Saturday, November 24, 2007
This is an important message from jailed American Indian activist Leonard Peltier.
Greg Peterson aka YoopernewsmanVolunteer media advisor for the Turtle Island Project in northern Michigan.
Please forward the following message - please do not edit.
National Day of Mourning Statement, by Leonard Peltier November 22, 2007
The Leonard Peltier Defense kindly requests that you please forward this announcement in its entirety, please do not modify, edit, remove or add to this announcement.
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
Thank You United American Indians of New England ( LPSG )
On behalf of Leonard Peltier and the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, we would like to thank the United American Indians of New England, LPSG for their continued support and solidarity.
This year's National Day of Mourning is dedicated to Leonard Peltier.
Since 1970, hundreds of other Native Americans from across the country and their non-Native allies have been converging on Plymouth Harbor to let people know that Thanksgiving is a "Day of Mourning" that marks the genocide of thousands of Native Americans, the theft of Native Lands and the assault on Native Cultures.
Today, Thursday, November 22, 2007 hundreds of people will gather and march on Plymouth Harbor and join in solidarity as various tribal elders and members speak of the importance of Unity among all Indigenous Peoples.
Elder Bert Waters will read the following statement from Leonard Peltier:
National Day of Mourning Statement from Leonard Peltier:
November 22, 2007
Greetings my Relations, As I sit here in my cell, thinking about you, and gathering my thoughts, I can't help but appreciate you remembering me.
I was told just the other day that people in Oklahoma protested Oklahoma's 100 year celebration of its statehood.
They protested or demonstrated and also celebrated their 100 years of survival of an adversed government that has violated all treaties and has gained control of most of their land.
I support those Indian people.
It also brings to mind those who - like Columbus came and did the same, take our lands, and also what has happened to all people all over the world- the Jews, the Palestians, as well as other indigenous countries and peoples.
Yet I have to say that America shares most of the responsibility to do the right thing.
What happened to the teachings or commandments of: Thou shall not lie Thou shall not kill Thou shall not steal
I can't remember all the commandments but what I do know is They have lied They have killed They have stolen.
They have mistreated our Mother- our Mother Earth, our rivers, our land, the air we breathe and the water we drink.
I consider global warming the wrong that has been done to our people.
Even the Mexican people state in their own way, "We did not cross the border, the border crossed us".
The Mexican people are Indian people. I have no doubt the Indian people of South America, North America, Central American will join in unison to make all the America's better.
A circle of Life is what dictates that the earth shall renew itself every spring. We have said this for generations.
Go back and read our Elders sayings as we have been trying to tell Europeans that came here- to honorour traditional ways and to honor our Mother Earth and keep the Circle of Life.
Chief Seattle said: "Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." Chief Seattle, 1855
This is just one of the many quotations from our ancestors.
Now today we have global warming.
We take no pride of solace in saying " We told you so."
But we do hope that the people of Europe and all around the world will start looking at the Native way of life.
Our Elders teach us that when we take from this earth, we must give back.
There is no greater resource on the face of this earth than our children.
America is leading in the wrongful influence of our youth.
Wrong medicine is being offered to our youth, commonly called alcohol and drugs.
It is up to each one of us, to get involved and make a difference in a positive way.
It is time to give back to our children.
I encourage each of you to take it upon yourself to stand up and find someway to help our youth.
The youth of the world are in jeopardy; let us not rob future generations of their future.
The greatest symbol of the Creator is the circle.
I encourage each of you to make the circle complete- the sacred cycle of the family, the cycle of the seasons, your personal cycle of life make them as strong as possible spiritually, mentally and physically.
Stay strong and never, never give up.
I can not say it enough or express my appreciation to each of you how much I appreciate those of you who came here today to remember me and to listen to what this prisoner has to say.
Again I simply say,
Thank you In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
USP Lewisburg PA
PO BOX 1000
Lewisburg ,PA 17837
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
Toni Zeidan-Co-director LPDC
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Turtle Island Project: Northern Michigan clergy use Native American teachings to protect environment, fight racism against American Indians
The Turtle Island Project: Centering prayer, jubilation, fighting for the environment, and clergy standing up for social change were all part of ecumenical retreat in northern Michigan
(Munising, Michigan) - A Chicago theology professor told northern Michigan clergy, church leaders, and the public “we live in a kyros moment” involving the environment and other social issues during a recent ecumenical retreat sponsored by the Turtle Island Project in Munising.
“We as human beings have not been good stewards of creation,” said Rev. Dr. George Cairns, co-founder and board chair of the Turtle Island Project (TIP). “Native American peoples are the best living teachers of how to respect the environment.”
The environment and the gifts of nature “are not something to simply be consumed,” said Rev. Cairns, research professor theology for the Chicago Theological Seminary and an ordained United Church of Christ minister.
“The children of a generation or two from now are going to face a very very difficult time,” said Cairns of Chesterton, Indiana.
The TIP project promotes respect for the environment and Earth-based cultures like Native Americans, Celts and others.
The TIP plans including national conferences and Native American roundtables providing a platform for American Indians to speak out on issues of concern to themselves or tribes without interference from whites.
Quoting internet research by several environment groups, Cairns said nearly 15,600 species are threatened with extinction and over the past 500 years humans have forced 844 species into extinction with the exception of a few from some of those groups who remain alive only in zoos, preserves and other manmade facilities.
Cairns noted several 2007 United Nations reports stating that almost one-third of the world's species of animals and plants are expected to be at risk of extinction by climate change within 50 years.
The U.N. studies were reported widely in Europe but received little attention in the U.S. news media. The TIP encourages clergy to become beacons for social change by speaking out about civil rights, environment and other issues.
"The Inconvenient Truth is good news compared to what I read on species extinction," warned Cairns, referring to the controversial global warming film by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore who shared a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“It's not that people are evil necessarily - it’s just that there are a lot of us and we are pushing for places to live,” Cairns said.
One person attending the conference noted that the environmental problem is heightened by the fact people are living longer due to new drugs and better healthcare.
Cairns said it can be disheartening for the average person who wants to respect nature but witnesses some countries and corporations causing more pollution in a minute than a human can prevent in a lifetime.
“They are building new coal-fired power plants in China every week,” Cairns said.
“What’s going on are there are really huge corporations who are trying to hoist off the environmental responsibility to individuals,” Cairns said.
“We need to treat the Earth like we would treat a beloved spouse or friend,” Cairns said.
An event of the TIP's Grand Island Grand Island Conference and Retreat Program, "Quest for Harmony: The Contemplation of Nature in the Christian Tradition" was held on Friday, November 9, 2007 at Eden on the Bay Lutheran Church in Munising.
Cairns demonstrated “centering prayer” that is a method of silent and contemplative prayer.
Clearing the mind of extraneous thought and choosing a word to help focus thoughts are among ways to silently pray for twenty minutes two times daily.
“There is no wrong way to do centering prayer,” said Cairns, who learned the art from Father Thomas Keating, one of three Trappist monks considered to be the founders of the technique.
“Centering prayer helps us develop a deeper intimacy with God,” Cairns said. “We open ourselves to God’s movement within.”
Centering prayer creates a “little more compassion and kindness” Cairns' said.
All the world’s religions have some form of silent prayer, Cairns said.
The daily silent prayer, Cairns said, enables him to better face the evil in the world and to strive for social change with a clear mind.
“We can’t do this (fight evil) with just our brains,” Cairns said. “It allows one to engage more fully - we are re-empowered for engagement.”
The calming of entering prayer allows people to become a “full human being” and be “more efficient and effective in our lives,” Cairns said. “You free yourself from blinders. It reveals the dark spaces in the heart that restricts what you are doing.”
TIP co-founder and director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard said centering prayer revitalizes “individuals like us who spend so much time in our rational brains.”
“You retreat to recharge your batteries to fight another day,” said Hubbard, pastor of Eden on the Bay Lutheran Church in Munising.
Those attending retreat were introduced to “jubilation” a former of chanted prayer or singing that creates unique sounds. During jubilation, people create music through emitting more than one sound or pitch at the same time using a form of humming.
A group of people performing jubilation sometimes creates sounds that no one individual has made because the sound waves collide with each other and the objects in the room, Cairns said.
Stories on U.N. reports prepared by about 400 of the world’s scientists on global environment, global warming, and other issues since June 2007:
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN):
Inconvenient Truth & Al Gore official websites:
Pledge to help:
Summary of Turtle Island Project websites & TV (video) sites:
TIP Sacred Places website - Upload your own Sacred Place:
Turtle Island TV - Video sites:
(All have Skype online video calling)
Co-founder/Director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard:
Pastor of Eden on the Bay Lutheran Church in Munising, Michigan; does spiritual work on the Lakota Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota
Co-founder/President of the Board Rev. Dr. George Cairns:
Research Professor of Practical Theology and Spirituality at Chicago Theological Seminary; ordained minister in the United Church of Christ
Volunteer Media Advisor Greg Peterson:
Turtle Island Project
Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard
PO Box 360
The non-profit Turtle Island Project (TIP) in northern Michigan promotes respect for the environment and Native Americans.
The project was founded in July 2007 and battles exploitation of the environment, racism, and religious imperialism.
The TIP tackles numerous environment and social issues including learning to protect the planet from Earth-based cultures.
Founders are Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard., the pastor of Eden on the Bay Lutheran Church in Munising, Michigan who has worked extensively with the Lakota tribe in South Dakota; and Rev. Dr. George Cairns, United Church of Christ minister, an expert in Celtic spirituality and a research professor of Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary.