Summer/Fall 2003 
 
 Articles:
Volume 4, Number 33
The First Annual Wellbriety Roast!
Volume 4, Number 32
Recovery Month in Indian Country
Volume 4, Number 31
Turning to One Another (Part 2)
Volume 4, Number 30
Turning to One Another (Part 1)
Volume 4, Number 29
The Wellbriety Movement
Volume 4, Number 27
Meet the Elders! #2
Volume 4, Number 26
Meet the Elders! #1
Volume 4, Number 25
Sober Leadership for the New Millennium
Volume 4, Number 24
Native American Resistance to Alcohol Since First Contact
Volume 4, Number 23
FOURTH ANNUAL Circles of Recovery Conference
Volume 4, Number 22
Good Morning!!
Volume 4, Number 21
Joining North and South in Resistance and in Healing
Volume 4, Number 20
Come to the Conference! Albuquerque, New Mexico
Volume 4, Number 19
Wellbriety Month and the Circles of Recovery Conference
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Printer Version (pdf) of Wellbriety! Summer: Volume4, Number22

Good Morning!!

The Circles of Recovery Conference Listens to Henry Lozano and Others share Their Words and Hearts in Albuquerque


Don Coyhis
We know that our gatherings are always the best when we start by asking the Creator, each in our own way, with a prayer. Then we connect with each other and things flow and happen just exactly as they're supposed to happen.

 

Gene Tagaband
This song I'd like to sing to you this morning is called the Whale Song. Up in Alaska we sing these songs that are entrance songs and this is one of those songs. This song, this whale song, lets you know that we are coming. We are coming. It's a song of the killer whale. The Orca. When you watch the killer whale they come in, you see a big fin coming out of the water, coming out of the water and going back in. When you see that fin, it shakes. It shakes like this. That's what were doing. We're letting everybody know that we're coming. Were coming with strength, intelligence, and beauty. Just the same way that the Orca, the black fish, the killer whale, is coming in. Just like that killer whale. Here it is...

Horace Axtell
Good morning to everyone, all my relatives, friends and our children. We gather today for good reasons. We ask the Creator to watch over us throughout this day.

My spirituality is called the Seven Drum. A lot of people call it religion but I call it our way of life. We use the drums to sing all these prayer songs. We use either seven drummers or ten or twelve depending on what kind of ceremony we are doing. In our way of life the old people gathered each day to welcome the new day with a song. We call it the sunrise song. I'll offer that song this morning for all of us here and all of us that have families, have friends, relatives. We include all our people in this song this morning. Some of us have families that are OK. Some of us have families that are not doing well. We want to remember these people. During my song you can pray in your heart in your own way. I'm honored to be able to do this.

 

Pauline Shebala
Ya Ta Hey! Good Morning!

Good Morning everyone, welcome to Albuquerque and the beautiful state of New Mexico. I am the current Miss Indian New Mexico and I was just crowned about a week ago. My Name is Pauline Shebala, I'm a 20 year old Navajo/Zuni woman from Tohajali, New Mexico which is about 30 miles west of Albuquerque. I was very privileged to meet some of the leaders, who are here today, at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and they invited me out here to welcome you all and say good morning. I'm so privileged to be up here speaking with you. It was a great honor for me and my grandmother to come this morning for your opening ceremony. I just wanted to let you know that there are 22 tribes in New Mexico that I'm going to be representing this year. There are 10 Pueblos, 2 Apache Nations, and the Navajo Nation. This year I will do my best to represent all 22, but at the same time I'll be representing all Native people across the United States. Thank you, and God bless you wherever you may travel.

El Camino Rojo—The Good Red Road
Remarks to the Circles of Recovery Conference by Henry Lozano
September 19 and 20th, 2003
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Good Morning!

We had a prayer this morning, a morning prayer for that morning sun. A sunrise prayer. That prayer should be in our eyes this morning. We should be happy, proud, looking up at what this Great Mystery has given us. I'm honored to stand here this morning, the honor to represent my family, my parents, my grandparents, my ancestry, the honor to be proud to have a voice that's clear this morning.

My job this morning is to tell you that I love you. What does that mean? Isn't that what your father and mother should communicate? I love you. Isn't that what grandpa and grandma should communicate? I love you. Isn't that what the Elders, and the communities, and the leaders should communicate to us, to our heart and soul? I love you. That shouldn't be a foreign word. That should be an embrace in the morning. That should be the sunrise in our face. That should be the wind in our hair. That should be the very word that we understand this morning. We're here because we love one another. That's us, that's the smile in our face. That's who we are.

When we start to understand why we are here, and what's come together, and the power of those directions and the people that come together, we start to understand that there is something more happening there. Did you know there are other people that love us? There are some people that love me just because I'm brown. Because I fit in the circle that may not be brown. I can be put up in an audience or on a stage behind the First Lady at the State of the Union Address because I'm brown. I'm proud of that. Because as long as I'm there, my mother and father, my grandparents, my elder ones, the people I represent, those feathers that I carry are right there with me.

Don asked me to talk about something very specific in regards to this movement that's happening here in Indian country. Where I come from in Southern California, we have been in about 7 or 8 years of drought now. I moved up on that mountain where I live about 10 years ago, among the traditional sites and the peace I've always felt living on our mountain. But over these years a calamity has happened because of the drought, which is part of nature's way. They say the bark beetle is going to destroy 80% of all the pines on our mountain. From my front window, the mountain is already turning different colors of brown and amber, and the pines are dying.

When something like that happens, the governor of our state flies over. He looks down and says we have a disaster. The governor then asks the White House for money because we have a disaster. They are saying our mountain could be one of the major forest fires of this nation because 80% of the pines are gone. They ask for a lot of money to bring to the state for the disaster that is going to happen on my mountain. The reason I'm sharing that is because that's what's happening to Indian country.

The leaders in this room, and at this conference, are the folks who have stood up and called out and said, "All of our trees are dying." They have finally called upon this great nation to actually fly over and look down and conclude, hey! this is right. These people need help. People are finally asking White Bison, Can you set up meetings with us in Indian country across this nation? Other organizations, and other leaders, and other significant people in this room are being asked to convene meetings in Indian country for the Cabinet members of our President. People across this Nation are starting to ask that question: how can we help? It's because we have the folks in this room that our country doesn't have to take care of the forest that I live in.

Fire is part of nature. It's part of the reconstructive cycle and the purification and replenishing of the earth. Our forest systems have become unhealthy because the fires don't happen naturally any more. In our forest, the beautiful, beautiful pine is called the Sugar pine. Their cones are massive. A Sugar pine will not germinate without a fire. For years, these Sugar pines haven't grown up. The old, old trees are still there in the forest producing Sugar pine cones. Those Sugar pine cones are falling to the earth but they are not germinating because it takes a fire to light that germination process into existence.

But our fire has already taken place. That devastation has already happened. We are now in recovery. We are now in the process of healing. We are now the Sugar pines, the largest, the most grandiose pine cones in the forest, and the fire has activated us. The Firestarter circles, the different initiatives, the seven community trainings, and everything that you are involved in is the outcome of that fire. Your leadership across the country is now carrying good Medicine. And that good Medicine is there for other people. It's there so that we can help our own. It's there so I can stand here and not be that ex-drug addict, that I was, and be an example to my three sons so that they look up at pops and they are proud of this new father. They are proud that this man's been walking for 29 years in sobriety. They are proud that their dad's in recovery. They are proud that I'm there in this world for them, alive, conscious, understanding, receiving, ready to be what I need to be right now, for you and you for me. The Bundle I carry is that morning prayer. That morning prayer is my sunshine. In that way, in that Medicine, we walk today.

This Wellbriety Movement has brought to the forefront leaders right here in this room who are willing to stand up, who are willing to put themselves on the line, who are willing to take that learning material, and that dream, and that vision, and move out and do something for their own people. When that great eagle flies over Indian country, he's going to see you. He's not going to see a dead forest. He's going to see life, and Wellbriety circles, and Firestarters circles, and community groups, and Indian country coming together. He's going to see something powerful that he doesn't understand. I believe that's where we are right now. I believe your leadership, your standing up, your conviction about your heart, and your people, and your children, and your land have caused this country to take notice, to wake up and actually believe that there's something there to support.

I have been in those Cabinet offices in Washington. I have been in there when this President talks about Wellbriety. This is Wellbriety. They are trying to find this Movement across the nation. Indian country could galvanize, in a way that no one else could galvanize. Indian country could come together and stand up as a people, which helps all people like nobody else can because we have been identified as a dying forest. That's what they've seen from up above. And that's why there was no hope to do anything for us. But that's no longer true. We're not dead. We're not dying.

There is an eagle flying over, but that eagle's looking for opportunity. Indian country is that opportunity. Indian country is becoming that relevant voice. Indian country's being talked about in circles and at levels that we've never been talked about before. And the question now is just like the governor of my state asking the federal government for billions of dollars to help with this problem. We now have to get prepared for them asking us to help them because that's where we are.

I want to say a few words about coalitions. The leaders in this room are an example of coalitions. I would like anybody in this room who is part of this Wellbriety movement in any shape fashion or form to stand up right now. That's the Healing Forest. That's the leadership that exists right now. How many of you who are not standing up would like to be part of that healing Way, that Healing Forest?

A time back, there weren't Elders in our midst like these. There weren't the leaders and the voices who spoke out. There weren't those answers. There wasn't a Movement. The power of all of you who stood up, the majority of you who stood up and who are already invested in the Wellbriety movement caused those others in this room who want to be part of the Wellbriety Movement to stand up with you. They are proud of what you've done. They are proud of the things, and the words, and the blessings, and the prayers that have come from you. They are proud of you.

Community coalitions, community movements, tribes, clans—they are the people, they are the children, they are the pride of what we have today. As that eagle flies over today looking for an answer, let it be Indian country that says, "Not only do we have an answer in our lives, in our families, in the ways we believe, in the things we dance for, the things we stand proud for, but let them also hear from us that we have help for you. This great nation, this great people of the world—we are an answer for you." That's what we have to do to help when they start coming to us for the answers.

My words are for this nation, and country, and globe, and for the other honored guests from other traditions who are here, because the traditions that exist are not that different. The Good Way is the Good Way. There is no other Way. It's a good Camino Rojo. It's a Good Red Road. And that Red Road is there for us. We take that stand today because we believe in ourselves. My congratulations to you for you standing up for your families, for your people, and your traditions. And for believing with your whole heart that it's a Good Way, these are good eyes, this is a real smile. And you are on the Good Red Road.

 

   
 Printer Version (pdf) of Wellbriety! Summer: Volume4, Number22

 

         
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