The Fourth Way reflects the view that the Human Family is at a crossroad facing diverging paths; on one side lays the path of assimilation, resignation, conflict, militarism, economic insecurity and war, on the other, a Sacred Path, the Red Road leading to healing, mutual understanding, reconciliation forgiveness, cooperation and sustainable and harmonious prosperity.
“We”, the likeminded Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth, offer the Fourth Way based on the conviction that Indigenous Peoples, in the fullest sense of our understanding, have the vision, the guiding principles, the values, the growing capacity and the collective resources to co-create a peaceful and harmonious future for our children and grandchildren.
We submit that our Indigenous Peoples, who care for Mother Earth and all living beings, hold an important key to peace, security and sustainable well-being for all members of the Human Family. In the Fourth Way, we discuss the issues and outline a strategy for the constructive engagement of all concerned. Our collective future is at stake.
The implementation of the Fourth Way requires each to look at the world around us in a new way. We are accustomed to seeing the world through a prism uniquely anchored in our background, experience, and to the narrative or founding “myth” of our Indigenous land or group. We are especially bound together by spiritual values, traditions, prophecies and guiding principles.
We must learn to respect both religious belief and religious differences rooted in mutual love and respect! The Fourth Way honors all forms of Faith Traditions but also respects freedom of conscience.
We must learn to widen our prism to see and understand more than we did before, to see ourselves as others see us and to see the issues we face from differing points of view. In the end, we must come to understand the true meaning of Black Elk's vision, that despite our differences, we are in fact, all related.
BLACK ELK’S VISION
Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I saw in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.
Then as I stood there, two men were coming from the east, head first like arrows flying, and between them rose the Daybreak Star. They came and gave a herb to me and said: "With this on earth you shall undertake anything and do it." It was the Daybreak-Star herb, the herb of understanding, and they told me to drop it on the earth. I saw it falling far, and when it struck the earth it rooted and grew and flowered, four blossoms on one stem, a blue, a white, a scarlet, and a yellow; and the rays from these streamed upward to the heavens so that all creatures saw it and in no place was there darkness.