Tag Archives: Indigenous message on water

“For generations to come”: Josephine Mandamin and the Great Lakes

Josephine Dazhkanziibi

Josephine Mandamin, Walter-walker. Dazh-kan-zii-bi (Thames River), London, Ontario. April 6th, 2014


Today, we would like to pay homage to Josephine Mandamin, Anishinaabe grandmother and water-walker, who has been our inspiration for this blog and the Indigenous Message on Water community. In remembering her teachings, we would like to recommend the documentary Waterlife by Kevin McMahon (2009), and the video interview Sacred Water Walks by The Great Lakes Commons (2015).

Watch here the trailer of Waterlife in where Kevin McMahon features Josephine’s story as an inspirational example for action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWTu_fXgaqM

On April 4th, 2014, we picked Josephine up from Billy Bishop Airport, Toronto’s island airport in Lake Ontario. She was flying in from Thunder Bay. We went with Paula Marcotte, one of the members of the coalition who organized the Water Film Festival: Right or Privilege?. We took the ferry to the Island. It was raining. The seagulls were bobbing on the water.

After months of trying to contact Josephine, we finally got her email and, in less than a week, everything was set for her visit. “Manda” in Anishinaabemovin means wonder, and “min” means seed. Grandmother Josephine carries in her last name one of the Anishinaabe expressions to name corn, the wonder seed. Josephine is from the fish clan and, as a woman, she feels the responsibility to take care and protect Water.

Thus, in 2003, she had the idea to start walking, with her sister, around the Great Lakes. Her intention was to create awareness among the indigenous and non-indigenous communities who surround the Great Lakes, which are at risk because of the chemicals dumped by farms, sewage systems, and the mining industry. Josephine truly believes that Water is our Mother, and that’s the reason why, in the last 13 years, she has walked more than 17.000 kilometers, sharing the message of her ancestors with people of different ages and origins (follow her journeys since 2003 to the present here).

As she says in the video interview Ojibwa Grandmother Recounts Walk Around the Great Lakes (2008), as a result of her walks, new generations will know that there are grandmothers out there who are protecting Water. Josephine has understood that each lake has its own teaching. Lake Superior, for example, is the Mother of the lakes. Lake Michigan keeps the remains of the ancestors, such as rocks/grandfathers, that stand in a circle, and trees that stand in specific ways. Lake Huron is a unifier: it taught Josephine that there should be a man beside a woman during the walk. Lake Ontario is heavier than the rest of the lakes because of its pollution. “And we have to start doing our work!” Josephine repeats.

Watch Ojibwa Grandmother Recounts Walk Around the Great Lakes => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPega7E8Lhg&index=1&list=PL__TzU4_15OF9Nck8UrVhLyZYw711cbJo

On April 4th, 5th and 6th 2014, Grandmother Josephine Mandamin was our guest-speaker at the Water Film Festival: Right or Privilege? “If it’s for the Water, we have to do it!” she told us. During those three days, before and after the films and talks, she carefully read our anthology. We were really excited by how happy our compilation made her. One afternoon she shared with us the following words, to be included here in our blog:

… to protect Water, we have to connect with Her physically, mentally, and spiritually. In the mornings, before anything else, before even going to the washroom, we have to offer a pinch of Water to Mother, the Earth, pray for it, and then drink a sip. This is my uncle’s teaching: you have to give before you take (…) Many times I have had to cry for the Water. She is a Mother, but she can’t feed her children if she is polluted. You have to be a women to understand what to feed a child means.

Her teachings reminded us immediately of some texts from Indigenous Message on Water such as Mona Polacca’s, Sandy Beardy’s, Vito Apüshana’s, and the paintings by Achu Kantule. Josephine’s insistence of women’s role at this time is also present in the recent video interview by The Great Lake Commons, in which Josephine urges women to lead their communities in the protection of Water:

We have to take care of Mother, the Earth, and that’s what we are doing now, taking care of our Mother, the Earth, especially now in this age when she is really suffering, she is being polluted, she is being prosecuted, she is being sold, you know, all these things are happening to Her, it’s happening to us, women. So, I think about how these days women have to start thinking about bundles. We have to rethink about how important it is. So, we have to really know who we are as women, that we are very powerful women. We can be very instrumental in how things are changing… (video interview Every Step is a Prayer. Sacred Water Walks)

Watch video interview here, Every Step is a Prayer. Sacred Water Walks => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vV5zD2GrAAg&list=PL__TzU4_15OF9Nck8UrVhLyZYw711cbJo&index=76

We built together the Water Film Festival: Right or Privilege?, thanks to the Indigenous Message on Water and The Council of Canadians, The Latin-American Canadian Solidarity Association, Western University Indigenous Services, and London Museum. Around 300 people participated in the weekend’s events and local organizations such as Wellington Water Watchers shared their own fight to defend the Guelph’s aquifer from the transnational company Nestlé.

Watch here the clasic Bottled life by Ursula Schenell => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czfSwjx4yYA

Josephine was direct with the audience: “And, after these reflections, what are you going to do?” Following Josephine’s question, there was an important moment of reflection on our own responsibility with Water in our daily lives. As Mike Nagy, director of Wellington Water Watchers, reminded us: it is not enough to reuse, reduce, and recycle. We also need to refuse!

Thank you, Josephine, for your teachings!

Until next week.


“Para las generaciones por venir”: Josephin Mandamin y sus caminatas por los Grandes Lagos

Josephine y Juan

Josephine Mandamin, caminante de los Grandes Lagos, y Juan Guillermo Sánchez, co-editor del Mensaje Indígena de Agua, en London, Ontario. Abril 6 de 2014.

Hoy queremos ofrecer un homenaje a Josephine Mandamin, abuela Anishinaabe, caminante del agua, inspiración para mantener nuestro blog y la comunidad del Mensaje Indígena de Agua. Recordando sus enseñanzas, también queremos recomendar el documental Waterlife de Kevin McMahon (2009), y el video de la entrevista Sacred Water Walks realizada por The Great Lakes Commons (2015).

Aquí el corto de Waterlife, en donde Kevin McMahon presenta la historia de Josephine como un ejemplo para la acción => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWTu_fXgaqM

El 4 de abril de 2014 fuimos a recoger a la abuela Josephine Mandamin al aeropuerto de Toronto, ubicado sobre una de las islas del lago Ontario. Viajaba desde Thunder Bay. Fuimos a recibirla con Paula Marcotte, uno de los miembros de la coalición organizadora del Festival de Cine por el Agua ¿Derecho o privilegio? Tomamos el ferry. La lluvia no cesaba. Las gaviotas estaban bailando sobre el agua.

Después de meses buscando cómo contactar a la abuela Josephine, unos días atrás habíamos conseguido su correo y en menos de una semana todo estaba arreglado para su visita. “Manda”, en lengua Anishinaabemovin significa sorpresa, asombro, maravilla; “min”, semilla. La abuela Josephine lleva en su apellido una de las expresiones Anishinaabe con las que se nombra el maíz, la semilla sagrada. Josephine es del clan del pescado y, como muchas mujeres Anishinaabe, siente que su responsabilidad es cuidar y proteger el agua.

En 2003, tuvo la idea de caminar junto con su hermana alrededor de los Grandes Lagos y ríos del este de Canadá y los Estados Unidos buscando crear conciencia entre las comunidades (indígenas y no indígenas) que circundan estos cuerpos de agua, amenazados hoy por las sustancias químicas de la industria agrícola y la minería irresponsables (ver la memoria de sus caminatas desde el 2003 hasta hoy). Con la convicción de que el Agua es nuestra madre, en los últimos trece años Josephine ha caminado más de 17.000 kilómetros llevando el mensaje de sus ancestros, los primeros días solo con su familia y en los últimos años con cientos de personas de todas las edades y orígenes.

Ver Ojibwa Grandmother Recounts Walk Around the Great Lakes => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPega7E8Lhg&index=1&list=PL__TzU4_15OF9Nck8UrVhLyZYw711cbJo

¡Gracias, Josephine, por las enseñanzas y las caminatas!

Hasta la próxima semana.

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“And everything we do, we are responsible”: Hudbay Minerals


Santa Rita Mountains, Arizona. Picture: Mona Polacca


Eight weeks ago, we started a cycle of posts on the struggles and alternatives to defend the Water of the Abya-Yala and the Turtle Island. Today, inspired by the documentary Flin Flon Flim Flam (2015) by John Dougherty (InvestigateMedia), we would like to share a personal account of Grandmother Mona Polacca, co-secretariat of the Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, and take a moment to reflect upon the intentions of our blog in the Information Era.


Gradmother Mona Polacca


Mona Polacca is a Havasupai/Hopi/Tewa Elder from Arizona (see http://www.grandmotherscouncil.org/who-we-are/grandmother-mona-polacca). When we were writing this post, we asked for her guidance and she sent us this powerful story. Thank you, Mona!

…I was on a drive through southern Arizona. I was commenting to my friend, Austin Nunez (the Chairman of the Wa:K Community AKA San Xavier District of the Tohono O’odham Nation) how I was feeling the spirit and heart of the land as we were driving through the desert. I had mentioned that I needed to take pictures because I had never been to this area before yet, felt de-javu, that I had been there in my dream. I also had the thought that, “maybe this will be the only time I will see this place like this!

I thought he didn’t hear me since he kept driving and I was trying to take pictures while we were moving, you know how that goes! Anyway, he suddenly pulled off the road at a viewpoint looking down across the valley and mountains. He then told me about the Rosemont Mine, and that this landscape I was admiring would soon be the largest open-pit copper mine in the western hemisphere. I was saddened. I asked him, “What are you doing about it?”. He responded, “We are opposed to it, and we are fighting to stop it”.

A few days later, I drove there on my way to the Apache Springs Horse Ranch, which is located near the proposed Rosemont site and the Cienega Springs mentioned in the film. That’s when I noticed this amazing mountain range, Santa Rita Mountains in the distance, there was an area that had snowcaps, so “beautiful” I thought, “must take a picture”. I tried, while I was driving – a big “no no”, especially when driving on a narrow winding road!! I decided to wait until I could turn off the road and stop, and decided that if the mountains were no longer in view, I could accept that, after all I had the memory stored where I will always have it with me. So, when I came to the road I had to take to the horse ranch, as I drove to the ranch there before me was the mountains, the part that had the snowcaps! I was over-whelmed by what I saw! I cried and said, “You are a guardian spirit woman mountain, they cannot destroy you”! I continued my drive to the ranch, which turned out to be sitting below this special part of the mountain. I asked the owners of the ranch, “Do you know that that mountain is very sacred?” they said, “Yes, and we are doing everything we can to take care of the space she has given us to use”. I was happy to know that, I thought, these would be supporters and/or defenders of the Santa Rita Mountains from the Hudbay mining proposal.

While at the ranch, I made a wonderful relationship of unconditional love and acceptance with a horse named Cochise. I made a promise to him and all the other horses that I would make prayers for protection of their home. And so it is – I am making prayers in that way…


At the convergence of damage and hope, Flin Flon Flim Flam weaves together interviews and facts about four different mining projects orchestrated by the Canadian-based Transnational Company Hudbay Minerals: Mine 777, and Reed Mine in the Grass River Provincial Park (Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada), El Estor, Lote 8, and Vigil’s Mine in Maya Q’ech’i territory (Guatemala), Constancia Mine in Uchucarco (Chumbivilcus Province, Perú), and the Rosemont Project in the sacred Santa Rita Mountains (Arizona, US).

WATCH Flin Flon Flim Flam => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7aacPtEI8s&feature=youtu.be 

The facts and statements collected in the movie are both disturbing and encouraging, thus our post today would like to acknowledge the resourcefulness and bravery of its protagonists. Despite the fact that Flin Flon’s aquifer and soil are full of metal concentrations—a consequence of the 85 years of irresponsible operations by Hudbay Minerals—Mathias Colomb Cree Nation and Chief Arten Dumas are fighting back! Although the Peruvian nation-state police are violently repressing the Uchucarco community protests, Quechua advocates are denouncing the damage of heavy traffic on the road, copper dust in the air, and the failure of the company in fulfilling job quotas. In Toronto, Hudbay Minerals is being sued by Angelica Choc, German Chub, and eleven women from the Q’eqch’i nation. By holding a Canadian company accountable for the acts of an overseas subsidiary, this lawsuit is endeavouring to set a precedent for future incidences (read article in the New York Times).

Finally, despite the 1872 General Mining Law, which encourages companies such as Hudbay Minerals to continue destroying the land in Arizona and the rest of the USA, a coalition between the City of Tucson, the Pima County, the Yaqui Nation, the Tohono O’odham Nation, and several Congressional representatives, are together protecting the Santa Rita Mountains, the heart of the Cienaga Springs, a habitat of twelve endangered species such as the wild jaguar and the ocelotl (read http://www.rosemontminetruth.com).

We have borrowed the title of our post, “And everything we do, we are responsible”, from the Hudbay Minerals’ President and CEO David Garofalo, whose words in the documentary are incongruous with the actions of his company. By contrasting Garofalo’s speech with Hudbay Minerals’ actions, Flin Flon Flim Flam reminds us of the power of resistance in subverting discourses.

Flin Flon Flim Flam is both asking for action and reflection: action to stop these four projects (especially Rosemont, which has not yet started); and reflection on the words and the actions of its protagonists, including our own, as contemporaries. Beyond the tired categories of Third and First World, the documentary shows how the mining industry is affecting indigenous and local communities regardless of the location—in Canada, USA, Peru or Guatemala. Corruption, impunity, and lack of regulation are present in all of these scenarios. As a response, the documentary underlines how decisive intercultural initiatives can be. Ray Carroll, Pima County’s AZ Supervisor, explains his county’s major concern:

Why sell tomorrow to pay for today, is the opinion of most of the people that I represent.

We want to believe that our blog is a way of action, and sharing information in Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media with our friends and family are ways of action, too! Despite the amount of violence and damage caused by mining projects and reproduced by the mass media and news, in acknowledging indigenous and local organization who are defending Water, we are part of a global stream of consciousness concerned with Water for future generations.

Thus, we hope you share with us your comments, and spread these posts among your friends and family. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to publish news related to water in your community.

Until next week!


“De todo lo que hacemos, nosotros somos los responsables”: Hudbay Minerals


Las montañas de Santa Rita a lo lejos. Foto: Mona Polacca

Ocho semanas atrás comenzamos este ciclo de notas sobre problemáticas y alternativas para defender el agua en la Isla Tortuga (Norteamérica) y el Abya-Yala (América toda, la tierra en plena madurez Tule-Guna). Hoy, inspirados en el documental Flin Flon Flim Flam (2015) dirigido por John Dougherty (InvestigateMedia), queremos compartirles una historia personal de la abuela Mona Polacca, co-secretaria del Foro Indígena Mundial Sobre el Agua y la Paz, y hacer una pausa para visualizar la intención de este blog en la Era de la Información.


Mona Polacca es guía espiritual de las naciones Havasupai/Hopi/Tewa de Arizona (ver http://www.grandmotherscouncil.org/who-we-are/grandmother-mona-polacca). Cuando estábamos escribiendo esta entrada, le pedimos su consejo, y ella nos envió la historia que copiamos a continuación. ¡Gracias, Mona!

… Yo estaba viajando por el sur de Arizona. Le estaba comentando a mi amigo Austin Nuñez, el presidente de la comunidad Wa:K AKA del Distrito de San Xavier de la Nación Tohono O’odham, cómo estaba sintiendo el corazón y el espíritu de esa tierra mientras atravesábamos el desierto. Yo había dicho que necesitaba tomar fotos porque nunca había estado en esta área antes, sentía como dejavu, como si yo hubiera estado allí en mi sueño. También tenía el pensamiento: “¡Tal vez esta será la única vez que vea este lugar así!”

Pensé que no me había escuchado porque él continuó manejando y yo estaba tratando de tomar fotos mientras nos movíamos, ¡tú sabes cómo es eso! En fin, de pronto él se salió de la carretera y paró en un mirador desde donde se veían las montañas y el valle. Entonces me habló sobre la Mina Rosemont, y que ese paisaje que yo estaba admirando pronto sería la mina de cobre a cielo abierto más grande en el hemisferio occidental. Yo me puse triste. Le pregunté: “¿Qué están haciendo ustedes?”. Él me respondió: “Estamos en contra, y estamos luchando para detenerlo.”

Unos días después, pasé por allí de camino al rancho de caballos Apache Springs, el cual está ubicado cerca del sitio propuesto para la mina, y también de Cienaga Springs, el cual mencionan en la película [Flin Flon Flim Flam, ver abajo]. Ahí fue cuando caí en cuenta de esta maravillosa cadena montañosa, las montañas de Santa Rita en la distancia, había una área con casquetes de nieve, “¡qué hermoso!”, pensé, “tengo que tomar una foto”. Traté mientras estaba manejando, pero “no, no”, sobre todo en una angosta y ventosa carretera. Decidí esperar hasta que pudiera parar, y si las montañas no estaban entonces en el panorama, tendría que aceptarlo, pues después de todo tenía la memoria guardada y siempre las tendría conmigo. Entonces cuando llegué a la carretera que tenía que tomar, mientras manejaba hacia el rancho de caballos, ahí estaban ante mí las montañas, ¡la parte que tenía los casquetes de hielo! ¡Yo estaba abrumada por lo que veía! Lloré y dije: “Tú eres guardián, mujer espíritu de la Montaña, ¡ellos no pueden destruirte!” Continué manejando hacia el rancho, el que terminó ubicado justo debajo de esa parte especial de la montaña. Les pregunté a los dueños del rancho: “¿Ustedes saben que esta montaña es sagrada?”. Ellos dijeron: “Sí, y estamos haciendo todo lo que podemos para cuidar el espacio que ella nos ha permitido usar”. Yo estaba feliz de saberlo, y pensé, “ellos deben ser defensores de las montañas de Santa Rita contra el proyecto minero de Hudbay”.

Cuando estaba en el rancho, hice una relación maravillosa de amor incondicional y aceptación con un caballo llamado Cochise. Le hice una promesa a él y a todos los otros caballos, que yo haría oraciones para proteger su casa. Y así es, estoy haciendo oraciones hacia esa dirección…


En la convergencia entre el daño y la esperanza, Flin Flon Flim Flam teje entrevistas y hechos relacionados con cuatro proyectos mineros orquestados por la compañía transnacional con base en Canadá Hudbay Minerals: la mina 777 y la mina Reed en el Parque Estatal Grass River (Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada), las minas de El Estor, Lote 8 y Vigil en territorio Maya Q’ech’i (Guatemala), la de mina de Constancia en Uchucarco (Provincia de Chumbivilcus, Perú), y el proyecto Rosemont en las montañas sagradas de Santa Rita (Arizona, US).

VER Flin Flon Flim Flam (español, inglés, quechua y q’eqch’i) => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7aacPtEI8s&feature=youtu.be 


Hoy hemos prestado el título de nuestro post, “De todo lo que hacemos, nosotros somos los responsables”, del presidente y director ejecutivo de Hudbay Minerals, David Garofalo, cuyas palabras en el documental son incongruentes con las acciones de su compañía. Al contrastar el discurso de Garofalo con las acciones de Hudbay Minerals,  Flin Flon Flim Flam nos recuerda la fuerza de subvertir los discursos.

Este documental nos invita al mismo tiempo a actuar y a reflexionar: actuar en contra de estos cuatro proyectos (especialmente el de la mina Rosemont, la cual no ha comenzado aun), y a reflexionar sobre las palabras y los actos de sus protagonistas, incluidos nosotros mismos como contemporáneos de estas problemáticas. Más allá de las desgastadas categorías de Primer y Tercer mundo, el documental demuestra cómo la industria extractiva está afectando comunidades campesinas, indígenas y locales igual en Canadá que en Estados Unidos, Perú o Guatemala. Corrupción, impunidad, y falta de regulación están presentes en todos estos escenarios. Como respuesta, el documental subraya lo decisivas que pueden llegar a ser las iniciativas interculturales. Ray Carroll, Supervisor del condado de Pima, explica la mayor preocupación de su condado:

Para qué vender el mañana para pagar el hoy, esa es la opinión de la mayoría de la gente que yo represento.

Nosotros creemos que este blog es una forma de acción, y compartir en Facebook, Twitter o cualquier otra red social, con nuestros amigos y nuestra familia ¡son formas de acción! Apesar de la cantidad de violencia y daño causados por los proyectos mineros, al reconocer las organizaciones locales e indígenas que defienden el agua, estamos siendo parte de una corriente global de conciencia, dispuesta a proteger el agua para las futuras generaciones.

Estaremos esperando sus comentarios. ¡Pasen la voz entre amigos y familia!

No duden en contactarnos si quisieran publicar alguna noticia/alternativa/iniciativa relacionada con el agua de su comunidad.

¡Hasta la próxima semana!

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Not for sale, just to protect: Wallmapu’s water!



This week, we bring poetry, documentaries, and mobilizations from the Wallmapu, the ancestral Mapuche land both east and west of the Andes.


The words written by Maria Teresa Panchillo, María Huenuñir, Lorenzo Ayllapán, Jaime Luis Huenún, Graciela Huinao, and Rayen Kvyeh are part of the cultural expressions that are currently defending the Wallmapu’s water. Their verses and stories are part of our anthology Indigenous Message on Water.

Carátula libro

READ here = https://waterandpeace.wordpress.com/from-the-elders/

Because of their words, we know of the long battle of the Mapuche nation against the monoculture forestry, the hydroelectric dams, and the Chilean state’s terrorism in this region. Therefore, in solidarity with the Mapuche struggle, and in celebration of EARTH DAY on April 22nd, we would like to invite you to support the IV Transnational Mobilization in Defending Water and Territory, April 23th and 24th, 2016 in Temuko (Wallmapu/Chile). Here is the call for action:

Our group has chosen the Araucania Region to propel a new decentralized agenda. We want to support the cultural expressions that defend the territory against the Chilean state’s violent project of extracting the ancestral territory of the Wallmapu; specifically, the forestry/mining/energy/water industries, which violate the Mapuche’s Human Rights… (Read the full document in Spanish=> http://aguaenmarcha.cl/wp/encuentro-plurinacional/)

el agua no se vende se defiende


The pine and eucalyptus cellulose industry is, after copper,  the most lucrative export of the Chilean economy. The forestry industry’s fund (Fondo Maderero) is a privileged budget of the State, supported by Law 701 (signed by the dictator Pinochet in 1974), which favors private companies such as ARAUCO, and CMBC.

In addition to the historical tensions, and the state’s complicity in these decisions, there is currently a paradox in monoculture forestry in the Wallmapu/Chile: the Chilean State talks about a cellulose forest, while the Mapuche movement talks about the native forest. After forty years of monoculture forestry, there are currently 2.5 million pine and eucalyptus hectares in the south-central region of the Wallmapu. As explained by the documentary Plantar pobreza: el negocio forestal en Chile, the main problem with the non-native tree monoculture is that since the tress are all the same age, they modify the native soil’s hydric balance, drying the aquifer that guarantees the communities’ wells and food sovereignty. Also, the pine’s turpentine, added to the dry soil, is producing spontaneous forest fires.

In order to contextualize the IV Transnational Mobilization, we would like to recommend the news report  “The Mapuche of Chile – Struggle for Territorial Rights and Justice”, produced by Deutsche Welle:

WATCH HERE = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41pnfq27Oak 


On March 17th, 2014, during the book launch for the Indigenous Message on Water in London (Ontario, Canada), Rayen Kvyeh participated via Skype from Temuko. She kindly shared an historical background of the Mapuche struggle in the Araucania (south-central region of the Wallmapu). She told us about the Quillín treaty, signed in 1641, in which the Spanish crown recognized the Independent Mapuche Nation, south of the Bíobío River. She also reminded us that the Chilean State ignored this treaty, and between 1830 and 1881, occupied the Mapuche territory, burning the rukas (houses) and crops, and stealing the cattle. Today, despite the fact that the Chilean state is criminalizing the pacific protest, and is using the anti-terrorism law against the Mapuche advocates, Rayen Kvyeh and the Mapuche writers, journalists, filmmakers, Elders, send us hope with their strength.

WATCH here the Mapuche political prisoners’ lawyer  reflect on the 2015 Inter-American Court decision in favour  of the Wallmapu => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1mjMgOSE3Y

From the Bíobío River to Temuko, we would like to leave you today with the Kvyeh’s poem, “Fíu fíu – Bío bío”, part of the Indigenous Message on Water:

The rivers flow like blood upon the earth

Hauling along the dreams of my Elders

the food of our freedom.

That’s why, Bío Bío,

they imprision you behind a dam.


You, who carries the breath of araucaria trees.

You, who tells


and transmits the snow message

in the weeping winter

and Water for my siblings.

That’s why, Bío-Bío,

they want you, Majestic River.

Foreign men

do not see our history’s heartbeat

in your Waters.

They want to halt your song

and silence our ancestral native voices.

Condors of the sun kiss your Waters.

My ancestors are rising up!                  (Indigenous Message… 128)

If you like this post, please share it, and walk with us on April 23th, wherever you are, with the IV Transnational Mobilization in Defending Water and Territory.

Until next week!




Poeta Rayen Kvyeh. FOTO: Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes

Esta semana traemos poesía, documental y marcha pacífica desde el Wallmapu, la nación Mapuche al este y al oeste de los Andes.


Dentro de las diversas expresiones que defienden el agua en el Wallmapu, está la poesía de Maria Teresa Panchillo, María Huenuñir, Lorenzo Ayllapán, Jaime Luis Huenún, Graciela Huinao, y Rayen Kvyeh, quienes hicieron parte de nuestra antología Mensaje Indígena de Agua

Libro Piedra

Descargar aquí antología=> https://waterandpeace.wordpress.com/from-the-elders/ 

Por ellos, conocemos las luchas de la nación Mapuche contra los monocultivos forestales, las represas hidroeléctricas, y el terrorismo de estado. Este es el mensaje de María Teresa Panchillo, María Huenuñir y Lorenzo Ayllapan, cuando visitaron Montreal (Hochelaga) en septiembre de 2012 => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S28nCznrFUg

Con este encuentro en la memoria, y celebrando el DIA DE LA TIERRA, hoy queremos invitarlos a que acompañen el próximo 23 y 24 de abril en Temuko (Wallmapu/Chile) la IV Marcha del Movimiento Plurinacional por la Defensa de las Aguas y los Territorios. Aquí el comunicado:

El movimiento ha definido la Región de la Araucanía para reimpulsar su nueva agenda de trabajo como acto de descentralización, como también, para respaldar las diversas expresiones que defienden los territorios ante la violenta ofensiva estatal-empresarial por establecer nuevas formas de invasión y saqueo a los territorios ancestrales de Wallmapu, particularmente, las relacionadas con la industria forestal, energética, acuícola, agroindustrial e incluso minera, transgrediendo derechos humanos de una amplia población… (Leer el comunicado completo aquí =>http://aguaenmarcha.cl/wp/encuentro-plurinacional/)

Por favor pasen la voz, compartan este post, y el 23 de abril caminen con la Marcha Plurinacional donde quiera que estén.

¡Hasta la próxima semana!

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“The future is a realm we have inhabited for thousands of years”: Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Little BearDr. Leroy Little Bear


For the last three weeks we have been sharing videos and teachings related to water issues in Indigenous territories. The message of the Elders from Nunjwákala/Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the resistance of the Mikmak community in Elsipogtog against transnational mining, and the victory of the Sarayaku nation in the Amazon over the Ecuadorian state are all examples of when two mind-sets clash. They all show the need of an intercultural dialogue, a point of convergence between Indigenous knowledge and Western science.

Today, celebrating the equinox, we would like to invite you to think about this convergence, based on the talk by Dr. Leroy Little Bear, a Blackfoot Elder and scholar who, in January 2015, with the support of The Banff Centre, proposed some contrasts and similarities between quantum physics and Indigenous knowledge:

Watch => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJSJ28eEUjI

With humor and humility, Dr. Little Bear reminds us that science is all about the unknown, and not about formulas, math or the application of the known (technology). For him, the “constant flux” of quantum physics is currently dialoguing with the ancestral thought about the constant flow among all beings. In addition to matter and particles, the Blackfoot epistemology also talks about energy waves, which, in other words, could be called spirit. From this point of view, everything is alive/animated/related; therefore, it is not possible to study it in isolation as Western science sometimes does. In Dr. Little Bear’s words, quantum physics have started to realize the need for a holistic approach in which matter, motion and constant transformation are the foundation of renewal.

In tune with Elder Little Bear’s talk, Tsalagi/Ojibwe scholar Valerie Goodness has proposed Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to refer to the first nations’ techniques and ancestral knowledge. TEK offers, for example, alternative methods for irrigation, soil conservation, ecosystems and natural water reservoirs, astronomy, and use of medicinal plants. For Goodness, Western scientists are now accepting the fact that Indigenous peoples have an understanding of uncertainty and intuition that allows them to detect changes in ecosystems quicker. (READ: “Idle No More: Decolonizing Water, Food and Natural Resources With TEK”) As in the Blackfoot epistemology, Goodness recalls that in Haudenosaunee thinking all species and beings are interconnected, and it is from this “way of being in the world” (ethos) that it is possible to achieve sustainability:

All things are connected. Mother Earth, the Waters, Fish, Grasses, Medicine Plants, Food Plants, Animals, Trees, Birds, Four Winds, Grandfather Thunder, Elder Brother the Sun, Grandmother Moon, Stars, the protectors, Handsome Lake and the Creator are all connected and thanked. (Goodness, Web)

Based on these reflections, to look ahead, therefore, we must recover the past; perhaps reimagine the time beyond a straight line. The clarity of this certainty vibrates in the words of thinkers such as Little Bear and Goodness. These are voices that connect ancient cosmologies with a future of welfare for the generations to come. In the words of Hawaiian writer Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada:

Yet remembering the past does not mean that we are wallowing in it. Paying attention to our history does not mean we are ostriching our heads in the sand, refusing to believe that the modern world is all around us. We native peoples carry our histories, memories, and stories in our skin, in our bones, in our health, in our children, in the movement of our hands, in our interactions with modernity, in the way we hold ourselves on the land and sea (…) Standing on our mountain of connections, our foundation of history and stories and love, we can see both where the path behind us has come from and where the path ahead leads. This connection assures us that when we move forward, we can never be lost because we always know how to get back home. The future is a realm we have inhabited for thousands of years. (“We live in the future. Come join us.”. READ: Kekaupu Hehiale. Abril 3 de 2014).

There is, therefore, an arduous way to go if we want to establish a dialogue between mindsets. It is not a one way journey, but a number of trails which we could take simultaneously to find convergences.


Anishinabeg Wheel

Anishinabee/Ojibwe Medicine Wheel


En las últimas tres semanas hemos estado compartiendo enseñanzas y videos relacionados con el agua en territorios indígenas. El mensaje de los hermanos mayores desde Nunjwákala/Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, la resistencia de la comunidad Mikmak en Elsipogtog contra la minería transnacional, y la victoria de la nación Sarayaku en la Amazonía sobre el estado ecuatoriano, son todos ejemplos en donde dos modos de pensar chocan. Todos ellos muestran la necesidad de un diálogo intercultural, un punto de convergencia entre el conocimiento indígena y la ciencia occidental.

Hoy, celebrando el equinoccio, queremos invitarlos a pensar en este puente a partir de la charla del Dr. Leroy Little Bear, sabedor Blackfoot y académico, quien en enero de 2015, con el apoyo de The Banff Centre, propuso algunas diferencias y similitudes entre la física cuántica y el conocimiento indígena.

VER AQUÍ => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJSJ28eEUjI

Con humor y humildad, el mayor Little Bear nos recuerda cómo el objetivo de la ciencia es ahondar en lo desconocido y no quedarse en fórmulas o aplicaciones de lo conocido (tecnología). Para él, la idea de “flujo constante” de la física cuántica está dialogando hoy con el pensamiento ancestral y su idea del flujo constante entre todos los seres de la existencia. Además de materia y de partículas, la epistemología Blackfoot habla también de ondas de energía, que en otras palabras podrían llamarse espíritu. Desde esta perspectiva, todo está vivo y todo se relaciona, razón por la cual no es posible estudiar de forma aislada “la naturaleza” como a veces pretende la ciencia occidental. En palabras de Dr. Little Bear, afortunadamente la física cuántica ha comenzado a darse cuenta de la necesidad de un enfoque holístico en donde la materia, el movimiento y la constante transformación sean la base de la renovación de la naturaleza.

Hay, pues, un arduo camino por recorrer si queremos establecer un diálogo entre epistemologìas por el bien de las futuras generaciones. No es un camino unívoco, sino una serie de senderos que debemos andar simultáneamente para encontrar las convergencias.

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“We believe that in life we have to fight for what’s important”: Sarayaku

Sarayaku 2

Patricia Gualinga and Sarayaku advocates



Today, we have borrowed the title of our post from Eriberto Gualinga’s reflection in the closing of his documentary Children of the Jaguar—a brave testimony of resistance by the Sarayaku nation (2002-2012) against the Ecuadorian State’s project of oil extraction in the Amazon. In the presence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica, Jose Gualinga, Eriberto’s brother and Sarayaku President, explains the connection between his community and the forest:

We’ve come from our distant lands in Sarayaku, from the River of Maize. We’re descended from the Jaguar, children of Amazanga Runa, sons and daughters of the People of the Midday.

Children of the Jaguar shows the courage of indigenous filmmakers as they use video and creativity as a weapon to protect their territories. In 2002, the Ecuadorian government violated the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization when it did not consult the Sarayaku nation in its plans of oil exploration in their territory. With the support of lawyers from the Pachamama Alliance, and allies such as Amnesty International, seventeen representatives from the Sarayaku nation traveled to Costa Rica in 2012 and won a long legal battle. This victory has stood as an example for other communities facing similar struggles in the Abya-Yala.

Beyond the economical value of oil and minerals, Patricia Gualinga, representative of Sarayaku women and family, explains the sacredness and ritual meaning of protecting water and nature:

The worldview of the Sarayaku is about respect for all the other living things in the rainforest. It’s also about defending our land and about the equilibrium that we must maintain in Sarayaku. That’s what we want to share with the rest of humanity.

Today, besides oil extraction, as Nora Álvarez-Berríos and T. Mitchell Aide explain in Environmental Research Letters, there is a link between the 2008 economic crisis, and the rising price and global demand for gold (see John C. Cannon’s analysis in “Amazon Gold Rush Destroying Huge swaths of Rainforest”) Thus, between 2001 and 2012, 1680 square kilometers have been destroyed by gold mining in the Amazon.

Since the 1990’s, however, Ka’apor activists in Maranhao (Brazil), Karapó activists in southern Pará (Brazil), and Kichwa and Achuar activists in Peru and Ecuador have resisted the siege of the lungs of the planet by the “mining creatures”. (See the article “Amazon Indigenous Activists Occupy are taking direct action – And it’s working!”).

Thank you to the Sarayaku nation, and to all of the Amazonian advocates, for your bravery and humility.

We hope our waterandpeace community enjoy Children of the Jaguar as much as we did (watch => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma1QSmtuiLQ)

Until next week!


“Estamos convencidos de que en la vida hay que luchar por las cosas que importan”: Sarayaku


José Gualinga, presidente de Sarayaku en 2012

Hoy hemos tomado prestado el título de nuestro post de la reflexión de Eriberto Gualinga en el cierre de su documental Hijos del Jaguar, un testimonio de resistencia de la nación Sarayaku (2002-2012) contra la extracción de petróleo en el Amazonas por parte del estado ecuatoriano. Al principio del documental, José Gualinga, del hermano de Eriberto y presidente de Sarayaku, explica en presencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en Costa Rica:

Hemos venido desde lejanas tierras de Sarayaku, del río de maíz. Nosotros somos desciendentes del jaguar, hijos de Amazanga Runa, hijos del pueblo del mediodia.

Esperamos que ustedes, nuestra comunidad virtual, disfrute como nosotros Hijos del Jaguar (ver => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma1QSmtuiLQ).

Hasta la próxima semana!

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From Kanehsatake to Elsipogtog: resistance and insistence

Aboriginal People’s Television Network reporter Ossie Michelin's iconic photo of Amanda Polchies in Elsipogtog, October 2013.

Aboriginal People’s Television Network reporter Ossie Michelin’s iconic photo of Amanda Polchies in Elsipogtog, October 2013


In Imperial Canada Inc (2012), Alain Deneault and William Sacher, professors at the University of Montreal and McGill University respectively, explain how Canada has emerged as a paradise for transnational mining companies due to five main factors. First, the permissiveness of the law toward the mining industry and its role in the Toronto Stock Exchange, which speculates mainly on the extraction of “natural resources”. Second, the complicity of Canadian banks; by creating tax havens in Caribbean branches, the profits of the industry never reach Canada but are multiplied in Antillean countries where the mining business has derisory taxes. Third, many Canadians unconsciously invest in mining, on the Toronto Stock Market, through their savings, investments and pension system. Fourth, the colonial imprint of the British Empire on Canadian history, which was built upon the expropriation of indigenous lands and mining in the Northwest Territories and in the Athabasca area. And, fifth, the complicity of the media, which refuses to talk openly about it.

            Recently, the Idle No More movement has reminded us that Canadian mining not only affects other countries but the ancestral lands of Turtle Island itself. Between May and October 2013, the Mikmak nation resisted the aggressive advance of the gas shell extraction projects (fracking) in Elsipogtog (New Brunswick). Civil disobedience, the songs of women, and the beat of drums called the attention of activists and independent journalists, and made the front pages of national newspaper. In an episode reminiscent of the Oka crisis of 1990—when the residents of Kanesahtake wanted to build a golf course on a traditional Mohawk cemetery—the Mikmak confronted the Texas Southwestern Energy Co. (or SWN, based in Houston), forcing the company to stop its project of tearing up the land and polluting the aquifer and deep water fields where moose and black bear have lived forever.

            According to the statistics of MiningWatch (http://www.miningwatch.ca/), 30% of Mexican territory, 40% of Colombian territory and 70% of Peruvian territory are now under mining concessions and under titles owned by companies such as Goldcorp, Barrick Gold, HudBay Minerals, Pacific Rim, Oceana Gold, Infinito Gold, Gold Marlin, Tahoe Resources. Companies that are, in turn, being sued for multiple human rights violations (Tahoe Resources in El Escobal, Guatemala, with cases of Angelica Choc and Cris Santos Perez and Lot 8 with HudBay Minerals, Guatemala, are some examples).

            To exacerbate the issue, some of these companies are now suing the nation-states of Mexico and El Salvador for huge sums of money because they have been unable to carry out their contracts. Today, the model that Canadian mining companies are exporting to the world, according to Jennifer Moore, director of MiningWatch Latin America, can be summarized in the following points: to change the policies of the host countries; to privatize their land; to create lower taxes and expand royalties for the mining sector; and to criminalize public protest.

            This week we recommend two videos on indigenous resistance and insistence: the first is the classic “Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance” by Alanis Obomsawin (1993) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yP3srFvhKs; the second is “Elsipotog: The fire over water – Fault Lines” (2015), a journalistic documentary by Aljazeera on Mikmak resistance, the Idle No More movement, indigenous sovereignty, and the inconsistencies of the extractivism: https: // www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fleh95UWGo

            Until next week!




 De Kanehsatake a Elsipogtog: resistencia e insistencia

            Esta semana queremos recomendarles dos videos sobre resistencia e insistencia indígena: el primero es el clásico “Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance” de Alanis Obomsawin (1993) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yP3srFvhKs; el segundo es “Elsipotog: The fire over water – Fault Lines” (2015), un documental de Aljazeera sobre la resistencia en Nuevo Brunswick, el movimiento Idle No More, la soberanía indígena y las incosistencias del proyecto minero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fleh95UWGo

            Hasta la próxima semana!



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Jon M. Fox, Hiak Vatwe / Yaqui river / río Yaqui

Jon FoxJon M. Fox

Lee la versión en español abajo

When we were compiling the Indigenous Message on Water, we had the fortune via email to meet Jon M. Fox, Teguima/Yoemem poet, writer and elder, whose traditional territory is the Sonora desert in both sides of the USA/Mexico border. Jon’s ancestral family was involved in a long battle to protect the Yaqui River (Hiak Vatwe) and its surrounding lands, which the Mexican Government tried to expropriate during the period from 1874 to 1887. A history (“etehoim” or “tellings”) of the river’s state since those times is summarized by Jon in the following text:

The Yaqui people (Yoemem) have lived along the Sacred Yaqui River from time immemorial. Traditionally the Yoemem lived along the banks of the Yaqui River in small and dispersed settlements, that the Spanish called rancherías. After the Jesuit missionaries came into the region, the Yoemem moved from their widely dispersed encampments and settled in eight pueblos that then became part of Yoeme sacred geography. The pueblos are called, beginning from the region closest to the sea: Huirivis, Rahum, Potam, Belem, Vicam, Torim, Bacum, and Cocorit. All during this time, the Yaqui River continued its yearly cycles of seasonal flood and flow that made the region so fertile.

(…) After the Yoeme homeland had been occupied by the Mexican government in the late 1880s, Sonoran State Governor Rafael Izábel gave orders to begin rounding up and deporting Yoemem as slave labor to the henequen (agave) plantations in the Yucatan, and to farms in the Oaxaca. By 1890, with most of the Yoemem removed from the Yaqui River Valley, the Mexican government granted the Sonora and Sinaloa Irrigation Company, incorporated in New Jersey, land along the river with water rights, to begin the construction of canals for irrigating and growing crops. The Sonora and Sinaloa Irrigation Company soon went bankrupt, and the grant was purchased by the Richardson Construction Company of California in 1906. The Richardson Construction Company sold a 400 hectare block of land to developers from the United States and Europe, and received the exclusive right to 65 % of the Yaqui River’s water for a 99-year period.

The Richardson Construction Company was acquired by the Mexican government in 1927. In 1952, the Yaqui River’s flow was controlled by the newly-built Álvaro Obregón Dam, which eventually channeled the water into three major aqueducts to irrigate the commercial fields of the Lower Yaqui Valley. Since them, other dams have been placed on the river, further slowing and diverting the water. In the early nineties, another aqueduct was constructed to supply coastal communities with water, causing the water table in the Yaqui Valley to drop from one meter to 25 meters and withering the oak trees along the river. The most recent project under consideration is the Independence Aqueduct, which will draw 75 million cubic meters of water from the Yaqui River at a dam known as El Novillo. This is to supply water to Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora, where the population has grown 20 percent since 2000, to more than 700,000 people in 2013. The Yaqui still have rights to water and the land in the valley and have won a decision against the aqueduct after discovering documents saying that no group such as theirs existed in the area. The eventual result of the continued diversion will be that the water will disappear from the lower reaches of the Yaqui River.

Jon M. Fox (2012)

The historical clarity of this powerful testimony proposes an alternative version about the border, forced displacement, the concept of territory, and nation-states’ so-called “development” projects. Jon carries the voice of his ancestors with responsibility, and he draws attention to the politics of water from his own epistemology. In the Indigenous Message on Water, we can read about Jon on page 137:

An occasional writer of poetry and prose, Jon carries deeply in his heart the legacy and understanding of his ancestors, who came from present-day Sonora, Mexico. His position within his family, as an elder and bearer of traditional culture, is highly respected by all his relations. Jon continues to educate his relations in the Yoeme language and traditions that were nearly lost to them at the turn of the XXth century, understanding that this is important and unceasing work. This is done in order for them feel that they belong to some place, to some history, and also for them to stay connected to their heritage.

His verses are offerings for the sacred Yaqui River:

In memoriam, Great great grandfather José María Bonifacio Leiva Perez (Cajemé), Yoeme leader that led his people in protecting the Yaqui River (Hiak Vatwe) and traditional Yoemem lands from being expropriated by the Mexican government from 1874 to 1887.

Jose Maria Leiva - Cajeme - 1887José María Bonifacio Leiva Perez – Cajemé (1887)

Río del Yaqui

Yaqui River, giving people life.

Your dark Waters would bring

The crops of every spring,

Now, bitterly lost through strife.

Maize, squash, and beans were rife,

While the warm summer rains,

Falling like blood from the sky’s veins,

To your bountiful Water, added life.

Concrete and steel now slow

The soul of the Yaqui,

Water flows, strange fruit grow;

Waters stolen first by the Yankee,

Grow melon, tomato, and garbanzo,

While the peaceful heart of the Yaqui

Rests in the sunlight, morose.

Maria Salgado - c. 1894María Salgado, Cajeme’s wife (1894)


Victoria Leyva - c. 1894Victoria Leiva, hija de Cajeme y María Salgado (1894)

Cuando estábamos compilando la antología Mensaje Indígena de Agua, tuvimos la fortuna de conocer virtualmente a Jon M. Fox, poeta, escritor y sabio Teguima/Yoemem, cuyo territorio tradicional es el desierto de Sonora de lado al lado de la frontera entre los EE.UU. y México. Jon se reconoce como heredero de una larga lucha por la tierra ancestral: su tatarabuelo, José María Bonifacio Leiva Pérez, fue un líder Yoemem que guió a su pueblo en la lucha por la protección del río Yaqui (Hiak Vatwe), el cual iba a ser expropiado por el gobierno mexicano entre 1874 y 1887. Una historia (etehoim – “narraciones”) del estado de río desde aquellos tiempos fue resumida por Jon en el siguiente texto:

La gente Yaqui (Yoemem) ha vivido a lo largo del sagrado río Yaqui desde tiempos inmemoriales. Tradicionalmente, los Yoemem vivieron a la orilla del Yaqui en asentamientos pequeños y dispersos, los cuales fueron llamados por los españoles rancherías. Después de que los misioneros jesuitas vinieran a la región, los Yoemem se desplazaron de sus amplios y dispersos campamentos para asentarse en ocho pueblos, los cuales, con el tiempo, llegaron a ser parte de su geografía sagrada. Comenzando por los más cercanos al mar, los pueblos se llaman así: Huirivis, Rahum, Potam, Belem, Vicam, Torim, Bacum y Cocorit. Durante este tiempo, el río Yaqui continuó sus ciclos anuales de temporadas de inundación y flujo, lo cual hace a la región tan fértil.

(…) Después de que la tierra madre fuera ocupada por el gobierno mexicano a finales de los 1880, el gobernador de Sonora, Rafael Izábel, dio órdenes para comenzar a deportar gente Yoemem para trabajar como esclavos en las plantaciones de henequen (agave) en el Yucatán, y en fincas de Oaxaca. En 1890, con la mayoría de los Yoemem desplazados del valle del río Yaqui, el gobierno mexicano le concedió el valle a la Compañía de Irrigación Sonora y Sinaloa, afincada en New Jersey, la cual llega al río con derechos sobre el agua para construir canales de irrigación y grandes monocultivos. En 1906, esa compañía entra en bancarrota, y los derechos son comprados por la Compañía de Construcción Richardson de California. Esta compañía vendió unas 400 hectáreas cuadradas de tierra a constructores de Estados Unidos y Europa, y recibió el derecho exclusivo al 65% del agua del río Yaqui por un periodo de 99 años.

La Compañía Construcción Richardson de California fue adquirida por el gobierno mexicano en 1927. En 1952, la corriente del río Yaqui fue controlada por la reciente construcción de la represa Álvaro Obregón, la cual canalizó el agua en tres grandes acueductos para irrigar los sembradíos comerciales del valle bajo el río. Desde entonces, otras represas han tenido lugar sobre el río, obstruyendo y diversificando su agua. A comienzos de los años 90, otro acueducto fue construido para ofrecer agua a comunidades costeras, ocasionando que el nivel del río bajara de un metro a 25 metros, marchitando los robles que crecían en su orilla. El proyecto más reciente bajo consideración es el Acueducto de la Independencia, el cual extraerá 75 millones de metros cúbicos de agua del río Yaqui para la represa conocida como El Novillo. Este es para ofrecer agua a Hermosillo, la capital de Sonora, donde la población ha crecido un 20% desde el año 2000, con más de 700.000 habitantes en el 2013. Los Yaqui todavía tienen derechos sobre el agua y la tierra en el valle, y han ganado el alegato contra el Acueducto, después de descubrir documentos en los que se afirma que no existe tal grupo Yaqui en el área. El posible resultado de este continuo desvío del Río será que el agua desaparezca.

Jon M. Fox (2012)

La claridad histórica de este testimonio propone otra versión de la frontera, los proyectos de “desarrollo” del estado-nación, el desplazamiento forzado y el concepto de territorio. Fox carga la voz de sus ancestros con responsabilidad y trae atención sobre las políticas del agua desde su propia tradición. En la página 137 del Mensaje Indígena de Agua, leemos sobre Jon M. Fox:

Poeta y escritor ocasional, Jon lleva profundamente en su corazón el legado y el entendimiento de sus ancestros, quienes migraron desde lo que es hoy Sonora (México) hasta los Estados Unidos. Su posición dentro de su familia es la de sabio y protector de la tradición. Desde allí, él continúa educando en su lengua nativa y acorde a sus costumbres Yoeme, las cuales estuvieron a punto de perderse a principios del siglo XX. Él sabe que es un trabajo en el que hay que perseverar y a través del cual toda la comunidad puede sentir que pertenece a un lugar y a una historia, y así conectarse a sus antepasados.

Sus versos son ofrenda para el sagrado río Yaqui:

En memoria del tatarabuelo José María Bonifacio Leiva Perez (Cajemé). Líder Yoeme que guió a su pueblo en la lucha por la protección del Río Yaqui (Hiak Vatwe) y de los territorios tradicionales, los cuales iban a ser expropiados por el gobierno mexicano entre 1874 y 1887.

Maria Luisa - c. 1914

Maria Luisa Godman (1914), abuela de Jon M. Fox, nieta de Cajeme.

Río del Yaqui

Río Yaqui, dando vida a tu pueblo.

Tus Aguas oscuras traían

Los cultivos de cada primavera.

Ahora, amargamente, perdidos por tanto conflicto.

Maíz, calabaza y frijoles en abundancia,

Mientras que las lluvias calientes de verano,

Caían como sangre de las venas del cielo,

Su mando vida al Agua copiosa.

Cemento y acero ahora ralentizan

El alma del Yaqui,

Corre el agua, crecen frutos extraños;

Aguas primero robadas por el Yankee,

Hacen crecer melón, tomate y garbanzo,

Mientras el corazón tranquilo del Yaqui

Descansa a la luz del sol, moroso.

Mary Louise - c. 1951Mary Louise (1951), hija de Maria Luisa Godman y Norte-Americano Stephen T. Chisam, bisnieta de Cajeme, madre de Jon M. Fox


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Anastasia Candre Yamacuri, In Memoriam (1962 – 2014)

Foto Fer Urbina_Anastasia© Fernando Urbina Rangel

English version below

En la página 175 del Mensaje Indígena de Agua leemos:

Anastasia nació en 1962 en Adofikɨ (Cordillera), corregimiento de La Chorrera, Amazonas. Por descendencia paterna es Okaina del clan jɨkofo kinérenɨ (Tigre de cananguchal) y por descendencia materna es Uitoto murui. Habla los dialectos bue, minɨka, nɨpode de la lengua Uitoto, además del español y el portugués. Anastasia estudió lingüística en la sede Amazonia de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Leticia). En 2007 terminó su investigación Yuaki Muina-Murui: Cantos del Ritual de Frutas de los Uitoto, el cual fue Beca Nacional de Creación en Oralitura del Ministerio de Cultura (Colombia). Su poesía fue incluida recientemente en la compilación Pütchi, Biyá, Uai (2010, disponible en línea)

Enseguida, encontramos los versos que nos envió unos cuantos meses atrás cuando la contactamos:

Sin sabor ni aroma, da vida


fuente de vida

que Dios nos ha dado con su tierno amor

amor infinito, como el de mares y océanos

verdadero regalo del padre creador


¡No hay nada más que rica y fresca Agua!

Hermanos y hermanascuidemos nuestros mares, ríos,

quebradas, lagunas y páramos

son las venas por donde corren torrentes de agua

son las venas por donde

corre la sangre de nuestra madre

Son el Agua de vida

que corre por los senos de la madre

con los que da de amamantar a sus criaturas

como la sabia líquida que brota

desde la entraña de las montañas de los páramos


naturaleza perfecta donde fertiliza la mujer

a su criatura

vientre bendito que da a luz a una nueva vida humana

Somos la esencia de un líquido sagrado

Agua Bendita

Hoy Anastasia nos ha dejado su rafuema (su palabra fuerte). Cincuenta y dos ciclos con el sol aprendiendo del perfume del ají, del tabaco, de la coca y de los bailes de las frutas, las guaduas, la tortuga y el manguaré (xilófono de la selva). Dicen los tatas mayas (contadores de los días de los calendarios sagrados) que a los cincuenta y dos años uno vuelve a encontrarse con sus nawales (las energías del nacimiento) y entonces comienza otro sendero, otro abismo. ¡Lo inesperado es parte de esa aventura! Anastasia nos ha dejado lo que tenía que dejarnos: su voz y su danza resonando en los cuatro rincones de la chagra. Al compás del cascabel en su tobillo, al ritmo de su risa ji, ji, ji, hoy queremos bailar con Anastasia, ¡bella mujer okaina!

La palabra es abundancia_Candre“La palabra es abundancia” © Anastasia Candre.

Aquí Anastasia habla sobre la pintura => http://projetomira.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/homenagem-a-anastacia-candre-3/

Miguel Rocha (autor de nuestra antología) se ha unido al baile con sus palabras/homenaje:

Anastasia, Anastasia. En pocas semanas íbamos a remontar juntos el Gran Río Madre que unos viajeros de lejos quisieron llamar “Amazonas”. Pero te nos adelantaste, guiándonos hacia las fuentes de vida, donde brota la palabra de la abundancia. Tuya es, fue y será la palabra dulce, la palabra fuerte, la palabra que nos cura con su saliva-savia desde el gran árbol de la vida. Gracias, infinitas gracias por llenarnos de vida, con tus manos, con tus canciones, con tus ojos profundos de esperanza. La Madre Tierra nos hermana. Siempre te recordaremos como “El verdadero fuego de amor que no se apaga / Y vive alegremente en su dulce hogar / Izirede-jifijiizoi, Picante como el ají”, dulce como la cahuana (bebida de yuca sin fermentar).

Aquí una conversación de Anastasia Candre con Miguel Rocha => http://cienciassocialesalalcance.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/palabras-con-aji-anastasia-candre-palabras-fuertes-en-okaina-y-uitoto/


Picante como el ají


Kaimare, izirede

Ziore jayede jifiji

Afe izoi muruirigó komeki

Ikirifirede fuena boorede

Muruiño rigó abi ziore jayede

Jifirai zafiana

Daigo uai riirede jifirite

Daigo fiaikana ie komeki mananaite

Ie mei daigo zadaide; ji, ji, ji

Jifiji, rigo komeki

Jifiji, rigo mairiki

Jifiji, rigo manue


Ua reiki duiñede ie komekɨ

Kaimare ite ie jofomo






Sabroso y picante

Su aroma delicioso

Así como el corazón de la mujer uitota

Furiosa y sus labios ardientes

Mujer uitota su cuerpo oloroso

Como el perfume de la flor del ají

Su voz fuerte y picante

Sola se calma de su ira, pero su corazón ardiente

Y comienza a reírse ji, ji, ji

El ají, corazón de la mujer

El ají, la fuerza femenina

El ají, planta medicinal de la mujer uitota

Es la verdadera enseñanza y conocimiento

El verdadero fuego de amor que no se apaga

Y vive alegremente en su dulce hogar

Anastasia Candre Yamacuri


Anastasia CAndre_Festival de poesia de medellin© International Poetry Festival of Medellin

In the Indigenous Message on Water, we can read on page 175:

Anastasia was born in 1962, in Adofikɨ (Cordillera), La Chorrera County, Amazonas province. From her father’s side, she is Okaina, jɨkofo kinérenɨ clan (Cananguchal-Mauritia flexuosa forest-tiger), and from her mother’s side, she is Uitoto murui. She can speak bue, minɨka y nɨpode (Uitoto dialects) as well as Spanish and Portuguese. Anastasia studied linguistics at the Colombian National University’s Amazonia Campus (Leticia). In 2007, she finished her dissertation titled Yuaki Muina-Murui: Cantos del Ritual de Frutas de los Uitoto, for which she received the National Scholarship in Oraliture (Ministry of Culture, Colombia). Her poetry was recently included in the anthology Pütchi, Biyá, Uai (2010, online)

This is followed by the verses that she sent us months ago when we contacted her:

Without taste or scent, gives life


the spring of life

God has given us with his tender love

as infinite as the seas and the oceans

true gift from the creator


There is nothing more than fresh and delightful Water!


Brothers and sisters

let’s take care of our seas, rivers,

creeks, lagoons and plains

these are the veins from where Water torrents flow

these are the veins from where

our mother’s blood flows


The Water of life

running through mother’s breast

nursing her creatures with it

like the watery sap that emerges

from the cores of the plain’s trees


perfect nature where women

fertilize their offspring

blessed womb that gives light to a new human being


We are the essence of a sacred liquid

Blessed Water

Today, Anastasia has left to us her rafuema (strength-speech). She spent 52 cycles of the sun learning from the chili peppers’, the tobacco’s and the coca leaf’s perfume, and from the dances of fruits, guaduas, turtles and manguaré (the forest’s xylophone). The Mayan tatas (daykeepers of the sacred calendars) say that one meets his/her nawales (birth energy) again at the age of 52, and then another path blooms, another vacuum. The unexpected is part of the journey! Anastasia has left us what she had: her voice and dances reverberating in the four directions of the crop. With the beat of her ankle bracelet’s charms, with the rhythm of her laugh, ji, ji, ji, today we want to dance with Anastasia, beautiful Okaina woman!

Anastasia Candre 1_agencia de noticias© Agencia de Noticias

Miguel Rocha (author from our anthology) has decided to be part of this dance with his words in homage:

Anastasia, Anastasia. In few weeks we were going to travel together along the Great Mother River, which visitors from far away decided to call the “Amazon”. But you went ahead, guiding us toward the springs of life, where the abundance-word emerges. The sweet word, the strong word, the word that cures us with its sap-saliva is yours, was yours, will be yours. Thanks, many thanks for filling us with life with your hands, your songs, your deep eyes full of hope. Mother Earth connects us. We will always remember you as “The true fire of love that can’t be extinguished / And lives happily in its sweet home / Izirede-jifijiizoi, spicy like the chili pepper”, sweet like the cahuana (an unfermented yuca drink).



Picante como el ají


Kaimare, izirede

Ziore jayede jifiji

Afe izoi muruirigó komeki

Ikirifirede fuena boorede

Muruiño rigó abi ziore jayede

Jifirai zafiana

Daigo uai riirede jifirite

Daigo fiaikana ie komeki mananaite

Ie mei daigo zadaide; ji, ji, ji

Jifiji, rigo komeki

Jifiji, rigo mairiki

Jifiji, rigo manue


Ua reiki duiñede ie komekɨ

Kaimare ite ie jofomo






Tasty and spicy

Its delicious perfume

Like an Uitoto woman’s heart

Furious and her passionate lips

Uitoto woman her fragrant body

Like the scent of chili pepper flower

Her voice spicy and strong

She calms herself alone, but her ardent heart

And she starts laughing ji, ji, ji

The chili pepper, women heart

The chili pepper, feminine strength

The chili pepper, medicinal plant of the Uitoto women

It is the true knowledge and teaching

The true fire of love that can’t be extinguished

And lives happily in its sweet home.

Anastasia Candre Yamacuri


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Lanzamiento/Book launch Fredericton

(English follows)

El lanzamiento de la antología de poesía Mensaje indígena de agua/Indigenous Message on Water tuvo lugar el sábado 22 de marzo, 2014, en la Galería Conexión ARC (Artist Run Centre), 440 calle York, Fredericton, Nuevo Brunswick (Canadá). Aunque el día había inciado soleado, durante el evento empezó a caer agua transformada en nieve, como si el agua misma hubiera querido recordarnos su presencia.

Lanzamiento Fredericton FINAL

FOTO de Carlos Morales

Sophie M. Lavoie, una de las editoras asociadas y de los traductores de la colección, radicada en Fredericton, presentó el libro y su propósito de promover las actividades del “Foro Mundial Indígena sobre el Agua y la Paz 2014”. Además, subrayó la importancia de esta publicación en Nuevo Brunswick donde los Mi’kMak y grupos simpatizantes están luchando contra la explotación del gas de esquisto, la cual contaminará las reservas de agua de la provincia.

Lavoie compartió después una selección de textos, y le agradeció a los colaboradores locales por su ayuda en la publicación del libro, en particular las siguientes organizaciones: el grupo Rompiendo el Silencio, Provincias Marítimas-Guatemala; el Instituto Mi’kMaq Maliseet de la Universidad de Nuevo Brunswick; y la Facultad de Artes de la Universidad de Nuevo Brunswick.

El lanzamiento tuvo lugar durante la XIV Recital Internacional Multicultural y Multilingüe, una lectura de poemas y exposición de Poemas Póster, en el marco del Programa de las Naciones Unidas sobre el “Diálogo entre las naciones a través de la poesía,” el Día Internacional de la Poesía y el Día Internacional del Idioma Materno. Antes de la presentación de nuestra antología, hubo un recital en el que participaron varios poetas del área y durante el cual la treintena de personas que se había reunido leyeron poemas recibidos.

El Recital fue organizado para promover tolerancia, respeto y cooperación entre los habitantes de la ciudad. El tema de 2014 era “Espacios propios y universales: libertad, creación, lealtad,” y el recital estuvo dedicado este año al recién fallecido Nelson Mandela. Se recibieron poemas de muchas culturas diferentes!

Este evento fue organizado por Nela Rio, fundadora del evento, y por Sophie M. Lavoie, con el apoyo de la Asociación Latino de New Brunswick. También colaboraron la editorial Broken Jaw Press de Fredericton; el Registro Creativo de la Asociación Canadiense de Hispanistas; y del Capítulo de Fredericton de la Academia Iberoamericana de Poesía. Le agradecemos mucho a Connexion ARC por habernos prestado el espacio de manera tan generosa.


(New Brunswick, Canada) 

The Launch of the anthology of poetry, Indigenous Message on Water/Mensaje indígena de Agua was held on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Connexion Artist Run Centre (ARC), 440 York St., Fredericton, NB. The day, which had started out sunny, turned snowy during the event, as if the water had wanted to remind us of its presence.

Sophie M. Lavoie, one of the associate editors and translators of the anthology who lives in Fredericton presented the book and its purpose: to promote the activity of the World Indigenous Forum on Water and Peace 2014. Lavoie underscored the importance of the book’s message in New Brunswick, where many indigenous communities and their allies are fighting against shale gas exploration that will doubtlessly harm the province’s water reserves.

She then shared a few selections from the collection. Lavoie also thanked the local contributors who helped publish the book. In particular she noted the contributions of the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network, the Mi’KMaq Maliseet Institute at the University of New Brunswick, and the Faculty of Arts at the University of New Brunswick.

The launch took place during the 14th International Multicultural and Multiplingual Poetry Event, a poetry reading and poster poem expo, held in conjunction with the United Nation’s “Dialogue Among Civilizations Through Poetry” Project, World Poetry Day (March 21), and Mother Language Day (21 February). Before the book launch, there was a poetry recital where many local poets read their poems and the public was invited to read poems by poets from abroad.

The event was organized to foster tolerance, respect and cooperation among peoples. The theme for 2014 was Personal and Universal Spaces: Freedom, Creation and Loyalty. This year’s recital was dedicated to the recently departed Nelson Mandela. Poems were received from many different countries.

The event was organized by Nela Rio, Founder of the event, and Sophie M. Lavoie, with the support of NB Latino Association, Broken Jaw Press , the Creative Registry of the Canadian Association of Hispanists, and the Fredericton Chapter of the Ibero-American Academy of Poetry. We are very grateful to Connexion ARC for the generous loan of their space.


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Book Launch Western University. March 17th, 2014

simulationThis is an invitation to join us in celebrating

the Indigenous Message on Water


Date: Monday March 17, 2014

Hour: 5:00 PM – 7:00 Pm

Location: Chu International Centre

Room 2130 – Western Student Services Building

The University of Western Ontario. London, ON (Canada).


Dr. Carol Hopkins / Nozhem (Mother Wolf)

carol-hopkinsCarol is from the Delaware First Nation of Moraviantown, Ontario. She is the Executive Director of the National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation, an organization whose mandate is to support Canada’s First Nations Addictions programs. Her strength in the health profession is the ability to blend western and native traditional health & healing practices in a competent and responsive manner.

For more info, please see: Poster book launch UWO

Please feel free to distribute this information widely.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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