Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s Our Responsibility to Fulfill Prophecies

By: Chase Iron Eyes

There is a prophecy as old as our struggle. It is the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor. This prophecy, like any prophecy, has many interpretations and meanings to different peoples across the western hemisphere. The Peace and Dignity runners are making an epic journey to fulfill this prophecy. My family and other Standing Rock Nationals were able to join the Peace and Dignity runners for two days to lend our sweat, legs, breath, laughter, songs, prayers and spirits to the runners as they traversed our homelands. We were thankful this group of runners had come our way to help fulfill prophecy. I sat down with Glenda Abbott (Regional Prairies Organizer) to ask her about the run and the Eagle and Condor prophecy. Glenda stated:

“We see the Eagle and Condor as a reunification of shared existence between and among all indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere, North (Eagle) and South (Condor). Before Columbus made it here, we had extensive networks which connected us. We had runners that carried messages to different peoples. We didn’t exist in silence, and today we are not going to suffer in silence. We are here for each other, for the earth, reconnecting.”

Turtle islanders (the original indigenous peoples of the “North American” continent) are largely represented by and share a relationship to the Eagle, holding this messenger of Creator in highest regard. The same kin respect and reverence is still shown to the Condor by our Indigenous brothers and sisters of what is now called “South America.” The Peace and Dignity run began in 1992 (500 years after Columbus landed) as a way to say to each other and the world that we are now fulfilling the prophecy of the Eagle and Condor. Prophecies do not happen like magic; prophecies happen because we are willing to work hard to fulfill them in Creator’s blessing.

It is said by the runners that ages ago, before the coming of the European, we had trade networks and travelers among our peoples that traversed the whole of Turtle Island as well as South America with stories of various groups stepping foot on each continent. Many of the interstate and other highways mimic our Indigenous trade routes. Five-hundred (500) years after the coming of the European (1492-1992) the Peace and Dignity Run re-established those routes by running from the tip of Argentina (Southernmost South America), north toward the middle of the Western hemisphere while at the same time Indigenous peoples from North America (Turtle Island) ran south to meet them in the middle. This year, 2012, the runners will meet in Guatemala to hold four days of ceremony for water, the precious blood of Inyan (in Lakota way) which was gifted to Maka (earth) as a sacrifice by Inyan which created our world. The Indigenous peoples understand the magnitude of maintaining a respectful relationship with the universe, including water. There is no more pressing a time to respect and preserve the state of things which gives all earth’s inhabitants a seasonal supply of fresh water. There is no more pressing a time because the world’s fresh water resources are under attack by the carbon economy and those that perpetrate and perpetuate it, including the multinational oil and mining corporations, the nation-states which partner with corporations, the international banking operations which are run by the nation-states and /or corporations and us, we the people, that consume oil, gas, plastic and other products in obscenely unsustainable manners. Humans cannot value oil and gas over water.

We are blessed that this run happens every four years and honors different entities of our existence, including the following honored in runs past:

1992 –Elders

1996 – Children

2000 –Family

2004 –Women

2008 –Sacred Sites

2012 –Water

The runners headed south will collectively journey somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 miles. The Northern runners started in Chickaloon, Alaska, on May 20, 2012 and will reach their destination, Guatemala, by November 28, 2012. The distance between Chickaloon and Guatemala is approximately 6,000 miles. The runners are following the travel path of the monarch butterfly which makes this epic flight as part of its seasonal migration.

The group of runners that we ran with (Glenda, Melissa, Ahekiani, John, Jeremy, Tez, Pablo, and another wonderful sister I didn’t get to talk to) only number at eight (8) so they need help with runners, food, housing, water, etc. Standing Rock pulled together to host the runners and help them through our homelands. When we parted ways with the runners on July 26 they had been received by a group of four Cheyenne River Nation runners whom helped them carry staffs into Green Grass. On Saturday, July 28, 2012, there will be a lunch, open to the public, at the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s teen center at 2:00pm MST.

It was a tremendous blessing for my oldest brother James Iron Eyes, Sr., my 8 year old daughter Tokata and my 5 year old son, Zaniyan, to be able to run with our relatives for at least two whole days. Our bodies are tired but our spirits’ rejuvenated. As we ran through one city an old Native man removed his cowboy hat and stood by the sidewalk where we were running, nodding in respect and shaking each runner’s hand; as we passed him we could hear random young Lakota men giving several akisha (war-hoops) to honor the runners and staffs making their way on a hot summer day. On the sweltering windy roads of the Northern Plains, the runners appreciate when you honk your horns and/or akisha or tremolo (hohnagicala hothunpi; lilililili) for them as you pass them and encourage them as this run moves our spirits.

The run so moved my 8 year old daughter, Tokata, that during the run she said, “Dad, you know how you been promising to take me to Disney world for, I don’t know, four years? Well no more, I’m trading all that for a trip to Guatemala November, 28, to meet back up with Ahekiane and all the runners praying for water.” When we finished our second day of running, Tokata also said, “Dad, you know how to get to newspapers and stuff, right? Well you should write an article about the run so everyone knows about it; if you need to interview me, you can.” Well, Tokata was not awake at the time of this writing but I will give her credit for the idea of writing this article because I know she will check whether I have cited her properly.

The runners (South Dakota-Colorado Corridor) are responsible for carrying twelve staffs at this time with more to be picked up along the way. They absolutely rely on each community they run through to help them out, lend a hand, give some legs, help with songs/ceremony at the beginning and ending of each day when they unwrap the staffs to start running and wrap them in bundles at the end of running (the runners ask each group that helps to help with ceremony in that group’s way), feed them, house them, give some traveling money, whatever we can do. It is in our nature as Indigenous people to be hospitable, feed, and help one another. This is what Sioux Valley First Nation, White Earth Anishnabe , Sisseton Dakota, Standing Rock D/Lakota, and Cheyenne River Lakota have done to name a few; the Northern Arapaho have also pledged runners from Wyoming to Denver. Let us treat these runners as relatives. This is our way.

Please visit the South Dakota-Colorado Peace and Dignity facebook page for routes to join and help in the mid-west: http://www.facebook.com/peaceanddignityjourneys2012#!/groups/211546372192819/

There are also other routes (West Coast, including Los Angeles right now, Texas) and info at Peace and Dignity Journeys 2012 facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/peaceanddignityjourneys2012#!/groups/pdj2012/

Lastly, if you can, you can donate online at Peace and Dignity Journeys 2012 main site: http://peaceanddignityjourneys.org –donations are tax deductible.

If you are in the Northern Plains, Wyoming and Colorado, the runners will be on the Cheyenne River Reservation until Saturday-Sunday (July 28-29), at which time they will be headed for Sicangu Country (Rosebud Rez) or Oglala Country (Pine Ridge Rez) on July 29-31 (approximately- please check with Glenda) then onto Wyoming-Colorado. Please listen to tribal radio in your area for info and call or text Glenda at 720.428.0232 if you plan to help in any way. There are only 8 runners and 2 passenger vans so help is greatly needed.

Lastrealindians is happy to do its part to fulfill the Eagle and Condor prophecy and honor our water by helping our relatives.