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N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 9
A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E /
9
R
emembergoinghome
to Grandma's house?
Formanyofus,these
are precious memo-
ries. For me especial-
ly,GrandmaEdithwasmyfirst
teacher,showingmehowtofeed
andraisethebabychickens,tend
vegetable gardens and flower
beds, harvest and preserve rain
andMotherEarth'sbounty,care
andnurtureofothersthroughlis-
teningandsendingovermeals.
WhenIbroughtmyownlittle
babygirl,Hannah,tobeblessedby
myGrandma,shesaid"I'vebeen
waitingforthis."Ashiverwentup
throughmybody,whichIrecog-
nizetobethetruthandpresence
ofSpirit.Thirteenmonthslater,
my grandmother transitioned
into the Spirit realm, reuniting
withourancestors.Ifeltthegrief
ofnolongerhavinganelder,a
grandmothertoguideme.
Later,IlearnedfromtheHau-
denosaunee Peacemaker's story
thatkeytotheunificationof
what is now known as the six
leaguesoftheIroquoisnations,
wasthepresence,voicesandwis-
domofclanmothers.Thesefirst-
nationpeoplelivedinpeaceon
TurtleIslandforoverathousand
years; no decisions were made
withouttheiradviceandapprov-
al. Where are the clan mothers
nowwhenweneedtheirvoices
somuch--inaworldofglobal
warming, war, economic strife,
orphanchildren?
Inanall-nightprayerceremo-
nyinthesweatlodge,Isentmy
voicetotheGrandmotherofall,
cryingoutforelderwomen,the
clan mothers, to come forth to
sharewithmethesacredteach-
ingsofwomen,tomodelhowto
bean"elder"soIcantrulybeof
helptotheyoungeronesinmy
community.
Verysoon,myprayerwasan-
swered when I met the Grand-
mothersataBioneersconference,
andacquiredtheirbook,Grand-
mothers Counsel the World:
Women Elders Offer Their Vision
for Our Planet(ShambhalaPubli-
cations,2006).
This wonderful collection of
theirteachings,viewsonrelation-
shipsandwomen'swisdom,ideas
for bettering life on earth, and
revelationsabouttheimportance
ofprayerbecamemyhandbook
for living life in a more sacred
way.
In2004,thirteenwomenfrom
all four corners of the world,
movedbytheirconcernforthe
planet,hadcometogetheratan
historic gathering, where they
agreedtoformanalliance:
The
International Council of Thir-
teen Indigenous Grandmoth-
ers.
Whatablessingtoreceivethe
presenceandmessageofthese
respected elders, each having
beentrainedbyhertribalelders
intheirtraditionalwaysasspiri-
tualleaders,medicinewomen
andshamans.EachGrandmother
bringsmagicalstoriesofproph-
ecypredictingtheirparticipation
intheCouncil.Theirformation
andmissiongivehopeandsetan
inspiringexampleforallourre-
lations.
The Grandmothers' Mission
Statementis:"We, The Interna-
tional Council of Thirteen Indig-
enous Grandmothers, represent a
global alliance of prayer, education
and healing for our Mother Earth,
all Her inhabitants, all the children,
and for the next seven generations to
come. We are deeply concerned with
the unprecedented destruction of our
Mother Earth and the destruction of
indigenous ways of life.
We believe the teachings of our
ancestors will light our way through
an uncertain future. We look to
further our vision through the real-
ization of projects that protect our
diverse cultures: lands, medicines,
language and ceremonial ways of
prayer and through projects that edu-
cate and nurture our children."
Thegrandmothersbelievethat
onlyculturederivedfromnature's
lawswillsurvive.Withoutadeep
connection to nature, our con-
sciousnessandourpoliticswill
inevitably be flawed. But when
weareconnectedtothenatural
world,wecannothelpbutseethe
beautywithinourselvesandev-
erywhereelse.
With the deluge of negative
informationintheworldtoday,
itishearteningtoconsiderthe
possibilitythatopeningourselves
tobeauty,hope,andconnection
maybethemosthealingaction
wecantake.
TheGrandmothers'Council
hasbeengiventhePeaceAbbey's
Courage of Conscience award,
promotingthecausesofpeace
and justice, nonviolence and
love.ItacknowledgestheGrand-
mothers'effortstoeducateand
passdowntheirwisdomandtra-
ditions to preserve and protect
the lands and traditions of In-
digenousPeoplesthroughoutthe
world for generations to come.
Previous recipients include the
Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and
RosaParks.
Thefilm,For the Next 7 Gen-
erations,directedbyEmmyand
Peabody award winner, Carole
Hart,documentswhathappens
when these wise women unite.
Facingaworldincrisis,theyshare
withustheirvisionsofhealing
and call with a voice of "great
Listening to Grandmother...
Coming Home to Mother Earth with The International
Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers
By Arianna Husband
The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers with His Holiness, the
Dalai Lama (Dharamsala, India, 2006).
Photo by Marisol Villanueva, Courtesy of www.
grandmotherscouncil.com
(Continued on page 30)