This message to America is the result
of the National Indian council on Aging year 2000 Conference in
Duluth, Minnesota. More than 1700 elders from 108 tribes across
America attended and contributed to the words in this message.
Think about your elders as you read this.
They came together, setting aside tribal
and political differences in order for you and your children to
have some words of wisdom to help you in your lives. Please pass
this on to as many people as you can, both Native and nonnative
alike. These are the words of our Native elders, but the values
expressed can be appreciated by all of humanity.
Once you have read it, you are responsible
for it. These are the elders' hopes and dreams for the world you
re-create every day.
A. Spiritual Message to America
As we stand before the dawn of a new
millennium, we pray for America's survival, our survival.
We pray that we will be given strength
by the Creator to follow the footsteps of our forefathers to share
our love, respect and compassion for one another.
There is good in everyone because the
Creator has put a little of Himself in all of us.
We pray for forgiveness for the pain
and suffering we have caused one another.
We pray that our children will not repeat
We pray that we can respect the diversity
of America; all life is sacred. Every child born is a precious
gift of our Creator. It is our sacred trust to embrace children
from all walks of life because we are part of the same family.
We pray that children will honor and
respect their elders-that is where the wisdom comes from. This
respect will not allow forgotten elders.
We are all equal, with each having our
own special gift to contribute. These values allow our youth to
become leaders and workers in our society.
Children, you are our future and our
hope for the people. Stand and be courageous.
We pray to learn and use the wisdom
of all that has come before us, to achieve personal successes
and to contribute to those of others. Only when our young ones
learn respect for everything can they evolve.
We pray for respect and love of Mother
Earth because she is the foundation of human survival and we must
keep her pollution-free for those who will travel after us.
Protect her water, air, soil, trees,
forests, plants and animals. Do not just take and waste resources.
Make it a priority to conserve.
The land is given to us by the Creator
to care for, not to own. If we take care of the land, the land
will take care of us.
We should have respect for each other.
We pray for commitment and responsible behavior in order to help
those in need and to give them support and friendship.
Be an example in life that others may
follow; serve people, community and country.
We should all strive to be leaders
and contributors. Do not sit back and let others plan and do all
Let us unite together so that we may
have the strength to protect our future. Strength comes from working
through trials and tribulations.
Spiritual health is the key to holistic
health. We pray to have the discipline to set healthy examples
for our children to follow.
Respecting everyone and everything
in the universe starts with self-respect.
Take time to listen and take care of
your body and spirit.
Family and Youth
Family is important and precious. Always
let them know that they are loved. Let your children and grandchildren
know you are always there to love and support them and that they
mean the world to you no matter what they do or say.
Children are of infinite value.
Live what you teach. Spiritual values,
honesty, and integrity start in the home.
We pray for the youth. We must teach
the youth to work together and respect all that is living on our
We need to convey to our younger generations
that the survival of our people lies in spirituality.
We pray to learn ways to settle differences
Teach respect for each other's ideas.
Value honesty on all levels, from children
to parents to community to governments.
We will be happy when we create peace
with each other.
To the 7th Generation -
Keep hopes and dreams -
Take care of yourself -
Remember your spirit -
Be there for each other -
Respect courage -
Share knowledge -
Always keep learning -
Remember your true values