World Peace and Prayer Day is a 20-year tradition that promotes spiritual and ecological solutions to the growing challenges of our age, gathering leaders from around the world to call for a global policy of peaceful co-existence with all our relations. An Elder/Youth conference is being convened in parallel with World Peace and Prayer Day to impart time-honored wisdom to a new generation of leaders.
A gift arrived in the mail from Buffy Sainte-Marie, sent by Buffy from her home in Hawaii. It is a biography of her life, Buffy Sainte-Marie: It's My Way, written by Dr. Blair Stonechild, Muscowpetung First Nation. Inside, there is a note written by Buffy, "To Brenda, with thanks for years of getting so much so right. Ke chi megawetch and aloha." In the book's bibliography, there's an article that is part of the history of Censored News. This history begins on Navajoland. The year was 1999 and Buffy was performing at Dine' College in Tsaile, Arizona. Backstage,Buffy described how she was blacklisted out of the music business in the United States by President Lyndon Johnson. Buffy's song Universal Soldier had become an anthem for the 1960s peace movement, the anti-war movement against the Vietnam war. Shipments of her records disappeared.
The community of Gallup flocked to the Downtown Conference Center last Saturday to attend a presentation by the walkers of Nihigaal Bee Iina. The evening was filled with food, prayer, informative slide shows and creative performances affirming the beauty and value of Diné land and culture. The movement--translated as “Our Journey for Existence”--was ignited by young Diné women earlier this year to expose the disproportionate amount of resource extraction and contamination suffered by Diné people for the benefit of others. They have walked over 300 miles since January, feeding and educating community members at schools, chapter houses and homes all along the way.
Today marked the sixth day and sixth night since a group of Kanaka Maoli warriors representing several islands in the Hawaiian Islands and a multi-ethnic group of supporters formed a blockade at 9,000 feet above sea level at Mauna Kea also known as Mauna A Wakea on Hawaiʻi Island. They are protesting the construction of a 30-meter telescope (TMT), which they say is a desecration of the most sacred place in the Hawaiian Islands. The peaceful protest has been ongoing for several years but in the past several months has gathered more momentum and support from Hawaiians and other non-Hawaiians around the world.