Quotes by Grandmother Mona Polacca

"Look at the nature, Look at the water, look at this air, look at this fire -- the sun, even. Look at
this earth. We ARE in the 11th hour."]

"Oh Creator, Great Spirit God, we're grateful to you these divine holy elements -- the water, the air, this -um- fire, this Mother Earth. All these things that give us our everyday life. "

"I'd like to acknowledge the sacred fire that is here today.  There was a time in our lives as indigenous people that we were walking upon this earth. We didn't have maps. We did not have road signs, yet we were able to journey. When we felt like we were lost, we would sit down and we would say our prayers in front of this Grandpa fire.  We would be shown the direction to go.  All of these grandmothers that have come together in this good way, seeking something good not only for yourself, but for all of the world, always respect it, always look to it.  Let it be there to help you."

"I believe it's the Creator, guiding everyone together to be part of a very, very special and sacred energy." 

"I call upon you and ask that you bless us, each one of us, for as we go from this gathering here on our separate ways, may our prayers, our thoughts, our feelings, our plans for a better future, for future generations to come, let it be that way and make it that way for us.  Let the first step we take out of this doorway here be in a positive direction towards that thought, that feeling, that prayer.  These things I say to you for all my relations."

"There needs to be a change in how we behave towards one another and how we conduct our lives and how we treat the environment and there needs to be a connecting of people who share that kind of understanding."

"There was once a time as indigenous people when we didn't have any maps or road signs, yet we were able to make our way. We were able to journey.  We had the sacred fire so that when there was a moment when we felt we lost our sense of direction, when we were lost and disoriented, not knowing which direction to go, we would sit down before this Grandpa Fire. In poor health physically, mentally, spiritually, we would sit down before Grandpa Fire and say our prayers. In that way we would be shown the direction we needed to go, the things we needed to do. We would be given the signs through Grandfather Fire. Our hearts would be filled with warmth love, and compassion. That's the way this Grandfather Fire is. Always respect it, always look to it, let it be there to help you."

"When I come back into my home, I receive the welcome of my grandmother looking at me.  Though I've never met her, I have this connection with her."

"You know, there is something really special about this. Nonnatives so often build a huge bonfire, so big that everyone has to stand back. Natives build a small fire, so that everyone has to come close." 

"The youth learn these ways are accessible, not meant to be just seen under glass in a museum where you can only stand and look. Their hands can hold the traditional ways. It's not just our history, but an essential part of our life today."

“My elders said, ‘Know where your water comes from. Know your fire. Know where you are going to find your food.’”  Grandmother Mona Polacca, Hopi/Havasupai

 "You are not here just for yourself," Grandmother Mona's mother taught her. "Wherever you go, you are a representative of our family ... our tribe, our people." 

"Indigenous people have come through a time of great struggle, a time of darkness. The way I look at it is like the nature of a butterfly. In the cocoon, a place of darkness, the creature breaks down into a fluid and then a change, a transformation, takes place. When it is ready and in its own time, it begins to move and develop a form that stretches and breaks away from this cocoon and emerges into this world, into life, as a beautiful creature.  We grandmothers, we have emerged from that darkness, see this beauty, see each other and reach out to the world with open arms, with love, hope, compassion, faith and charity."

"We're in a time of many alarming events and life crises that involve the basic elements of life: water, earth, sun, fire and earth--the foundations of life are our concern."

"Leadership is the highest spiritual calling, and as leaders, the starting point begins with you - managing your whole self - by utilizing the spirit that lies within your identity and the strength of your culture."

photo: www.everygreen.edu

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