(huom! päivitämme tätä osiota koko ajan,
kun saamme lisää tekstejä ja käännöksiä valmiiksi –
these texts are being edited and translated - more to come!)

MONA POLACCA
Mona Polacca on yksi “Alkuperäiskansojen 13 isoäidin kansainvälisen neuvoston” jäsenistä. Isoäidit toimivat Äiti Maan ja alkuperäiskansojen perinteiden hyväksi ja julistavat maailmalle, että olemme kaikki yhtä. Mona kuuluu Havasupai-, Hopi- ja Tewa-heimoihin. Mona toimii aktiivisesti vesikysymysten, rauhan ja alkuperäiskansojen oikeuksien hyväksi eri puolilla maailmaa, myös YK:ssa.

Mona Polacca is a Havasupai, Hopi, and Tewa member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes of Parker, Arizona. Mona is a member of The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, who are concerned with the destruction of the earth and traditional ways of life and promoting a call of basic consciousness that we are all related. She is an author in social sciences, has served as Treasurer for her tribe, and is known for her social activism and leadership.

Her work includes the drafting of Water Declarations, Her intercontinental work among Indigenous Peoples includes assisting First Nations in Canada in the drafting of Water Declarations, and South American Peoples in a collaborative effort to “call for protection of the cultural and sacred waters” on the lands and territories of the Indigenous peoples of the world. Mona has served on several committees for Indigenous Peoples within the United Nations.

She served as a U.S. delegate at the Indigenous Women’s Intercontinental Meeting in Lima, Peru, where she participated in the drafting of the Statement on Indigenous Women’s Issues. She participates in the United Nations Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples Issues, and for the past ten years she has been a member of a group planning the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace.

From an early age, she began a journey of understanding and learning old ways, word for word, through the teachings of Elders who trusted her to carry the knowledge and keep the wisdom for the benefit of Indigenous Peoples.

She is also the President/CEO and faculty member of the Turtle Island Project, a non-profit program dedicated to promoting a vision of wellness and providing trans-cultural training to individuals, families, and healthcare professionals.

Grandmother Mona has helped with several important studies about addictive behaviour. One study reveals that the most important way for Native women to overcome substance abuse is the threat of taking away their children. Another study proves that Native youth respond positively to programs with cultural components like sweat lodges, singing, and drumming. Even those living far from their reservations can maintain sobriety through a close connection with the ceremonies.

Grandmother Mona lives in Arizona and has a son, two daughters, and seven grandchildren.

AUSTIN G. NUNEZ
Austin G. Nunez on Tohono O´odham -kansan San Xavierin aluehallinnon puheenjohtaja. Hän on työskennellyt Arizonan intiaanikansojen lasten hyväksi ja ollut aktiivinen monissa paikallisissa kehitysohjelmissa. Hän toimii seremonioiden vetäjänä erilaisissa tilaisuuksissa.

Austin is the elected chairman of the San Xavier District, one of eleven political districts of the Tohono O’odham Nation (formerly known as the Papago Tribe of AZ) located in southwest Arizona, USA. He is currently serving his eighth four-year term, having served continually since 1987.

Prior to being elected, Austin worked as the Assistant Director for Save the Children’s Arizona Indian Nations Office, serving 19 Native American nations in Arizona; he also worked for the Papago Tribe of Arizona’s Community Development Program (the tribe changed their name in 1986 to Tohono O’odham Nation, Tohono means desert, and O’odham means people).

Austin is the current chairman for the Indian Land Working Group, an organization dedicated to the restoration and recovery of the native land base; and the control, use, and management of this land base by indigenous communities.

He also serves as board president and CEO for the San Xavier Development Authority Board that operates the Hikdan Business Park, located on the San Xavier District of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

He is an active member of the Native American Church of Southern AZ, and conducts sweat lodge ceremonies, blessings and prayers for various events and occasions. He has a son, two daughters and six grandchildren.


CHARLES LAWRENCE
Charles Lawrence saapui ensimmäisen kerran Suomeen v.1989 yhdessä Hopi-isoäiti Carolyn Tawangyaman kanssa heidän matkallaan ‘Isoäitien rauhankonferenssiin’ Neuvostoliittossa. Sen jälkeen Charles on vieraillut Suomessa ahkerasti ja omistautunut Neljän Tuulen työlle. Nykyään kutsumme häntä Neljän Tuulen ‘isoisäksi’. Lue Charlesista suomeksi myös sivustomme “perinteenkantajat” -osiossa!

Charles first arrived on Finnish soil in 1989 as he was accompanying his legally adopted mother Carolyn Tawangyama, Third Mesa Traditional Hopi Elder, on her way to USSR to join in with ‘Grandmothers for Peace’. That was a peace initiative co-sponsored by Raisa Gorbachov. Charles has returned to Finland many times since that. He has maintained a consistent dedication to the Four Winds Community, and in his words it is one of the ‘great prides of my life’! In these past few years, he has been called the ‘Grandpa’ of Four Winds. Charles tells us about his path:

“I have been ‘adopted’ spiritually by a number of elders from different First Nations both in USA and Canada. These wonderful elders seemed to acknowledge that I was to receive instructions to carry their teachings and messages out to the greater world. These travels of 44 years range in spread from the shores of USA to Australia, South Pacific, through South America, Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Egypt, Bali, Bermuda, Bhutan, Nepal, Tuva, India. Wherever I have gone, I have shared inspired teachings from First Nations and in turn I have been deeply inspired by those with whom I have met.

The mythologist Joseph Campbell inspired me to follow my visions. That led me to create a family based community with experiments concerning a ‘return to the Earth’. We met yearly on the turnings of the seasons, exploring what might happen when we turned our attention to being children of Mother Earth. Much of that structure has informed the Four Winds structure. Many Native Elders who supported my original vision participated in these gatherings and became ‘adopted’ by many families through the USA and Canada.

It was within my destiny to become somewhat legendary. I fulfilled a prophesy of one Canadian First Nation – I was sent to the Hopi Nation and became instrumental in delivering The Hopi Prophesy at the UN. Numerous Native Elders began to call me their ‘son’. Out of my original vision another vision was born – the revival of the Shoshone Nation’s Naraya, a dance of spiritual renewal for the People. We are presently in our 28th year of Celebrating that long time tradition.

I became known as ‘the Wizard’ as my innate passion for Sacred Ceremony and Sacred Theatre blossomed. The ways and the workings of the approachable forces of Life and the Ancient Spirits fuelled all these engagements. I have dedicated my life to being present for the awakenings of my ‘family’ as we give attention to being children of the great spaceship called The Earth.”

https://danceforallpeople.com/charles-lawrence-interview/

ANNIE SPENCER
Annie Spencer on opiskellut ja opettanut luontoviisautta ja Amerikan intiaanien opetuksia jo kohta kolmenkymmenen vuoden ajan. Kaikki alkoi siitä, kun hän kohtasi alkuperäiskansaan kuuluvan Hyemeyohsts Stormin. Annien psykoterapeutin työ sai uuden sisällön. Äiti Maasta voi ammentaa parantavia voimia! Löydämme tasapainon ja tarkoituksen elämällemme. Annie toimii myös luontoon opastavana Isoäitinä vieden nuoria metsäretkille.

Annie on perehtynyt myös Guatemalan Maya-kansan vanhaan viisauteen. "Tulevaisuus rakentuu myyttien ja tarinoiden kautta. Muistot värittävät tulevaisuuden unelmamme. Aina kun osallistumme hyvään seremoniaan ja teemme rituaalidraamaa esittäen asiat kauneimmillaan, me täytymme tuolla kokemuksella ja se vaikuttaa tulevaisuuteemme ... liitämme omat kokemuksemme kollektiivisen tajunnan kenttään ja se koskettaa lopulta kaikkia", sanoo Annie.


It was as if Native American teachings sought out Annie Spencer. 27 years ago she was living in Cornwall when a Native American metis teacher, Hyemeyohsts Storm, arrived to stay with her neighbours. As soon as Annie heard his teachings she knew that she had come home. She has been studying and teaching earth based spiritual traditions ever since.

Annie is a psychotherapist with an Oxford MA and postgraduate diplomas in humanistic psychology and teaching. Annie found that Native American Medicine Wheel teachings were a natural next step from her psychology work. Earth based ceremony provides an even stronger gateway to healing than therapeutic techniques. Learning to sit a Medicine Wheel circle as a healing wheel, Annie developed this further and has found that startling results can be achieved to solve problems, for example, within institutionalised mental health situations.


Anne believes that earth-based ceremonies help us regain our balance, our sense of purpose, and a deep feeling of belonging in the natural world that brings with it a strong sense of joy.

Ceremony is the basis for all shamanic and spiritual work. It is through ceremony that we communicate with the Divine, with the Goddess, with Great Spirit. It is ceremony that creates the space for shamanic healing, for rites of passage, for us to quest our true purpose in life; and it offers a strong base on which to build community. At its most potent, ceremony opens a connection with the divine source, with the creative energy behind all form.

Annie has never stopped studying and exploring. More recently she has learnt much about the power of story and myth from Guatemalan Mayan teachings: “It is through our myths and stories that the future is built. Our memories shape our dreams for the future. So every time that we do a good ceremony, make a powerful drama expressing ritually and symbolically how things might be at their most beautiful, we fill our memory with that experience and that will affect our future actions. If we believe in the concept of collective consciousness, that as humans we tune into a pool of all human ideas, dreams and activity, then we understand that we are feeding dreams and experiences of beauty and harmony into the general pool for all to be touched by.”

Annie is developing her work to make it available to adolescents. Taking them to camp in the woods, she encourages urban kids to make their first steps towards a spiritual path. “When we cut sticks for an activity, I ask them to make an offering with a prayer of gratitude. It is heart warming to see how responsive they are. We may make a medicine wheel out of pinecones that we find on the forest floor, or devise a naming ceremony; and in the evenings, I tell them traditional stories as we sit in the dark, watching the story unfold in the flames of our fire.”

More information: http://www.hartwell.eu.com/faculty.html


Swami Atmananda Puri ja Swamini Anuradha Puri

Swami ja Swamini ovat ystäviämme jo muutaman vuoden takaa. He asuvat Intiassa, Dumkassa ja johtavat paikallisen alkuperäiskansan lapsille perustettua Shatan Ashramin koulua. He ovat äskettäin myös perustaneet kanssamme samanhenkisen järjestön "Four Winds Asia". Kesätapahtumassamme Swami ja Swamini rakentavat jälleen mykistyttävän kauniin, väreillä koristellun nuotiopaikan Hawan-tuliseremoniaa varten ja tuovat luoksemme intialaisen kosketuksen kaikkien vesien siunaamiselle!

Swami and Swamini are our long time friends form India. They work as trustees for the Shatan Ashram in Dumka and lead the school for kids from the local indigenous tribe. Swami and Swamini have founded "Four Winds Asia" – a sister organisation.

Shatan Ashram:
https://shatanashram.in