November is Native American Heritage Month 

November is Native American Heritage Month 

 This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Nations: Building Strength Through Understanding. There are hundreds of tribes across the nation, with over 570 federally recognized.  They are the Indigenous Peoples of the United States – 5 million strong! This is a time to...
Vital Voices Protecting the Sacred

Vital Voices Protecting the Sacred

Words such as “hero”, “warrior” and “defender” are a part of every culture.  Some become famous and are part of our collective history. Some go out every day and with very little fanfare, keep us safe, rescue us when tragedy strikes...

Busuréliame, Inner Awakening Through Ceremony


Busuréliame, Inner Awakening Through Ceremony

The Sacred Fire Foundation grant provided logistical support, food for the Tarahumara during the planning and conducting of two regional harvest ceremonies which are part of a larger vision and program to strengthen Tarahumara resilience. Busuréliame (Inner Awakening)...

2019: the Year of Indigenous Languages

By Mercedes Caso Indigenous languages matter for social, economic and political development, peaceful coexistence and reconciliation in our societies. Yet many of them are in danger of disappearing. It is for this reason that the United Nations declared 2019 the Year...
Voices for the Water

Voices for the Water

By Alison Wearing For most of us, water is available at the simple turn of a tap. It’s easy to lose our connection to its source, its significance, its spiritual essence. But there are people among us with a deep connection to water and its wisdom, Indigenous elders...
Dance as an Act of Love

Dance as an Act of Love

For more than twenty-five years, elder Pahan Pte San Win (Lakota, Cree & Metis) has been offering counseling support to residential school survivors, incarcerated men and youth, and women who have experienced abuse. In 2016, she had a vision: We will dance on...

17th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Source: UNDESA Indigenous communities play a vital role as custodians of our planet, possessing vital knowledge that will support global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But despite progress to protect their rights, many of the world’s 370...
Voces de Sabiduría Ancestral

Voces de Sabiduría Ancestral

By Alison Wearing In the foothills of Meztitla, beneath the sacred cliffs of Tepoztlán, the 2018 Voices of Wisdom event, Voces de la Sabiduría, lit its flame.  Jacaranda blossoms shimmered in the bone-dry air and dust rose from the roads and footpaths. It was a...
How Indigenous knowledge advances modern science and technology

How Indigenous knowledge advances modern science and technology

  Indigenous knowledge has aided and enhanced modern science and technology for centuries, Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, speaks about climate change at the global COP22 conference in Marrakech, Morocco, in November 2016. (AP...
Voices of Wisdom in Olympia, Washington

Voices of Wisdom in Olympia, Washington

After an usually dry summer in Olympia, Washington, a welcoming rain greeted Yakama Nation elder Levina Wilkins, Hereditary Chief of the Lummi Nation Tsi’li’xw (Bill James), and 35 people who came from Oregon, California, and Washington state to gather around a consecrated fire. The group listened as Levina and Bill shared stories of their upbringing, the elders that cared for and guided them, and the traditions that they pass on to young people today.

2017 Voices of Wisdom Southeast

2017 Voices of Wisdom Southeast

By Cindy Fogle Imagine a spectacular 360 view of the Blue Ridge Mountains atop a grassy knoll in Weaverville, NC. Here, people of all ages, from infants and toddlers, to folks in their wisdom years, came together to experience the sacred. The ancestors gathered, too,...
Voices of Wisdom at the Blue Deer Center August 22 and 23, 2017

Voices of Wisdom at the Blue Deer Center August 22 and 23, 2017

The Voices of Wisdom event at the beautiful Blue Deer Center was a powerful experience and many of us who attended feel we grew significantly from participating in it. Gail Whitlow, a Mohawk Elder, presented first, explaining that for centuries, prior to the white people’s arrival, her Mohawk ancestors had used this land for sacred gatherings.

Join us in Celebrating Ancestral Wisdom

Join us in Celebrating Ancestral Wisdom

Ancestral wisdom, held by Indigenous elders the world over, is the knowledge gained and kept for centuries by the Indigenous Peoples of the world. Not only does it hold the key to our survival, but it also teaches us how to live in right and balanced relationship with everything and everyone around us.

World Indigenous Peoples’ Day

World Indigenous Peoples’ Day

World Indigenous Peoples’ Day (August 9), which commemorates the tenth anniversary of the signing of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is bittersweet this year. While much progress has been made in the last decade, there is much work to be done to honor Indigenous communities and their world views.

Two Circles – Gratitude for the Past, Hope for the Future

Two Circles – Gratitude for the Past, Hope for the Future

By Keiko Cronin, SFF President of the Board We gathered before dawn on a July morning in the chilly Montana air to be warmly welcomed by the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth.  This was a momentous day – a turning point in the unfolding story of humanity...
A day at Nii Juinti

A day at Nii Juinti

A good part of the grant received from Sacred Fire Foundation allowed the Nii Juinti school to buy all the necessary instruments and pay the workforce for cleaning, preparing and planting a wide variety of medicine plants typically utilized in the Shipibo culture by shamans.

Busuréliame:  Awakening the Conscience in the Sierra Tarahumara

Busuréliame:  Awakening the Conscience in the Sierra Tarahumara

The Yumari Project, which is coordinated by Tarahumara shaman and artist, Makawi, has evolved into a more comprehensive program for cultural awakening in the community of Mogotavo. The Tarahumara word for cultural education is busuréliame, which signifies to awake the conscience of the pueblo to universal knowledge.

Experiencing Elder Wisdom in Toronto

Experiencing Elder Wisdom in Toronto

I attended the Voices of Wisdom event, held in near Toronto, Ontario, Canada on September 24 and 25, 2016. The event featured the elders Kahontakwas Diane Longboat, Mohawk elder, and Wanbdi Wakita, a Dakota elder. Both of these elders are spiritual leaders in their ancestral communities, and leaders in their professions in the greater community.

Feeling the Heart of the World at Voices of Wisdom

Feeling the Heart of the World at Voices of Wisdom

Listening to Kahontakwas, Diane Longboat, and Taoyewakanwi (Her Ways Are Sacred), Charlene O’Rourke, at the Voices of Wisdom at the Blue Deer Center June 11-12 was like a waking dream for me.

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