On November 6-9, 2016 the Colorado Plateau Intertribal Conversations (CPIC) gathering group and Bioneers hosted the first ever “Indigenous Peoples’ Gathering for Healthy, Communities, Culture and Climate.” Recognizing that indigenous peoples across the planet face similar threats to their homelands and ways of life, the CPIC gathering group invited indigenous peoples from across North America and beyond to discuss these mutual concerns, and to share locally-grown strategies to combat climate change, the desecration of sacred sites, language loss, colonized diets, and the effects of intergenerational trauma. This groundbreaking event exemplified how traditional knowledge-based solutions can inspire and grow new roots when nurtured through an intercultural gathering based in tribal values of mutual respect and reciprocity.
Our friends at the Grand Canyon Trust wrote a beautiful description of the gathering:
Havasupai women brought pomegranates harvested from their village at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Hopi women brought blue cornmeal and an ear of white corn to place in a baby’s crib to ensure a long and healthy life. Navajo people brought a pottery vessel sealed with piñon sap. Visitors from Canada’s Mohawk nation offered sacred tobacco to the Pueblo of Pojoaque. Most spoke first in their Native languages and then repeated their words in English for the benefit of other Native people who had traveled from across the Southwest and from as far away as Canada and South America to attend the first-ever Indigenous Peoples’ Gathering for Healthy Communities, Culture, and Climate.
“Before this gathering, I used to call this Hopi tea,” Ruby Chimerica joked, offering a bag of medicinal tea. “But some people call it Navajo tea. Now I just call it intertribal tea.”
Centuries of cultural exchange
Since 2009, as Native people on the Colorado Plateau, we have been working to revitalize our once-thriving pre-colonial tradition of trade and cultural exchange by meeting to talk about issues many of our indigenous communities face… Read more »