Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
For All Sacred Places
Today is the first day of summer. Living in Michigan, I welcome summer because of the long hours of daylight. It is a time to enjoy the outdoors. This year in particular, it seems as if the winter and spring lingered longer than usual.
The summer solstice provides us with the longest daylight hours of the year. It is the day the sun is at its most northern place of the year.
American Indians and Alaska Natives around country are taking opportunity this day to pray. This year, there are many things to remember in prayer.
This morning at 7:30 am, American Indians gathered for prayer on the US Capitol Grounds, West Front Grassy Areas, to honor sacred places, sacred beings and sacred waters, and all those who care for them and protect them from harm. The observance will take the form of a talking circle.
All are welcome to offer good words, songs or a moment of silence for all sacred places, beings and waters, especially for those that are being threatened, desecrated or damaged at this time.
This observance is organized by The Morning Star Institute, a national Native rights organization founded in 1984 and dedicated to Native Peoples' cultural and traditional rights, including religious freedom and sacred places protection.
"Native and non-Native people nationwide gather at this time for Solstice ceremonies and to honor sacred places," said Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee). She is President of The Morning Star Institute, which organizes the National Sacred Places Prayer Days.
In Window Rock, Arizona, the Navajo Nation has declared today, the "All Faiths Seasonal Pray Day" and faith-based activities on the first day of summer.
"Spiritual leaders need to come together and educate our people about the impacts of alcoholism, smoking, gambling, diabetes, and many other chronic illnesses," Navajo Nation Vice President Jim stated in a news release late last week.
"Our elders are concerned about natural events around the world such as drought, fires, floods, tornados, earthquakes, and hurricanes. We all need to tap into our spiritual strengths and move forward in unity of prayer."
In Anchorage, Alaska, the Native Rights Fund is hosting a day of prayer activities from Noon to 3 pm.
Today, as we welcome summer, there are many things to remember in pray:
Prayer is a wonderful way to honor the first day of summer, a time that provides us with the most powerful sunshine for our plants to grow, so that we will have food to sustain ourselves.
posted June 21, 2011 6:57 am et
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