Painting: "Sky Dream" inspired by California Indian Rock Art
SOVEREIGNTY and UNIFICATION
Solidify Our Sovereignty
On August 22nd, 1998, the California Indian People from our many Indian Communities are gathering at Pala Reservation to begin the first steps of a Prayer Walk (spiritual) to establish the unification of our Native California People. We hold this vision as a "United Nations of California Tribes", and are walking to Save Our Sovereignty!
As California Indians, we were one of the first to feel the assault upon our Sovereignty as a Free People. It was the first Governor of California that laid a bounty upon the heads of Indian Men, Women and Children. That thinking is still prevalent, alive and working today. There is a constant assault on our Religious freedoms, a continuous harassment of our Indian Inmates, and an organized demise of Educational, Health benefits and other programs designed for Indian People. Even our own efforts for economic improvement are being encroached upon. Never has our Sovereignty as one People been under greater attack from outside forces than under the guise of "helping" and "understanding".
We are Walking for our right as a People to be free of outside restraint, conditions, or imposed cultural genocide. We must become unified: one Voice, one Heart, and one Mind. This Walk is to Solidify Our Sovereignty!
We can no longer afford to ignore the fact that we are treated as a 'forgotten people'. We have been systematically isolated from one another, divided from one another, singled out, and separated from and pitted against each other long enough. It is now time to strengthen our solidarity through our ancient songs, prayers and our actions. In the spirit of the Creator, it is once again time to declare peace and brotherhood amongst the California Tribes and take our rightful place as Nations of the First People of the Earth.
The walk will begin on August 22nd, 1998 at 9:00 AM at the Pala Reservation, and will continue for 21 days. Traveling North, up the Coast of California to the state capitol of Sacramento. We will walk about 20 miles per day.
Each day of the Walk is one day for each Mission, a Prayer for all our People and a Prayer for our Families, Men, Women and Children. This is NOT a protest, but a Prayerful Walk. A walk of clear intent. Our voices will Sing a sacred Song to understand the urgency of Unity and Sovereignty. We will Walk as one. The Traditional Bear Dancers of our California Tribes will be leading the Walk. We will invoke all our relations for help and assistance for all our People.
JOIN us at Pala or begin your participation from your local areas. Join the local Tribal/Nations or Indian Organizations, whether they are in the North, South, East or West. Walk with them, and us, lend us your strength and your Presence.
Enroll your Churches, your Temples, your organizations, your families, for we ask you for your support as we pass through your areas. Help us with food, water, and places to rest or sleep or with whatever you can offer. We ask for your support, we ask for your presence, we ask for your help in correcting the errors of the past, and present, for all our Children's sake.
My friends, my relatives, thank you for your consideration and your prayers. Le us move forward stronger together, unafraid of the continued efforts to separate us, to divide us and to conquer us from within. We must not leave this legacy of separateness for children to solve.
Signed: Committee For The Walk
Please feel free to pass this letter on without modification.
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Credit: "Painting: "Sky Dream" by Mitchell E. Robles used with permission. All rights reserved.