Thursday, 30 April 2015

RUTH SENIKULA - MAKES HISTORY AT THE UNPFII FOR THE INDIGENOUS DISABLED & EARNS THE RESPECT OF THE WORLD!


 Ruth with her indigenous supporters from the Tribal Link global indigenous spiritual family who love her - standing behind her in solidarity as she read her historic statement.



 Ruth reading her first statement in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in braille....it was a history making event!



                                 Ruth feeling the love from her Tribal Link spiritual Family

Ruth reading a second statement in the UNPFII, few get the opportunity to even read ONE statement, Ruth had the opportunity to read two - God bless her soul! Standing behind are her Caribbean Lokono and Taino brother & sisters...others came immediately after this pic to form a wall of solidarity once again for Ruth.

Ruth at her seat in the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2015

I only met Ruth in person in New York City in April 2015. We were united by the now universally acknowledged important Tribal Link Project Access United Nations training for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Ruth was now entering it for the first time as a student, and I was returning to it as an Alumni to mentor the 1st & 2nd year students.

I grew up all my life with family members who had disabilities, 1st cousin Mathew is special needs, my uncle Merton Corbin (my mums eldest of two brothers) was a paraplegic, he could not walk or move himself from the neck down when I knew him, but we all loved talking to him for his unique sense of humour and incredible memory, so I never grew up thinking that people with disabilities that I did not have - were any different to me, or any less deserving of my respect ....and when Ruth (who is blind) began to read her first history making UN statement in braille (see video clip below) - she put many a so-called 'normal' person to shame...over the 6 years that I have been attending the UNPFII I have literally watched hundreds of people without disabilities fumble in reading, or exceed their allotted time and get graveled by the Chair (quite embarrassing)...and yet here was dear, sweet Ruth...reading her statement in Braille for goodness sakes - and RUTH ROCKED IT! I don't smile often, but standing behind her - shoulder to shoulder with old & new loved ones from all over the indigenous Fourth World - and hearing her melodious soft-toned voice read that statement so well...put a smile on my face for quite some time afterwards - i'm proud to say.   


Ruth Senikula is from Fiji in the Pacific, she is a representative of the Indigenous Peoples with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN), she leads advocacy efforts on behalf of indigenous persons with disabilities within the United Nations (UN) framework, and indigenous peoples movements at global, regional and national levels.
The founding members of the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN) are themselves indigenous persons with disabilities from various regions of the world including the Pacific Region, North America, West Africa, the Arctic region as well as Asia.
The aim of the network is to promote and protect the rights of indigenous persons with disabilities in conjunction with the United Nations Convention On The Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD); as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

I asked Ruth these 4 questions about her Project Access Training, her extensive answers are included as well below each question:

Question 1....how did you personally benefit from the Project Access Training, how did it help you to understand the UN process better Answer - First of all, for me to be invited by The Tribal Link Foundation to attend the Project Access capacity building workshop is such an honor. Secondly, I have just joined the Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network IPWDGN last September and I must say that it took me quite a lot of time to get absorbed into the work. It was quite difficult for me to actually make sense of the UN systems and how things work, understanding the SDGs was another matter. I could not put two and two together. But however, I kept doing my work as I was supposed to. So, attending the capacity building workshop, even for three whole days was really helpful. It had changed my perceptions and thoughts about the UN system, it gave me a clearer understanding on the beginnings of SDGs, the UNPFII and a whole other range of UN stuff that I did not understand before. So this training has really changed my perceptions and has helped me to be more alert on indigenous issues, not only in my country, but also in the Pacific region as well as the other sub-regions of the world. I am so fortunate to be one of the participants for the Project Access because I believe, that I am also the first blind participant to attend (*and this IS true ladies & gentlemen). And it makes me so proud that I also delivered the statement on behalf of the Pacific region, only for Project Access participants 2015… I would like to thank Pamela Kraft, Roberto Borrero, and all the others who worked so tirelessly to get all the participants here including myself.
Question 2...how will you share or spread or disseminate the information and knowledge you gained in the Project Access training when you return home? 
Answer - Honestly, I believe that now I am ready to participate in workshops that will come up in my country. Workshops that regard persons with disabilities and the SDGs. I will be able to contribute and make discussions on this topic,, wherever necessary, for the benefit of indigenous persons in my country, and indigenous persons with disabilities. As for the multiplayer effect, back in my country, there is an umbrella organization of disabled peoples’organizations and we mostly have workshops and meetings regarding a whole wide range of issues. So I can confidently say that when the opportunity comes for my invitation and making presentations, I am willing and ready to do so - as a result of this Project Access Training. On an international level, since my network belongs to the Disability caucus, I am willing to share the information that I have learnt during the capacity workshop as well as making interventions on behalf of my network in upcoming meetings and workshops, should I get the opportunity to attend. Generally, the very interesting thing that I learnt was how to be well prepared for delivering statements. Before, I had the notion that it was really really difficult to make statements. But now I learnt that after careful preparations, commitment and continuously learning about issues and being able to adapt it into your situation, I can say that I am well prepared. Moreover, delivering the joint statement for Project Access on Tuesday was another milestone achievement. It has boosted my capacity as a leader in public speaking and being able to be bold and strong to speak about issues that you are passionate about, in front of hundreds of people. Question 3...Are you aware of any climate change problems that your own people has a traditional solution for? Because climate change occurs in cycles of every few thousand years, it is only that mankind is exacerbating the current climate change and making it far more severe and dangerous. Answer - I am aware that in Fiji, climate change is causing a lot of difficulties. Firstly, increased rainfall, rivers and creeks are unable to drain water, crops are ruined, local economy is threatened and local food becomes scarce for the indigenous Fijians. However, the indigenous peoples are trying their best to handle this is by planting the right foods that may be harvested before the hurricane season begins. Finally, question 4....what are the major water issues facing your people today? Answer - Water issues are mostly affecting people who live in the rural interior areas as well as in the outer islands that belong to the Fiji group. Sometimes, when there is prolonged rainfall for a very long period of time, their drinking water is affected so much. This is because they are getting water from wells dug in the ground. And when the rains continue, salt water from the sea also disturbs the ground water, thus causing difficulty in access to safe drinking water. Prolonged water shortages....Sometime, certain areas in Fiji face a prolonged water shortage due to broken pipes and the time it takes for the government workers to get these pipes fixed. Other times, when there is a prolonged drought, our water system is very much affected. Wells dry up, the dams that provide water to the country decreases and therefore, water pressure is reduced to allow for sufficient use of water to sustain the people.
VIDEO OF RUTH'S HISTORY MAKING STATEMENT AT THE UNPFII - FIRST TIME A STATEMENT WAS READ IN BRAILLE https://www.facebook.com/angie.abdilla.1/videos/10153247405204438/?pnref=story

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

YAMILA CALLISAYA - THE HAYAYA WOMAN & FAITHFUL DAUGHTER OF PACHAMAMA

                                     The Beautiful Yamila and her beautiful daughter Diana

                                        Yamila presenting at a UNDP meeting in New York

Yamila at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) 2015

Yamila in the General Assembly Room at United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York, USA

One western writer once wrote of the Aymara speaking People: "Here, it is community and the land first. They live very close with the land and appreciate its gifts. Many traditional beliefs are centered on Pachamama (mother earth) and celebrating the generosity of the land. "Jallalla" was a phrase people yelled during festivals or rituals to sort of celebrate their community. The "ja" part is a short word loaded with meaning (sounds like "ha"). It signifies their entire culture, way of life, community, beliefs, etc. The "lla" (sounds like "ya") is an affirmation of their culture and the next "lla" is a double affirmation.

I (and the rest of my Tribal Link family) remember Yamila teaching us the reason why she does not clap her hands together....and as a traditionalist myself, it makes a lot of sense.....Yamila explained that when you clap the palms of your hands together you break the divine natural energy flowing through you, and it is better (and hence this is why her people do it) to raise your palms towards the person you just heard speak something positive - in order to send your energy TO them in loving approval instead....if I want to send divine energy TO you I would only do so for your own good - because I love you as a fellow being like myself.

I remember telling her - after listening to her explanation - that since indigenous peoples were taught to 'clap hands in approval' by non-indigenous & spiritually disconnected people....it stands to reason that this ALSO would have been one of the negative habits they indoctrinated into us in order to help them diminish our spirituality and connectedness to the natural divine energies that flow through us (when we do not surrender our souls to their man-made religions).
It is so deeply ingrained into us now that you will find it hard to remember NOT to clap anymore to show your approval...it has become an 'automatic reflex' in anyone who has been indoctrinated into the western educational system.....and if you are the type of person to be swayed by peer pressure - and if you are in a room full of clapping people, you might feel obliged to do as they do...even though you now know the spiritual significance of doing so.
How's that for the mental hold & control of indoctrination for you!

Now that I have somewhat explained the word 'Hayaya' (English phonetic spelling) to preface why I associate this word forever with the beautiful loving lady who taught me about it....I shall now try to give you some insight into this soft spoken, kindhearted, and true human being - called Yamila Gutierrez Callisaya.

Her childhood was rife with discrimination from dominant Bolivian society at the time, and her family and community lives on the border with the city of El Alto on the Altiplano. It was a place of immigrant settlers from all across the socio-economic spectrum, vainly hoping to earn a better living to escape grinding poverty.  

The sorrows I sensed in her heart by gazing into her hazel brown eyes, were indeed a window to her soul for me....and upon hearing the generational hurt I understood why.
When her grandmother died, her grandfather had abandoned his children...leaving her dad to become father and mother to his 4 younger siblings.
Her mothers parents lived, and she was raised between them and her own struggling parents, this maternal granny always encouraged Yamila NOT to forget who she was, her people, the land, and the cosmovision of her ancestors.
Yamila had only one sibling, a younger brother, but alas....he became the centre of her parents attention as the 'only son to carry on the family name'....so whatever little money her parents raised for educational expenses...were mainly for her brother - not her.....think about this for just a minute, how would YOU feel if your mum and dad never made you priority number 1 in their eyes? Such things wound a child deeply, to such an extent that it remains forever etched in their countenance....whether they themselves realise it or not....there are others like me who can.  

Still, her parents expected her to get good grades - and to her credit she did....but she would have preferred to go to school in her own community among her own people, and learn in her own language - as is the right of every indigenous child according to the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples......but in Bolivia, even today despite what the now indigenous government decrees, many educators simply refuse to allow any indigenous language to enter into 'their' curriculum - or end the lingering effects of machismo in Latin American culture. 
She saw firsthand (and it still occurs), how children get treated differently in the school system according to the financial status of their family & parents; boys who's families had some money were treated best....Yamila was treated badly, but children from families even poorer than hers were treated worse!
I suspect - though she did not state it directly, that in such cases a family who could make financial 'donations' to teachers could magically ensure their children passed exams with high grades (we see this even in so-called 'developed' countries as well). So the good grades Yamila received despite the bias she faced - were GENUINELY earned in her case.

As soon as Yamila finished her schooling she looked for a job so that she could help her aging grandparents and pay for her own needs, her parents wanted her to study Medicine...but Yamila could not afford to pay for her own tuition to do so...and her parents could not be depended on to help in this regard. So Yamila ended up doing accounting instead.

However, as soon as an opportunity came up to work on a social issue for her people - she remembered her grandmother's admonitions and did so eagerly. ...it was here, serving her own people at last - that Yamila found her calling in life. Finally she could fight against all the kinds of discrimination that she had faced herself for all of her existence thus far....but she realised that she had been a victim of low self-esteem all this time, and something inside her told her to study Anthropology as well.
This was when Yamila said she felt like a fish that was gasping for air - but had been put back in the water.... now she had all the skills she would need to comprehensively help her people.
The qualifications also had made her feel more appreciated and more valued as a woman - because the powers that be now considered her to be an academic  professional - in a dominant society (like most in this world) that is rampant with 'academic prejudice'. 

She immediately set about reforming her Colonial modelled patriarchal community governance to reflect the kind of traditional gender balance of indigenous society instead, where the voices of the women were not only going to be heard - but given the equity they deserved as well!
At this level of community involvement it was inevitable that interactions with the National government would come into her purview, and recognizing the increasingly serious nature of issues facing her people, Yamila decided that she should take it to the next level and get involved in the United Nations process, with the intention of learning all she could about International Indigenous Rights Laws and conventions, and the UN avenues and mechanisms of recourse available to indigenous peoples worldwide...and this is what brought her to New York City in April 2015.

I first met Yamila at now world-famously important Tribal Link Project Access United Nations training, which prepares a number of indigenous representatives from around the world - for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; held at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Yamila was now entering it for the first time as a student, and I was returning to it as an Alumni to mentor the 1st & 2nd year students - where I also double as the 'house scribe' for the Fairy Godmother of us all - Mrs. Pamela Kraft (who makes this possible each year - God bless her soul).

Yamila has a beautiful 8 year old daughter, and she is a single mother with 3 generations in one home (which is the normal traditional indigenous way, because the grandparents teach the children different things to what the parents do, and you cheat a child by denying him/her one or the other....all things require a sacred balance of energies)  - as she also takes care of her grandparents who live with her. She lives in the Altiplano, near to the sacred Lake Titicaca, and the ancient mysterious ruins of Tiwanaku; in Bolivia.

I asked Yamila these 4 questions about her Project Access Training, her answers are included as well below each question:

Question 1 - How did you personally benefit from the Tribal Link Project Access Training?
Answer - I have a very comprehensive understanding of the entire UN process as it concerns Indigenous Peoples, our trainers were excellent, very easy to understand, the issues that were addressed in the training left virtually no question I had coming into this - unanswered for me, so it gave me tremendous confidence. Before me my community had sent one lady here, I feel that she was thrown into the lions den, she did not know anything about the UN process at the UNPFII, and she returned home with a very confused and bad experience, it costs a lot for poor people to travel here, and unless they benefit from this kind of pre-Forum training, I am sure most of the money spent merely to get & stay here...is being lost in vain.  

Question 2 - How will you share/disseminate the information/knowledge you gained in the Project Access Training?
Answer - The Training gave me a sense of renewed commitment to share all that I have learned here at the UN with as many indigenous community workshops that I can organise or attend once I return to Bolivia.

Question 3 - What are the major water issues facing your people today?
Answer - Less snowfall in the Andes causes water reduction and this in turn leads to reduced food production.

 Question 4 - Are you aware of any Climate Change solutions that your own indigenous community can offer - which could be useful for dominant society to apply today?
Answer - Well I think that traditional knowledge is the only we to mitigate against climate change effects, the ancestors had ways to deal with excessive rainfall that directed the flash floods into irrigation, water collection sources, or harmless run-off, you can see the remains of the architectural works that were the visible evidence of this throughout the Andes....but what you do not see is the invisible spiritual foundation for these physical works....and this is what is lacking in the world today, you cannot have a physical solution to a problem without a spiritual understanding of what hides behind the problem.
A person connected to mother Earth can read her signs in ways that technology alone never will.






  






Tuesday, 28 April 2015

MONIKA PONTON ARRINGTON - THE TAINO WHO WAS BLESSED BY DOLPHINS

                                                            Monika Ponton Arrington

From left to right, Tai Pellicier (Taino), Damon Corrie (Lokono), Monika Ponton Arrington (Taino) in the United Nations General Assembly Room on the opening day of the UNPFII

Monika next to Terry Sloan (Navajo Nation) at the UNPFII, with Tai Pellicier in the background at left.

                                                Monika presenting at a UNDP side event

MONIKA  PONTON ARRINGTON - THE TAINO WHO WAS BLESSED BY DOLPHINS

I only 'knew' Monika as a fellow indigenous FaceBook friend previous to meeting her in person in New York City in April 2015. We were united by the vitally important Tribal Link Project Access United Nations training for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Monika was now entering it for the first time as a student, and I was returning to it as an Alumni to mentor the 1st & 2nd year students.

I soon got to know the Monika behind the name and FB photo, and I was very surprised at what I learned. What follows is a very brief and privileged glimpse into her life.....

When Monika was a little girl, her grandparents frequently took her to the Sea, her granny taught her that: "We were created in water in the womb, and we entered the world with water...water is the blood of mother Earth". So naturally Monika connected to the healing force of water from her earliest childhood. When she was 4 years old she already knew how to swim, and was taken to the beach at Bayonda in the Florida keys, somehow when her grandparents were distracted...Monika slipped away....her grandparents found her soon thereafter in the sea near the shore surrounded by Dolphins.

Grandad used to catch fish, and granny used to sit in the water at the shoreline and clean them, if a fish was discovered to be full of eggs and still alive - it was released back into the sea, but if it was already dead, granny put the eggs back into the sea to feed the other life forms - not wanting anything to go to waste in the circle of life.  The cleaned fish would then be smoked right there on the beach and consumed together as a family....and these stand out in Monika's heart and mind still - as one of her happiest memories.

In Ponce Puerto Rico (Boriken) in the mountains, there is a school and medical centre named after her grandad Ponton, but Monika was raised in the USA, in Florida first, where her childhood was a happy one, then she moved to the town of Blue-Ridge in the state of Georgia....a VERY racist predominantly 'country-white' town....and her adolescence was completely the opposite.
It was 1973, Monika was just 13; she was the only 'Indian' in the school...tall for her age, and with the long black hair that is a feature of most of our peoples.
From her very first day at school wearing a flowered dress and sandals - and for just about every other day for the years she had to be there, she was verbally insulted and teased by racist white children who predominantly wore blue jeans, flannel T-shirts, with sneakers or boots (both males & females) - who frequently referred to her as a 'prairie nigger' and a 'squaw'....her grades dropped from A's + B's in Florida where she was a happy cheerleader in school...to D's & E's in Georgia (where she tried out for the Cheerleading team but was only racially insulted more instead).....bullying is real folks, and it has a severe impact on it's innocent victims!
Having 3 generations in one home - which is the traditional way - gave her a place of refuge from the misery of her school days, it was Monika, her 4 younger siblings, their mom & dad, and grandma - in their home.
Sadly, in the year 2006 her Granny died at the age of 89, and it was tragically compounded when her dad - who was a very quiet but strong man, and a former 'All American' star athlete and decorated Military veteran - also died at the age of 70 in the same year.

Monika married a Cherokee native American man at the age of 17, and has 4 children from this marriage: Alex, Daniel, Gary & Hope, this first marriage lasted 24 years, but her husband was lost to his own indigenous identity and never related to her gregarious Taino indigenous ways, she remarried to another Cherokee man (Wolf Clan) who is completely the opposite, and they have now been together for 14 happy years
 
In 2008 Monika joined the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) where she is the regional representative, and she works with indigenous peoples in 8 states in the South East of the USA (Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia). The UCTP is an organization that promotes the self-determination of Caribbean Indigenous Peoples, and the recognition and protection of their human rights, culture, traditions, and sacred lands; as well as serves as a forum for educational advocacy (including human rights and cultural education) and policy development.    

I asked Monika these 3 questions about her Project Access Training, her answers are included as well below each question:
Question 1 - How did you personally benefit from the Tribal Link Project Access Training
Answer - First it gave me a chance to meet and understand a group of dynamic, and passionate people who wish to help and understand the indigenous people as much as myself, second, I learned that we all have the same goal, connection, solidarity, and yes it taught me you can get your message across and it can be heard when you utilize the rights of the of the Declaration of Indigenous Peoples, and what not to use, together from different countries and race but with a common goal.

Question 2 - How will you share/disseminate the information/knowledge you gained in the Project Access Training? 
Answer - I will share the information I received through speaking engagements that I have already been booked to speak, through the internet, several grass roots organizations that I belong to, as well as my blog, along with future interviews that I have been booked for. And all opportunities that become available.

Question 3 - What are the major water issues facing your people today?
Answer - Several...miles away they are fracking for oil and in turn it has caused the streams and wells to become polluted. Gasses and dirty smells have replaced the crisp mountain streams and wells, also our island is small... we are facing rising sea levels and in turn our wells and holding tanks of fresh water are becoming contaminated. Drinking water supplies are also becoming less and less due to changing weather patterns.








HAVE COMPLETE FAITH IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF YOUR ANCESTORS - NOT THE ORGANISED RELIGIONS OF OTHERS!

At the Taino-Lokono & indigenous relatives from around the world reunion in NYC, April 2015

My wife Shirling (front left), son Hatuey (back left), daughter Sabantho (back middle), son Tecumseh (back right), daughter Laliwa (front middle), and myself in green....our family prayer circle.          

THIS is one example why I have complete faith in the spirituality of my ancestors and I spend my life encouraging my people to RETURN to their ancestral wisdom, no 'religion' (for they are all fancy tombs with nothing but spiritual death and decay inside them...though you might be so disconnected that you do not realize it yet) can offer us what I naturally experience on a daily basis thanks to our traditional spiritual ways and practices.

Before I left to attend the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York I prayed and asked for advice, the reply I was given was to pick 4 flowers from the sacred plant my family grows purely for ceremonial/spiritual purposes (to offer to the Great Holy Spirit), I was told to chew and swallow each flower one at a time with 9 sips of Mni-Wakan/Holy water (because one of the first things we learn is how to conduit love & light into water in order to sanctify it, not necessary if you obtain natural flowing pollution-free water; but necessary if you have water that is contaminated in any way...such as tap water is....we learn that in its natural state water IS alive...and chemicals are added to human drinking water NOT to 'purify' it - but rather to kill it, as part of the way to spiritually dis-connect human populations on a mass scale...our bodies are roughly 2/3rds made of water, don't you think that having that much of your body saturated by dead water will have an effect on you? As compared to one who only drinks natural water that is still alive? Do you see how the two kinds of people have different thought processes? Now you know one of the reasons why!.
I was also told to say one spiritual gift that I wanted to receive before I consumed each flower, one of the things I asked for - was to be visited and see the spirits of all my loved ones who have not appeared to me yet since they left their physical bodies. Another gift I asked for with another flower from this sacred plant, was to see the ancestral spirits more often.

I left the next day for the UN, I was in New York for 12 days, while in New York I was at a Taino-Lokono-Arawak annual gathering, did this many times before as it is one of the things we look forward to when we gather for the UNPFII each year...but this time was different. At one point in the night when everyone was dancing and playing traditional music (I never dance,I observe) ...for a few seconds EVERYONE disappeared and I saw only the ancestors dancing before me, not just my ancestors, the indigenous ancestors of all my friends gathered in that room, Taino, Aborigine, Rakhaing, Aymara etc....and it made a wave of joy and contentment sweep over me - as I have never experienced such a phenomenon before at any previous gathering.

On another night after several indigenous brothers & sisters from around the world, joined the Indigenous Democracy Defence Organization (IDDO) which I created to give another platform and voice to the voiceless - ancestral spirits from all over the world (I could tell by the different traditional regalia they wore) appeared in my hotel room, they all looked happy and smiling, and they said just one thing to me: " Many more voices will now be heard"....then they left - but not before pointing to something on the floor by my roommates bed that they did not approve of, so when they left I got out of my bed and looked - and sure enough something was there that was not there when I went to bed.

2 nights ago back in Barbados I FINALLY saw the spirit of my dead daughter Aderi (Little Dove), she died 3 days after her birth on the reservation in Guyana 20 years ago, I was in the interior tracking down long lost Eagle Clan relatives and only reached my wife 2 hours AFTER my first baby daughter was already buried, imagine the shock upon hearing on my arrival: "Damon, Shirl (my wife) had a baby girl....but the baby died".....joy and grief in the same 4 second time span......my head was reeling....I wanted to drop dead at that moment to be with her little spirit......but I eventually asked myself "So I will never see what my daughter looked like?".....and I could not live with that question...so I went to her fresh grave in our backyard (you can bury your loved ones anywhere you want on Tribal lands) and I dug up her little coffin....opened it...and took my baby out and held her in my arms...I began to fool myself that she 'was not really dead - just in a deep sleep' (because she had no sign of rigor mortis yet)......but after perhaps 30 minutes of bathing her in my tears...I accepted reality and re-buried her, she had so much hair on her little head, she was wearing her best dress...it was a traditional Mopan Mayan one from elder Micaela Wewe in Belize I had received 2 years before, and red Hibiscus flowers adorned her head like a crown...I was now too weak with grief to re-bury her, so my brother-in-law Rami did it for me. When I was strong enough to stand again - I went to find my wife who was trying to cope with her own devastation on our bed upstairs.
I never cried out in anger to the Great Mystery - asking why our daughter was taken from us, nor did I stop believing in the Creator because of our tragedy....the ONLY thing I asked for...was for her spirit to be sent back to us in this life.....and we thought that she had indeed come back in our 3rd daughter Laliwa Hadali (Yellow Butterfly of the Sun), because when Laliwa was 4 she told me something very strange that no-one had mentioned to her when she said: "you buried me in the backyard, but I came back alive".....however we were later told by a very spiritual elder that her older sister Aderi's spirit is acting as her protector and told her these things....I still was not 100% sure that was the case...until 2 nights ago when I saw my daughter Aderi's spirit for myself....because my eldest son Hatuey (Army Ants) had been visited by Aderi's spirit as a little boy, she used to come to play with him and he would tell us about it; she was always 1 year younger than whatever age he was at the time (and in reality our son Hatuey IS one year older than Aderi), and my young first cousin Kayla who is Aderi's age - ALSO was visited by Aderi....Kayla who was then in her pre-teens - did not even know of my dead daughters existence until after the visitation - she asked her mum (my Aunt) "Who is Aderi?"...my Aunt said "That was the name of Damon's baby daughter that died in Guyana"....Kayla replied "Oh, because a girl with long black hair appeared to me and she told me her name is Aderi".

So 2 nights ago, my spirit was taken to a crowded place of bright light that was full of love - where I finally saw my first daughter again (and now I know that the elder was right, Laliwa is not the reincarnation of Aderi), I was so excited, she is BEAUTIFUL like her sisters, same complexion as my second daughter Sabantho Aderi (Beautiful Little Dove), with long black hair, and she has appeared 'age appropriate' once again at 20 years now (she would be 21 in September 2015)....we hugged, we walked around together, and we sat together holding hands....then she asked me: "Do you love me?"...and I told her "Yes, and I never want to be separated from you ever again!"..she then kissed me on my cheek, smiled and said: "You can't stay here dad, you have to go back"...then she got up and quickly left the room, I tried frantically to find her again in that place of many rooms; but she was gone.
I waited 20 years for this moment, to finally meet my first daughter, I used to wonder why she never appeared to me before, and it used to make me feel worse; but it was definitely worth the wait.

Then last night I awoke in my bed hugging my wife in the fetal position, only to see the deceased murdered grandfather of my wife Eldred Dundas, he was looking at us and smiling, he looked younger and fitter than he was at the age he died when I knew him, I smiled back at him and nodded as I acknowledged him by saying "Hi Granddad"....then my wife asked me who I was speaking to - and I said 'Dreddie' (that was his nickname) .....but then I looked around again and I realized that the walls of our bedroom were gone and a crowd of people I 'recognised' - even though I never saw any of them in this life before....were also watching us, it was then I realised that these people were all our Amerindian ancestors, and because they looked happy, it made ME feel happy.

Those who have lost their ancestral spirituality and wisdom - and have tried to adopt the religion of other peoples, have become so disconnected from spiritual truths by religious 'versions' - that they will say I use plants to engage in paganism......not realising that the same Creator they claim to worship - made the same plants I use - which the Creator made for us to connect to the Great Mystery and better understand why we are here; and remember the divine purpose that we volunteered to come here in order to fulfill.

Return to the ancestral wisdom and spirituality of your OWN people.....and free your soul from the prison cell of religious dogma and mass mind control created by OTHER people.....only YOU can free yourself from the chains of mental slavery.  

WATER IS ALIVE - A scientific revelation

Monday, 27 April 2015

THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH THE BERING STRAIT THEORY IS THIS:

                           An indigenous Siberian woman from the Chukchi Tribe in East Asia

                                      An indigenous girl from Amazonia, South America

             Tipi type traditional homes of tribes on the plains of Siberia in East Asia

                                               An indigenous man from North America

A group of indigenous people from the Koryak Tribe in Siberia East Asia with hand drum

                                              An indigenous woman from North America

                       A group of indigenous men of the Koryak Tribe in Siberia East Asia
                                                 An indigenous man from North America

                                      An indigenous man from Amazonia South America

My South American Lokono-Arawak wife who gets mistaken for an Asian by their restaurant staff lol

                                                                               Me

The MAIN problem and unanswered question concerning the Bering Strait Theory is THIS...

If non-native scientists are so 'sure' that their THEORY (because that IS what it is after all - just a popular theory pushed by academia) of a peopling of the Western Hemisphere from Asia to Alaska was the 'origin' of Amerindians in the Americas and was 'only' 10,000 - 15,000 years ago (which is STILL thousands of years older than the earliest remains found here of any other race)...then why is it that Amerindian burial sites in South America have been found that date from 25,000 to 50,000 years ago? (I still have old National Geographic magazines from when these sites were first discovered ...and later hushed by dominant academia).

It seems obvious to me that the peopling of the Americas occurred from Asia via the Pacific Ocean to South America FIRST and thence northwards...not from North America and thence southwards - that occurred SECOND. We cannot deny the Amerindian DNA and cultural affinities with North East Asia such as exemplified in these Siberia Tribes (who ALSO have the same hand drums and 'Tipis' - not to mention obvious DNA affinity that we share with no other) in the photos above, and we can't deny that our race was in South America long before this 'land bridge' existed either:

Fact remains, a racially unmixed Amerindian who travels to Eastern Asia looks like anyone else from that general region of the world, every Amerindian I know who has been able to visit an East Asian country has been spoken to by people in the street in those Asian countries who assumed they were locals and therefore spoke their languages (every time my northern Amazonian Amerindian wife fro South America enters an Asian restaurant the Asian staff ask her which Asian country she is from). I never let the fact that I am racially mixed lead me to forget that my unmixed Amerindian ancestors looked like the people in these photos...NOT the way I look today.

We can self-identify with our native ancestry in this Hemisphere all we want (and I certainly DO)...but when we mixed ones go around telling un-educated people that we are a 'pure'  indigenous person of this Hemisphere without admitting that we have some miscegenation in us (which is not our fault - just a genetic reality that we have to learn to accept and live with), we not only deceive ourselves - but we also lead such people to believe that when Columbus came all the native peoples  he saw in the 'New World' looked as WE mixed ones do today...when in fact he did NOT, he predominantly saw people like in these photos included.

Anyone else in the Americas 500 years ago was a genetically isolated small affair from previous limited arrivals that remained tiny numerical minorities in Geo-specific areas.....the red man was first and was everywhere in the Americas before anyone else arrived, I do not even think we can say that we mixed race ones are 'spiritually or culturally pure native peoples' either ...because just as science is now proving that memory is transmitted in our DNA, you can't have the DNA of non-Amerindian peoples in you and magically escape from the non-Amerindian ancestral inheritance of these foreign memories, experiences and thought processes that we mixed ones were born with.

Choose a side of your DNA inheritance and be loyal to it by all means 'if that is your decision towards your opinion' (as my Lokono brother Jerry said lol) - because you cannot serve two masters, but be REAL at the same time....how far do you think you can run to be able to leave yourself behind? My own people often use me an an example of a tribal member who does not look pure - but who is more loyal to our ancestral ways, culture, traditions and spirituality than many who are.....this is why we traditionalists look at a person's heart - more than their face; when determining who's loyalty lies with the people...and who's loyalty lies with themselves....but this does not mean that I encourage miscegenation...on the contrary, I advise our youth to seek first one of our own (and that includes other tribes of our Hemisphere) to create a family with...love is not hard to find, and there are so many of us - you cannot honestly tell me that you are unable to find one of your own kin to fall in love and make children with....you obviously did not look long and hard enough, I have met suitable 'wife candidates' numbering in the thousands all over this Hemisphere since I married mine at the age of 19...23 years ago.

Another thing you folks who's tribe numbers in the TENS OF THOUSANDS and who say 'trying to preserve a genetic phenotype is racist'...must realize and understand, is that there are many tribes that only number in the HUNDREDS, and the ONLY way we small tribes will survive genetic extinction is to try to ensure that our members preserve our DNA by marrying among our phenotype, for as WE see it...if everything has power (as the Great Apache Chief Geronimo rightly said) - then our DNA ALSO has power, and we wish to see it remain intact and continue to remain in existence on the face of the Earth as the Creator saw fit to leave our ancestors - who transmitted this phenotype to us - and trusted us in advance to do the same for the next generation of OUR people.

Why should we 'breed' ourselves into a genetic extinction to impress other peoples who do not live on the knife's edge of genetic extinction as we do? Many of our small tribes are just one epidemic away from the graveyard of history. Is it racist to love ourselves and wish to see our genes survive intact by marrying our own race in order to have children that keep our biological inheritance alive?

I prefer a world of diversity, like a field of many different colored flowers living together in harmony...not one GMO flower of the same color covering the entire Earth replacing all others....the Creator made us different peoples, not all of humanity looking the same; he obviously had a good reason to do this.

Just for the record - how do we know that one day it might be 'proven' that Asia was peopled' FROM the Americas and not the other way around? Never say never....'highly respected intellectuals' of their day once told us the World was flat too.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

ANGELIC DESCENDANT OF THE LAST KINGDOM OF ARAKAN OF BANGLADESH & BURMA

                        The Angelic soul Nwe Oo - proud daughter of the ancient Arakan Kingdom

 Nwe is a voluntary member of over 20 organizations and helped to negotiate peace between the freedom fighting rebels of her people and the Government

                                                    Nwe giving a TED talk on peace

                                                             Nwe with Hillary Clinton

    Nwe in lilac at front centre left -  with others invited to be on stage with President Barak Obama

Sometimes you are fortunate in this life to meet an Angel who walks among us, I have spent 12 days in the company of just such a person...her name is Nwe Oo - and it means 'Summer' in her Rakhaing language....she is beautiful, soft-spoken, melodious-voiced, and has a big heart that far exceeds her petite frame...and you will rarely find a more sincere and loving person in this world of pain where golden hearts like hers - are routinely shattered into a million pieces...only to be melted back together by the warmth of her undying love - and determination - to BE the change for the better that she wishes to see in the world!
She and I met in New York at the Tribal Link - Project Access United Nations training for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues 2015....she came into the training as a first year student....I returned to it as an Alumni - and mentor for the 4th time.

There are about 3.3 million Rakhine (Rakhaing) People in Burma, Bangladesh and India. Nwe's ancestors were noblemen in their last Kingdom of Mrauk U.
Mrauk U was cosmopolitan city, fortified by a 30-kilometer long fortification and an intricate net of moats and canals. At the centre of the city was the Royal Palace, looming high over the surrounding area like an Asian Acropolis. Waterways formed by canals and creeks earned the fame of distinct resemblance to Venice. Mrauk U offers some of the richest archaeological sites in South-East Asia.

In 1784 - over 100,000 Rakhine (Rakhaing) men, women & children were slaughtered when the armies led by the Crown Prince, son of King Bodawpaya, of the Konbaung dynasty of Burma marched across the western Yoma and annexed Rakhine. The religious relics of the kingdom were stolen from Rakhine, most notably the Mahamuni Buddha image, and taken into central Burma where they remain today. The people of Rakhine resisted the conquest of the kingdom for decades after. Fighting with the Rakhine resistance, initially led by Nga Than Dè and finally by Chin Byan in border areas, created problems between British India and Burma. The year 1826 saw the defeat of the Bamar ('Burmese') in the First Anglo-Burmese War and Rakhine was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Yandabo. Sittwe (Akyab) was then designated the new capital of Rakhine. In 1852, Rakhine was merged into
Lower Burma as a territorial division.

On that fateful night in 1784, the last King of Mrauk U told the members of the nobility to escape because as he warned them: "The Burmese will kill all of you"...so 150 individual families of the ruling class household fled their ancient and beautiful Arakan Kingdom in 50 row boats....and for 3 days they were adrift in the Bay of Bengal, 20 of the children died from drinking sea-water; for they fled in such a hurry no fresh-water provisions were taken.

Nwe recalls family oral history that says her relatives landed in a wild rugged place on the coastline, and they had to live in trees to avoid being killed by the numerous Tigers, Crocodiles and snakes that were abundant in this region. Eventually the British found them and offered them a treaty whereby they would have had to recognize the authority of the British Monarch...but Nwe's ancestors told them "We want nothing to do with any foreign King".
In the intervening years Rakhine was the center of multiple insurgencies which fought against British rule, notably led by the monks U Ottama and U Seinda. 
During the Second World War, Rakhine was given autonomy under the Japanese occupation and was even granted its own army known as the Arakan Defense Force. The Arakan Defense Force went over to the allies and turned against the Japanese in early 1945.
In 1948, Rakhine became a division within the Union of Burma. Shortly after, violence broke out along religious lines between Buddhists and Muslims. Later there were calls for secession by the Arakanese, but such attempts were brutally suppressed. In 1974, the Burmese Ne Win government's new constitution granted Rakhine Division "state" status but the gesture was largely seen as meaningless since the military junta held all power in the country and in Rakhine.  

In 1988 after Muslim Bengali illegal settlers invaded and stole her families 80 acre farmlands, Nwe and her Buddhist Rakhaing family, her younger sister, herself and their two parents; moved to the Burma border area.
It was this that reduced the family to poverty, they had enjoyed a comfortable living up until the Bengali invasions of the Chittagong Hill tracts, Nwe's family lands were well planted with fruit trees, and supported their many livestock animals...the land even had gold deposits naturally occurring in it....the Bengalis took all for themselves.

Nwe's parents sold all the gold they owned and were able to flee with, in a vain attempt to win back their lands from illegal Muslim settlers that were armed and supported by the military of Bangladesh - in the predominantly Muslim law courts of Bangladesh, after 7 years it ended in a surprisingly unbiased ruling in favor of Nwe's family...but the Army protected Bengali settlers refused to leave and threatened to kill Nwe's family if they ever returned to their own land.
By this point, Nwe's family had no money left to educate her as their oldest child, so she had to learn to do traditional weaving from her aunt; to support her own education. 

Despite all of the tragedies of her youth, Nwe at the age of just 16; wrote her first news article that was published in a Bangladesh newspaper...it was titled: "How can I preserve my people's culture and traditions?". The Government of Bangladesh took notice...and she was courted by Bangladesh political parties, Nwe's words to them may have taken them by surprise when she told them: "All peoples are equal whether minority or majority, we want to discuss our rights AT the table - not under the table; we want you to be genuine with us!"

In 1997-1998, together with her aunt; Nwe created the Rakhaing Health and Education Service of Refugee Arakan Women, Nwe herself was a volunteer teacher for 6 months in the jungle area. 
AUS-AID funding which had made this possible then suddenly ended, her students never went to school again, and instead ended up joining the rebel freedom fighters to help defend their people.....forced to live a hide and seek survival existence, never knowing when the next surprise attack by the Burmese or Bangladesh military will befall them.

Nwe then spent 5 years as an undocumented refugee living in Thailand before obtaining refugee status in America, where she currently lives to this day with her three sons.
Nwe is presently a representative of the World Arakanse Organization (WAO), this is the first worldwide and also the largest social organization of the Arakanese people.
The WAO was officially funded with the unswerving support at all levels from Arakanese around the world, in New York City om 5th March; 2005. Since then, the WAO has been working diligently on social platforms to make a difference in the lives of Arakanese people. 
Currently, there are WAO branches in Japan, Australia, USA, and Europe...with the headquarters in California USA.

I asked Nwe these 4 questions about her Project Access Training, her answers are included as well below each question:
Question 1 - How did you personally benefit from the Tribal Link Project Access Training
Answer -  I learned and fully understood the UN Permanent Forum system, how to utilize it most productively, and what it IS - and is NOT there to do. Also very importantly, by working closely with people from different indigenous communities and regional delegations from all over the world right in the training group ...I saw how we can unite today to build a greater tomorrow for all our peoples!

Question 2 - How will you share/disseminate the information/knowledge you gained in the Project Access Training? 
Answer - I will share the knowledge I received from the Project Access Training to over 20 indigenous grassroots organizations around the world which I belong to.

Question 3 - What are the major water issues facing your people today?
Answer - The double standard about whether sacred waters deserve protection or not, stems from ignorance about the cultural underpinnings of water laws and policies, and how western cultural values (or lack thereof) are projected onto the natural world.

Question 4 - Are you aware of any Climate Change solutions that your own indigenous community can offer - which could be useful for dominant society to apply today?
Answer - Facing rising sea levels - Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable places in the world, Hurricanes (Cyclones) also take their toll, there is nothing we can do to stop sea-level rise; but in  ancient times my people built great stone structures that easily withstood Hurricanes (Cyclones), and well planned irrigation canals diverted flooding caused by heavy rainfall harmlessly into natural water courses. Modern governments seem to undertake construction projects outside the environmentally in-tuned parameters of traditional cultural spiritual experience; and as a result they often fail.