Category: Original Caretakers

Original Caretakers Participate in the UNPFII 2019 and Side Events in photos

Dr. Mindahi Bastida and Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina of the Center for Earth Ethics Original Caretakers Initiative joined indigenous leaders from around the world in dialogue at the United Nations Headquarters and at events throughout New York City during Earth Week.  Topics included care for the environment, trade agreements and human rights.

At The New School, NYC with Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina, Scholar in Residence at Union Theological Seminary, Center for Earth Ethics.

 

At Columbia University with Tiokasin Ghosthorse of First Voices Indigenous Radio.

 

18 UNPFII — at United Nations Headquarters

 

CEE’s Mindahi Bastida with Tom BK Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Paty Gualinga and Grandma Catalina Chumpi

 

With the Siberia-Russian Delegation together with Chandra UNPFII 18

 

Mindahi Bastida with Taily Terena, Brazilian Forest and Land Defender, Youth Activist for Women and Gender

 

Delegates from the Mapuche Nation and Likanantay bring awareness to Human Rights Violations at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

New York, United States of America – from Desarrollo Intercultural Chile

The Mapuche Nation and Likanantay were present at the opening of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Delegates representatives of communities and organizations of the Mapuche and Lickanantay Nations, arrived today at the United Nations building in New York to participate in the Permanent United Nations Forum on indigenous issues (UNPFII) with the aim of denouncing the Chilean State in front of The violation of their human rights and the lack of indigenous consultation in the process of processing and ratification of the international treaty TPP11 that a week ago was voted in the chamber of deputies and is in process of processing in the high chamber.

It also marks an important precedent as the event participates delegations from Peru and Mexico affected by the same situation, who will work together in front of the involvement of their rights by having scheduled participation in the events of the international system of the United Nations and hearings with the Body of rapporteurs and treaty systems.

These delegates participate as members of the indigenous council for the protection of the territory, traditions, languages and seeds, (Ciproter) of which are members of the United States of America, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru and Chile; in addition to that they traveled in a self-managed way supported by their own communities and social movements with technical advice by ECOSOC agencies to the United Nations.

They participated in the opening of the session where the president of the 73th General Assembly of the United Nations, Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, recognized and greeted all indigenous peoples, emphasizing the need to strengthen collective rights and generate inclusion processes that allow self-determination of peoples.

They finally expressed the need to recognize the broad right of indigenous peoples to lands, territories and resources, in addition to setting out the main problems affecting their traditional forms of life. This is based on the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and the international Labour Organization Convention 169

Photo by: Juan Carlos labarca jclabarca.com


Please enjoy the following videos capturing the work of the panels during #EarthWeek

April 24th, 2019: Strengthening Territorial Resilience with Knowledge and Traditional Practices

Side event “Fortaleciendo la Resilencia Territorial con el Conocimiento y las Prácticas Tradicionales. Experiencias Zapoteca, Sápara, Ashuar, Likanantay y Mapuche” en el marco del 18vo Foro Permanente de las Naciones Unidas sobre Cuestiones Indígenas, Nueva York.

Side event ” Strengthening Territorial Resilience with Knowledge and Traditional Practices. Experiences Zapotec, Sapara, Ashuar, Likanantay and Mapuche ” within the framework of the 18th Permanent Forum of the United Nations on Indigenous Issues, New York.

Side event "Fortaleciendo la Resilencia Territorial con el Conocimiento y las Prácticas Tradicionales. Experiencias Zapoteca, Sápara, Ashuar, Likanantay y Mapuche" en el marco del 18vo Foro Permanente de las Naciones Unidas sobre Cuestiones Indígenas, Nueva York.

Posted by Desarrollo Intercultural Chile on Wednesday, April 24, 2019


April 26th, 2019:   The Involvement of TPP11 and other Treaties that Violate Indigenous Rights

Side event “La afectación del TPP11 y otros tratados que vulnera derechos indígenas. Casos de México, Ecuador y Chile” con líderes Zapoteca, Hñahñu, Sápara, Ashuar, Likanantay, Mapuche Lafkenche, Mapuche Pewenche y Mapuche Nagche en el marco del 18vo Foro Permanente de las Naciones Unidas sobre Cuestiones Indígenas, Nueva York.

Side event ” the involvement of TPP11 and other treaties that violate indigenous rights. Cases of Mexico, Ecuador and Chile ” with leaders Zapotec, Hñahñu, Sapara, Ashuar, Likanantay, Mapuche Lafkenche, Mapuche Pewenche and Mapuche Nagche within the framework of the 18th Permanent Forum of the United Uations on Indigenous Issues, New York.

Side event "La afectación del TPP11 y otros tratados que vulnera derechos indígenas. Casos de México, Ecuador y Chile" con líderes Zapoteca, Hñahñu, Sápara, Ashuar, Likanantay, Mapuche Lafkenche, Mapuche Pewenche y Mapuche Nagche en el marco del 18vo Foro Permanente de las Naciones Unidas sobre Cuestiones Indígenas, Nueva York.

Posted by Desarrollo Intercultural Chile on Friday, April 26, 2019

More Videos from the delegation during #EarthWeek are available at Desarrollo Intercultural Chile

“We are Easter People and Hallelujah is Our Song”, Taking a Moment for Bees & Earth Week Events Announced

 

Dear Friends, Please enjoy We are Easter People and Hallelujah is Our Song – a gorgeous conversation on faith, spirituality, climate change and more with CEE Director, Karenna Gore hosted by Mary Anne Hitt & Anna Jane Joyner and produced by Zach Mack.  No Place Like Home is a podcast that gets to the heart of climate change through personal stories. CEE is proud to participate in the most recent NPLH conversation about climate & hope you will take time in the celebration of Earth, the beauty of Spring, and the very miracle of life to tell your stories with friends, family and neighbors!

– The CEE Team


We Love Pollinators!

As part of our preparation for the upcoming Minister’s Training: On Food and Faith, and in sync with Earth Day 2019’s focus on preservation of species, we take a moment for the most beloved of pollinators: the bees.

Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared,
“man would have only four years of life left”.

The die-off happening around the U.S. and some parts of Europe is serious for beekeepers, farmers and all us. Since the 1980s, the number of bees has diminished, but the recent die-offs have been severe. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) was reported from at least 24 states as early as 2007.

In a recent study, “researchers found that the American Bumblebee’s area of occurrence has decreased by about 70 percent and its relative abundance fell by 89 percent from 2007-2016 compared to 1907-2006.”  Bees are important allies for humanity in supporting the restoration of Bio-Diversity on Earth.

Intergenerational Community Blessing of the Bees ~ Bees and Permaculture

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Earth Week Events


Global Perspectives on Indigenous Knowledge, Mental Health and Well-being: A Different Paradigm

Parallel Event for UN PFII 2019:
April 22nd, 1:15 – 2:30 pm
Room S-1521 in UN Headquarters: 405 East 42nd St, 1st Avenue, NYC
(Visitor’s Entrance, 46th St. & 1st Ave.)
The event will consist of a panel of speakers from various parts of the world. They will discuss the different approaches used by their communities to address growing issues of mental health and personal well-being.

CEE’s Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina to participate.
Organized by: Health Subcommittee of the NGO Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, American Psychological Association, and Sunray Meditation Society.Co-sponsored by: NGO Committee on Mental Health, International Public Policy Institute,
and the International Federation of Social Workers.
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Indigeneity & the Defense of Mother Earth:
April 22, 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm UL104, University Center 63 5th Ave, NYC

With Tom BK Goldtooth (Dine’ & Dakota): Ex. Dir., Indigenous Environmental Network

Indigeneity & the Responsibilities of Scholar Activism:
April 23, 4-6 pm Kellen Auditorium, 66 5th Ave, NYC

Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz: Director of the Original Caretakers Program at CEE, Coordinator of the Otomi-Hñahñu Regional Council, Mexico and steering committee member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative and Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina: Scholar in Residence for the Center for Earth Ethics and Professor of Ethnoecology will join the panel in the April 23rd panel on Scholarly Activism as part of Earth Week at The New School.

With Manari Ushigua Santi, Akameno: Traditional healer & leader of the Sapara Nation in Ecuadorian Amazon;  Eduardo Kohn: Associate Professor of Anthropology at McGill University, specializing in the indigenous knowledges of Quichua (Quechua) speaking Runa of Ecuador’s Upper Amazon; Ronald Suárez Maynas: President of the Shipibo Conibo Xetebo Council of the Peruvian Amazon; Abou Farman: Assistant Professor of Anthropology, The New School for Social Research; Suzanne Benally (Dine’): Executive Director of Cultural Survival; and Jaskiran Dhillon: Associate Professor of Global Studies, The New School.  More

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Statement from the Gathering of Indigenous Spiritual Elders of South America & The Abya Yala

The process of unification of spiritual leaders around the world is taking place. CEE’s Original Caretakers Program Director, Mindahi Bastida recently participated in one such gathering of Indigenous Spiritual Elders of South America & The Abya Yala.  In order to take the next step among the Latin American peoples, native intellectuals and Spiritual Elders from Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica and Guatemala came together in this unique meeting to share insights about the state and future of Mother Earth, and to share knowledge, ideas and actions through the unification process.  Following is their statement in English with a Spanish language pdf below:

March 2019, Cauca, Colombia

In this way we commit ourselves to weave the knots that connect the local to the global, to revitalize the centers of ancestral thought and knowledge, the centers of the action and knowledge of women, to revitalize ancestral communication, music, songs, dances, rituals and sacred ceremonies of the peoples, the ceremonial lunar and solar celebrations, and the recovery and purification of the sacred sites. We commit to working with sources of energy to re-establish balance and restore natural order. This is a call from our hearts to the hearts of all those who feel this collective conscience of caring for and protecting our common home.

We call upon the following:

1. To the social and political organizations: so that they can listen to this message and realize that the wisdom of our ancient peoples is the solution to heal the illness that our Mother Earth is experiencing.

2. To governments: to recognize and value the wisdom, knowledge, science and ancestral spiritual authority that has maintained the integrity of indigenous territories.

3. To the United Nations: to support the endorsement of the rights of Mother Earth.

The new dawn ushers in unity, happiness, peace and harmony and the continuation of the spiral of life.  We call on all Indigenous Peoples to do translate this document in their native languages.

CHINCHAYSUYU CAJIBIO (ATLÁNTIDA ECOVILLAGE), CAUCA, COLOMBIA, MARCH 9TH 5527 (2019)

To communicate, spread and fulfill.  #HealingMotherEarth

This gathering has been carried out thanks to the support of the organizations:
International Center for Cultural Studies (ICCS US) | Center for Earth Ethics | The Fountain

Visit ICCS website here for more information on The Gathering and other participating guests.

 

Downloadable pdfs in English and Spanish:

Declaration – 2019 Gathering of Spiritual Elders – Cauca, Colombia

Declaración – 2019 Encuentro de Mayores – Cauca, Colombia

 

 

What is the Doctrine of Discovery? Why is it relevant in our world today?

In a nut shell, the Doctrine of Discovery, which is based on the Papal Bulls of the fifteenth century, is the origin of the European colonization, providing the answer as to why and how the actual degradation of peoples and nations began globally.

For me, as a historian, knowing this information serves to understand the context for why enslavement, genocide and ongoing suffering exists. It explains the imbalance of power which is supported and maintained by countries who claim to be democratic and justice seeking.  As Indigenous peoples work to decolonize, knowing the origin history helps to understand what is operating in our society and what needs to change.

I have made this my work because history matters. This is the mechanization of systemic subjugation which has remained in place for over 500 years. Unveiling this is akin to revealing the wizard behind the curtain. We are taught about Manifest Destiny, in order to participate in promoting it. That allows us to be in lock step with Empire; removing Indigenous peoples and clearing the land of them.  Our country does not teach this history, but uses this system to maintain power. Teaching this history helps people to understand why efforts to create a just society fall short. Unless we confront this reality, we will be at a loss to understand the systems which impact every aspect of our lived experience.

Theologically, the Papal Bulls are antithetical to the teachings of Jesus, who did not endorse stealing, subjugation or enslavement. His message lifted up and liberated the lowly, the oppressed, and taught us to welcome the stranger and to treat others with dignity and love. The Christian world follows the dictates of empire in conquering peoples and taking all of their possessions and land. In following Jesus, one would be more closely following the practices of Indigenous peoples, who worship God, lived communally and respected the earth.  

Now that we are in a crisis with our earth, we are turning to Indigenous wisdom, the very wisdom that has been demonized for centuries by empire for pagan practices.  And as we are looking to access this wisdom, Indigenous communities are still under attack with threats to water sources and sacred sites. Our system of hierarchies run counter to practices of community. Our society needs reorientation and to stop the subjugation of vulnerable peoples and communities.  Will empire let go of its greed for resources and land in an effort to renew the practices of Indigenous peoples? Will they be willing to let go of their pre-conceived fears of The Other in order to save our world? These questions and many others need to be examined.

People can educate themselves by researching the Doctrine and its use in removing people’s possessions and land, connecting to the legislation which supports these practices and advocating for justice (Johnson V. McIntosh, breaking of treaties with Native nations, relegating Indigenous rights to ancestral lands to merely the right of occupancy). Many of the traditional writings of our flawed history need to be re-examined, unlearned, rewritten and taught in order to create a more equitable society. Our constitution needs to be rewritten in order to represent all people, not just land-owning men of European ancestry. The mainstream societies fragility around these issues and unwillingness to change, need to be addressed in order to make any progress. (Columbus was not a hero, the civil war was fought to end slavery, etc.).

Petra Thombs is an Intern with the Original Caretakers Initiative at the Center for Earth Ethics. Petra is a recent graduate from Union Theological Seminary earning a degree in a Masters of Divinity, where she majored in Church History. She is currently interning as the Center for Earth Ethics, as part of her path towards Unitarian Universalist ministry. 

CEE Update: Water, Women and Planting Seeds of Change

IN LOVING MEMORY

We ⁦at the Center for Earth Ethics and Union Theological Seminary were honored to know Grandmother Josephine and give thanks for her life and teaching.

Reciprocity, Responsibilities, Hope

“We’ve known for a long time that water is alive. Water can hear you. Water can sense what you are saying and what you are feeling… Give it respect and it can come alive. Like anything. Like a person who is sick… if you give them love, take care of them, they’ll come alive. They’ll feel better. It’s the same with our mother, the earth, and the water. 
Give it love.” 
Grandmother Josephine Mandamin Remembered
by Water Docs Films and the trailer for The Water Journey

ORIGINAL CARETAKERS

Marrying Indigenous Wisdom & Scientific Knowledge:
Reimagining the Human Place in Nature

A very special evening with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer in conversation with Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina, Scholar in Residence for Union’s Center for Earth Ethics and Union Theological Seminary faculty member John Thatamanil.

 

Reflection by Geraldine Patrick Ensina and Complete Program Video

 


The Gathering of Indigenous Spiritual Elders of South America and the Abya Yala

CEE’s Original Caretakers Program Director, Mindahi Bastida, will travel to Colombia to participate in this sharing between indigenous thought leaders and tradition keepers of Central and South America.

The Gathering of Indigenous Spiritual Elders of South America and the Abya Yala, will be an expression of dialogue and reciprocity to heal Mother Earth for present and for future generations. It promises meaningful discussions, as well as the development of pragmatic action plans.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Earth Ethics, ICCS – International Center for Cultural Studies, and The Fountain.


ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Catherine Flowers to Testify for Congressional Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment

“The Clean Water State Revolving Fund: How Federal Infrastructure Investment Can Help Communities Modernize Water Infrastructure and Address Affordability Challenges”

LiveStream March 7th, 10 am EST


A Moral Call to Action on the Climate Crisis – Atlanta, GA

Thursday, March 14th
7:00 PM, Doors Open at 6:15 PM

Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA
In the tradition of the mass meetings of the Civil Rights Movement, Former Vice President Al Gore, Bishop William J. Barber II, and CEE Director Karenna Gore will join Reverend Dr. Raphael G. Warnock and other local faith leaders to gather inspiration from religious texts, and bear witness to the injustice of the climate crisis. The mass meeting takes place alongside a three-day environmental justice and climate activist training with taking place March 14th-16th. CEE’s Catherine Coleman Flowers also to join!  Learn More

ECO-MINISTRY

Annual Ministers Training May 30 – June 1

Application deadline is March 29, 2019. Applicants will be notified of decisions by April 30, 2019. Click here to submit an application.


 

You can support Grandmother Josephine’s vision
Women & Water Coming Together Symposium 
August 4-8, 2019
www.spiritofthewater.org

 

A Very Special Evening with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer: Reflection & Video

“Last night I had the joyful opportunity to interview Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass, Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. She is sweet as the sweetgrass, loving as a mother and attentive as a wise elder. She was delighted to hear that we, from the Center for Earth Ethics, are offering the course Plant Wisdom and Ecological Consciousness and wants to know all about it. Surely we will have opportunities to interact with her, as we actively engage in braiding together plant wisdom, science and traditional knowledge as a practice of being in the world. Certainly all of humanity needs to remember that communing with all sentient beings is the original purpose of living a human experience. The art of reminding about this purpose is something that Robin has become exquisitely passionate about. Last night, over two hundred people stood in ovation to express their deep gratitude for her overflow of wisdom, joy for life and caring for Mother Earth. Let us spread her word and make her dream –a shared dream– come true in her lifetime.”
~  Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina
***
Join us for a conversation with Robin Wall Kimmerer as she helps us rethink, reimagine and, renarrate our relationship to the sacred and the natural world. Can the objective, data-driven approach of science be enriched by non-anthropocentric spiritual worldviews? As a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Dr. Kimmerer draws on both indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge to enrich and animate our understanding of the natural world. This expansive way of seeing and relating to creation privileges regeneration and reciprocity, and offers novel solutions for ecological restoration and climate change resilience.

Dr. Kimmerer will be joined in conversation with Union faculty member John Thatamanil, and Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina, Scholar in Residence for Union’s Center for Earth Ethics.

 

About Robin Wall Kimmerer:
Dr. Kimmerer is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She serves as the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. Read More.

About The Insight Project:
The Insight Project is a new multi-year program series that explores modern conceptions of theology and spirituality through a diverse array of thought-provoking lectures, screenings, performances, and on-stage conversations. Click HERE to learn more.

What Would Dr. King Think of Our Progress?

Frigid. I cannot remember a King’s Day celebration that wasn’t. Born on January 15th, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was remembered today in many places throughout the country on what would have been his 90th birthday. Here today, Chief Dwayne Perry and I were in Newark, New Jersey, participating in the demonstration with the Peoples Organization for Progress. The march slowly began in front of the MLK monument.

As we drove around searching for the location, we reminisced about our younger years, trying to find work, direction and purpose. What would we have done at Dr. King’s young age? How did he manage?  It’s interesting to know that Chief and I traveled in the same parts of New York City at different times, Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn and the Bronx, areas that were dangerous; drugs were brought in to the old neighborhoods, the steady climb toward mass incarceration began. The dreams of the Civil Rights era shattered by Urban renewal, which at first seemed like a good thing only to find that it really meant urban removal of Black homes and businesses. The drive showed us the changes made in the city; large empty lots, huge sections of new builds. The communities are impacted with gentrification. Again, at first it seemed like a good thing, but then, it wasn’t.  Our communities are co-opted, our businesses cannot pay the high rents, our homes are being taken over by developers. It’s as if the clock had stopped. Dr. King had preached that we each needed to become leaders. In our own way, we and those we gathered with took that to heart, to continue the struggle.

What would Dr. King think of our progress? Our society does a kind of slow dance with its people of color, one step forward, two steps back. We had a Black president for eight years, and now the progress we made is being systematically rolled back. Dr. King would want to know that we are still positioning ourselves in justice work, that we are still mobilizing, we are still working for income equality. In his speech on economics and reparations, he outlined how our government subsidized the white peasants from Europe with land, with colleges to educate them on how to farm the land, and with tools and supplies to use to produce their farms and machinery to work the land. This same government had refused to provide any land for former enslaved people. Those same immigrants are now receiving millions in subsidies not to farm and with their privilege, telling Black people to pull themselves up by their boot straps. King’s tone and stance had changed over time, as he came to see that conditions for Blacks and poor folks remained the same. Martin was angry as he advocated for a radical redistribution of wealth.  He challenged us to march on Washington and demand to get paid. Today, we are only just approaching a living wage as laws are past for $15.00 an hour.

Our income disparity has grown with new tax breaks for the rich, while the lower classes are forced to pay for defense, infrastructure, and perhaps a new border wall. Corporations pay wages below the poverty line and those who are incarcerated are paid dollars a day to manufacture goods. Even more egregious, is using untrained inmates to fight fires and handle other natural disasters, their humanity seen as expendable, their lives as throw-a-ways. What can we do to help them, what can we do for the children held by the thousands in detention centers at the southern borders, or the families marred by gun violence, those in government working without a pay check, to say nothing of our endless wars?

What would Dr. King make of our current dilemma? Our march focused on the deaths of so very many of our youth at the hands of police. This is surreal in Newark, New Jersey, today. The litany of names read echoed into the cold. We know that those who protest these acts are demonized in the media, but we are in solidarity with them. Voices of intolerance have gotten louder and bolder, evoking concern and fear. And still, we pressed on. We sang songs of the movement, teaching a new generation to carry on the tradition.  The senior organizers were passing the baton to the younger college students.

Chief Perry reminded the crowd gathered to use their right to vote, and their advocacy to encourage others to do the same. We have to combat voter suppression nationwide. There are those who claim that voting is happening illegally, taking away from the fact of their suppression of this precious right, so many have died defending. He is heartened by so many women in Congress, he feels the tide is turning in a new and better direction. I am reminded that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”. The calendar has turned, we are fifty years later than when Dr. King was with us, and the struggle continues. On his birthday and every day, it does not matter how cold it is, Dr. King continues to walk with us, as a revered ancestor, whose constant and abiding love holds us in faith. His voice echoes on, teaching and inspiring us, giving us hope as we continue to work for justice and our Beloved Community.

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For more on the continuation of Dr. King’s work:

www.poorpeoplescampaign.org

www.leadtolife.org

thekingcenter.org

CEE November Update

Dear Friends,

Karenna Gore and CEE’s Herbalist in Residence, Poppy Jones, were joined by the Dogwood Alliance for a walk in the woods at NY City’s Van Cortlandt Park this fall.  Please enjoy Stories Happen in Forests‘ video, “Finding Faith in the Forest” giving you a window into their time together and a deep spiritual connection to the woods. The Dogwood Alliance is dedicated to reminding us how both magical & critical to our survival our Forests really are.

Join us and these heroic #ForestDefenders in building a powerful movement to protect our sacred forests. Learn more about their amazing work!

In Gratitude,
The Center for Earth Ethics Team

 

Join CEE this Month


Indigenous Timekeeping
and Sacred Sites Workshop

with Mindahi Bastida and Geraldine Patrick
Nov 17th, 2018, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm

Developing a Time-Space Consciousness
Activating Sacred Sites
Writing a Letter to our Beloved Home Landscape

THE RUBIN MUSEUM
150 West 17th St.
New York, NY 10011

Climate Change from the Perspective of Religious Traditions

“Indigenous American Religious Traditions and a ‘Wholistic’ Ecological Vision” with Karenna Gore, Mindahi Bastida and Geraldine Patrick

Sunday, November 18th
11:15 am – 12:15 pm

ALL SOULS CHURCH, NYC
1157 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10075

 

Sunday Scholars Panel: The Hudson as Life Force

How has the River been changed by us,
and how have we in turn, been changed by it?

Paul Gallay, President of Hudson Riverkeeper, moderates
with Karenna Gore, John Waldman, David Schuyler & Lee Bitsoi
Nov 18th, 2018, 2:00 – 3:00 pm, RSVP Required

Co-Hosted by Hudson Riverkeeper and
the Hudson River Museum

HUDSON RIVER MUSEUM
1511 Warburton Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10701

Mindahi Bastida joins International Gathering of Indigenous Leaders and Artists

Commemorating the First Anniversary of the
Return of Mungo Man

A Choice for PEACE Awareness

Grandmother Maria Alice of The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers is sending a message of peace and awareness for what is going on in her home country of Brazil, and asks for your prayers at this crucial time.  Her plea calls us all into a place of conscious choice.

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A CHOICE FOR PEACE AWARENESS

As a woman, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother my choice is for peace, for life and for the respect of all lives.

At this moment, I share this message to all who can hear me, and to Brazilians in particular.

We are facing a serious scenario that challenges the inner harmony of people, both personally and socially. The beliefs and convictions, and the physical, emotional and mental stability of people are in jeopardy. We are facing threats and counter-information. In the media there is no longer any control over the truth of what is being reported. What is going on is referred to as a “democratic process”, but that is not what we are seeing or experiencing. There is a violent power connected with international groups’ interests and greed, which is creating an obscure atmosphere intended to manipulate our choice. Most simple people are confused, frightened and disoriented believing in false news and in false promises.

At this point we are challenged to make a choice and this choice will define the future of our nation and our people, impacting our children and nature. It will even influence the whole world. We need to be really aware. We cannot act under pressure or impulse. We must meditate seriously within ourselves, within the inner temple of our hearts. Do we want weapons? Do we want torture? Do we want inequality? Will we condone racial persecution? Or do we want peace and freedom? Is it possible that guns, torture and brutality can serve to bring us peace? I think history has already proved to us that the answer is NO. The more weapons, the more suffering, the more hate, the more revenge, the greater the consequences for everyone. Why should we believe in the illusion that a weapon gives us power when we can believe in the power of love of a brother and sisterhood?

Whatever spiritual path we choose to follow, we learn that we are all in the likeness of the same Creator. That the light that shines in me also shines in every being of Creation. When this light is given the opportunity to shine in each one, it is then that we will know freedom.

Freedom teaches us the responsibility of our choice. If we are free and we choose evil, we will reap the fruit of this action. If we choose weapons, one day we will be hit by them. If we choose the destruction of the Amazon, we will be responsible for the drought all over the planet, not to mention the extinction of thousands of animal lives and plant species that hold great medicinal power. If we choose to withdraw the right of the indigenous peoples to their lands, we will be annihilating the guardians of life and the natural richness of our planet; furthermore, we will be diminishing our roots and our ancestry.

When our choice affects the collective, then our responsibility is even greater. We must step with calmness and maturity, for if we act impulsively we can fail. The question is, do we choose peace or violence? In this moment we are being confronted with such a choice. Such is the gravity of our situation. If we choose to be neutral we are also deceiving ourselves. Neutrality here is an illusion. The one who thinks he is being neutral is also responsible for the result of the collective choice.

This choice seems political, but it is not. A deeper and more decisive choice is at hand. Are we going to choose to be human or are we going to negate our humanness? If we are human, we need to embrace our diversity, those who are most alike and those who are different. Everyone has the same right. Therefore, if our choice affects the rights and freedom of the other, our rights and freedom will also be affected.

Time now puts us before a great opportunity to develop and grow our consciousness. We must act with awareness. Not react. Do not act on impulse or by pressure.

My awareness as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, teaches me to act with love and respect for all creation. We are all different, yet in all of us there is a longing for good, a longing for peace. Sometimes the disappointments that we go through in life create calluses in our feelings, and that may create reactive behaviors. We become rigid and disconnected from the original longing of our heart. But if we are calm, and if we learn to deepen the yearning for the child that dwells in each of us, surely we will find the choice for peace, happiness, freedom and respect for the beauty of nature and all of life.

I invite all of you to unite now around this great alliance for good, for brother and sisterhood, for the respect of our lives, with all its differences, and be a pillar and an instrument for love.

MAY ALL BECOME AWAKENED IN PEACE AWARENESS!!!

Grandmother Maria Alice Campos Freire, Brazil