Manataka™ American Indian Council
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM VENEZUELA
Freedom: The First Fruit of Democracy
By Gerardo Atkinson
Moroco! Moroco! Moroco! (Awaken, Awaken, Awaken!) Brothers and Sisters of the North, Central and South!
At long last, after five hundred and seventeen years of deep slumber, the Condor of the South and the Eagle of the North, indigenous peoples everywhere have awakened and are now about to shake hands across the hemisphere.
The Creator, gods and goddesses, caretakers of the air, water, lands and forests, all are about to meet. The meeting place is Manataka!
As if by a brain wave or inspiration of the Great Spirit, some courageous Elders of the Imataka Mountain range, are making a pioneering trip to Manataka (Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA), a sacred site of all indigenous peoples of this hemisphere.
The Wheels of Evolution -- positive and negative impacts
Following the great land fall of Christopher Columbus on the shores of the New World, the Western Hemisphere. the discovery of gold changed the course of history of Mother Earth and her populations. Dying kingdoms of Western Europe were regenerated and converted into powerful empires. All aspects of European culture soared to its highest. As the quest for gold continued, a path of carnage was cut across the hemisphere; causing millions of gallons of indigenous blood to spill, while hundreds of tribes completely disappeared, thus reducing the population of the Red race to near extinction.
Colonialism and Christianity combined to curb the genocide, and to some degree, native peoples of the North, Central and South were able to lick their wounds and begin the slow process of recuperation. With the growth of colonialism and ever increasing populations of European immigrants, dominant society slowly turned to capitalism spurring growth of high technologies. Huge deposits of mineral resources laying deep in native territory soil were claimed by brute force, bribery, and extortion. As result, indigenous lands were confiscated by whatever Europeans / Americans stepped foot on the shores of the so-called New World.
The wheels of evolution exposed new inventions and increased demand for more minerals and other resources. inevitably, native peoples stood in the way of this new era. A new form of genocide was designed to solve this matter, instead of swords and guns, craftily designed strategies are now being used to finally eliminate the red race, in the South, Central and North American continents, off the face of the earth. The onslaught of integration now poses a serious threat to the survival of native peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere. The wanton rape of our lands and territories is appalling. \
Forests, rivers and valleys are now yellow-green from pollution. Valuable plant and animal life stand on the brink of destruction and extinction.
Brothers and Sisters of the Red race; we are about to face our mortality!
Wild, Green and Still Pristine
Deep in the South American jungles, Elders and Piaie men of various tribes are suddenly aware of a great danger that threatens the life line of their very existence -- the Rain Forest.
Creeks, brooks, ravines and other water paths are all dried up. Giant vines that provided drinking water for huntsmen now yield but a few drops. Small vines containing the milky substance and served to combat foreign diseases now gives very little or no substance. Some plants have become extinct.
Our Piaie men are alarmed; they warn of a great danger somewhere on the bed of the ocean. They warn of strange creatures that multiply by the millions. Instinctively, animals, reptiles, birds, fish, insects and crustations are heading for safety. The Imataka, Paceraina and Roraima Mountain ranges offer refuge. Wild, green and pristine as the day the Great Spirit created Mother Earth, these heavily forested mountain ranges contain vital plant and animal life that may yet save humanity.
Brothers and Sisters, this matter clearly lies in our hands. We owe it to our ancestors, to ourselves, and to future generations to save the Rain Forest from greedy multi-national corporations.
Jeremy Atkinson, Chairman, Movemento Indigena de Guayana
Honored Brothers and Sisters of the various nations in the North of the Western Hemisphere - the Land of the Free!
My name is Jeremy Atkinson and I greet you in the name of the Indigenous Movement of Guayana and its seventeen member nations living in the south of Venezuela.
We gratefully thank the Manataka American Indian Council. And I especially thank Lee Standing Bear Moore to who as made all efforts to deliver this message on behalf of the Elders of our nations living in the southern lands.
We pray that this message be heard by each and every one of our brothers and sisters of the Red culture and be carried on from this generation to the coming generations; and may it also be transmitted to the entire population that inhabits Mother Earth with full respect.
We also pray that our gatherings and ceremonies, not only be a landmark for the history of our future generations, but shall also serve as a stepping stone that will lead us to perpetual freedom that our ancestors once enjoyed.
And we may examine the possibilities of Awakening our rich and wise culture, that has laid dormant for over 500 years.
And at the same time, we will address some problems that we face in our respective homelands, in order to seek and find the very ideal manner for solutions. With intelligence and combining our wisdom; with full cooperation and mutual support as a custom of our wise culture.
My brothers and sisters, we have come a long way together: North, Central and South America. In our sufferings, in our struggles, in our frustrations, in our impotence, in our defeats by overcoming of the course of eventualities recorded in our histories. Some of our Elders now say, the time has come to stop licking our wounds and be determined to seek perpetual freedom.
With the dawn of the 21st century, it is time to realize that we are not just someone's indigenous people, or a part of someone's folklore, or to be advertised as someone's tourist attraction. We are a Nation! A nation with a rich history. And, like every other nation on the face of the Earth, we have a culture. And maybe an even richer culture than our oppressors. Our culture is based on freedom, respect, cooperation, solidarity, and most of all -- spirituality.
The time has come to focus our full attention on Awakening every aspect of our wise culture.
As we examine the scientific aspects of our culture, the more convinced we are that within our culture lies the key to our freedom -- and may be the survival of all humankind on Earth.
Our Elders still remember the political, economic and social systems that were designed by our ancestors that provided abundantly, with total stability for our people in accordance with the seasons.
Others remember the military sciences that were practiced by our ancestors in their wars.
Also still vibrant is our medicinal sciences that provide the answers to malignant diseases.
Some of our Elders are convinced that with these aspects of our culture fully awakened and developed, it will ensure the return of our self esteem; an element that is needed to combat and repel the onslaught of integration that has taken the place of the sword of yesterday's Conquistadors. Integration has taken a severe toll on our population in recent years.
My Brothers and Sisters, at this point let us be forthright with each other. The Awakening of our culture that has laid dormant for over 500 years, will not be an easy task. Considering the great chain of oppression that includes discrimination at almost every level of society; Craftily designed political strategies to carry out oppression. To integrate our people into the mainstream of the dominant society, so they can make uses of the natural resources that lay in our homelands. They sell us into a strange political, economic and social system. They cause divisions between our people so we may not unite with an idea of having back the lands that Creator gave to our ancestors that is sacredly ours. Alcohol and other drugs pervade our communities while the oppressive political system does nothing. Yes, there are many obstacles to overcome in order to Awaken our culture.
Dominant society and governments do not understand the meaning of perpetual freedom. They work with United Nations bodies pretending to be working in a good direction, but our Elders are clear that those works are but just political overtures intended to bind the people into a chain of oppression. Therefore, in a figurative sense, dominant society are not prepared to give back land to indigenous people.
As a republic for Amerindian people for freedom and independence, the people can and will build a true democracy and thereby prove to the world the effectiveness of our politics and science born in indigenous cultures.
Still my brothers and sisters, despite the great obstacles, our Elders insist that our weaknesses understood and will must be stronger. The Awakening of our culture will ensure the keys to our perpetual freedom. We must sever the weakest links in the chain of oppression. This can be done only with intelligence, wisdom, and frequent dialogs. We must combine all our resources with unity in both hemispheres -- South and North.
The time to start is now. We owe it to our ancestors; we owe it to our future generations; and we owe it to Mother Earth.
The Indigenous Movement of Guayana (Movemento Indigena de Guayana) and its seventeen member nations wish to enhance our territories for the purpose of forming an true Amerindian national republic -- where we will Awaken our culture to promote and develop the 'original democracy' in the ways of perpetual freedom, respect, cooperation, and spirituality.
We therefore call upon the four sacred winds; we call on our brothers and sisters living in the North, Central and South to combine efforts in a common search for freedom, peace and respect for the Earth Mother. We will live in harmony and strive for equal coexistence with dominant society.
My Brothers and Sisters of the Red Nations and friends of all races, in a spirit of peace, unity, understanding, and respect, we the people of Guayana extend our hands for your support of this great undertaking.
May the Great Spirit, our Creator, guide us on our path to a land of the free.
Chairman, Movemento Indigena de Guayana
July 06, 1976 - July 20, 2004
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