As I learn more about Chief Arvol Looking Horse I find parallels to my own experiences related to our environment. It was a spiritual vision of the Rocky Mountains obscured by clouds of pollution that led me to give up owning a car nearly forty years ago (this being the days before catalytic converters, when cities were enveloped in smog). And a similar spiritual devastation when I saw the hundreds of square miles of the Canadian forests torn up to mine the tar sands. That led me to become an Action Lead in the Keystone Pledge of Resistance five years ago, and to help organize efforts in Indianapolis to support water protectors and defund the Dakota Access Pipeline.
I was profoundly affected by the prayers and spiritual practices of the Native Americans who joined us in the #noDAPL efforts in Indianapolis.
I first learned about Chief Arvol Looking Horse in 2016. As a result of my walking on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March last month, where I had opportunities to learn much more from, and become friends with Native Americans, I am interested in learning more. Searching for information, I re-discovered the writings and messages of Chief Looking Horse.
Now I’m interested to see how Quakers and all others who are spiritually guided can work together to try to protect Mother Earth from the environmental catastrophe we are facing. During my years of working within the Quaker community, I hadn’t thought about expanding those efforts to include those of other faiths. Now I see the truth in what Chief Looking Glass says, “We are at the crossroads in a great state of chaos, disasters, tears from our relatives’ eyes. Or we can unite spiritually all nations, all people, one prayer.”
This morning I was fascinated to read his story about prayers during the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s and tar sands today.
April 19, 2013
My Grandmother shared with me a powerful time when the people came together for prayers during the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s. She accepted a C’anupa to bring out the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle to end the drought and bring healing to Mother Earth. Even the non-native farmers heard of this prayer time and offered a cow to feed for the ceremony. The prayer was answered!
Recently I accepted tobacco from a Grandmother – Anpao Wic’ah’pi Was’te Winyan of the Ihanktowan Oyate. She had a dream of bringing People together at the bundle to pray for a healing of the biggest cancer that is spreading upon Mother Earth; caused from the Tar Sand efforts with XL pipeline that is threatening to come through our territory and our Sacred Sites.
Our Nation who is known as the Pte Oyate (The Buffalo People) will be praying with Sacred Bundle on May 18, 2013. Please bring food for feast and tobacco offerings.
I am asking “All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer” to help us during this time of this gathering by praying with us on this day where ever you are upon Mother Earth.
We need to stop the desecration that is hurting Mother Earth and the communities. These recent spills of oil are affecting the blood of Mother Earth; Mni wic’oni (water of life).
Chief Bernard Ominiayak of the Lubicon Lake First Nation of Canada is also asking for prayers and to let the World know of his People’s stand against the Development that is happening against his People. They sit on 70% of oil; those that are after this oil are threatening their lives. His concern at this moment is of non-members, without their consent, signing away their rights and negotiating with Corporations that will forever affect their way of life – to live off the land – handing them a death sentence. At this moment there are too many of their people dying from cancer. When they hunt, they are finding maggot-infested moose. When they fish they are finding two headed fish. The people are dying from trying to survive in a traditional way in their territory. The UN has submitted a statement in support of Lubicon Lake Nation’s stand to live in Sovereignty and live in their tradition.
We have many concerns at this time. Along with the First Nations whose territory is within the Tar Sands desecration; with their lives being threatened and also the high death rates of cancer, along with the sickness of the land and animals.
In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no ending and no beginning!
Hec’el oinipikte (that we shall live)
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Pipe