FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Francisco, CA – July 7, 2014 – The URI Global Indigenous Initiative (URIGII), recently convened Hidden Seeds of Natural Healing & Curing.
This Global Gathering of 33 Indigenous Wisdom Keepers from six continents met June 30-July 3, near Napa Valley in Northern California. The Wisdom Keepers included two Indigenous youth leaders, ages13 and 14.
The URIGII convened for the purpose of engaging in critical dialogue about practical issues and concerns facing worldwide Indigenous communities and all members of the Human Family, including the intergenerational and on-going global impact of colonialism.Based on this dialogue, grounded in traditional ways of knowing and being, a strategic action plan was developed and launched for guiding the future work of the Global Indigenous Initiative.
For over a decade, Hidden Seeds Co-convener and Quechua Elder Alejandrino Quispe Mejia, along with a contingent of Latin American Indigenous Peoples, have tirelessly worked to manifest the vision of the URI Global Indigenous Initiative (GII). The purpose of the URIGII is to give greater voice and visibility to Indigenous wisdom and faith traditions worldwide.
Following the recent unanimous landmark decision by the Canadian Supreme Court granting traditional land claim title and sovereignty to the Tsilhqot’in First Nation, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s announcement to 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 vision and launch of the URIGII was yet another fulfillment of Indigenous Prophecies across the Americas and beyond. 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 and agreed that promised time is now!
“We found a family from all parts of the world that are passionate about strengthening Indigenous values and improving the lives of Indigenous Peoples. 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, a Mohawk and Turtle Clan representative from Six Nations Grand River Territory. “We realized we were not alone and must do this work together - being a Global Indigenous Family. A great wave of change for peace has begun to roll over the face of Mother Earth."
Another key outcome of the URIGII was the unanimous agreement to work together, with existing efforts, to have the Papal Bulls of 1455-1493, and resulting Doctrine of Discovery formally denounced by Pope Francis on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church. This includes the issuance of a full apology to Indigenous Peoples and all other members of the Human Family, who have been unjustly colonized and have suffered untold, immeasurable damage, and long-standing, continuing intergenerational hardships. Toward this goal, URIGII members were encouraged that it’s global stand would be successful, in light of recent statements and actions by Pope Francis on poverty, ecumenical sexual abuse, and the devastation wrought by human-centered ecological imbalance, "When I look at America, also my homeland, so many forests, all cut…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."
URIGII 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, their cultures their ways of life, 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. This includes other members of the Human Family that, also, continue to be grievously impacted by global 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 Peoples 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.”
Other issues discussed for unprecedented, unified action 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) Accurately depicting Indigenous arts and cultures through the media as expressions of the sacred;
(3) Protecting and restoring sacred sites for ceremonial use and the repatriation of all cultural effects to their Indigenous Peoples of origin.
(4) Galvanizing connections with various global networks to support the URI Global Indigenous Initiative and its efforts;
(5) Halting the assault on Mother Earth by extractive industries that are destroying the waters and causing increasing egregious imbalance to the natural environment;
(6) Create sacred gardens in each region to preserve, protect and perpetuate plant life and healing herbs central to Indigenous communities.
#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 at https://www.facebook.com/events/1436522533284657/ to learn more, and to also share your aspirations and dreams for our common 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 email@example.com.
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 differing religions, spiritual expressions, and Indigenous traditions.
For more information about URI, please contact Isabelle Ortega, Director of Global Communications and Strategic Planning, by calling (415) 561-2300 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.