Photo: Robert Free, Ofelia Rivas and Sarah James with Huicholes at Cancun Climate Summit 2010.
Photo by Brenda Norrell
The Frank’s Landing Indian Community, in partnership with the Native American Church of Canada and the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation are working together to raise awareness of Wirikuta culture and survival issues. This month Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC will host Wirikuta delegates to speak about the issues their people face today. (See schedule below.)
We would like to extend an invitation to you to join our efforts by hosting Jesus Lara Chivarra, a native Wirikuta, to share a presentation that introduces his culture’s rich spiritual and artistic heritage, emphasizing the relationship between preserving the health of the land and its people. He will be available to speak in the Seattle area May 2 -6, as well as May 9-11, If you are interested in having him in your classroom or community center, please contact me as soon as possible. I look forward to your response.
Franks Landing Indian Community
More info, contact: Robert Free:
Jesus Lara Chivarra of the Wixakari (Huichol) tribe will be traveling this month from his native Mexico to share his culture and speak about the issues his people face today.
An artist and a healer, he is a native of the San Sebastian Teponahuaxtlán and serves as a member of the coordinating board of the Wirikuta Defense Front.
Legally recognized by the Mexican government as natural heritage site and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the native land of the Wirikuta is threatened by foreign business interests. First Majestic Mining, a Canadian company, has laid claims to purchase over 6,000 hectares of Wirikuta land in a plan to extract silver through open pit mining. As descendants of Aztecs, the traditions and livelihood of the Wirikuta are dependent on the health of the land. Mining would destroy the sacred mountain, Cerro Quemado, considered by Wirikuta as the site where a sacred deer first raised the sun into the sky. The sacramental cactus, hikuri will similarly become extinct, as would the ceremonies and art centered around its use in Wirikuta culture.
The plan would also have grim consequences for the ecosystem that supports the Wirikuta. Located in the Chihuahuan desert, the land was named by the World Wildlife Foundation as part of the three most biodiverse deserts in the world. If successful, the mine would endanger over 50 species of cacti, as well as many endangered species of mammals and reptiles. In addition, contamination and overuse threatens the only underground water source for 16 villages in this remote mountainous region.
Schedule of Events:
May 3 Tuesday press conference (TBA)
May 6 (time to be confirmed will be AM) UW- United Nations Student group to host event & 6pm AFSC fundraiser
May 7 Saturday Yelm Meeting with Sid mills
May 8 Sunday Seattle Fundraiser at Centro de la Raza 2524 16th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144-5104
May 9 UW- Tacoma (time to be confirmed)
Tuesday May 10 Puyallup Tribe Council
May 11 Wednesday First Salmon Ceremony Puyallup River
May 12 wwu at Bellingham (still to be confirmed)
May 13 Sr Jesus leaves to Vancouver
May 13-18 outreach for solidarity action!!