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Global Indigenous Initiative: Voices from the Circle of Wisdom Keepers
Attendees to the recent URI Global Indigenous Gathering #HiddenSeeds reveal their experience of the gathering and discuss the unprecedented, unified action and outcomes being forged as a result.
Sunday, July 20, 2014 / 4pm – 6pm (Pacific)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Spiritual Leaders and Wisdom Keepers Convene For Global Indigenous Gathering, Call For Unprecedented Unified Action
San Francisco, CA – July 10, 2014 – International interfaith network United Religions Initiative (URI), through its Global Indigenous Initiative (GII), recently hosted Hidden Seeds of Natural Healing & Curing, a gathering of 33 Indigenous representatives from six continents, including two youth leaders ages 13 and 14. The participants met for three days, July 1-3, near Napa Valley in Northern California.
The URI GII was convened for the purpose of engaging in critical dialogue about practical issues and concerns facing Indigenous communities worldwide and all members of the Human Family, including the intergenerational on-going impact of colonialism. It was also established to develop a strategic plan for the future of the Global Indigenous Initiative (GII) that grows out of traditional ways of knowing and being.
For over a decade, Hidden Seeds Co-convener and Quechua elder Alejandrino Quispe Mejia, along with a contingent of Latin American Indigenous Peoples, have held the vision for the URI GII. Following the recent unanimous ruling by the Canadian Supreme Court to grant a major land claim title to the Tsilhqot’in First Nation, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s announcement of a plan to buy and return disputed ancestral lands to Chile’s Indigenous communities, and a formal apology by the US State of Tennessee to descendants of Indigenous Nations who suffered and died on the infamous “Trail of Tears,” the Hidden Seeds of Natural Healing & Curing council was well-timed.
“We found a family from all parts of the world that is passionate about strengthening Indigenous values and improving the lives of Indigenous People. Prophecy has called us to the center stage of humanity as Indigenous Nations to bring ancient knowledge systems and spiritual practices from our respective civilizations to the resolution of modern issues and reconciliation of relationships for the Great Peace,” said Diane Longboat, Hidden Seeds participant, and a Mohawk and Turtle Clan representative from Six Nations Grand River Territory in Canada. “We realized we were not alone and must do this work together – being a global Indigenous family is needed now. A great wave of change for peace has begun to roll over the face of Mother Earth.”
Among the outcomes of their meeting was the unanimous agreement to work together and build on existing efforts to have the Papal Bulls of 1452-1493 denounced by Pope Francis. The Hidden Seeds council – and the communities and peoples they represent – seeks the issuance of a full apology to Indigenous Peoples worldwide and all of the Human Family, who have suffered untold, immeasurable damage and hardship as a result of these orders’ far-reaching, long term affect under the Papal Bulls’ Doctrine of Discovery. The GII members felt encouraged that this is a critical time to take a stand for denouncing the Doctrine of Discovery due to recent statements by Pope Francis on the environment and human ecology: “When I look at America, also my own homeland, so many forests, all cut, that have become land…that can no longer give life. This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to her give us what she has within her,” he said.
GII Co-convener Audri Scott Williams shared, “The sacredness of this gathering was upheld with the highest integrity by the wisdom keepers. Fully aware of our charge, we chose to address the need for Pope Francis to officially denounce the Doctrine of Discovery, with full apology, because we find it essential to shifting the paradigm of the exploitation and devastation of Indigenous Peoples and their rightful lands worldwide. For the past 500 years, the Papal Bulls, which form the basis of the Doctrine of Discovery, have been used to justify the displacement and annihilation of Indigenous Peoples, and occupation of their ancestral homelands to the benefit of the global expansion of colonialism. Those in attendance determined that this is the best place to begin to allow the healing that must happen across the board, and to raise the awareness that Indigenous People have value, meaning, and wisdom that can help us shift the paradigm now for the wellbeing of all of life and the sustainability of Mother Earth.”
Additional action areas discussed include: (1) supporting the global emergence of the “Seventh Generation”, as promised, by fostering youth participation, leadership, and wisdom in all decision making processes impacting all life on Mother Earth; (2) creating sacred gardens in each region to preserve, protect and perpetuate plant life and healing herbs central to Indigenous communities; (3) accurately depicting Indigenous arts and cultures through the media as expressions of the sacred; (4) preserving and protecting sacred sites, retrieving heirloom sacred objects dispersed throughout the world, and returning them to their rightful owners; (5) galvanizing connections with various global networks to support the Global Indigenous Initiative and its efforts; (6) stopping the assault on Mother Earth by extractive industries that are destroying the waters and causing egregious imbalance to the natural environment; and (7) facilitating decision making by leaders that are good for seven generations into the future, known by Indigenous People as “seven generations” decision-making.
“The Hidden Seeds Gathering was yet another fulfillment of Indigenous Prophecies across the Americas and beyond,” said Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., Hidden Seeds participant and member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe and Chickasaw Nation. ”These prophecies clearly foretold that after a long spiritual wintertime of 500 years, Indigenous Peoples would spiritually arise, with the support of other members of the Human Family, and become so enlightened that they would illumine the world. Those gathered unanimously acknowledged that this promised time is now!”
#HiddenSeeds was virtually attended and supported by ‘space holders’ from around the world who offered their prayers, intentions, and well wishes via social media as the event took place.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/globalIndigenousinitiative and the event page athttps://www.facebook.com/events/1436522533284657/ to learn more, and to also share your own aspirations and dreams for our shared future.
Press and media are encouraged to follow the Global Indigenous Initiative as this unprecedented, unfolding story is told. For more information, please contact Hidden Seeds press/media coordinator Mikuak Rai by calling (202) 276-3099 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
URI (United Religions Initiative) is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences, and work together for the good of their communities and the world. URI respects the sacred wisdom of each religion, spiritual expression and Indigenous tradition.
For more information about URI, please contact Isabelle Ortega, Director of Global Communications and Strategic Planning, by calling (415) 561-2300 or emailing email@example.com.