Five Indigenous Elders Share their Wisdom
Language extinction can lead to cultural annihilation. When a language is lost, a culture is lost as songs, ancient ceremonial chants and vibrant storytelling traditions vanish. In North America, the legacy of settler colonialism, a violent and racist boarding school system, where Native children were forbidden to speak their mother tongues, endangered many Indigenous languages, driving some to extinction.
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.
“I come from a long line of teachers of rivers, who did not live in big cities and traffic,” shared Chief Caleen Sisk, spiritual and tribal leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe at Resilience of Sacred Places: Defining Security, dialogues hosted by the Sacred Land Film Project and the David Brower Center in July 2015. These dialogues shared the vision and perspectives of Native American women, defenders of sacred sites and Indigenous cultures, on “homelands” and “security.”
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.