"War is the greatest threat to public health." - Gino Strada, Italian war surgeon and founder of the UN-recognized Italian NGO Emergency

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For the Earth: A Great Urgency

Dear Friends,

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and spiritual leader among the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota People, recently sent out an extremely important message, A Great Urgency: To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders. It is a message in response to the terrible environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, but goes far beyond that and calls on religious and spiritual leaders to lead people in prayer in the hope that we will be changed, and learn to live in harmony with each other and our Mother Earth. He calls on people to "make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come."

At a time when the world watches as millions of gallons of oil flow into the ocean from a single disaster, countless other environmental disasters - and though many are small in comparison, they are all at very least cumulative - unfold daily around the world. Whether oil production in Nigeria, gold mining in Peru or uranium mining in the U.S., the environment and the people who live on the affected land invariably suffer.

Chief Looking Horse asks us to look around us at the "bleeding of Grandmother Earth" and then deeply within and ask ourselves to find it within our hearts to work to stop our destructive path, to heal this bruised world and create wholeness for future generations. Therein lies the native wisdom - that we own nothing; that we hold all things in trust for future generations, and must therefore care for them. That is our task. May we understand and accept it.



May 12, 2010

A Great Urgency: To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth.

As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc¹I Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Click here to read a biography of Chief Arvol Looking Horse.

Click here to learn about the Wolakota Foundation.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Peace Poles: Planting Seeds of Peace


The recent (May 6, 2010) gathering at University of Washington, Tacoma was truly an auspicious occasion. Following the testimony of the Hibakusha (survivor of the atomic bombing) of Hiroshima, Ms. Tokie Mizuno, we moved outside to the site of the new Peace Pole for the dedication ceremony.

A Peace Pole is a hand-crafted monument that displays the message and prayer "May Peace Prevail on Earth" on each of its four or six sides, usually in different languages. There are tens of thousands of Peace Poles in countries all over the world dedicated as monuments to peace. They serve as constant reminders for us to visualize and pray for world peace.

This particular day was one of great remembrance and reconciliation. Besides remembering (and learning about) the horrors of the use of nuclear weapons on our fellow human beings, we also remembered the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II (Tacoma's Japanese Language School was used to process internees at the beginning of the war) and the fact that the University of Washington, Tacoma campus rests on land that was originally inhabited by (and by all rights still belongs to) the Puyallup Tribe.

The dedication ceremony was a beautiful sharing of many traditions, including Native American, Buddhist, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and Protestant. The words and music were offered as prayers for peace and reconciliation, and at the end of the ceremony everyone "passed the peace" to each other. Watch a brief video of the ceremony by Rodney Herold:

The Peace Pole is like a tree in that people who pass by or sit by it and read those words, "May Peace Prevail on Earth," will eat the fruit, and it can nourish them on their journey. Who knows how many more seeds of peace they will continue to plant. Let us hope that many more Peace Poles will be planted, and may their message one day overwhelm the damaging messages of fear, hatred and violence so ubiquitous in our world. You can plant one anywhere - in your front yard, church or school, wherever people will see it.

May Peace Prevail on Earth,


Click here to learn more about the Peace Pole Project.