2005 World Peace and Prayer Day
OVERVIEW

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.

Ancient prophecies 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.

Participants include 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.

Plan of Action

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 South Dakota.

Through the 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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