovereignty for our fellow Borikua and will be home to the Borikua  Taino community center, community conucos (ancestral gardens), tribal services offices, classrooms and future bohios (houses). The establishment of community land trusts across the island is vital to keeping land stewardship in Borikua hands, as well as becoming a starting point for a return to true yukayeke formation for our families on the island and welcoming diasporic kin back into the community. 

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What is a Yucayeke?

A yukayeke holds a powerful place in our Taíno culture. It refers to a place where yuca is   grown, which was a significant crop for our people and an essential part of our diet. Beyond its agricultural importance, a yukayeke represented much more than just a place for yuca cultivation. It symbolized a vibrant complex network of extended families and communities working together to ensure we had enough to eat and that our food sources were secure. Essentially, a yukayeke functioned as a village or settlement where multiple families cooperated in various activities, including farming, hunting, gathering, and cultural practices.

One notable aspect of our yukayeke system was its matrilineal descent structure. This means that lineage and inheritance were primarily traced through the maternal line. In other words, membership in a specific yukayeke was determined by one's maternal lineage. If your mother or grandmother was born in a particular yukayeke, lets say Humacao for example you would be considered part of that community. This connection shapes who we are, our social bonds, and how we fit into our community.

In the Taíno Nation of Boriken, this traditional way of connecting remains at the heart of who we are. When we want to be part of this community, we're listed based on our closest direct Borikua Taíno matrilineal ancestor. This approach keeps us directly linked to our ancestors and keeps our cultural legacy alive through our mothers' line.

Our yukayeke system shows how we work together as extended families for survival, how our matrilineal heritage holds our community strong, and how our culture is tied to the places we come from. It's important to remember that our Taíno cultural heritage is alive and well through us, the descendants of these indigenous communities. We continue to honor our traditions and keep our culture alive for generations to come.

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Borikua Taino
Tribal Services

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Tribal Services

Our Borikua Taino Nation Tribal Enrollment & Vital Records Office will operate in accordance with our bylaws and is dedicated to repairing the damage colonialism has done to family lineages across the island and diaspora. Our services include access to Genealogy Support; Family Tree building; Health Services; Community Services, Family Services; Public Services, Financial Services; Conflict Resolution; Transformative Justice and more. Blood quantum is not the only indication of family lineage and we want to allow our community members access to other pathways that prove Taino lineage. It is not enough to be born in Boriken to be considered Taino and we can recognize outsiders and allies in our cause while keeping our ancestral knowledge safe from would-be culture vultures.

Tribal Education

The Borikua Taino Community Center will provide access to an indigenized re-education of our ancestral knowledge and ways. We want to create a path that will allow our people to take back authority over our history and become the future teachers, archaeologists, scientists and leaders that will usher in a new age of Taino immersion in our own voices. A tribal education will include access to existing Taino literature and media; Indigenous language courses; Introductory Education into instrument and tool making; Regalia making and protocols, Community-led skill shares & Teach-ins; Community Meals/Food Exchange; Foraging & Nature with traditional protocol; Seasonal Harvest celebrations; Preserving harvests; Fishing and Hunting with Indigenous protocol.
 

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