May Building Project
FOR MANY YEARS, WE AS A COMMUNITY HAVE PLANNED TO CREATE A PLACE FOR CEREMONY. MUCH PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE AND OUR POTENTIAL IS SO TREMENDOUS. OUR PLAN TO CREATE A FOUNDATION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF NATIVE AMERICAN SPIRITUAL CULTURE AND TRADITIONS HAS EXPERIENCED A LOT OF RESISTANCE THROUGH THE YEARS. WE HAVE BEEN PEACEFULLY PERFORMING CEREMONIES IN THIS AREA FOR TWENTY YEARS AND HAVE FINALLY REACHED THE POINT OF HAVING A HOME FOR OUR WAY OF LIFE. IT IS IRONIC, THAT IN AN AREA KNOWN FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE WORLD’S SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS, THE INDIGENOUS WAYS OF THIS LAND HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY REPRESSED. THE SAN LUIS VALLEY HAS FOR SOME 12 THOUSAND YEARS, BEEN A SAFE HAVEN OF THE VERY CEREMONIES WE AIM TO PROTECT. FROM THE SPANISH OPPRESSION TO THE EARLY SETTLERS AND MINERS A HUNDRED YEARS AGO AND NOW INTO THE PRESENT DAY, THE CULTURE OF THIS LAND HAS BEEN BRUSHED ASIDE TO MAKE ROOM FOR FOREIGN, INVASIVE CULTURES. ONE THING SHOULD REMAIN TRUE AND THAT IS THAT EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO THE FREE EXPRESSION OF THEIR RELIGION. AS A FEDERAL RIGHT.
WE ARE MEETING WITH THE POA ON THE 20TH ABOUT OUR DENIED BUILDING EXTENSION AND ARE SUBMITTING OUR CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT WITH THE COUNTY THIS MONTH AND ARE HOPING FOR POSITIVE RESULTS.
OVER THE YEARS WE HAVE MET WITH A LOT OF RESISTANCE AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO PERSEVERE WITH JOY AND FAITH. ONE OF OUR GREATEST CHALLENGES WAS WHEN OUR BUILDING CONTRACTOR, JIM HAULMAN, ABANDONED OUR PROJECT IN NOVEMBER 2013, WHICH COST US SOMEWHERE AROUND $40,000. NO MATTER WHAT, WE WILL ALWAYS PROTECT OUR FREEDOM OF RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION. WE WILL CONTINUE TO STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS AND WE ARE COMMITTED TO PRESERVING AND SPREADING INDIGENOUS AMERICAN SPIRITUAL CULTURE.
WHAT WE ARE PROPOSING TO DO WOULD BE A GREAT BOON TO SAGUACHE COUNTY AS WELL AS BENEFITING LOCAL REALTY AND LAND VALUE. OUR COMMUNITY ATTRACTS PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. LOCAL BUSINESS’S AND PLACES OF LODGING BENEFIT DRAMATICALLY. PROPERTIES ADJACENT TO OURS AND IN THE AREA WILL ALSO HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE, NOT TO MENTION ALL THE OTHER PROPERTIES THAT ARE CURRENTLY OWNED BY OUR CONGREGATION. THE ORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF OUR AREA, THE UTE TRIBE, WILL BENEFIT SIGNIFICANTLY FROM OUR LOCAL POWWOW. MANY LOCAL NATIVE AMERICAN GROUPS WILL BENEFIT FROM OUR GOURD DANCE AS WELL AS FROM ALL OUR OTHER CEREMONIAL EVENTS. HOPEFULLY PREJUDICE AND RACIAL ANIMOSITIES WILL COME TO AN END AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND IDENTITY WILL BE CELEBRATED.
“In a time when the Ocean is being poisoned, radiation is contaminating our earth, food is being genetically altered to be a pesticide and war has become technologically streamlined. People and other animals are dying of cancer for no apparent reason. We live in a place where there is little hope and yet people will try to stamp out our little church, just because they can. like the people before them, destroying the indigenous to make room for the domestic. In times like these you would think people would feel shame for smashing the dreams and hopes of others. You would think people would exercise kindness and act with dignity.
That is our job, to help the aggrieved, to act with kindness and patience. It is for us to pray for the those who need help and forgive those who are filled with spite. While winds of doom blow stronger, we should hold to the dream of a better world. Despite the wrongs and injustice of others, we can learn to forgive and allow our selves to be shaped by nature, rather than shaping nature. We could stand in this storm and shake our fists in anger at the storm, or we can occupy our time with love, truth and dignity. Never forget the injustices, but also never let them control your heart. As spiritual citizens it is also our job and obligation to uphold Religious freedom for ourselves as well as for the future generations.”
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin.