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Ecological Mindfulness

Chief Arvol Looking Horse

Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota in 1954. Raised by his grandparents Lucy and Thomas Looking Horse, Arvol learned the culture and spiritual ways of the Lakota. He speaks both Lakota and English. At 12, he was given the enormous responsibility of becoming the 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, the youngest in history. He has felt, on many occasions, overwhelmed by inheriting such a responsibility of the Lakota, Dakota & Nakota Nations at such a young age. He was raised in an era and bore witness to the suppression of his peoples' spiritual practices. He decided to "work for change and let the world know how beautiful our way of life is, so the seventh generation can have a better future."

"On your decision depends the fate of the entire world."

Sept. 15, 2001


Mitakuye (my relative):

I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nation, would like to ask for this time for you to understand an indigenous perspective in reflection of what has happened in America, what we call "Turtle Island". For the past six years, my work has concentrated on an effort on uniting the global community, through a message from our sacred ceremonies in recognizing a day of World Peace and Prayer on June 21 as a time to unite spiritually, each in our own ways of beliefs in the Creator.

We have been warned from the messages, passed down from ancient prophecies, of these times we live in today, but also of a solution to turn these terrible times around. To assist you in understanding the depth of this message involves the recognition in the importance of Sacred Sites. It is important that you realize the whole interconnectedness of what is happening today, in reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas.

I have been learning about these important issues of Sacred Sites since the age of 12, upon receiving the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and its teachings. Our people have strived to protect Sacred Sites from the beginning of time. There needs to be an understanding in the concern of the protection of Sacred Sites that goes deeper than just the issue of shrines built by humans. Our people have built similar objects and shrines to identify and to remind the significance in the power of the Sacred Site.

We have also witnessed them being destroyed for many decades, but we also realize it is what is underneath them that is important. These places have been violated for centuries and have brought us to this predicament that we are in concerning the unstable global level thus far.

Look around you. Our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations and we are at a brink of destroying a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, for our children's children. Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site from the continued violations called the Sacred Black Hills in South Dakota, the "heart of everything that is."

Our ancestors never saw this site from a satellite view, but now that those pictures are available with modern technology, we see that it is in the shape of a heart. When fast-forwarded, it looks like a heart pumping. The Dine have been protecting Big Mountain, calling it the liver, and now that the coal is depleting, we are suffering and going to suffer more from the extraction of the coal and the poison processes used in doing so.

The Aborigines warned of the contaminating effects on the Coral Reefs from global warming, which they see as Mother Earth's blood purifier. Our sacred water is being polluted. The indigenous people of the rain forest relay that the rain forest is the lungs and needs protection. Now we see the Brazilian government approved the depletion of 50-percent of this Sacred Site. The Gwich'in nation has an issue of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, also known to the Gwich'in as "where the life begins!" The coastal plain is also the birthplace of many other life forms of animal nations. The death of these animal nations will destroy indigenous nations in this territory. As these destructive developments continue all over the world, we will witness many more extinct animal, plant and human nations, because of the misuse of power that mankind has made and their lack of understanding the "balance of life".

The indigenous people warn that these destructive developments will cause havoc globally. There are many, many more indigenous awareness's and knowledge of Mother Earth's Sacred Sites, connections (Mother Earth's chakras) to our spirit that will surely affect our future generations. These people are still suffering from this contamination and their livelihood is being destroyed.

There needs to be a fast move toward other forms of energy that are safe for all nations upon Mother Earth. We need to understand the whole picture in the type of minds that are continuing to destroy the spirit of our whole global community.

Unless we do this, the powers of destruction will overwhelm us. Our ancestors foretold that water would someday be for sale. Back then, this was hard to believe, since the water was so plentiful, so pure, and so full of energy, nutrition and spirit. Today we have to buy pure water, and even then the nutritional minerals have been taken out; it's just empty liquid. Someday water will be like gold, too expensive to afford. Not everyone will have the right to drink safe water. We fail to appreciate and honor our Sacred Sites, ripping out the minerals and gifts that lay underneath them, as if Mother Earth were simply a resource, instead of the Source of Life itself.

Attacking nations and having to utilize more resources to carry out the destruction in the name of peace is not the answer! We need to understand how all these decisions affect the global nation. We will not be immune to its repercussions. To allow continual contamination of our food and land is now affecting the way we think. A "disease of the mind" has infected world leaders and many members of our global community, with their understanding that a solution of retaliation and destruction of peoples will bring peace.

In our prophecies, it is told that we are now at the crossroads: either unite spiritually as a global nation, or be faced with chaos, disaster, disease and tears from our relatives' eyes.

In times of disasters, it is sad to say that it is the only time that we unite spiritually. But we must not taint it with anger and retaliation. We are the only species that is destroying the source of life--Mother Earth--in the name of power, mineral resources and ownership of land. We are using methods of chemicals and warfare that are becoming irreversible, as Mother Earth is tired and can not sustain any more impacts of war.

I ask you to join me on this endeavor. Our vision is for the peoples of all continents, regardless of their beliefs in the Creator, to come together as one at their Sacred Sites at that sacred moment of what is known as the Summer Solstice of June 21, to pray and meditate and commune with one another, thus promoting an energy shift to heal our Mother Earth and achieve a universal consciousness toward attaining peace.

As each day passes, bringing us to this day of concentration together, I ask the global nations to begin a Global effort in knowing that each and every one of us are making a daily effort in waking to the gratitude of another day. Remember to give thanks for the sacred food that also has been gifted to us by our Mother Earth, so the nutritional energy of medicine can be guided to heal our minds and spirits.

This new millennium will usher in an age of harmony or it will bring the end of life as we know it. Starvation, war and toxic waste have been the hallmark of the Great Myth of Progress and Development that ruled the last millennium. To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. We have come to a time and place of great urgency. The fate of future generations rests in our hands. We must understand the two ways we are free to follow, as we choose: the positive way or the negative way, the spiritual way or the material way. It's our own choice--each of ours and all of ours.

You yourself are the one who must decide. You alone--and only you--can make this crucial choice. Whatever you decide is what you'll be, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives. You can't escape the consequences of your own decision. On your decision depends the fate of the entire world. You must decide. You can't avoid it. Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger? Know that you are essential to this world. Believe that! Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You are desperately needed to save the soul of this world. Did you think you were put here for something less? In a Sacred Hoop of Life, there is no beginning and no ending!


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Chief Arvol Looking Horse