2012 News: Indians Gather To Save The Planet

More than 200 leaders from 71 American Indian nations in Mexico, the United States and Canada came together to the natal town of Lord Pakal Ahau in Palenque on March 2008 with a 2012 message. Here’s the AP article.

Mar 11, 1:53 AM (ET) By MARK STEVENSON – PALENQUE, Mexico (AP) – North American Indians assembled in the shadow of ancient Mayan pyramids Monday discussed how their tradition wisdom could help save the planet, and were told that even indigenous cultures have struggled with environmental abuse.

More than 200 leaders from 71 American Indian nations in Mexico, the United States and Canada came together in this Mexican jungle to find indigenous solutions to pollution and ecological problems threatening the planet.
“Our Mother Earth is being polluted at an alarming rate, and our elders say that she is dying,” said Raymond Sensmeier, a Tlingit leader from Yakutat, Alaska. “The way the weather is around the world … a cleansing is needed.”

The conference began with a pre-dawn ceremony that included fire, copal incense, chants in Lacandon Maya and blasts from a conch shell.

Speakers reminded attendees that even Indian cultures have battled with environmental abuse and pointed to theories that deforestation contributed to the collapse of the Maya who built the temples at Palenque.

“As we stand here, very near Palenque, I am mindful that some scholars have suggested that environmental stressors contributed to the decline of the Mayan civilization,” said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator Elin Miller. “The planet-wide stress on the environment today means that collaborative efforts … are not just good things. They may well be essential for our survival.”
But, as Bill Erasmus, a representative of the indigenous people of Canada’s Northwest Territories noted, “part of our role is to wake up the world. It is very obvious to us all that the climate is changing.”
Mexico’s environment secretary, Juan Elvira Quesada, said the gathering is meant “to present the teachings of the original peoples of North America.”
“In this way, the indigenous communities can become the natural guides to restoring balance and harmony in the world,” he said.
The lessons they have to teach are simple – based on reviving Indian notions about ownership, use, compensation and respect.

“I sometimes talk to scientists,” said Sensmeier, “and they compartmentalize things, put things in boxes and disconnect them, and doing so promotes disharmony and imbalance.”

NOTES FROM THE EDITOR: K’in Garcia, Maya Lacandon priest, original from Naha, initiated the ceremony playing the caracol, an indigenous musical instrument, whose sound was followed by a strong response from the Zahuahuetos monkeys living in the dense rainforest. K’in accompanied by four indigenous priests placed an altar in the central patio of the archaeological ruins at sunrise (5:41 am local time – 11:41 GMT) with five containers, fired with copal in honor to five Maya deities, and in the center of the flames, they placed a crystal skull as the main god. The priest invoked to Hachakyum, the god of gods, “the one who created the sky and jungles”. On March 13, at the conclusion of the meeting, a document entitled “The Palenque Manifest” will be prepared, which contains the Declaration of Principles of Tribes of North America, including the conclusions and contributions of the gathering from several indigenous point of views and their beliefs to continue a sustainable development of the planet.

Palenque Meeting 2008

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