Ancient Voices - Contemporary Contexts
A Series of Cross-Cultural Forums
Creating the New
Paradigm for Survival
The principal objective of the Ancient Voices - Contemporary Contexts Forums is to fulfill a 2005 Elders Circle mandate: "get the Elder voice out" and get dialogue started across cultures. The essential elements of the Elders' message include:
- We are destroying the earth and the life on it.
- We are killing each other. War and genocide are rampant in many parts of the world because of race, ethnicity, religion and greed. The same factors, along with drugs and alcohol, are at work in more subtle ways throughout the world.
- The indigenous voice takes a holistic view of both environmental and social destruction. The indigenous voice is ancient and proven. It is a spiritual voice unencumbered by religious dogma. It is not parochial or selfish, and can be a saving factor in meeting the issues that threaten the world.
An Unprecedented Gathering
Seldom have so many traditional grassroots spiritual leaders of Indigenous nations of North America come together to share their cultural and spiritual wisdom with non-Native people. Contemporary social and environmental problems are in desperate need of alternative approaches. The traditional Native perspective offers new ground from which to address these issues.
The voice of Elders is an ancient voice with deep spiritual roots.
Participants at Ancient Voices Forums have an opportunity to share in the perspective of traditional Native American leaders and together:
- Explore our common concerns about the human condition in modern times;
- Seek ways of living within the natural capacities of the earth; and
- Recognize what the future holds for our children, and explore alternatives.
The ancient indigenous voice is relevant to today's world, and may hold keys to our common survival. Each three-day Forum offers participants a unique opportunity to sit with the most revered traditional voices from Indian country - to hear first-hand their perspectives and concerns, and to explore these ideas in close dialogue.
During the Forums, Elders begin each day in ceremony of thanksgiving. A keynote address follows, laying the foundation for discussions in small group sessions, each led by one or more traditional leaders. These sessions provide the opportunity for close exploration and discussion of traditional indigenous wisdom and its modern relevance and implications.
Afternoons are devoted to small group activities out in the physical indigenous environment and in the community.