Peace and Prayer Day
On June 21st 2005
World Peace and Prayer Day will be in its 10th year of an
international celebration, in joining world wide communities to
share in cultural exchange, discuss environmental issues and protect
sacred sites located throughout the world.
predicted the time in which we find ourselves today when population
growth, over consumption, depletion of our natural resources and
pollution have severely damaged our Earth's life-sustaining
capabilities. Technologies of nuclear, chemical and biological
warfare give us the power not only to wipe out all of humanity, but
to make the planet itself incapable of sustaining human life. On an
international level we have adopted materialism over conservation of
the Earth's limited resources, forgetting that the Earth is not a
resource to be used but, rather, the source of life itself.
In 1994 the birth of
the first white buffalo calf was announced which according to Lakota
ancient prophecies predicted this birth as both a warning and a
blessing. Prophecies predicted that the birth of the white buffalo
calf would come when we have overused and abused our Earth and
harmed life itself. This predicted signal was to awaken people to
change their ways. It signaled, according to traditional Lakota
prophecy that the Earth is at a crossroads.
As envisioned by
Chief Arvol Looking Horse in 1997 a proposed solution was sought
where on an international level people would actively take part in
World Peace and Prayer Day events.
people of all races, ages, genders and faiths who share concern for
the welfare of humanity and the Earth and who have a desire to
preserve and share their own cultural identity and indigenous
knowledge. Our creed: "all nations, all faiths, one prayer"
encompasses all beliefs. This year's event will include spiritual,
religious and cultural leaders from over a dozen countries. The
emphasis will focus on the importance of learning from the world's
indigenous elders who hold a special place of honor in the Lakota
tradition. The Earth's holistic benefits, of both the environment
and all beings, passed on from generation to generation play an
important role in solving many of the issues of the environment
today. As we have learned in the past as well as the present the
earths, natural resources holds the key to healing, living and well
being. We believe that what is known to the indigenous as a "Sacred"
site is the secret to the earth's power to sustain life. In
understanding the knowledge of the Indigenous Elders we can see the
importance that they share wisdom and experience with the youth who
must take on the world of the future.
In accordance with
Lakota tradition, ceremonies are in cycles, honoring the four
directions, and then a fifth ceremony to give thanks, (wopila).
After completing a 5-year cycle through North and South America,
World Peace and Prayer Day moved its celebration on a global level,
to reach the remaining four continents. In 2001 WPPD traveled to
Ireland, 2002 to South Africa, 2003 to Australia and 2004 to Japan.
In 2005 World Peace and Prayer Day is scheduled to return for the
thank you ceremony in the Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota.
As in past years,
delegations from different cultures who have participated in
previous World Peace and Prayer Day events will meet with the local
tribes and caretakers of the land to discuss issues of concern, both
local and global, and their possible solutions. Additionally,
ceremonies will be observed, followed by a cross- cultural
celebration consisting of music, dance and storytelling. By
encouraging the celebration of this day around the world at sites
sacred to the local culture, we honor local traditions and recognize
that many of today's conflicts are inspired by what Salman Rushdie
calls the battle for "space, dignity, recognition, and survival."
To honor this 10th
year in the World Peace and Prayer Day wopila (thank you) event, it
was decided by Chief Jacob Sanderson of the Cree Nation to bring a
horse bundle by horseback to assist in the ceremonial activities.
The Ride will begin May 2005 from a sacred site located at Cypress
Hills Saskatchewan and end June 18 at Black Hills Elk Creek Resort,
South Dakota. (see Appendix Wolakota S'unkan Wakan).
To bring awareness
to World Peace and Prayer Day Wolakota Youth Council will be
conducting a Prayer Run for World Peace. This is Wolakota Youth
Council's first event and will begin May of 2005, end on June 18th
at Piedmont, South Dakota. Runners will participate in the World
Peace and Prayer Day Ceremony on June 21st. Four groups will start
off in the four directions, keeping in spiritual harmony with each
other throughout the run. The west group will leave from Los
Angeles, CA, the north group will leave from Canada, the east group
will leave from New York & North Carolina, and the south group will
leave from Mexico City and El Paso, Texas. This is for the 7th
generation, to represent every nation on Turtle Island (Canada,
U.S., Mexico, and South America). From nation to nation, the sacred
eagle feather will be passed from hand to hand, giving them the
responsibility to lead.
World Peace and
Prayer Day 2005 will be assisted by the Tekio Organization. TEKIO
has had a singular vision since its inception - to empower youth
toward sustainable livelihoods in social and environmental
restoration. In the Nahuatl language of central Mexico, the word "tequio"
means "My work offering to the community". TEKIO has fostered an
interactive global community, where youth and adults come together
to build a better world. Whether the youth are developing in a rural
or an urban setting, TEKIO offers skills and mentoring to support
their actions towards restoration through open, replicable and
sustainable practices. TEKIO has been evolving a powerful network of
committed youth and adults who, working in concert with similar
projects around the world, have successfully launched more than 600
youth-run incubator projects for the social, cultural and economic
welfare of the communities in which they operate. These courageous
and committed individuals have transformed their communities through
practical projects, such as clean water systems, dry toilets,
ecologically sound construction techniques, renewable energy
systems, waste management, cultural and artistic exchanges, personal
development, entrepreneurial skills and community building
activities. Such a project will be set up in the Black Hills of
expansion of the World Peace and Prayer Day celebrations beyond the
Americas and through the Internet, we are reaching beyond the
boundaries of nation, race or ethnicity. In forming a strong base to
cultural identity each year's celebration has been designed with
local people honoring their own sacred sites and traditions
throughout the world. World Peace and Prayer Day events include
cultural sharing, dance, music and speakers on environmental
protection. World Peace and Prayer Day leaves participants with hope
for the future, a common link between international communities
towards healing the Earth's natural resources and a goal towards the
protection of sacred sites world wide.
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