Here’s the audio link for the call. Click here.
Welcome and Introductions (Reed Price and Jon Ramer)
Conversation with Rex Weyler, Joey Crotty, and Sommer Albertsen
Video Interview with Dr. Jane Goodall and Hereditary Chief Phil Lane, Jr.
About the Speakers
This information, as well as information about the other speakers during the Earth Week Speaker Series, is provided in the announcement on the Charter for Compassion International website: http://www.charterforcompassion.org/index.php/environment-reports-and-documents/earth-day-speaker-series-and-presentations-2016.
Our eminent panel is headed by:
Dr. Jane Goodall is considered a luminary in the world of conservation and the environment. A British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace, she’s considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees. Goodall is best known for her 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots program, and her lifelong extensive work in conservation and animal welfare issues has won her awards and worldwide recognition. She serves on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project and has since its founding in 1996. A prolific scientist and writer, Jane has authored more than 40 books and co-authored dozens more, many of which have "hope" in the titles.
Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. is an enrolled member of the Ihanktowan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations and Chairman of the Four Worlds International Institute dedicated to unifying the human family. During the past 45 years, Chief Phil has worked with Indigenous peoples from North, Central and South America, Micronesia, South East Asia, India, Hawaii and Africa. He served 16 years as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada (1980-1996). With Elder’s from across North America Phil co-founded the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII) in 1982 which became an independent Institute in 1995. Phil is Chairman of the Four Directions Corporation and First Nations Solar, Indigenous owned companies that serve as Four World’s economic development arm.
Phil is the recipient of numerous awards for his 45 year tenure of activism and his film credits" which include National Public Television series “Images of Indians, “Walking With Grandfather”, “The Honor of All: The Story of Alkali Lake”, “Healing the Hurts” and “Shift of the Ages," based on the legend of the reunion of Quetzal and Condor.
Rex Weyler is a renowned environmental activist. He was a director of the original Greenpeace Foundation, the editor of the organization's first newsletter, and a co-founder of Greenpeace International in 1979.
He was a photographer and reporter on the early Greenpeace whale and seal campaigns, and has written one of the best and most comprehensive histories of the organization, Greenpeace (Raincoast, 2004). His book, “Blood of the Land: The Government and Corporate War Against the American Indian Movement”, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
“Deep Green” is Rex's monthly column for Greenpeace, reflecting on the roots of activism, environmentalism, and Greenpeace's past, present, and future: www.greenpeace.org
He co-authored with Chief Phil Lane Jr. the State of the Planet Address: "COP21-Critical State of Our Mother Earth, Paris France, December 6, 2015: Immediate, Unprecedented, Unified Action Needed to Stop Runaway Climate Change," a document for presentation at the Indigenous World Wisdom Gathering, during the climate conference in Paris: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/Mother-Earth-Indigenous-World-Wisdom-Gathering/blog/54907/
Jon Ramer is the Founder and “First First Follower” of Compassion Games International. He conceived of and produced the "Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest" in response to a challenge from the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky to other cities to outdo Louisville's compassionate action as measured by hours of community service. He also serves as Director and Chief Technology Officer at Four Worlds International Institute, with a focus on the Campaign To Protect the Sacred. The campaign birthed the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects, signed by over fifty different tribes throughout North America. He is the co-author with Chief Phil Lane, Jr., of “Deep Social Networks and the Digital Fourth Way.”
Joey Crotty is “Chief Story Teller” and key member of the Compassion Games Leadership Team. He utilizes his talents as a hopeless storyteller and writer, creative strategist, and rogue techy to elevate the evolutionary capacity of consciousness and compassion in the world. Joey is an undergraduate researcher and co-founder of the Consciousness Club at the University of Washington – Bothell. He is a major organizer toward the creation of the Center for Education and Research in Consciousness (CERC), the first consciousness program of its kind at a public university. Joey enjoys spontaneous song-making, belly laughter, all of nature, and learning from the wisdom of little ones to get out there and play like his life depended on it.
Sommer Joy Albertson is a member of the Leadership Team as serves as the Compassion Games International Relations Coach & Artistic Outreach Director. She is passionate about coming together in radically equal partnerships, creating connections between people and organizations who are committed to a kinder, more just and sustainable world. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Washington University in Therapeutic Recreation. She continues her work with individuals on quality of life and well -being plans. She is a natural leader in advocating for women and girl’s empowerment, people with various disabilities, elders, social justice and environmental issues. Her business, Island Joy Wellness, includes her work with Compassion Games as an Energy Brilliance Healer, Nia Brown Belt Teacher, where she continues to support individuals, and communities to align with their highest calling around the world.
Welcome and Introductions
Reed Price: Hello and welcome to this final presentation in our Earth Week Speaker Series entitled, “Ignite Engagement for Earth Stewardship Across Generations”. We have some wonderful speakers here. We invite you to log into the social webinar to see a video we will be showing today. You have a link to the webinar in the reminder email you received for this call. Or, you can go to www.social.maestroconference.com and register with the email address you used to register for the call. You will need to enter your PIN#. Please log in so you can see the video. I will also post the “bitly” link for the video at the top of the webinar screen.
Now I introduce Jon Ramer, the First First Follower of the Compassion Games. The Compassion Games International is co-sponsoring this Earth Week Speaker Series along with the Charter for Compassion International.
[See the “About the Speakers” section above for more details about the speakers.]
Jon Ramer: Thank you Reed and Marilyn and everyone at the Charter for Compassion International for being such a great part of this movement of compassion. Also, welcome to all the players and team organizers in the Compassion Games.
If you want a little bit of hope, look at the Compassion Games Report Map: https://crowdsource.storymaps.esri.com/stories/compassion-report. Viet Nam, Australia, the United States, Canada, India and other countries are joining in. Though it doesn’t quite feel right to say Happy Earth Week, I hope this is a turning point in our quest to protect and preserve our planet. We can dig in deeply here together. Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced shoe-tez-cat) Martinez, the Youth Director of the Earth Guardians, cannot be with us today. The federal court recently ruled in favor of the Earth Guardians lawsuit suing the Federal Government and big oil companies for endangering the Earth and their future. So, with the news of this decision, he has had to make changes to his schedule. Chief Phil Lane, Jr. is with a gathering of Indigenous leaders in New York City. However, he will be on the call today in the video with Dr. Jane Goodall. We are happy to have Rex Weyler with us in person. Also, because of their remarkable work on the Compassion Games, we have our “Chief Story Teller” Joey Crotty and Sommer Joy Albertsen who is a wonderful outreach and community organizer. [See “About the Speakers” section above.]
We will start the conversation with Joey and Sommer and Rex and we will talk about the critical state of Mother Earth. Then we will have the video interview with Dr. Jane Goodall and Chief Phil Lane, Jr. Thank you to all the remarkable people participating in this call. It is important for us to rise up together. The ice is really melting. This isn’t something that will happen. It is happening now. If you Google the “Critical state of Mother Earth,” you will find a lot of information.
Conversation with Rex Weyler, Joey Crotty, and Sommer Albertsen
Joey Crotty: We will begin with some questions of Rex. We are eager to learn from everyone on the call.
Sommer Albertsen: Thank you so much for being here Rex. I know it takes a lot of time and energy to do what you do. We are all of different generation and yet we share this heart to care for the Earth which motivates us to move forward. However, I don’t always feel hopeful. When you are in your darkest times and are struggling the most, what brings you the most hope?
Rex Weyler: That’s a tough one. If we look at the data and the trends about the human population, the decline of species diversity, the disappearing forests, the acidity of the oceans, we feel pain and suffering from what we witness. Naturally, we look for inspiration and hope. One thing I often see is fake or delusional hope, offering false solutions. It is important to be realistic in our search for hope and not just cling on to something. I find hope in nature. I don’t particularly trust humanity for making smart choices. I put trust and faith in nature and in my own community where I can see and meet people to build a resilient community. Ultimately, our hope is in the strength of the natural world. That is not the general concept of hope in our society. We often hear from people that some technology will save us. We seek hope in technology or in a political movement. Time and time again we can be disappointed as to how those things turn out. So, #1, I seek hope in natural world. I am confident that the Earth will be just fine in the long run. So where do humans fit in? I find hope #2 in community, anywhere where there is an appropriate number of people living in collaboration with commitment to community and the natural world.
Joey: I think about the research showing that human fulfillment is about belonging, happiness and joy. .. post-consumerist. It is important to focus on what we need instead of what we want. Thank you for your answer.
Sommer: I grew up on Whidbey Island. You brought me back to when I was a child. The connection to nature is at the core of where we feel grounded.
Joey: For me, it is about action. How do we create a world of action? What is the fulcrum point that we can lean into for action so we can catalyze change.
Rex: There is no formula for what is the correct thing to do. We hear people who are committed to ending one thing. People make the mistake that there is one thing everyone should do. My feeling is that everybody has to take action in the realm they are comfortable, in the place where they live. There are no real global solutions. Solutions will be local and based on how people live honorably on the Earth with each other and live in ways that do not destroy the place where they live. We need to commit to a place and to a community in that place. Sometimes we can engage in large scale actions, but we cannot count on large scale actions or global solutions. We can depend on personal action.
Let’s take Brother Phil and the International Treaty to Protect Mother Earth. Some people, because of years of networking, have the ability to have impact on a large global scale. One finds oneself in that situation because of birth, friends, or hard work for years. If you are in that place, great! Take action. But, we never should apologize for small actions. This is where the change occurs. Let the situation be the guru. Get up every morning and let the situation you are facing tell you what to do. You are not working from a script or ideology. You are taking your cues from what the world is telling you. This is very important to me. The types of actions that fail to be effective are those people do when they are working from some pre-ordained script. The thing with social change and development is that you continually need to reinvent yourself.
When I was 18 or 19 years old, I met a network of elders. It was in my early Greenpeace days. We had people in our group that were older. Working across generations is so important. We had cross-generational input. We had the wild, crazy young people, but we also had the experienced voices of the elders in the group who could help direct us to be effective. Intergenerational networking and commitment is essential. When you go through life, you don’t realize you are growing older. All of a sudden, you realize you are an elder. As you go through your life, you pass through many different stages. They are all significant and important.
Jon: Beautiful Rex. You still are that radical young kid.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, there has been a great intergenerational movement. Your book, “Blood of the Land: The Government and Corporate War Against the American Indian Movement,” is another example of what is going on here. There is no price on the sacred.
Now, we want to play the interview with Hereditary Chief Phil Lane, Jr. and Dr. Jane Goodall. Both of their leadership has been amazing.
We will listen to the interview, and after, we can reflect.
Video Interview with Dr. Jane Goodall and Chief Phil Lane, Jr.:
Links to the interview: http://bit.ly/1YJyLGz
Jon: We are here this morning with Dr. Jane Goodall, British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots and Shoots program and Hereditary Chief Phil Lane, Jr. Phil shared with me this morning that when Jane was adopted into the Ihanktowan Dakota family, she was given the name "Makosa Naje We" which means “stands up for the natural world woman.” And in her Foreword to “The Sacred Tree” she wrote a sentence that says, “The ancient Indigenous philosophy of respect for Mother Earth and respect for all life forms on the planet is my philosophy too.” And, Brother Phil Lane, Jr. is an enrolled member of the Ihanktowan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations and Chairman of the Four Worlds International Institute, dedicated to unifying the human family, and Founder of the Compassion Games International. [See the “About the Speakers” section above for introduction details.]
I am so grateful to you both for all the work and all the effort you have done on behalf of Mother Earth. I thought Phil, that maybe we could start with a prayer from you.
Phil: I will sing one verse from a song. The message is that Mother Earth is sacred and all upon it. We are one with the mineral people, the plant people, and the animal people. We are together as human beings. We are all interrelated and sacred. [He sings the song.]
Jon: Thank you so much Brother Phil.
So this brief conversation is focusing on the emerging of Indigenous leadership and wisdom and the importance of engaging youth.
Jane, why is this message so important?
Jane: The Indigenous people have a very special relationship with the Earth. It is a relationship that is being increasingly destroyed in the world of the white man, and the yellow man too. We need Mother Earth and because we have fallen out of respect for Mother Earth, we are increasingly in danger of destroying the future. As we’ve heard it said, “We haven’t inherited this place from our parents. We are borrowing from our children.” Actually, we are stealing it from our children. We have to understand how this affects the future- the seven generations. Decisions are being made for convenience, for money, for politics. The Indigenous teachings are so important today.
Jon: What is the central theme of the Indigenous prophesies?
Phil: All Indigenous people have profound prophesies of the times we are living in today. Every human being has sat before the sacred fire. Everyone has been mentored by Mother Earth. Our teacher is Mother Earth. Dr. Jane knows these things. Every one of us can understand that we are in oneness with and connected to the web of life. The prophesies promise this unity after a long winter time. The Indigenous people awaken after this winter time along with all people. All people join together to recognize their role in living in harmony with the Earth.
Jon: This is the 25th Anniversary of “Roots and Shoots”. How does the program engage youth?
Jane: Developing Roots and Shoots is one of my most important efforts. It began with 12 students. Now, the program is in 40 countries with over 100,000 youth involved. Every single individual matters and everyone has a role to play. Every single one of us makes a difference every day. Roots and Shoots is youth driven. They discuss what issues they care about and develop 3 projects –to help the human community, to help other animals, and one to help the world. The program breaks down barriers among cultures and religions. We talk with all different youth movements. We grow all the time. We are creating the family of man. We may have different skin color, traditions, etc. But, when we cry, our tears are the same, our hearts beat the same. We need to create a critical mass of youth to change the world. Yes, we need money, but if we live for money, we are off.
Jon: Phil, please tell us about the Compassion Games. They are the same unifying approach.
Phil: It is about the total realization of the oneness of the human family. That’s why Roots and Shoots are so critical in the rising of the 7th generation. When we realize this, many things will come: the absolute elimination of every form of prejudice. Only on that foundation can we truly develop world peace that so many long for. This last weekend I was at the American Indigenous Science and Engineering Society meeting. There are 189 chapters throughout North America. We were talking about how we could introduce all these chapters to Roots and Shoots and the Compassion Games. This is getting to the core of sharing with the human family. It is restoring respect of Mother Earth. Compassion is feeling for others and the suffering of Mother Earth. Today we must discard the outworn ideas of superiority and dominance. We must end the oppression of women. This is why compassion is a very important spiritual capacity and quality. This is what I see in the Compassion Games and what I’ve seen for many, many years in youth. Those who we mentor go way further than we can go.
Jon: In the Compassion Games, we call it “survival of the kindest”. We challenge everyone to work and play together to unleash our creativity and inspiration to catalyze a movement. If we don’t change our direction, we are lost. It is so wonderful to find you two together-Phil and Jane. We are in the middle of Compassion Games “Love This Place: Serve the Earth Week.” We want to find ways to partner. Phil and Jane, you are both going to the East Coast. What is next in how people can engage?
Jane: I travel 300 days throughout the world. Everywhere I go, I talk about Roots and Shoots. We learn from Indigenous wisdom. We are always searching for partnerships. Working in Indigenous communities is always very high on my agenda. Maybe this is the moment this will flower. Roots and Shoots is changing lives. It is empowering young people. They, as individuals, are really making a difference. What we buy, wear… we must ask, “Did it cause suffering to animals? Did it come from slave labor? Was it grown by spreading poisonous toxins, chemicals, GMOs?” It is the young people who know we have to do something differently. We have to find a way to work together to solve the terrible problems of inequality and jobs. We have to find a way to do things right by Mother Earth, animals, and other people. You don’t work things out by shouting at others. You must sit down and listen to each other. We are one family. If we don’t, all of us will suffer.
Jon: Yes. Phil, what are your thoughts?
Phil: We are at this time that has been long promised by all the sacred prophesies. We are entering into a day that is not followed by night. We have many challenges before us. We have the lesson of the last 500 years. Now we are stepping into our true adulthood on Earth. When we immerse ourselves in the material world and see our value all in material terms and believe that by acquiring more and more, we are more and more. This is the path of destruction. Science has brought us tremendous changes in technology. However, science without values becomes a Frankenstein. On the other hand, there is spirituality. The word “religion” actually means to bind together and unite. However, we have lost that meaning. If religion has no reason or loses true science or understanding, we have fanaticism. We see people in the name of religion destroying each other and the Earth. I see these two incredible powers as becoming one. We have to know how to love. Knowledge and love are the wings of the same eagle. It is imp that we come to this understanding and bind these things together. It has been my honor to know Dr. Jane whose name was given to her by my father. In the Compassion Games and Roots and Shoots and any partnership we can make, it is about understanding the oneness of life that is part of the fulfillment of our sacred prophesies.
Jon: This is the moment. I am so grateful to you Dr. Jane and Chief Phil for making time for this conversation. It is the time. We are rising!
Jane: There is so much to doom and gloom around us. It is important to give people reason to hope. We have much to give us hope: the energy and commitment of young people to take action; the amazing human brain. Only when head and heart work in harmony can we achieve our human potential. There are many examples of the resilience of nature; the indomitable human spirit; and the tremendous power of social media, when used correctly, to give us worldwide connection and communication to fight for justice and peace. If we lose hope, we are doomed. There is hope. There is window of time, if we get together. That’s why I love this meeting today. We will move ahead and make change.
Phil: Without question, the sacred prophesies of the ancient ones have promised that we will emerge stronger after this winter time- everyone from the 4 directions. Our understanding and vision of the future is so spiritually powerful- great love, great compassion- that no walls of steel or towers of brass will be able to withstand this love and compassion as we follow the Red Road, the natural laws. In the end, we will find what only the poets and greatest visionaries have said (as our Elder Sister Dr. Jane). The future is in how we live, how we walk, how we share, how we make the true sweet. If the message is harsh or judgmental, it will never reach the hearts of the people. We have to make it sweet. I’ve watched Dr. Jane. She says strong, powerful words in such a sweet way. She touches the hearts of the people.
Jon: Thank you to both of you. You can see the beautiful examples of us rising on the Compassion Games Report Map. People are taking this moment to rise up.
Phil: My Dad used to say, “If we can’t be happy today, what day are we waiting for?”
Reed: The entire audio of this call will be posted in about a day or so along with the report.
Jon: Thanks Reed. We have about eight minutes remaining on the call. Are there any reflections?
Joey: As someone who is 25 years old, I’ve grown up with the doom and gloom. We cannot focus on the gloom and doom. Instead, we have to focus on love. Youth are less attached to the way things have been. We need the eldership to help guide us. We have to remember that we are all Indigenous peoples of the Earth. We are all part of this love of life. The toxicity of materialism thrives when we forget that relationship.
Sommer: I was in the room during the conversation with Dr. Phil and Dr. Jane. I still feel their presence. It is an honor to be inspired by them and by Rex. We are all one. I would love to hear what other people who are listening would like to share.
Reed: Press 1 on your keypad to be recognized.
Jon: I personally will commit to move myself in a direction to care for the Earth in ways I have not done before. If we don’t do this, what are we doing?
David: Thank you. I have been very inspired by the call and have been writing things down madly. I am working on transitional housing for the homeless here in Eugene. This issue is deeply connected to the environment. We need to do what we can locally.
Jon: Your report “Sock it to Compassion” on the Compassion Games Report Map is wonderful. Thank you!
Reed: One of the things we’ve learned is the importance of the combination of local and global action. If you can act globally, then absolutely do so. If you cannot, you always have open to you the kindness you can show to self, others, and the Earth. These actions are not mutually exclusive.
Rex: One last comment regarding commitment. Spend time with the Earth and ask her what the answers are. Sometimes we rely too much on our intelligence and our technologies. The natural world has already figured out solutions in the way the natural world functions. It is important to be on the water, in the forest, on the seashore, to be with nature and humble yourself and seek guidance. “Please Mother Earth, give me direction”. I am confident that you will find answers there. Turn away from the notion that we will manage or fix nature. Instead we are nature’s students. The natural world is our school, our church. That’s where we go for knowledge and spirituality.
Jon: I can’t say it better than that.
Reed: Thank you Rex, Jon, Joey, Sommer and thank you to Chief Phil Lane Jr. and Dr. Jane Goodall. This is a wonderful ending to our Speaker Series and the beginning of the dawning of a new year.
Thank you to everyone for participating. Though these calls and reports are free, we welcome and would greatly appreciate your support and donations. You will receive a report in the next couple of days that includes the audio and resource links. Thank you for joining us today. On behalf of the Charter, I wish you a very good Earth Day.
Roots and Shoots: https://www.rootsandshoots.org/
Compassion Games International: http://compassiongames.org/
Compassion Games Global Report Map: https://crowdsource.storymaps.esri.com/stories/compassion-report
Links to the interview of Dr. Jane Goodall and Hereditary Chief Phil Lane, Jr.: http://bit.ly/1YJyLGz; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC3sRw-pHsQ
“The Sacred Tree”: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/850875.The_Sacred_Tree
“Blood of the Land: The Government and Corporate War Against the American Indian Movement”: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/246773.Blood_of_the_Land
State of the Planet Address: "COP21-Critical State of Our Mother Earth, Paris France, December 6, 2015: Immediate, Unprecedented, Unified Action Needed to Stop Runaway Climate Change," a document for presentation at the Indigenous World Wisdom Gathering, during the climate conference in Paris: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/Mother-Earth-Indigenous-World-Wisdom-Gathering/blog/54907/
International Treaty to Protect and Restore Mother Earth: http://www.fwii.net/profiles/blogs/international-treaty-to-protect-and-restore-mother-earth-2