Honoring indigenous people and the wisdom they have kept for millennia needs to be a year-round practice. All humans have an indigenous ancestry and for some it is buried in a distant past. Those who practice and keep these traditions today maintain a connection to all of humanity’s roots, while continuing to steward a connection with nature and the customs inherent in community. A relationship between natives and non-natives is nurturing to both parties. There is a growing movement for transformation of our shared history to heal cultural wounds and build a better future for us all. Here is a great way to get involved.

Our mission is to transform crisis-impacted communities into cities of inspiration.Through empowered collaboration with marginalized communities that integrates innovative technology with cultural wisdom, we co-create replicable, scalable, sustainable models for how humanity can thrive in our rapidly changing world. -One Light Global

Solidarity Not Charity

Reservations, refugee camps, and marginalized communities are often the casualties of the market forces of capitalism. When one group exploits the natural resources or labor of another group to create wealth for themselves there are often unintended consequences. This is not about blame or pointing the finger, it is about recognizing ways that economic systems impact all of us in different ways. Some communities have enormous cultural wisdom but lack monetary wealth while others have massive amounts of material abundance and lack a sense of belonging or community. Through solidarity, and collaborative efforts there is a more equitable distribution of cultural wealth and monetary abundance.

Feeding the Root

Up on mesas overlooking the Painted Desert of Northern Arizona live the Hopi Nation. These are literally some of the oldest continually inhabited villages in North America. This is where the roots of civilization, farming, and cultural practices have been kept for thousands of years. As many tribes and villages throughout Central and South America were experiencing the atrocities of colonization brought by Columbus, small bands migrated north to preserve their ancient ways in the Pueblo Villages of the Southwest United States.

A Hopi….is one who fulfills the meaning of Nami’nangwa by helping one another or give aid in times of need, without having to be asked to do so and without expecting compensation for the deed; A Hopi….is one who fulfills the meaning of Hita’nangwa by having the initiative to take care of something without having to be instructed, asked or reminded regardless if anyone will notice your effort but that it will make a difference;

Just as a tree with deep roots can withstand a storm better than one with shallow roots, we humans must honor our historical roots and those who have preserved them if we want to face the winds of change today. The villages on Hopi represent a repository of practices that have withstood centuries of change leading up to and for 500 years since the arrival of Columbus. We have an opportunity to honor this history while also integrating contemporary practices to build a regenerative model for people everywhere.

One Light Global is a federally tax-exempt organization that recognizes these values and has created beautiful projects globally. From assisting refugees in Lesbos, to creating sustainable villages in crisis-impacted areas, or women/children’s programs, and regenerative agriculture projects in various regions around the world, One Light Global has a proven track record of successful, collaborative impact. This summer they have partnered with elders and youth of the Hopi Nation on Soöngopavi (Shungopavi) which is affectionately known as the “Mother Village”. The objective is a collaboration between Hopi and non-Hopi to preserve traditional cultural wisdom practices, to restore food security along with ecological regeneration and economic revitalization.

The children will be able to access new skills and knowledge in a shared pride encompassing a much larger synergistic effort. True, positive values will be realized in the midst of the children’s significantly challenged, current cultural realities affecting all where they live — -the Hopi mother village, Soongopavi,the reed up through the spring — a sovereign nation of ancient people with reverent traditions. -ONE LIGHT NATWANHOOYAM PROJECT

The project aim is to bring the vision of the children and elders to fruition including:

  • the planning and building of new infrastructure and eco village
  • incorporating natural, new and traditional building methods and design
  • facilitating/ create opportunity for elders to teach and preserve traditions
  • restore traditional agricultural practices and environmental stewardship (traditional dryland farming, seed saving, traditional plant use and cultivation)
  • include appropriate new agriculture practices
  • language preservation
  • ensure continuation of important traditional cultural arts
  • creating cottage industry and entrepreneurship opportunities
  • new regenerative and innovative technology and design
  • restore plant biodiversity
  • restore food sovereignty
  • create community and multicultural sharing

“This project is for you as well as us. We are here to bridge cultures, to become One again with respect and love for all living things in the world. We are sending out prayers for Peace to all people. In our hearts and thoughts, we are blessing everyone in coming together as One. We must do away with negativeness and come together with each other, the stars, the land and all Life. Blessings in all directions, and to all people.” Hopi Elder — Soöngopavi

Getting Involved
Unify is collaborating with Hopi and One Light Global by engaging their huge social media following and hosting a fundraiser. The project will be documented and shared on their various channels to inspire similar initiatives everywhere. The beauty of crowdsourcing is that there are many ways to participate. Even small donations when multiplied by many people can create significant impact. If you are unable to donate you can help us spread the word by sharing this article or the fundraiser through your social networks (there is an option to invite friends on the fundraiser page). Please visit the fundraiser page here to see relevant posts about the project, and see updates as it evolves.

A Beautiful Future is Collaborative

There is much talk about environmental devastation, climate change, racial division and more. We don’t have time to wait for others to fix these problems, we each have a part to play. This involvement is empowering to each of us while also creating ripples of hope for everyone around us. More importantly it is a way to help heal cultural and historical wounds with our indigenous friends. The branches of our human family can only grow as big and beautiful as the roots that keep us grounded in the land. Together we can nurture the roots while working to create sweet fruits for a beautiful future!

Jacob Devaney

Jacob blogs for Huffington Post and others in addition to Culture Collective. He specializes in social media, and cross-platform (or trans-media) content and campaigns. Meditation, playing piano, exploring nature, seeing live music, and going to Hopi Dances are some of his passions. As a co-founder of unify.org, Jacob lives for community and believes that we are all interconnected with our own special gift to offer the world.

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