Sunrise Ceremony // Paris, France

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There is a war against Mother Earth. We would not have this climate crisis if humanity loved Mother Earth. That’s why our message as indigenous peoples, from the four corners of Mother Earth, is that people have to come back to the understanding of the sacredness of Mother Earth. Somehow humanity has lost its understanding of that sacredness- that female creative principle- of Mother Earth and Father Sky. It does not challenge the concepts of dominion over Mother Earth. All these concepts have been created by man as if they have so much power but Mother Earth is power, Father Sky is power and we have a world that doesn’t understand that. We give more rights to corporations, to mining companies, to oil. That’s why we are here."

And so representatives of indigenous groups from different corners of the earth, some old French people and myself met in the darkness, huddled in a corner of the expansive lawn that sits in front of the Eiffel tower. Poignantly, we gathered the day before COP 21 began (COP21 if you aren’t in the loop is the annual United Nations climate summit that gathers to negotiate global deals relating to climate change and this year it’s an extra big deal). When it was time our whispers fell to silence and we were led in a sunrise ceremony, pressing us to connect with and reflect on our relationship with the land beneath our feet and one another. Giving thanks, asking for forgiveness and for a future that is marked by peace:

 Men and women from all directions- keep on opening your hearts, with a spontaneous, authentic and joyful heart

 May all our children, our daughters and sons, liberate their hearts so they can live in peace, walk the beauty and the sacredness with peace and respect to everybody

 May all peoples, all traditions, men and women, transform fears, anger, sadness and all kinds of blockages so humanity can live with self-confidence and trust- celebrating life with happiness, respect and purity

 May all beings appreciate the light of wisdom, the light that brings clarity in our hearts, in our minds, in our spirit, in our souls

May all peoples appreciate abundance and honour the spirits and the brothers and sisters from the air. Like the birds, the eagles, the butterflies and the oxygen so humans and all beings can bring clear air in to our lungs, in to our cells- to breathe life, to breathe peace, to breathe calm, to breathe unity and to breathe compassion and love

"We are here to work together. To learn from each other and to share. Always remember the sacred life, the sacred fire that burns. Build your own fires, rekindle your own knowledge.”

At a time when nations are making decisions on rules and regs to protect our future, we need to make sure we participate too. To take life slower and to breathe deeper, thinking on how it is we connect with the world around us and asking how we can do life in a more loving, light and conscious way.