Summary of the Second International Roundtable Supporting Ancient Indigenous Knowledge
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the invitation of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, in response to a vision by his wife Elizabeth Kucinich, the Second International Roundtable Supporting Ancient Indigenous Knowledge was held from September 7-8, 2010 at the US Capitol Building. Native North American Elders and representatives from different cultures gathered from Canada and the USA as part of the Turtle Lodge delegation, bringing a message about the significance of Lady Freedom.
“The United States Capitol has the unique distinction of having Lady Freedom atop the Capitol Dome, watching over the land that our people refer to as Turtle Island,” recognized Anishnabe Elder and Roundtable Co-Chair, Dave Courchene. “To our people, she represents the spirit of Mother Earth, in recognition that the Earth has a spirit – the spirit of woman. In our journey coming here, we express the significance and importance of woman, our mothers, grandmothers, and Mother Earth. We honor woman by acknowledging that we owe our very existence to the Earth.” Courchene went on to define the foundation of Freedom as being embodied by the Seven Sacred Teachings. Each teaching is connected to an animal, which represents the connection to Mother Earth.
The historic meeting was in follow up to the First Roundtable and a process initiated by Courchene in May 2010, at the Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba. Courchene and Kucinich have co-chaired both Roundtables, geared toward bringing forward ancient Indigenous knowledge to help humanity reconnect to the Earth and bring the children back into the center of our lives internationally.
1. Indigenous understanding was brought of Lady Freedom, representing Mother Earth and embodying the Seven Sacred Teachings, represented by seven animals: Love (Eagle), Respect (Buffalo), Courage (Bear), Honesty (Sabe), Wisdom (Beaver), Humility (Wolf), Truth (Turtle). When these Seven Teachings are lived, there is Freedom.
2, The importance of Native North American Elders sharing these Seven Teachings with the youth was emphasized.
3. Agreement was made to launch special initiatives for young people entering adulthood. These initiatives have now been made public.
4. A Youth representative raised concern for the worldwide treatment of animals.
5. Special prayers were performed in the Rotunda of the Capitol, directly below the statue of Lady Freedom. Native North American Elders gathered in a circle around a small child in the center and prayed that all children would find their spirit of freedom.
6. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies were held with the Paa Ba Ma Sa Gay (Treaty #3) Drum in the Potomac Atrium in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and the Royal Botanical Gardens on the front lawn of the Capitol, respectively. This drum, carried by the Anishnabe Nation from Central Canada, has played an integral role in both Roundtables.”The drum represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth, opens the hearts of man and carries a message and prayers of peace throughout the world,” the Elders explained.
7. The concern for Water was brought to the forefront. It was agreed that a Third Roundtable be launched to focus on the issue of water. This is expected to take place in Seattle in 2011.