Saving Our Grandmother Earth

Environmentalists and restorationists are invited to share with Native Americans about their common ground &

Mother Earth &

when Red Earth Descendants (R.E.D.) hosts its first annual EcoSymposium/First Nations Day Celebration.

The free event includes prayer, ceremony, music, and Native American and environmental speakers concerned about "our Earth and our Future Generations." Sessions on the four elements Air, Earth, Water, and Fire will take place from Friday, Sept. 28 through Sunday, Sept. 30, at Briscoe Art Wing, in the field behind 265 N Main, Ashland.

Event organizers hope the symposium will continue the healing process between tribal and non-tribal people as described by Dino Butler (American Indian Movement of Oregon) and included in the City of Ashland's Proclamation of First Nations' Day 2006.

The symposium's centerpiece will be a memorial for Corbin Harney, Western Shoshone spiritual leader and environmentalist, beginning noon, Saturday, Sept. 29. "We are honored to build our EcoSymposium around this Memorial to celebrate Corbin's work as an environmental warrior, profound international speaker, healer and advocate for his People," the R.E.D. steering committee announced in a press release.

"We are grateful to Corbin's relatives for gifting us with their trust in helping our communities mourn, heal and carry on Corbin's astounding vision and work."

"Local Activism" will be the focus of the EcoSymposium session on Friday, Sept. 28. After a reception beginning at 6 p.m., speakers will include Chant Thomas (Dakubetede Environmental Education Programs); David She'om Rose (South Fork Trinity River Land Conservancy), Devon Strong (Four Eagles Farm, bison ranching), Julie Norman (Siskiyou Project, biodiversity and watershed protection), Lois and Leonard Houston (Blackfoot and Takelma, South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership, beaver restoration), Stan Petrowski (South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership, watershed restoration), and others.

"Fire Ecological Restoration" will be the focus from — to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Speakers will include Agnes Baker Pilgrim (Takelma, Confederated Tribes of Siletz, International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers), Dennis Martinez (O'odham/Chicano, Indigenous Peoples Restoration Network, Takelma Intertribal Project), Marko Bey (Lomakatsi Restoration Project, Lomakatsi Ecological Services), Bobcat Robert Brothers (Lomakatsi Restoration Project), and others.

A spirit of prayer and ceremony will be maintained throughout the weekend by the Whistling Elk Drum Group, Ed Little Crow, Agnes Baker Pilgrim and others. Demonstrations highlighting recycling, alternative energy solutions, and other environmental concerns will focus on the practical details of everyone's role in saving the Earth.

A statement by Red Earth Descendants reads: "As prophesied by Indigenous People, the health and survival of our Grandmother Earth is threatened by human abuse. We have reached a time of crisis, we are standing at the crossroads. We invite you to share in discussion/problem solving between Native people and environmentalists. These two vital groups of people, along with our community, will work together to discuss common ground in the environmental protection, ecological restoration, and indigenous movements; how new technology can be best guided by old traditions, and how we can work in a united way to heal our Grandmother. R.E.D. is committed to the health and well being of the next Seven Generations of life. Our Children and our grandchildren inherit ALL that we leave behind. It is part of our vision, then, that All Nations work together to solve these problems. Every one of us can make changes, learn, and grow together during this crucial shift of consciousness. That is the purpose of our EcoSymposium."

See or call Dan Wahpepah at 890-3529.

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