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Date: Tue, 22 Aug 1995 17:54:08 -0700 (PDT)
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From: EIRP News <eirpnews@coopext.cahe.wsu.edu>
To: IND-NET <ind-net@listproc.wsu.edu>
Subject: nanews03.033(part A) (fwd)

Date: 10 Aug 1995 19:43:20 -0400
From: sunbow5@aol.com (Sunbow5)
Subj: Day 48 - Sunbow 5 Journal 8/9/95

Newsgroup: soc.culture.native

Day 48 - Sunbow 5 Journal

Wednesday 9 August 1995

The walk moved onward, up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway, taking the steps necessary to bring Sunbow 5 as far along the trail as Tuttle Gap, close by their base camp at the home of Dennis and Willow in Floyd, VA.

In the afternoon some of the women held a council circle. Other walkers offered tobacco to Chris Deerheart (adopted Lakota), and he poured water for them in a sweat lodge. Everything was well done, said Ned Pashene, a Naskapi Cree medicine man. This ceremony really helped us out. I was too tired to pour water, and everyone said I should rest and save my energy to make medicine for the walk. After the sweat we had a big feast with lots of really good food.

Earlier in the day, from about Noon till 2 PM Ned and Joe Soto of the Taino Nation tended a sacred fire, burned tobacco, and made prayers for the Sunbow 5 walkers and supporters who had journeyed to United Nations headquarters in New York City to participate in a ceremony marking the first annual worldwide day honoring Indigenous Peoples.

While the walkers prayed in Virginia, up in New York, high above the gleaming glass facade of the House of Mica (UN Headquarters), and out over the moving waters of the East River, a Sunbow appeared. The circular rainbow whirled in the sky for over an hour and a half before and during the ceremonies: sometimes whole, sometimes partial, sometimes clear, and sometimes murky. The Sunbow marked the city and the day with an unmistakable sky sign. It was there for anyone who chose to look up.

The small band of Sunbow 5 walkers and supporters clustered near each other at the edge of the paved plaza, watching, listening, talking, praying. Every so often one of the group would look up again to marvel at the multi-colored sign above. Altogether, about 250 people gathered for the ceremony near the visitor's entrance to the UN, though no politicians from the world's many nation states are there to be seen, or to listen. To the West, across First Avenue, began the jagged wall of buildings that makes up the Manhattan skyline.

For many hundreds of years it has been a daily struggle for the indigenous peoples of the Earth to survive, Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons began. So we are happy to be here, and also happy that the Secretary General of the UN is recognizing and acknowledging this day and the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples....

Where we are sitting today there once were huge pine trees. This was one of the finest hunting grounds on the continent -- great fishing, great hunting. Even today, sometimes when we listen closely we can hear the geese as they come by on their ancient flyway. They are still here. They are struggling against the pollution, but they are still here. Our ancestors' spirits are also still here. And the indigenous peoples are still here.

Mr. Lyons served as Master of Ceremonies, and kept his remarks brief, as did all speakers. The first-ever observance of this honorary day also included traditional dancers, and a World Sacred Pipe Ceremony.

When the drum started and voices rose in song, many people on tour of the UN heard the sound and drew near, swelling the crowd of observers. Ms. Delphine Red Shirt, Lakota, Chairperson of the NGO Committee on the International Decade, led the pipe ceremony. As I make this ceremony, she said, I am mindful that White Buffalo Calf Woman, a young maiden, brought the pipe to our people long ago. As a woman, I am honored to be here, and to be asked to do this ceremony.

As the ceremony concluded the Sunbow evaporated from the air, and the crowd of people on tour rapidly diminished. A cooling breeze blew off the river, over the people, on toward the heart of the city.

Alberto Taxzo, a Quecha medicine man from the Ecuadorian Andes, sang in Spanish a beautiful song to the Sun and the Creator beyond. He spoke of the Condor of the Andes, and the Eagle of the North American continent, a reference to an ancient Incan prophecy that one day the great sacred birds of the South and the North would fly together.

Incan Chasqui, or messenger, Willaru Huayata once told the story this way: When the eagle of the North and the Condor of the South fly together, the Earth will awaken. The eagles of the North cannot be free without the condors of the South. Now it is happening. Now is the time.

At the UN on Wednesday, Alberto Taxzo said we must work with sacred powers and understandings today, and every day into the future, to heal ourselves and our world. The condor and the eagle have met. Now is the time. We must choose our pathway now.

Before all the talks and the dances had ended, the Sunbow walkers and supporters journeyed a short distance away to a conference room to sit together and talk. A few hours later, the group slipped into the rush hour steam of traffic departing the city to return to the main group of walkers in Virginia. They headed back onto the pathway they have chosen: South a bit further, then following the Sun due West to the Pacific across the wide back of Turtle Island (North America) .