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An Elder's Prayer for Peace

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An Elder’s Prayer for Peace

posted by Healthy & Green Living Editors Sep 17, 2008 1:00 pm
An Elder’s Prayer for Peace
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By Grandfather William Commanda

Inherent in the prayer of the Indigenous Nations of Turtle Island is the deep knowledge that we are all connected –my people in the east say GINAWAYDAGANUC. The prayer is a celebration of the profound knowledge that we are connected with the each other, as well as with the chief elements–Mother Earth, Water, Air and Fire–the animate and inanimate, the plants and animals and the larger universe, connected energetically.

Spirit embraces and unifies us all.

Inherent in the prayer is a deep respect for both Mother Earth, the penultimate provider and nurturer, and all her children. The prayer is a constant reminder to honor this connectedness, and walk gently in the places of our differences, for those are the places of co-creation.

But across the globe, our relationship with Mother Earth and each other has been disrupted, and storms and blood despoil our world. When the new peoples arrived in this continent, they were too often motivated by greed, the realities of the day were war and genocide, and the ramifications were environmental exploitation and destruction; my ancestors were nearly all destroyed. Today, three documentaries of the present day–”Corporation,” “Fahrenheit 911″ and “An Inconvenient Truth”–show that we are embroiled in the same struggles at a global level.

We are now all feeling the impact of the environmental crisis that has resulted from the reckless exploitation of land, water and air, in escalating climate change; lands and peoples across the world are embroiled in desperate wars; and health is a primary concern across the world, no matter how privileged we might seem to be, for life itself is under attack.

Today, the Law of Nature is revealing herself as the great equalizer on all planes, with ominous implications for us all and for future generations. But still too often, we see the issues as separate. We need to realize how deeply interconnected they are in order to develop a new blueprint for our collective future. These charts illustrate this point.

Our ancestors always knew that all things were connected, and our ancient prophecies told them that one day, all the world would one day come to us to learn this. I have been the Carrier of the ancient sacred Seven Fires Prophecy Wampum Belt for almost 40 years. This prophecy, known to many peoples across the world, told of the important choices we would have to make at the time of the Seventh Fire, choices regarding our relationship with Mother Earth and each other, and that time is upon us. We have to choose wisely to ensure a meaningful heritage for all humanity and life forms.

A global shift in our value base is essential. We need to move from greed and corporate domination to generosity and sharing; from fear and war to racial harmony and peace building; and from relentless environmental exploitation to the three indigenous Rs–respect, responsibility and reverence for Mother Earth.

We need to inspire people across the world to embrace these values urgently. This is the great challenge of our times–this is what the Seven Fires Prophecy warned about. It is the task for which we have to strengthen ourselves collectively. The transformation comes from within first; then, recognizing that we are all connected, we reach out to transform our brothers and sisters and leaders. We strive to humanize institutions. I hold a vision for an Indigenous Centre where we can all come together to animate this future. (

When we come together with one heart, one love, one mind and one determination, and breath our prayers and energy into the International Day of Peace, we will be creating the pathway to a Circle of All Nations, a Culture of Peace.

I attach my prayer for peace upon the commencement of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace for your consideration. I continue to pray for its realization.


Grandfather William Commanda, a 94-year-old Algonquin Elder, is the carrier of the Sacred Seven Fires Prophecy Wampum Belt and founder of A Circle of All Nations.

This Sept. 21, please take a moment at noon to join with millions around the planet and, in your tradition, spend a few moments in praying or meditating for peace for this magical world, all the generations to come and all our relations. May peace prevail on Earth.

We are the ones we have waited for