ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS LEADERSHIP GATHERING: PROTECTING THE SACRED
The St’át’imc Chiefs’ Council will once again oversee the 3rd Annual International Indigenous Leadership Gathering in Xaxl’ip, St’át’imc Territory, May 30thto June 5th, 2011 (at 10,001 Fountain Valley Rd, Fountain, B.C., 30 minutes from Lillooet. B.C.,Canada). The theme is “Protecting the Sacred”. The gathering is free & takes place in an outdoor arbor. All are welcome across the globe, meals are provided. People camp & gather to share messages, witness & partake in scheduled discussions & ceremonies by various Indigenous speakers from around the world & locally. Please bring your own tent & camping gear, plates & cutlery (Cooking gear if possible). *Please Respect, Reduce, Re-use & Recycle.
Unfortunately, some Worldwide Indigenous Peoples are facing rapid cultural-loss due to the aggressive assimilation policies still underway. At the same time, the remaining elders are quickly passing on. Continent to continent, the teachings that have guided countless generations, rooting the children and connecting the youth and next generations, are at risk. Recognizing the crossroads, the elders across many Indigenous cultures have warned that we must act now to safeguard the teachings. Governments call these teachings ‘traditional knowledge’; however, it is Sacred Knowledge, of Sacred Life Relationships, connecting us all in the Circle of Life.
Throughout the 1st and 2nd IILG we have heard shared-teachings from the Hopi, Lakota, Maya & other Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island & throughout the world who say that the time for reconnection is now. Time is short for restoring the balance. The children need us to move with truth, love, spirit and discipline. We have been instructed to come together for real reflection. Unlike other meetings, this gathering will take place at a sacred site (near Swena7em), in the heart of an Indigenous Nation’s ancestral territory.
The Gathering has brought together elders, ceremony keepers, & mandated leaders from the 4 directions including: Asia, Africa, theAmerica’s (including the Arctic),Australia, & the South Pacific to discuss issues of common concern, based on territory, as well as visions for honouring the shared responsibilities. The 4 critical issues to be addressed include:
1) Sacred Knowledge- Embracing the guidance of our ancestors and elders, to live in balance.
2) Sacred Lands- Respecting the rhythms and warnings of Mother Earth to choose wisely.
3) Sacred Children- Nurturing the young ones, both near and far.
4) Sacred Generations- providing for future generations, the grandchildren and for all humanity.
Addressing such topics in their proper cultural context will provide a breakthrough for Indigenous Peoples internationally. It offers protection for the children and grounding for the youth, at a time when meaningful initiatives for tackling the root causes of culture loss are scarce. There will be relevant guidance from recognized spiritual authorities instead of further outside ‘expert’ prescriptions. Indigenous Peoples themselves will address the pressing global issues at which their Peoples now find themselves the centre of – for example, climate change.
The Sacred Fires have been lit. In August 2008 tobacco was delivered to Chief Arvol Looking Horse (Lakota), 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, to formalize his invitation. Many other indigenous elders spoke at the 1st & 2nd IILG. Returning speakers include Chief Arvol looking Horse, Paula Mullen-horne, Rene Franco Salas of Peru, Jose Isabel Gonzalez De la Cruz & David Esponda of Mexico, Geshe YongDong of Tibet, Tom Crane Bear, Dave Courchene, Dr. Lee Brown, and Phil Lane Jr. This year we have invited the 13 Grandmother’s, Margaret Liensman of Yellowknife, Mona Pollaca, Maurice Littlewolf and various St’át’imc elders, leaders and First nation’s role models. The St’át’imc Chiefs’ Council raises our hands to you in gratitude for your continued support for this unique gathering based on vision. We would also like to take this time to officially invite you to our gathering (that is open to all people, world-wide). Please note that if you provide a financial donation, the St’át’imc Chiefs’ Council will also provide you or your organization with a charitable society address number for Canadian taxation purposes.
Please make a cheque or money order to: the Ucwalmicw Centre Society,P.O. Box 152,10 Paul Street, Lillooet, B.C. V0K 1V0,Canada.
Telephone 1(250) 256 – 0101, Fax 1 (250) 256 – 0247.