5th Annual Chesapeake Herb Gathering

Chesapeake Herb Gathering 2017

Two weekends ago I went to the 5th annual Chesapeake Herb Gathering held at Fox Haven Farms in Jefferson, MD. The Chesapeake Herb Gathering is an annual event organized by Centro Ashé bringing together inter-generational herbal, land-based, and healing communities to celebrate our stories, our knowledge, our culture and traditions. It was a two-day gathering of herbalist, farmers, activist, spiritual, cultural and plant-based people.

I went with my friend Sonia Keiner and helped her table for her organization Chesapeake Foodshed Network. The Chesapeake Foodshed Network emerged from an acknowledgement that there was a LOT of work being done to improve the food system in many different ways across the Chesapeake region, but not a lot of coordination or communication among the organizations, agencies, companies, and individuals doing that work. Building on models found across the US and around the world, the Chesapeake Foodshed Network is an effort to build connections to coordinate everyone’s efforts where possible to maximize the outcomes.

https://chesapeakefoodshed.net/

On Friday night the day before the gathering I spend the night at Sonia’s and then we traveled about an hour to the gathering. We brought along beautiful flowers and herbs from Sonia’s garden to trade and also make flower crowns with the kids.

 

When we got to Fox Haven Saturday morning Sonia and I set up our table and then we set up our tent for camping with the help of Sonia’s partner Mat. After that we ate a little breakfast and then the opening happened. 

Fox Haven is a farm, ecological retreat and learning center, and wildlife sanctuary situated in the rolling piedmont hills of central Maryland. It offers a beautiful farm setting for renewal and revitalization within a one hour drive of Washington DC and Baltimore, with comfortable accommodations in three recently renovated farmhouses and large meeting spaces in the big red barn and dairy parlor.

http://foxhavenfarm.org/

Before the opening Molly Meehan Brown gave a beautiful introduction to the weekend. Molly is the owner of Centro Ashe and the starter of the Chesapeake Herb Gathering. The opening was Gifts of the Desert: Protecting the Harvesting Heritage of the Tohono O’odham Nation with Staycie Francisco and Tanisha Tucker. This was about sister’s Staycie and Tanisha who are apart of the Tohona O’ odham tribe in Arizona and their herbal practices and how that connects to their culture. They talked about how their grandmother would pick their tribes traditional medicine herbs from a local park area for years. Then in the ’60s the government came along and made that area into a national park. Years later their grandmother had to go to them and tell them this land is sacred to the tribe and that they go get their medicine from there. Once they allowed her to go pick the herbs word got out about it and environmentalist and other folks started wanted to interview her and film her. Staycie and Tanisha said that was a great motivation for the youth to want to learn more about their herbs and rituals with them. They also said as great as that part was they didn’t want to see the environmentalist steeling their tribes traditions and rituals to make money off of them. We also watched a video that showed us their traditional herbs and they had samples for everyone to try of some flower & syrup made out of traditional herbs.

Once the opening was over it was already lunch time. My friend and fellow Ecoheremanas Emmalee and I got some vegan chili they were serving. We then went over to were Caryl Henry Alexander was making medicine bags with people (inspired by yours truly) which was a hot ticket. Once lunch was over the first workshop happened. Sonia went to a workshop but I stated at our table and made flower crowns with the kids. I made one for myself and one for Molly’s niece who looked so cute with flowers in her hair. 

 

Next was the second workshop and then the third. The third workshop I went to was Tales of the Tired and Tenderhearted. A Holistic and Herbal Approach to Adrenal Fatigue and Prioritizing Self-care with Sunny Majeedah. This workshop started off with Sunny doing an interpretive dance on her life and then later she started telling us about how to release our adrenal fatigue and to take better care of ourselves. Basically she said that she could give you all the herbal remedies she knows but if you are not changing your mind and spirit or else you will never change anything else which I resonated with.

Later was dinner which Cryz who is Piscataway and her partner Amanda made pulled turkey, corn bread and with roasted sweet potato salad with corn pudding as desert. I was delicious! After dinner it was chill time with DJ MeRmAlien

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On Sunday after a really nice night of camping we all got up and had some breakfast of oatmeal and then we all went to the first workshop of the day.

 

Southern African American Rootwork: A Tool for Survival with Ikeoma Divine. This workshop was all about spirituality from a black rootworker from South Carolina. She talked about a lot of the things I already knew or personally have experienced before in my life. She talked about being empathic, having ancestor alters, gree gree bags, putting salt in the corners of your house and many other things. I was interesting. 

Collective Healing Recipes with Landis Pulido was my next workshop. This was a workshop for kids and adults where we made healing collages of this we find heal us.

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Lunch came next which was when I saw fellow Ecohermanas Terican Gross & Aleya Fraser which it was really nice to connect with both of them as I hadn’t seen either in a while. For lunch we had wild rice salad, and turkey soup made by Cryz and Amanda.

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The second to last workshop I went to was an edible plant walk done by Hayden Stebbins. I learned about many different plants and herbs around the garden at Fox Haven. I learned that when you pick Poke Weed you pick the leaves and boiling them for 15 mins 3 times to make them edible. I also learned if you go up not down a Stinging Nettle plant you won’t get stung.

 

 

The last workshop I went to was Diosa Vulgaris – Urban Herbs of the Goddess with Liana Maria. There I learned about different goddesses and also different herbs that are good for different things. I learned Mugwort is great to have in the raw form in your medicine bag or in your car when you are traveling, Chickweed is a great spell breaker and Violet is great for intuitive/indigo kids. 

After that it was time to pack up and go so we did our closing circle and then packed up. We took a Ecohermanas photo and then Sonia and I took down our tent and went home.

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This was a nice weekend and a great get away from life and seeing everyone I haven’t seen in a while. Look forward to going again next year.     

http://www.chesapeakeherbgathering.com/

http://www.centroashe.org/

 

               

Rooted In Community 2017: Greensboro, NC #RICisLit #RIC2017 #Greensboro2017

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#RICisLit was on the tip of everyone’s tongue this year at the annual Rooted In Community Youth Leadership Summit. Rooted In Community or RIC is a national youth leadership network that works to make leaders of our young people through food justice & related environmental justice work. The vision of RIC is of a just and healthy food system in which youth take leadership and offer their gifts to build resilient and thriving communities through food systems transformation. They see youth as designers and creators of dynamic food and health programs, socially responsible enterprises, and people centered policy, in order to generate vibrant communities and equitable economies.

This year RIC was held in Greensboro, NC hosted by the organization Center for Environmental Farming Systems & the youth group Food Youth Initiative.

Bevelyn Afor Ukah first came to RIC last year when we had it in Olympia, Washington. She then expressed interest in hosting the next RIC in North Carolina and so when her and Noah McDonald who is a NC Food Corps member came to our Winter Leadership Institute we held for the adult allies in Boston/Sandwich, MA we talked about the plans for that. Then Bevelyn, Noah and an incredible North Carolina local planning team took on the tasks of planning this whole summit with a little help from the RIC national board for over 7 months. They were amazing, worked together well, we’re organized and got a lot of stuff done together.

So my story starts this year the day before RIC started where I got to hang out with Bevelyn at her house with her partner and have amazing food cooked by her and her husband who is from Nigeria. We went to a really dope co-op market down the street & bought some dope cookies. The food was amazing and we talked and watched movies. It was a lot of fun! Big ups to Bev!!!

The next day was the first day of RIC so we got ready and left Bev’s house then headed to Bennett College were RIC was being held for the week.

In 1873, Bennett College had its beginning in the unplastered basement of the Warnersville Methodist Episcopal Church (now known as St. Matthew’s Methodist Church). Seventy young men and women started elementary and secondary level studies. In 1874 the Freedmen’s Aid Society took over the school which remained under its auspices for 50 years.

Within five years of 1873, a group of emancipated slaves purchased the present site for the school. College level courses and permanent facilities were added. In 1926, The Women’s Home Missionary Society joined with the Board of Education of the church to make Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C., formerly co-educational, a college for women. The challenges that were overcome to establish Bennett demand that today’s challenges be met and overcome to ensure her survival.

For more than 128 years women have found Bennett to be the ideal place to foster the constant rhythm of ideas. Each student’s individual need for self-expression and desire for achievement is constantly nurtured. The College fosters a strong respect for every student. Today, in the midst of a very active renaissance, Bennett is preparing contemporary women to be well educated, productive professionals, informed, participating citizens, and enlightened parents. The College offers twenty-four areas of study in Education, the Social Sciences, the Humanities, and in Natural and Behavioral Sciences and Mathematics. Numerous opportunities to study at other higher education institutions at home and abroad are available to continue the educational enrichment of Bennett’s students.

The goals of the College continue to focus on the intellectual, spiritual and cultural growth of young women who must be prepared for lifelong learning and leadership. Since 1930 more than 5,000 women have graduated from Bennett College. Known as Bennett Belles, they continue to be among contributing women of achievement in all walks of life.

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We met up with Noah and the rest of the North Carolina Planning Team and started getting things ready for the groups to arrive. Then once it was lunch time myself and one of the planning committee members Katie Rainwater drove over to a local Vietnamese restaurant to grab food for people. Then we just waited for folks to show up. One of the first groups to show up were from Mississippi called Mileston Cooperative Associations (NCAT) then many other groups started to show up. A few organizations and people who I knew from other years came this year but was more new organizations came which was awesome. We had folks come from the Virgin Islands, New Orleans, California, New Mexico, Philly, New York, St. Louis, North Carolina, Washington State and more. After registration we all went to the dinning area to have dinner and then made our way back to the big conference building to do our opening ceremony.

 

 

The opening ceremony was led by Noah, another youth who works with FYI and Re Re who were the two MCs for the gathering and myself. I started it with the ceremony part which other folks came up and did some blessings including a local kid from the Lumbe Tribe local to North Carolina. Then Noah told us some history about Bennett College and Shawn from Mississippi did an icebreaker with everyone. When they were done a dope MC did some spoken word. Then they did some community agreements and another icebreaker before getting into their narrative partner groups. Once the opening was over the adult allies had a meeting and then the day was over.

On Thursday we had our youth led workshops & creative workshops. We had breakfast on the campus and then did an hour on Equity in Environmental Justice. We first did an “I Am Poem” which was actually pretty hard to write out but was very beautiful to reflect on your own story. Afterwords we all split up into 12 groups and did some defining of words then we came back together to read our words and definitions out loud. The words Social Justice, Food Justice, Environmental Justice, Community Ownership, Resilience, Cooperatives, Equity, Inequity, Collective, Culture, Environmental Justice, System and Action. My groups word was system and we came up with some really good definitions. Groups came up with really great definitions for the 12 words.

Once the Equity in Environmental Justice workshop was over we then went into the youth led workshops. I attended the Ecology Center’s workshop on the Berkley Soda Tax and the aftermath of that incredible win for the city. The Ecology Center is a nonprofit organization located in Berkeley, California that focuses on improving the health and the environmental impacts of urban residents. Farm Fresh Choice is the Ecology Center’s food justice program that engages low-income East Bay residents in reclaiming their optimal health through youth empowerment, nutrition education, and weekly produce stands. We make fresh, organic, regionally grown, and culturally appropriate foods convenient and affordable. Adult mentors and teen leaders facilitate peer-education workshops that raise critical health awareness.

Berkeley’s soda tax passed in a landslide in November 2014. This was a victory for health, for communities of color and their kids, and for people-powered democracy against one of the biggest global industries – Big Soda. Berkeley community members took on the soda tax campaign because we face a serious health crisis: 40% of kids will get diabetes in their lifetimes unless we do something about it. The link between sugary drinks and diseases like diabetes is undeniable. As of January 2017, Berkeley’s soda tax has generated more than $2.5 million for community nutrition & health efforts, including school garden programs. The City of Berkeley has used the initial funds raised by the soda tax to support public school garden and nutrition programs, and other programs that address health disparities in our community.

Next was lunch and then the second round of youth led workshops. I didn’t go to a workshop during that time due to helping move some puppets out of a van that we would be using for the Day of Action. During that time I hung out with Alyzza May who makes her own herbal products with her partner. I bought some really great chap stick form her and others had bought some body butter creme as well. She even had little pins featuring queer & transgender activist. I took a pin that had transgender poc women who started the Stonewall Riots Martha P. Johnson.

After workshop block two ended Alyzza did a talk on 7 Principles of Cooperatives and then people broke into their block three workshops which were the creative writing and art workshops. Before I went to the media workshop we had a RIC national check in on a few things and called our brother Travis who was in Oakland that weekend at the Roots and Remedies conference. I helped CC or Cecelia Polanco who took a class on social media and tought it to us. It was a very well thought out presentation that went over statistics, how to tell your story on social media and was very hands on.

It was then dinner time and then we had the last workshops of the day which included dance, poetry writing & a movie. I went to the movie screening of Wilmington On Fire. “Wilmington on Fire” is a feature-length documentary that chronicles The Wilmington Massacre of 1898. The Wilmington Massacre of 1898 was a bloody attack on the African-American community by a heavily armed white mob with the support of the North Carolina Democratic Party on November 10, 1898 in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina. It is considered one of the only successful examples of a violent overthrow of an existing government and left countless numbers of African-Americans dead and exiled from the city. This event was the spring-board for the White Supremacy movement and Jim Crow segregation throughout the state of North Carolina and the American South. This incident has been barely mentioned and has been omitted from most history books. It was not until 2006, after the North Carolina General Assembly published a report on it, that the tragedy became known to the general public.

Friday was our field trip day and people slit up into many different field trips including a Greensboro History Tour, Food Systems in Greensboro & Triangle Migration and Food Tour. I went on the Triangle Migration and Food tour which was led by Noah and Jada Drew who was part of the local planning team. We first visited the Stagville Plantation. Located in Durham, Historic Stagville comprises the remnants of one of the largest plantations of the pre-Civil War South. The plantations belonged to the Bennehan-Cameron family, whose combined holdings totaled approximately 900 enslaved people and almost 30,000 acres of land by 1860. Stagville offers a view of the past, especially that of its African-American community, by allowing visitors to guide themselves around its extensive grounds. In addition, Stagville offers the public many learning opportunities. When we first arrived there we checked out the gift shop and then went to the outsides of the barns and other buildings and did a little exercise where there were folks in an inner and outer circle and we were lined up with a partner and asked questions that we would have to answer with our partner and then with each new question we would move to a different partner. Most of the questions were about slavery and what that meant to us what we new about Africa before slavery and other questions. This was led by Noah & Jada Drew.

Next was our tour which we learned about the houses, barns and buildings that the enslaved Africans had built on the land. The Bennehan House was the first house built for the plantation owners family on the land. Enslaved African craftsmen also built the four timber-framed slave dwellings at Horton Grove in 1851. There was a barn that enslaved African carpenters built over five months in the summer of 1860. We also toured the inside of The Bennehan House which was the house of the plantation owner Richard Bennehan, his wife and two children. After our tour we had lunch then had a group discussion on what we saw during the tour and how it made us feel and how slavery affects us.

http://www.stagville.org/

Our next stop on field trip was Transplanting Traditions Community Farm in Chapel Hill. Transplanting Traditions Community Farm (TTCF) is located on 269 acres of preserved farmland owned by Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC). With a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC in 2010, TLC was able to set up the initial infrastructure of the land in partnership with TTCF with the goal to host an educational farm project on the property forever. This unique partnership between TLC and TTCF is the only one of its kind in the Southeast. Transplanting Traditions began in 2010 with complete funding support from a 3-year federal grant through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. In May of 2013, TTCF was due to end this 3-year funding cycle. In response, we launched our first major fundraising effort through the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo. We managed to raise $15, 571 from 193 individual donors, mostly from the local community. These funds were equally matched with donation from a local family foundation. TTCF is forever grateful to the supportive and enthusiastic local community. This video was made during this fundraising effort.

While there we took a tour of the farm, learned about their CSA program and had a cooking demonstration of traditional Asian foods like long been salad which was really good. They also had a bamboo house on the farm which was really cool I wish I had the space to build one. The rest of the day was just chillin and taken in the beauty of the farm which was nice. After a while we had dinner and a few people went on a slip n’ slide people made. After dinner a cypher ended up happening which was dope. Then as we were getting ready to leave an all out water balloon fight started and it was all over from there lol. That day was a lot of fun.

Saturday was our Day of Action. We bored buses to go to downtown Greensboro where we had our action at a local park. For about an hour we had our prep for the Day of Action were the puppet show folks could rehearse and the media team could go interview people and the muralist got to go paint on a Greensboro mural. Once that hour was up the puppet show began which was really cool and had been brought up to DC during the People’s Climate March. We then had speakers come up and from Noah, local youth from the Lumbe tribe, Mercy one of the adult allies, Bevelyn and Jada. Jada and Bevelyn introduced our special guest who were staples in the Greensboro community. Next was our stroll down the streets of downtown Greensboro were we passed historic Woolworth st. were the first lunch counter sit ins in the ’60s were held by high school students. We were led by local band who does marches. Lunch came next which we had meditation food.

Pool time was next so we went back to campus grabbed our bathing suites and headed to the pool which was 45 mins away from campus. Unfortunately since I just gotten a fresh tattoo a few weeks before I was unable to go swimming but still was able to sit in the kiddie pool and chill which was nice because it was so HOT in Greensboro that whole week. We stayed at the pool for about 2 hours then went back to campus and on the way it rained hard.

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Once we got there we ate some really good pupas from CC’s food truck which she gives some of the proceeds of the food she sells goes to giving undocumented students scholarships for college. They were so good!

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Later that night we had our open mic and dance party with DJing by DJ Alee. We had a dope MC for the night and everyone who performed from poetry to singing to hula hoop & hacky sack contest to dancing. It was very lit and a lot of fun. Then we had our dance party for an hour and a half. DJ Alee did a great job but I started to show my age after a few songs lol even though I’m not even that old. Towards the end of the night though was when the old school jams came on and then I felt right at home.

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During the summit we had a “late night crew” that got together after the day ended and would chill in the 2nd or 3rd floor lounge. People would order pizza and other stuff it was a lot of fun. Due to this I got very little to no sleep this RIC but it was worth it. The last night after the dance party one of my suite mates Lou from GRUB in Olympia, Washington and I went down to the second floor to play Cards Against Humanity with Dante Kaleo from the Ecology Center in Berkley and some folks and then ended up staying up all night till like 6 am and then we went on a sunrise walk which was really nice.

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The next morning was our closing ceremony. That involved pros and crows, regional circles and the biggest fan icebreaker. Once that was over I with the help of Irene from Food What?! did the closing prayer and smudged everyone and then we did the RIC chant. After that it was really time for folks to leave so they took pictures together and said their goodbyes as shuttles took them to the airports or they jumped in their cars and make their way back home.

This years RIC was truly awesome and I am so excited to keep in contact with all the beautiful people I met along the way and come visit them where they live and they can come visit me in the DMV. I meet some really cool people this year and got to hang out with people who have been coming to RIC for a while like Dante, Irene from Food What?!, Demetrius and the other youth from Pie Ranch, Lou and folks from GRUB, Shawn from Mississippi, East New York Farm folks and many others . Each year I make a new bunch of family members who I can feel their energy around the country doing amazing things.

Hope to see a lot of you all next year or in the future!

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Check out a video that was filmed of interviews of youth at the summit:

Honoring Our Sacred Rivers- Water Ceremony & People’s Climate March

Water Ceremony

For three weeks Rabiah Nur of Spring of Light, Caryl Henry-Alexander of Ecoheremans and three local riverkeepers from the Potomac, Patuxent and Anacostia rivers came together and did a series of art, education and ceremony days. You can check out the three previous river events and ceremonies blog posts here:

Honoring Our Sacred Rivers w/ Potomac River Keeper Dean Naujoks

Honoring Our Sacred Rivers w/ Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman & Sonia Keiner

Honoring Our Sacred Rivers with Anacostia Riverkeeper Emily Franc

So last week was the last water ceremony right before the big People’s Climate March. Friday April 28th was our Honoring Our Rivers Water Ceremony. We had over 100 people attend our ceremony with riverkeepers from all over the country who came and brought water from their home waterways.

The ceremony started off with my mom & Linda Velarde who is part of Ecoheremans boarding the boat to come across the Anacostia river. Before that while we were getting ready my mom, dad, Penny, and myself got face pained by Linda’s partner Guillermo. Guillermo did some sounds with the voice and then Penny Gamble-Williams on of the spiritual women introduced the crowd to what we were doing their that night.

Then Emily & Dean the Anacostia and Potomac riverkeepers gave a little intro about their rivers and what the riverkeepers do. Then Caryl Henry-Alexander who is an artist and worked on our amazing totems for the People’s Climate March with the community told us a little bit about that and how this project came about.

Once everyone was introduced we had a beautiful dance done by a local area African dance group called Coração Dance Collective. When they finished then Guillermo blew his conch shell to Linda on the boat and then she blew hers back to him to single they were coming up river and for people to be silent as we collect the water from them.

Myself, Penny, Guillermo and the African Dancers went down to river to meet the boat and then I collected the water they gathered from the river.

Once everyone was up on shore then Linda and Guillermo did their Aztec dance which is a very long yet beautiful dance to watch.

When they finished my mom talked about what the water meant to her and about how important it is too everyone. She talked about Dr. Emoto and his water experiments he did to test how good words make beautiful water crystals and bad words make ugly deformed crystals. One thing she said that a lot of people got a lot out of was that when it rains to go outside and dance. At one point she had everyone in the crowd put their hands out and point them at the river and say kind words and prayers to the river to help heal it. Penny then did a Wampanoag wind blessing.

 

After my mom talked then we did the poring of the waters together from all over the world. Water from all people from all over the country came up to pore water into a basket which was a little cracked on the sides and had was dripping on to the grass sending healing water onto the Earth to heal it. Water from the four directions North, South, East & West was brought together with water from Guatemala, the Middle East & Japan. It was incredibly beautiful to watch water coming from all over the world coming together to heal the Anacostia river.

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Also during the poring of the waters we had some Aztec women from San Antonio, Texas and San Fransisco, California sang which made the moment all the more powerful. Emily who was very touched by the display that evening gave a little back ground as to where we were and why it was so important what we were doing.

Once that was finished we did a friendship or round dance which was a lot of fun. Then once the sun started to go down the Detroit Light Brigade showed us their signs which read out Honoring Our Sacred Rivers as well as a red heart water. It was really cool to see and it is the longest message they ever had put out.

Next the African Dancers did one last dance with everyone to end the evening and got everyone involved which was also a lot of fun. After the evening was over most people went home and a few of us stayed after and did some prayers by the water poring the blessed water from the evening back into the river to heal it.

The whole time we were doing the ceremony people were coming up to me and hugging me and thanking me for what we were doing which touched me. I love it that so many people who got so much out of our ceremony and felt connected to the water and the Earth.

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The next day after being very tired myself and River Otter went down to the People’s Climate March and marched for a while. We meet Tyler with his friends who were carrying our riverkeeper signs while we were there and took a few pictures. We then found Sonia and Matt and went over to the Hamilton restaurant to catch up with the other riverkeepers and give them some gifts.

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I really hope to continue this project in the future helping to heal water & the Earth for all so if you want to help this community grow please visit our FB page: Honoring Our Sacred Water, our Twitter page: @HonorRiversDC & our Instagram page: @honorsacredriversdc. Also follow Spring of Light & Ice Turtle Girl on FB as well for more updates on how this project is going.

Thank you so much to all of our sponsors, partners & beautiful people who helped to document this project possible:

Rabiah Nur of Spring of Light, Caryl Henry-Alexander of Ecohermanas, Dean Naujoks the Potomac Riverkeeper, Fred Tutman the Patuxent Riverkeeper, Emily Franc the Anacostia Riverkeeper, Sonia Keiner, Shelby Kalm of Fair Farms, Matt Keiner, Jessie Alexander, Abdullah Yusuf, Penny Gamble-Williams, Linda Velarde, Guillermo, River Otter (Claudia), Valerie Jean & the Detroit Light Brigade, Tyler Grigsby Photography, Yudelman, Marybeth Onveukwu, & Rachel Schragis of the People’s Climate March, Natalia Cardona of 350.org, CBS Religion and many others.

To learn more about the Potomac Riverkeepers Network visit:

http://www.potomacriverkeepernetwork.org/

To learn more about the Patuxent Riverkeeper visit:

http://paxriverkeeper.org/

For More Info On the Anacostia Riverkeeper Visit:

http://www.anacostiariverkeeper.org/

For More Info On the Fair Farms Visit:

http://fairfarmsnow.org/

For More Info On the Waterkeepers Chesapeake Visit:

http://waterkeeperschesapeake.org/

For More Info On the People’s Climate March Visit:

https://peoplesclimate.org/

For More Info On the Town Creek Foundation Visit:

https://www.towncreekfdn.org/

For More Info On 350.org Visit:

https://350.org/

Rabiah Nur, Spring of Light:

Rabiah is a healer whose Native American roots frame her work as she is called upon to use her gifts for ceremonies, teaching intuitive counseling, retreats and healings. Due to her ability to connect with spirit she has worked with Indigenous communities from the Mayan, African, Maori and other traditions. She continues to share her gifts with others privately as well as individually. http://rabiahsol.wixsite.com/springoflight

Caryl Henry Alexander:

Caryl conceives and directs visual arts projects with a focus on creative literacy, community collaboration and arts integrated academic curriculum. Her projects have been successful with multi generational, multicultural and interfaith communities in diverse settings. Her paintings and installations are exhibited internationally. She is also a certified Urban Farmer and grows organic veggies for her family. http://www.carylhenryalexander.com/

EcoHermanas:

A community of women that weaves and reconnects communities to Mother Earth. Together they create a bold sisterhood culture of awareness, energy, and flow around place-based environmental issues, cultivating community and contributing to the greater co-fulfillment of our potential as a whole. http://www.ecohermanas.org/

Daughters of the Future Moon:

Spring of light, (Rabiah Nur. Blackfoot & Powhattan)

Womb Work, (WapajeaWalks On Water, Mississippi Choctaw/Creek),

Penny Gambles-Williams, (Chappaquiddick/Wampanoag and Choctaw), Moonwoman Spirit Art Productions

have worked individually, and collectively on healing and spiritually uplifting people, protecting Mother Earth, and all of creation. As Daughters of the Future Moon, they are honoring their commitment to bring forth the healing of the water at this critical time. Drawing from the teachings of the natural world, they regularly perform ceremonies at waterways, and for Mother Earth. Water is a living organism that responds, as any other being would, to outside stimuli. Toxic dumping, trash, neglect, and negative speech impacts not only the physical body. It also causes sickness and the killing of vibrant life energy leaving behind the woeful conditions we face today. We have an obligation to continue to uplift and heal this dire situation, by infusing the critical spiritual life essence back into our water.

We are made of water, we can not survive without it. Save our water, save ourselves!

Honoring Our Sacred Water Ceremony & People’s Climate March:

Playlist of All Videos on Honoring Our Sacred Rivers:

Till Next Time…Keep Honoring Our Sacred Waters!

Honoring Our Sacred Rivers with Anacostia Riverkeeper Emily Franc

April 15th Anacostia

Saturday April 15th Honoring Our Sacred Rivers events came to the Anacostia river to do art and heal the river through ceremony with the Anacostia riverkeeper Emily Franc.

Starting the day we did some more art to finish it up for our April 28th ceremony and April 29th Climate March. We got a lot of amazing pieces for the totem polls that artist Caryl Henry-Alexander is designing.

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After a few hours of doing art we took a brake when a few more folks showed up to the Earth Conservation Corps Building to do some ceremony. We went down to the pier and Penny Gamble-Williams & my mom Rabiah Nur did a beautiful ceremony where they did some Native prayers as well as songs and some prayers to Oshun. When they were finished they passed around the water my mom had collected from the Anacostia and we all put our prayers and good intentions into the water to heal it and send it good vibes.

Once we were done we went back to painting and had a few people just come through and make art pieces and learned more information about what we were doing. My mom and I even got interviewed by a student for her Anacostia Environmental group project.

The last thing to happen that day was Emily Franc the Anacostia riverkeeper took about 8 of us on a boat ride on the Anacostia to check out our ceremony space for the April 28th ceremony. It was awesome to take a ride down the river. We got a little tour of the river and the nature around it and city. Got to see Osprey and ducks and the most amazing sunset. While we were on the river my mom and Penny did our closer prayers by offering some fruit and water to the river. They also gave us all some tobacco to give as offerings to the river. It was really powerful and beautiful to see how the water responds to our prayers and offerings.

This day was the best way to end our three local river ceremonies before we get ready for our big ceremony on April 28th.

More Information about the Anacostia River & the Riverkeeper:

Anacostia Riverkeeper:

Anacostia Riverkeeper is an advocacy organization working to protect and restore the Anacostia River for all who live, work, and play in the watershed. We rely on law and advocacy to improve water policy. We deploy green infrastructure to improve water quality.  We create meaningful encounters with the river to change the perception of the Anacostia.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake: 

Anacostia Riverkeeper is a member of Waterkeepers Chesapeake, a coalition of the full-time Waterkeepers that span the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (MD, PA, VA, and DC).

Anacostia Riverkeeper is also a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, an international grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to preserving and protecting water bodies from pollution.  Waterkeeper Alliance connects and supports local Waterkeeper programs in order to provide a voice for waterways and their communities worldwide.

Challenges:

Five issues dominate the restoration efforts for the Anacostia Watershed.

  1. Polluted Runoff (Stormwater) – Pavement and impermeable landscapes alter the way in which rain interacts with the earth. Rain, nature’s lifeblood, gets diverted into storm drains and becomes a delivery method that carries surface pollutants into the river.
  2. Trash – Trash is more than just an eyesore. Hundreds of tons of trash load up our river and tributary streams. Plastic bottles, styrofoam, furniture, and shopping carts – these all makes the river unsafe for wildlife and humans. Trash is expensive to remove and negatively impacts the aesthetics in addition to the well-being of communities.
  3. Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) – A sewer system that is over 150 years old releases two billion gallons of untreated sewage mixed with stormwater into the Anacostia River each year. This happens even when it rains half an inch to an inch in a short period of time. CSO events raise fecal coliform bacteria, trash, and sediments to unhealthy levels in the river.
  4. Toxics – Toxic chemicals such as PCBs, PAHs, and pesticides have a legacy of contaminating the river and poisoning wildlife. Up to two-thirds of the brown bullhead catfish in the river have cancerous tumors and/or lesions, and the toxins in their tissues can be passed on to humans when consumed. Of recent concern in our waterways are pharmaceutical chemicals, “endocrine disruptors,” that can cause male fish to grow eggs.
  5. Environmental Justice – Low income communities and minorities often bear the disproportionate share of negative environmental consequences that result from industrial, governmental, and commercial operations/policies. Flowing through the poorest neighborhoods in the District of Columbia, the Anacostia River has been the nation’s Forgotten River.

Play a role to help Anacostia Riverkeeper restore the Anacostia:

Become a Member: Become a member by making a $35 donation. As a member you will support our important work and receive periodic updates about what you can do for clean water.

Attend a Cleanup, Speaker’s Program, or Government HearingBy taking the time to come out for an event, you tell your neighbors, polluters, and government officials that you are serious about clean water.

Volunteer: Donate your time to Anacostia Riverkeeper either on the river or in the office.

Together, we can make a difference.

For More Info On the Anacostia Riverkeeper Visit:

http://www.anacostiariverkeeper.org/

Rabiah Nur, Spring of Light:

Rabiah is a healer whose Native American roots frame her work as she is called upon to use her gifts for ceremonies, teaching intuitive counseling, retreats and healings. Due to her ability to connect with spirit she has worked with Indigenous communities from the Mayan, African, Maori and other traditions. She continues to share her gifts with others privately as well as individually. http://rabiahsol.wixsite.com/springoflight

Caryl Henry Alexander:

Caryl conceives and directs visual arts projects with a focus on creative literacy, community collaboration and arts integrated academic curriculum. Her projects have been successful with multi generational, multicultural and interfaith communities in diverse settings. Her paintings and installations are exhibited internationally. She is also a certified Urban Farmer and grows organic veggies for her family. http://www.carylhenryalexander.com/

EcoHermanas:

A community of women that weaves and reconnects communities to Mother Earth. Together they create a bold sisterhood culture of awareness, energy, and flow around place-based environmental issues, cultivating community and contributing to the greater co-fulfillment of our potential as a whole. http://www.ecohermanas.org/

Daughters of the Future Moon:

Spring of light, (Rabiah Nur. Blackfoot & Powhattan)

Womb Work, (Wapajea Walks On Water, Mississippi Choctaw/Creek),

(Penny Gambles-Williams, (Chappaquiddick/Wampanoag and Choctaw), Moonwoman Spirit Art Productions,

have worked individually, and collectively on healing and spiritually uplifting people, protecting Mother Earth, and all of creation. As Daughters of the Future Moon, they are honoring their commitment to bring forth the healing of the water at this critical time. Drawing from the teachings of the natural world, they regularly perform ceremonies at waterways, and for Mother Earth. Water is a living organism that responds, as any other being would, to outside stimuli. Toxic dumping, trash, neglect, and negative speech impacts not only the physical body. It also causes sickness and the killing of vibrant life energy leaving behind the woeful conditions we face today. We have an obligation to continue to uplift and heal this dire situation, by infusing the critical spiritual life essence back into our water.

We are made of water, we can not survive without it. Save our water, save ourselves!

 “Our nation’s rivers belong to everybody, not just the people who can afford front row seats.” Anacostia Riverkeeper

Till Next Time…Rivers Are Life!

 

Honoring Our Sacred Rivers w/ Patuxent Riverkeeper Fred Tutman & Sonia Keiner

Pax April 15th

On Saturday April 8th, 2017 the second Honoring Our Sacred Rivers event was held at the Patuxent Riverkeepers place in Upper Marlboro, MD. It was a beautiful day and we had a great turn out.

It started off with set up of the art supplies and building the alter with Caryl Henry Alexander and my mom Rabiah Nur. Caryl and my mom brought things for the alter they built to Oshun. Oshun is a Nigerian Yoruba deity of the river and fresh water, luxury and pleasure, sexuality and fertility, and beauty and love. She is connected to destiny and divination. An orisha, meaning a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of God in the Ifá and Yoruba religions. She is one of the most popular and venerated orishas. My mom then went to gather water for the river ceremony and then made a spirit plate of our lunch for the day. A spirit plate is a plate that you make before you eat a meal to honor your ancestors and the spirits around you. 

We then all ate lunch which were some delicious tacos before starting the river ceremony on the pier. The ceremony started with Penny Gamble-Williams doing a Wampanoag prayer and then my mom did a prayer on her drum. Then Caryl and my mom did a prayer and some dancing in honor of Oshun and Yemaya a major water deity from the Yoruba religion. She is an orisha and the mother of all orishas, having given birth to the 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses. My mom then passed the water around the circle that she had gathered earlier in the day and had everyone say loving words to the water.

After the river ceremony was finished we got started with the art with Caryl. We made totems which will be used for our last river ceremony on the 28th of April as well as the next day the 29th for the Climate March. People really got creative and did some fabulous pieces. While people were panting I read this book Caryl brought about Mami Wata while I drank some hot chocolate with my dad. Mami Wata is often described as a mermaid-like figure, with a woman’s upper body (often nude) and the hindquarters of a fish or serpent. In the book I learned about the many different forms Mami Wata comes in from many different cultures. It was a very interesting book.

Once the art part was finished we all took pictures with the art and then did our closing ceremony at the alter were we all went around and said a few words of affirmation to the river and the day. We then all did some clean up and said our good byes. This was a very beautiful day with warm weather and wonderful spirits. We had a great turn out and everyone had a great time.

More Information about the Paxtuent River & the Riverkeepers:

Fred was born and raised along the Patuxent River as were seven generations of his ancestors before him. Prior to founding Patuxent Riverkeeper in 2004, Fred operated a business that provided professional media and mass communication services internationally. Fred also worked as volunteer activist on the Patuxent for over 20 years until the momentum of the volunteer environmental work overcame his media career and the challenge of Riverkeeping beckoned. Fred is a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for his work on behalf of environmental causes and issues in Maryland. He also serves on a variety of Boards, Task Forces and Commissions related to the work of protecting the Patuxent and the natural environment. Among them, Fred serves on the Board of the Environmental Integrity Project, as a Governor appointed Commissioner on the State’s Patuxent River Commission and on the Board of Waterkeeper Alliance, the international group that licenses Waterkeepers. Fred is an adjunct instructor at historic St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he teaches an upper level course in Environmental Law and Policy. He is an avid kayaker and backpacker, and also helps to maintain trails on the Appalachian Trail. He is a very wonderful person and works hard for our rivers making sure all creatures are able to have clean water.

To conserve, protect and replenish Maryland’s longest and deepest intrastate waterway. Through strategic advocacy, restoration and education, our goal is long-term sustainability for the ecosystem of the entire Patuxent River basin and the people who rely on its future.

ENFORCEMENT:

Storm water Regulatory Reform: Seek stiffer enforcement, better laws and improved design for cleaner development

Wastewater Plant Enforcement: Monitor upgrades and compliance for major and minor sewage sources

Contaminants: Prevent wholesale pollution of waterways through monitoring and litigation

ADVOCACY: 

Land Preservation: Preserve open spaces, farmlands and stream buffers

Waterway Patrols and  Complaint Resolution:  Engage in direct involvement and advocacy on the waterway

Watershed Management, Planning and Sustainability: Promote a comprehensive plan to clean up the river and encourage practices that prevent pollution and degradation

RESTORATION and EDUCATION:

Annual Patuxent Cleanup: Support and expand local efforts to restore and beautify the river

Patuxent Roughnecks: A dedicated group of volunteers who restore and maintain fish passage and free-flowing river

Improve public access for paddling and low-impact recreation

Speak at venues across sectors to raise awareness

Daybreak on the Patuxent

Four main tributaries, Western Branch, Little Patuxent River, Davidsonville Branch, and Mattaponi Creek, are the primary feeders into the Patuxent River. There are also several smaller tributaries that help comprise the total drainage of the Patuxent watershed. The River virtually bisects the western shore of the State of Maryland north to south and is tidal and estuarial in the southern reaches. The River is home for more than 100 species of fish, including bass, catfish, chain pickerel, and bluefish. The Patuxent sustains nesting and over wintering bald eagles and a large extended habitat for indigenous wildlife. Among overall Bay tributaries, the Patuxent ranks seventh in fresh water flow into the Chesapeake Bay.

The River is free flowing in its lower half and separated by two dams in its upper reaches which help supply potable water to the greater Washington Metropolitan area. The River was a key strategic stronghold in the early colonial development of Maryland and remains a resource with considerable archeological and paleontological significance. It was the Patuxent River that General George Washington and later Presidents, Jefferson and Madison, had to cross in order to reach Maryland’s capitol when America was in its infancy as a Republic. Furthermore, it was on the Patuxent River that the US Navy flotilla bivouacked to oppose invading English troops during the War of 1812. The River was the host to some of the earliest settlements in the colonial era to the extent that it merited the recognition of English Parliament during the 1600’s as a river of great economic and strategic importance. This early colonial recognition is evident today in the various old English names. However, the word “Patuxent” itself is derived from the language of the indigenous pre-colonial settlers. The name “Patuxent” is said to be from the Algonquin tongue, which means “water running over loose stones”.

Drinking water reservoir

Once one of the most productive sources of shellfish in the world, the Patuxent has been deeply and negatively affected by negligent land use, some 36 wastewater treatments plants (several in need of technological upgrades). The lawmaking and regulatory system has lost its way, being so consumed with broad Baywide problems, passing blame, analysis paralysis, and the desire to placate lawful polluters that it has been unable to halt or slow the steady decline of a waterway heading toward doom for the region and its biodiversity. And yet scientists have pointed to the incredible resilience of the ecosystem, its ability to heal itself if we humans can be compelled to mend our behavior toward the river and restore responsible stewardship. Today the Patuxent is a study in contrasts with regions of pristine beauty, rich in history, wildlife and unforgettable scenic vistas to other areas with poisoned beaches, ravaged fisheries, dead zones and hopelessly blocked and snagged upper tributaries. The water quality of this river in recent years rarely achieves much above a “D-” rating score. A river that has given so much to the citizens and economy of Maryland, now struggles to find enough funds and willpower to undo the damage caused by those who have grown wealthy plundering the riches that should by right, belong to all Maryland’s future generations.

Waders at the Annual Fowler Wade-In

So it is fitting that in acknowledgment of this tradition that a strong and growing Riverkeeper movement was established in 2004 to build a grassroots movement spanning seven Counties, in order to carry the fire, keep the dream of clean water alive, and champion one of the most vital causes on earth: the defense of our natural environment and of the people who depend on it. That is what Patuxent Riverkeeper believes in and stands for. Clean Water, unflinching civic advocacy and the holistic and benevolent treatment of one of nature’s irreplaceable and greatest prizes.

To learn more about the Patuxent Riverkeeper please visit:

Home

Rabiah Nur, Spring of Light:

Rabiah is a healer whose Native American roots frame her work as she is called upon to use her gifts for ceremonies, teaching intuitive counseling, retreats and healings. Due to her ability to connect with spirit she has worked with Indigenous communities from the Mayan, African, Maori and other traditions. She continues to share her gifts with others privately as well as individually. http://rabiahsol.wixsite.com/springoflight

Caryl Henry Alexander:

Caryl conceives and directs visual arts projects with a focus on creative literacy, community collaboration and arts integrated academic curriculum. Her projects have been successful with multi generational, multicultural and interfaith communities in diverse settings. Her paintings and installations are exhibited internationally. She is also a certified Urban Farmer and grows organic veggies for her family. http://www.carylhenryalexander.com/

EcoHermanas:

A community of women that weaves and reconnects communities to Mother Earth. Together they create a bold sisterhood culture of awareness, energy, and flow around place-based environmental issues, cultivating community and contributing to the greater co-fulfillment of our potential as a whole. http://www.ecohermanas.org/

Daughters of the Future Moon:

Spring of light, (Rabiah Nur. Blackfoot & Powhattan)

Womb Work, (Wapajea Walks On Water, Mississippi Choctaw/Creek),

(Penny Gambles-Williams, (Chappaquiddick/Wampanoag and Choctaw), Moonwoman Spirit Art Productions,

have worked individually, and collectively on healing and spiritually uplifting people, protecting Mother Earth, and all of creation. As Daughters of the Future Moon, they are honoring their commitment to bring forth the healing of the water at this critical time. Drawing from the teachings of the natural world, they regularly perform ceremonies at waterways, and for Mother Earth. Water is a living organism that responds, as any other being would, to outside stimuli. Toxic dumping, trash, neglect, and negative speech impacts not only the physical body. It also causes sickness and the killing of vibrant life energy leaving behind the woeful conditions we face today. We have an obligation to continue to uplift and heal this dire situation, by infusing the critical spiritual life essence back into our water.

We are made of water, we can not survive without it. Save our water, save ourselves!

Till Next Time…Rivers Are Life!

Honoring Our Sacred Rivers w/ Potomac River Keeper Dean Naujoks

April 1 Potomac

On Saturday April 1st, 2017 Dean Naujoks the Potomac riverkeeper, Rabiah Nur with Spring of Light and Caryl Henry-Alexander a local artist and part of Ecoheremanas came together to do a fun filled day of education, art totems & water ceremony at Hains Point.

Hains Point is located at the southern tip of East Potomac Park between the main branch of the Potomac River and the Washington Channel in southwest Washington, D.C. The land on which the park is located is sometimes described as a peninsula but is actually an island: the Washington Channel connects with the Tidal Basin north of the park and the Jefferson Memorial. The island is artificial: it was built up from Potomac dredging material from 1880 to 1892.

Hains Point was formerly known as the location of a sculpture called The Awakening, which was installed at the Point in 1980. The Awakening (1980) is a 72-foot (22 m) statue of a giant embedded in the earth, struggling to free himself. However, the sculpture was moved to the National Harbor, Maryland development on February 19, 2008.

The day started off with my mom Rabiah, Penny Gamble Williams, Dean, and myself went to check out the Potomac river which because it had rained the night before was coming in over the fence up towards the trees. The waves were crashing and the tide was high. We ended up talking to a lady who was from Latin America who was fishing for catfish which were huge but actually looked kind of sick which coming from the Potomac makes scene as it is a very polluted river. After that we started to set up for the day once Caryl showed up. I helped my mom and Penny get the water from the river for the ceremony which because it was so close to the shore it was very easy to collect it.

 

 

After setting up some more of the art supplies and a few more people showed up we got started. It started with Dean giving a quick educational listen on what the Potomac Riverkeeper Network is some information on the river itself. He also talked about the Climate March and how happy he was that we were working together to bring water to the table when it comes to climate justice. Something he said that resonated with me was that water and climate justice go hand in hand and if you think it doesn’t your wrong. He then introduced my mom & Penny to do the water ceremony.

To start the water ceremony Penny and my mom introduced themselves and each did a prayer. They talked about how important water is and what it means to each of them. Then my mom passed the vial of water she had gathered from the Potomac around the circle and had everyone put their energy and good thoughts into the water. Then they ended the opening with some drumming & prayers with my mom, Penny and my mom’s friend Claudia.

Once the opening water blessing was finished Caryl started the art portion of the day. For the art portion Caryl explained that we were going to make art totems that are going to used in the big Climate March on April 29th as well the water ceremony the night before on the 28th. The totems were at the top a water drop, in the middle the name of the river we were at and the bottom a circle. For the top and bottom we could add whatever kind of picture or words we want to get across about our rivers. I put Rios Son La Vida or Rivers Are Life on my water drop on the right side with affirmations of water on the left side. Others drew boats, people and animals on theirs. After we were all finished with the totems Caryl’s friend who was helping her with the art helped to put the totems on sticks.

The last thing we did was we did our closing ceremony. My mother put some of the water that was in the vial into a tall blue vial that we would take with us to use at the other water ceremonies we were doing then she put the rest of it with our beautiful energy into it back into the river. Then we did a quick and simple round dance were Penny sang a song. Afterwords we cleaned up & then we all took pictures together to commemorate this day.

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This day was a lot of fun and I learned a lot more about the river and what being a riverkeeper is like. Dean the Potomac Riverkeeper seemed to have had a blast and was very grateful we were able to do this and making the art totems was a lot of fun. I’m excited to see what the energy is like for the next 2 events and the big water ceremony on the 28th.

I look foreword to doing more with Dean the Potomac Riverkeeper and helping to clean up our local water ways.

More Information about the Potomac River & the Riverkeepers:

Riverkeepers are the eyes and ears of the water, protecting the public’s right to clean water in their rivers and streams. Encompassing the skills of scientists, teachers, law officers, fishermen and paddlers, Riverkeepers combine a profound knowledge of their waterway, matched with a relentless commitment to protecting your rights and the rule of law. Potomac Riverkeeper Network is the only nonprofit dedicated to protecting the entire Potomac Watershed through legal advocacy.

Our Riverkeepers are “boots-on-the-ground” and “boats-in-the-water”, tracking down pollution single-handedly, bringing a voice to the people through educational presentations and community involvement, and speaking out for change in the courtroom to create stronger environmental protections. As a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, we provide a way for communities to stand up to anyone who threatens their right to clean water—from law-breaking corporate polluters to irresponsible governments.

MAJOR POLLUTERS: “Major Polluters” are how we categorize the biggest polluters in the Potomac Watershed that discharge directly into our waterways through a pipe. They include power plants, waste-water and drinking water treatment plants, coal-ash storage facilities, industrial and manufacturing facilities, and chemical storage and transportation.

POSITION: Facilities that discharge into the Potomac Watershed should be in compliance with legal pollution limits, and our regulatory agencies should take every opportunity to reduce the discharges coming from these sources.

OBJECTIVE: Protect water quality by ensuring that these facilities are in compliance with their permitted pollution limits and that regulatory agencies create and enforce responsible discharge limits.

PRKN is using litigation and grassroots political outreach to push for a full cleanup of Possum Point’s coal ash pollution, investigation of Dominion’s handling of coal ash, and the excavation and removal of all coal ash at the site to a lined landfill away from the Potomac River.  Our goal is to make sure these toxic coal ash ponds are no longer a threat to Quantico Creek, the Potomac and public drinking water supplies.

 To learn more about the Potomac Riverkeepers Network please visit: http://www.potomacriverkeepernetwork.org/

Rabiah Nur, Spring of Light:

Rabiah is a healer whose Native American roots frame her work as she is called upon to use her gifts for ceremonies, teaching intuitive counseling, retreats and healings. Due to her ability to connect with spirit she has worked with Indigenous communities from the Mayan, African, Maori and other traditions. She continues to share her gifts with others privately as well as individually. http://rabiahsol.wixsite.com/springoflight

Caryl Henry Alexander:

Caryl conceives and directs visual arts projects with a focus on creative literacy, community collaboration and arts integrated academic curriculum. Her projects have been successful with multi generational, multicultural and interfaith communities in diverse settings. Her paintings and installations are exhibited internationally. She is also a certified Urban Farmer and grows organic veggies for her family. http://www.carylhenryalexander.com/

EcoHermanas:

A community of women that weaves and reconnects communities to Mother Earth. Together they create a bold sisterhood culture of awareness, energy, and flow around place-based environmental issues, cultivating community and contributing to the greater co-fulfillment of our potential as a whole. http://www.ecohermanas.org/

Daughters of the Future Moon:

Spring of light, (Rabiah Nur. Blackfoot & Powhattan)

Womb Work, (WapajeaWalks On Water, Mississippi Choctaw/Creek),

(Penny Gambles-Williams, (Chappaquiddick/Wampanoag and Choctaw), Moonwoman Spirit Art Productions,

have worked individually, and collectively on healing and spiritually uplifting people, protecting Mother Earth, and all of creation. As Daughters of the Future Moon, they are honoring their commitment to bring forth the healing of the water at this critical time. Drawing from the teachings of the natural world, they regularly perform ceremonies at waterways, and for Mother Earth. Water is a living organism that responds, as any other being would, to outside stimuli. Toxic dumping, trash, neglect, and negative speech impacts not only the physical body. It also causes sickness and the killing of vibrant life energy leaving behind the woeful conditions we face today. We have an obligation to continue to uplift and heal this dire situation, by infusing the critical spiritual life essence back into our water.

We are made of water, we can not survive without it. Save our water, save ourselves!

Till Next Time…Rivers Are Life So Honor Your Sacred Rivers!

 

Native Nations Rise March on Washington: A Day of Resisting with My Indigenous Relatives #MitákuyeOyás’iŋ #waterislife #NativeNationsRise #indigenousresistance 

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Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ today was a beautiful day to be with all of my relatives marching, praying, dancing, singing, resisting. When many indigenous communities come together to march for the Water Mother hears our cries & it starts to rain then snow then hail all at once. Then once she has bathed us in her scared Water Grandfather Sun comes out & the wind spirits come in full force to pray & gather with us. A tipi was put at the door of Trump Towers so there is no excuse that you don’t see us. Veterans occupied a Sun Trust Bank in solidarity & with peaceful power. Aztec dancers all the way from LA where present with the spirit of dance. There were many women warriors spreading their incredible energy as well as the next generation. Many artist performed their healing medicine of music as well as many speakers from many nations spoke from their heart about the struggles they face at home on the front lines & what Standing Rock faces. The Revolution is Now and we must fight with prayer & resistance from our hearts. Excited to stand & fight with this beautiful group of 2,500 + people helping to make our future & the next 7 generations future brighter for all. ✊🏽🐢🌎 #waterislife #standwirhstandingrock #Indigenousresistance #nativenationsrise

Friday May 10th was truly one of the most beautiful days to come out of this Standing Rock movement. Having been following this movement since August I feel very connected to it always waiting to see the next thing that will happen & how I can help. I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Standing Rock when the camp was still up and I got to meet a lot of people who were there at the march today shining their beautiful lights.

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My journey started on Thursday March 9th when my mom & I went down to the tipi village that folks had set up on Tuesday. There we’re tipis & two tents there one tent being used for panels. The best thing about going down to be with our relatives was that we didn’t have an agenda we were just there. We met up with my friends Merope and Emmalee and also Merope’s friend Ashley. We meet some folks, checked out the lay of the land and then got deep into the drums and did some round dancing which is always a lot of fun.

Later we hung around the fire just checking it out and some of the Indigenous women from Texas sang these beautiful songs about warrior women & rez life. Afterwards we went home to rest before the big march the next day.

The march started on Friday March 10th at the Army Corps of Engineers and we passed Trump Towers then Sun Trust Bank before arriving at the White House. My mom & I got off the metro and it started to rain. Before we could even get to the march it started to snow. Then before we know it was hailing. Now I have been to many gatherings where many intentional beings come together in a good way and it will start to rain because we gather to take care of our mother & each other.

My mom, Ashley & I were standing near the Aztec dancers who had come here from LA. They were dressed in their traditional clothes which because it was raining/snowing it seemed they were cold as they were wearing their sandals and such. Once the march got started we passed by many different places in DC including Trump Towers and Sun Trust Bank. A tipi was set up along the way at Trump Towers as well as some Veterans who occupied a Sun Trust Bank in solidarity.

Some indigenous women took the flag that was captured from General Crusted from the Battle of Little Big Horn and were holding it during the march which was very powerful.

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Once we got to the White House at Layafette Square there was a rally going on with many different performers. 16 year old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez of the Earth Guardians was the MC for the day and was awesome. Gabriel Ayala, Prolific the Rapper, Mohawk Women Singers, Ulali, Xiuhtezcatl and Taboo of the Black Eye Peas performed as well as many different speakers from different Native communities across Turtle Island. The rally lasted for about 2-3 hours. After words Ashley went home and Merope, Emmalee and myself went to get a late lunch to finish our day.

This was amazing turn out of indigenous folks all over Turtle Island with over 3,000 people in attendance. Glad to see our voice could be heard as indigenous people of this land.

http://nativenationsrise.org/

Till Next Time…Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ