In 1990, over 200 representatives of Indigenous nations from throughout the western hemisphere met for the first time in Quito, Ecuador. There they witnessed the unfolding prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor. It is the inspiration of spiritual running, to re-unite the nations from North, Central and South America. They remember and talk about a prophecy foretold, how we will come together and reunite as one. “We are like a body that was broken up into pieces and this body will come back together to be whole again.” Hundreds of runners from throughout the Northern and Southern continents leave Chickaloon, Alaska on the 1st of May to Panama and meet the runners of the southern most point of South America “Tierra del Fuego” coming together to fulfill the ancient prophecy.
Each time Peace & Dignity Journey passes, the prayers conducted during the run focuses on an energy or spirit:
In 1992, the first Peace & Dignity theme was based on the children.
In 1996 the elders were the focus of the run, bringing in knowledge of our past and participating in the prayers.
In 2000 the run had a particular focus on the family.
In 2004 runners focused on the spirit of the Woman. To the struggle and the power of mothers and grandmothers whom give life to our very existence, and to our mother earth and its constant struggle with the environmental changes that we humans are putting her through.
In2008 the run was dedicated to sacred grounds. Too many sacred grounds are being taken over by corporate America. They are turned into biohazard waste dumps and propose to build nuclear plants on them. Many of these lands host the burial grounds of our ancestors.
The Peace and Dignity Concert has come and gone once again. It took Months and Months of preparations for it to be over in just 4 hours. But it was all worth it. The music was awesome as always, the food was delicious, the many supporters who attended really enjoyed themselves and for the first time we decided to incorporate vendor’s booths. The beautiful clothing from Oaxaca, the sandals and bags from Central America, the jewelry of many nations, and others who had handmade wares that were just beautiful. They even had raffles for nice prizes; for an extra $5.00 donation you had the chance to win a home theater system.
I believe the best part of all was the honoring of Manuela "Grandma" Medina. She has for the past 3 Peace and Dignity Journey runs contributed in so many ways. She has cooked, sewn, made earrings and necklaces but most of all taken in all of the young ladies and men of CSU into her heart and adopted each and everyone as a grandchild, hence the name given to her by a runner who came through Fresno in 2000 (Jose Malvido) "Grandma". Hummingbird singers sang an honoring song as members of the community lined up to pay their respects to this 85 year old woman.
Next year’s concert will be the best yet, I’ve heard.
Attached are a few pictures of the event. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed seeing everything first hand.