Wisdom Treasure Award Ceremony 2020
We are incredibly honored to present our 2020 Wisdom Treasure Award to Lydia "Lys" Kruiper; a leader, visionary, and an inspiration not only to her community but to people everywhere. Her commitment is a source of hope and empowerment for future generations.
You're invited to share in this special celebration honoring the life and work of our 2020 Wisdom Treasure Award recipient. Please share with others to help spread the word about Lys' inspiring life story.
Awareness BuildingBringing awareness of indigenous values to our world
We are honored to be presenting our 2020 Wisdom Treasure Award to a very special individual, Lydia Kruiper, who has been a leader, visionary, and inspiration to so many people worldwide, and the hope that she brings to her own community, the Khomani Bushmen, will last forever.
The Khomani bushmen have a very rich traditional culture, which you can learn more about by previewing this short documentary.
Lydia is vivacious in all her approaches to cultivate, nurture and preserve her culture, her community. Among her community members she is considered as an elder known for her integrity, always aiming to protect the dignity of others and to stand up for what she believes to be right. She acts on the local CPA (Community Property Association), the JMB, (Joint Management Board) and is the ambassador for the Khomani San Identity project where she always strives to protect and promote her indigenous livelihood.
Lydia has spent a considerable amount of time on the rediscovery and historical archiving of the Khomani San lineage. She embodies this knowledge in the modern day and age by acting as Khomani San representative for the Iziko museum of South Africa as well as internationally where she has represented her community at the Wisdom Weavers of the World Conference among others.
Lydia furthermore aids cultural knowledge transfer to community youth by the management of various youth group activities such as the Veldskool, a school based on the use of indigenous medicinal plants, healing methods and hunting activities as well as the Khomani San youth group, focused on teaching traditional dancing and the promotion thereof.
-- Source Point, South Africa
Join us as we celebrate Lydia Kruiper and present her with our 2020 Wisdom Treasure Award! View the ceremony below.
Traditional knowledge might seem far removed from your life, yet it is a treasure trove for all of humanity that allows you to access the wisdom accumulated through the ages.
Through our events and media program we offer you doorways to experience ancestral wisdom and support projects that are documenting indigenous wisdom and worldviews.
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.
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.
Voices of Wisdom, in Asheville NC, completed one circle and initiated another. Before I knew anything about the Sacred Fire Community or Foundation, I knew Wanbdi Wakita. The circle began about 15 years ago, in the heat of Wanbdi’s Purification Ceremony, where I prayed to my Ancestors to help guide me on my journey.
Wanbdi Wakita, whose name translates into English as Looking Eagle, was born at home with the help of a midwife on a breezy day in October in the community of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. It was 1940. Overseas the world was at war, but a different kind of struggle was taking place at home.
Five Indigenous Elders Share their Wisdom
The 2015 Ancient Wisdom Rising (AWR) gathering is over, but I will continue to savor the rich experience of being with over 180 kindred spirits for two days as we enjoyed the wisdom of several prominent Elders from around the world.
Three gatherings took place in the first two weeks of June. The first was in Brookfield, MA with Kahontakwas Diane Longboat (Mohawk) and David Tall Pine White (Nipmuc). The following weekend we book-ended the continent with Marcy Vaughn (Tibetan Bön) and Paula Nelson (Eastern Band Cherokee) in Greensboro, NC and Chief Ernie Salas (Kizh/Gabrieleño) and Chief Caleen Sisk (Winnemum Wintu) in Santa Monica, CA.
It can be said that human beings are a continuum. We are pieces, stories, visions and reflections of those who walked this Earth long before us.
The Ancient Wisdom Rising gathering is an effort to preserve the living continuity of ancient wisdom through dialogue, connection and discovery.
“We need strength-based grantmaking, which recognizes the internal strengths of Indigenous peoples and their inherent knowledge and wisdom.”
“Lys is an extraordinary woman with a vision that I believe will lead to the empowerment, healing and renewal of not only her people, but also of humanity. A bold statement, I realize. Giving this award to Lys would lift her through acknowledging the power, grace and persistence of a woman who has by and large been working alone on this journey. The financial assistance would also mean a great deal to her. However, maybe even more importantly, it would serve as an acknowledgement of all that Lys is doing and has done, and would empower her to carry on with this incredibly important work."
-- Beth Duncan, Executive Director, WISN
Lydia “Lys” Kruiper is a well-respected leader, Healer, and Elder of the Khomani San community. She is the daughter of the late San Traditional leader, Dawid Kruiper. Her soft-spoken demeanor and small stature run contradictory to the power she manifests. Like the blanket of stars that fill the sky at night over the dunes of the Kalahari Desert, Lys shines brightly everywhere she goes.
She is a caretaker for many children in the community who are living in high-risk situations such as domestic abuse. Like most Bushmen families, Lys and her husband Isak live very simply. They share a 2-room home on land with no running water or electricity yet invite any child in need to find shelter there.
The San Bushmen, like many Indigenous communities around the world, were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands. They live with no water, and prohibited from living in their traditional ways as their ancestors had for tens of thousands of years before them. The government allowed a liquor store to open in the middle of the community. This has been disastrous for the San. Sadly, liquor often sells for less than water. Additionally, both of Lys’ brothers were murdered, and countless friends and family members have been lost due to disease, domestic violence, alcoholism and general despair. This is further discouraging because the San are arguably our oldest living ancestors. We carry their DNA in ours. Their land is diminishing and for the Bushmen, the land holds the bones of their ancestors, their songs, their ceremonies, the language (which is not written), and their very history.
Even with all of these challenges, Lys never lost hope. Rather, the work that Lys is doing with her community promotes and creates resilience, renewal and remembering. She is especially focused on training the community youth, even traveling to neighboring Namibia to work with a still largely intact Bushmen community to learn the ancient ancestral ceremonies. These youth are staying sober and are engaged. The youth come to her and say, “We want to remember who we are. We want to learn the ancestral trance dances to help us remember.” In the Kalahari, Lys is very much a woman working alone, holding the hope and the vision for the revival of her people. She has a deep understanding that as her people are empowered and healed, so will the rest of humanity.
Giving this award to Lys gives acknowledgement to the sheer power, grace and persistence of a woman who has worked alone on this journey and the financial assistance provided in conjunction with the Wisdom Treasure Award would also mean a great deal to her. However, maybe even more important, it would serve as appreciation and recognition of everything that Lys has and is shouldering and empowers her to carry on with this incredibly important work for her family, community and the world.