Traditional knowledge is embedded in our DNA

hERE at International Uranium Film Festival at Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz., which ends tomorrow, Dec. 4, 2013. The festival is live streamed at:

The films this morning were heartbreaking. There were photos of newborn babies with no eyes, no mouths, no nose, so hunched over you could barely distinguish that is was a baby, some of the babies that survived had no arms…And these birth defects were linked to uranium activities involving mining, milling, depleted uranium weapons, military testing of uranium bombs…

This afternoon opened with panel “Spiritual Knowledge versus Western Science”

It is hard to see, to go on this journey that only takes few seconds to go around the world to find out what is causing this sickness caused from uranium. Lot of our herbs are dying because of uranium contamination. I go into herbs to see how cure. It’s hard. And who caused this? It is people who don’t understand what human is, who don’t have hearts. WE love our Mother Earth. WE have four sacred mountains, we talk to it and how we are powerful with other tribes with it.

Hauvasupai from grand canyon, our journey is with purpose and that is beauty of Mother Earth. When we talk ritual and ceremony, it applies to all indigenous people on Mother Earth. Those here and online, I honor you. We must honor the sharing of knowledge. At birth we are given permission to sing/pray so our responsibility to protect your areas of birth. It is difficult when see beauty of such pristine perfection in the beginning is now in a situation where impacts life and I talk about all of life, not just humans but Four-Legged, Ones that Crawl, Cloud People, etc. We are told all is alive and you must accept to continue to survive on Mother Earth. Many words that have come out and one is crying which shows we are not doing our jobs adequately and it is shown to us by Winged Ones, Four Leggeds. it is not matter for you to him and haw in this part of game but for you to embrace. It is difficult cuz there is misunderstanding. Essense of wisedom brings us help in our work. Each morning we are told to rise with Sun and if rise with Sun then given permission to live. The journey is not that complex. But many of us put too much thot into our journey. Creator asks only for you to speak to Creator at Dawn and at Sunset to give thanks. And yes we will all die. And the messages of Creator are not to be written down but we are unable to accept that because we believe if we feel, we touch. How have we allowed our Mother Earth to be in pain. We are not to talk politically. But our children are killing each other. And so there must be “focused thought” which is a difficult choice but the medicine people are not asking you to change your position. We are asking you to listen to great ceremonial orators that have been present here. And if not then look on Mother Earth and diviness of her children. Essence of divine is Be with me. Do you seek? Do you feel? Tell me so I may understand. Be within me to motivate inspiration to those out there. Embrace your birthright and it will be felt without words. We do cry and we are crying for change to heal pristine Mother outside. A simple awakening of your hearts begins the journey for wellness to all our relations and the survival of this Earth.

We organized this to discuss western science and traditional knowledge so that bring us here which is the validity of our traditional knowledge – it is already imbedded in our DNA, in our prayers, ceremonies. Science telling us that it is not considered. Science telling us, “We have no room for your traditional knowledge. So western science needs to step aside and give recognition to our traditional knowledge.”

So now you know where we are going.

Say leaving for San Carlos after this session. And the film before this calls out to us to prayer for those children and call to Creator. On our sacred mountain live Holy People and we believe that there needs to be a buffer between us, the People, and the Creator. So these Holy Ones live on this mountain and travel thru the wind and speak to animals. Our ancestors had that essence of beauty and cud be one with Holy Ones. But once we touched unknown behavior, we were punished and no longer cud speak directly to the Holy Ones. But our elders held onto those teachings, morals, praying. Now battling on this mountain to build 27 telescopes and Az State University and partners have been given exemption. Over 25 years, in taking people to mountain, we did not stop at hotels, MacDonalds cuz we were in prayer. In our way, it is not easy to talk with God. We have to be clean, strong. Along the way, there are Four Corridors that open the heavens and we tell kids, when you go into someone’s house, you respect rules and that is true when we go outside. In Apache way, we turn all the way around to keep negative/evil away. And if you reach mountain and don’t feel anything then you have not done it in the proper way. One time, Pope came to mountain, drove up there, walked around for a couple of minutes and then he told the crowd gathered there that there was nothing sacred there. My wife had a dreams of mountain calling and I teased her. I went back to mountain and got arrested. So you believe in mountain to hear mountain. When we got to top of mountain, 23 of us became statutes when we heard people singing and crying. There was boy running since 2 and he said they were lucky to hear our people talk to them. What we have to share is hard because it gets abused. But we have to now to teach our children.

Science needs to be more responsible. Science is our science, not scientist. Our way, we are about the people. Science is about slicing and dicing. They like taking apart about life. They will never understand until understand. We need more natives to develop technology and go beyond with better translations such as electricity. We, as Indigenous, need to give our definitions. Our medicine is in us. We take herbs for cleansing, rejuvenation. Our’s goes back into us for our family and kids. Science externalizes. Science wants to take all our ideas. They just want us to share our ideas.

What is cultural perspective of uranium?
Uranium is blood of Mother and her blood must stay with her for her to stay alive and why we oppose taking of uranium and other things from her. Confusion is created when we forget to talk about values which is about identity and why we say we must keep that blessed gift of life.
Everything is kept in its place, that is perfection. It must be kept in its place. We are bottom of Grand Canyon where we have the most pristine water and heavens above us. Uranium mines around us and we Havasupai have opposed uranium mining for life time. We’re not happy with fact that they are going to do this. It needs to be kept in its place on Mother Earth.
And why asked question cuz there are many perspectives on this topic and now on edge of asking for many reasons but caution cuz this topic of very sacred elements are related to Mother Earth and Father Sky and there are proper forums for these kinds of discussions. And not to answer question but to show respect. As brother Ben Willie said this morning, there are protocols in discussing science and tradition.
in our native ways, cud be Navajo, havasupai, apaches, Sioux, all native people, you have to have permission when you take something from Mother Earth what I learned. Even to get herbs. There is also a proper time, when do you harvest – morning, evening. When you talk about coal, you make offerings and give reason. You go to medicine man and you ask for help and medicine person will ask you how to direct prayers. How many of you believe you are here to protect Earth. You may have highest degrees of western and use their tools but remember traditional way. It is what Wendsler said about what to do when get to mountain top and you yell in a certain way to let Holy Ones know you are there and also the animals so they know not to interfere.

I say that science is not respecting traditional knowledge.

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