Messages from the UN Cry of the Earth Conference
November 22, 1993
On November 22, 1993, toward the end of the UN’s “Year of Indigenous Peoples”, a conference was held
called the “CRY OF THE EARTH”. This historic meeting included delegations from seven First Nations:
Algonquin, Hopi, Huichol, Iroquois, Lakota, Maya and Mic Mac. The event was considered extremely
significant by the delegates of the First Nations. According to Grandfather William Commanda,
Algonquin, he and elders from several other nations including Hopi had discovered that each had centuries-or-millennia-old prophecies relating to a time when the very health of the Earth Mother and continuation of human life were at stake. These prophecies, which relate to something called "Purification", matched one another in remarkable ways. The elders say that in the time of the fulfillment of the prophecies, Native peoples are to tell all the nations of the world so that people may change before it is too late.
However the conference, held in the Economic and Social Council Chambers of the UN, was sparsely
attended. It is said the representatives of the nations of the world listened politely, and did nothing.
The following statements are excerpted from a brochure entitled "Messages" which was distributed at the
Sponsored by: Mission of Mexico, Mission of the United States, United Nations Centre for
Endorsed by: American Indian Institute, American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation,
Anglican Liaison to the United Nations, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Earth Circle
Foundation, Fund of the Four Directions, Giving of Thanks to the First People, Instituto Nacional
Indigenista, International Labor Organisation, Mexican Cultural Institute, M.O.A. Foundation,
National Museum of the American Indian, Natural Resources Defense Council, Temple of
Understanding, Tree of Peace Society, UNICEF, United Nations Development Programme,
United Nations Environment Programme, World Uranium Hearing
With Special Recognition To: The Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources
I am pleased to welcome to the United Nations those attending this conference on the theme: Cry
of the Earth, the Legacy of the First Nations. The Spiritual Elders of the Four Directions have come to
New York with a message. It is a message of warning which all of us, regardless of our particular
faith, must share. In 1992, at Rio de Janiero, the world community raised a cry of distress. The cry
of distress, of pain at the state of the planet has been heeded. No longer can we take the resources
of nature as ours to master. No longer can we behave as the conquerors of nature. The path to
sustainable development is to respond to the legitimate aspiration of peoples for better living
standards while ensuring that future generations retain the qualities of life in harmony with our
habitat. The responsibility of this generation is tremendous. It is in our power to choke the living
organism of nature, but it is also in our power to preserve it, to nurture it, to replace plunder with
harmony and waste with conservation. The concerns of sustainable development come late, but
not too late. We have known all along, with the poet William Blake: "For everything that lives is
holy, life delights in life." Today, the Spiritual Elders come to remind us of this truth. It is my
sincere hope that we come to share their concerns and their delight in life. Welcome then to the
United Nations; to your United Nations.
–Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary General of the United Nations
Prophecy is that form of vision that informs and propels the truest moral and spiritual
leadership... Every true leader must possess such vision, as well as the courage to follow it
despite whatever hardships might be thrown in the way. Today we meet as leaders who aspire to
such vision. In this United Nations Year of the World's Indigenous People we come together in
council with a clear goal in mind and heart: as representatives of many nations together, we wish
to and must help to shape a universal pact between humanity and the planet.
–S.R. Insanally, President of the 48th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
For all Anishnabe people, the Wampum Belts are the keys of Traditional Reality.
They are the patterns of life - the doorway uniting Physical and Spiritual dimensions. It is
significant that these belts - having never been held by outside forces - are Spiritually alive. They
embody the activating power of the Spiritual World. The Seven Fires Belt talks of seven
doorways, dimensions, traditional nations, spaces in time. Its message is woven throughout
Turtle Island, and applies to all four races of Earth. It describes very grave destruction that has
currently affected the balance of all life - environmental and spiritual genocide resulting from
these doorways being blocked.
It is essential for the Anishnabe - all human beings - to rekindle these fires and reopen these
doorways. Joining these Seven Doors, we may light the Eighth Fire - the Double Diamond
reunifying human life with the Spiritual dimensions. Forgiveness and sacrifice are the keys. The
Belts warn of the very near time when Earth will shift Her balance in the Universe, with or
without her children. This re-balancing of Life is certain to occur, reordering both physical and
spiritual reality. It is our urgent responsibility to transform humanity and harmonize with these
Healing must be our imperative concern.
–Algonquin Nation Seven Fires Prophecy - Presented by Traditional Chief William Commanda, Carrier of
the Wampum Belts
From the Eastern Door: We are in the final stages of the shaking of the earth, when the Great Spirit
takes the earth in both hands and shakes it violently.
Just this year, the opening of the Eastern Door took place in Cape Spear, Newfoundland, Canada,
the furthest eastern point in North America. The circle of the medicine wheel is now complete.
The Wabanaki People (People of the Light) have joined the circle. We have joined the circle with
the following philosophy:
"Heal you, the self, you help heal the family,
The family helps to heal the community,
The community helps to heal the nation,
The nations help to heal the world."
All the prophecies from other nations now coincide and complement each other. It is time for us
all to stop blaming one another, heal from our wounds and move forward; for the survival of the
world, as we know it, lies in our hands. We must seek out and absorb the wisdom of our elders
and use it for the betterment of others. The Great Spirit left a clear and legible path in eastern
North America with petroglyphs and natural monuments. This knowledge is kept under guard
by our elders and only entrusted to those native people who abide by the natural laws of the
Great Spirit; respect, honesty, sharing and caring. Without each one of these, the others do not
It is now time for Moms, Dads, Grandmothers, Grandfathers and children to get involved in the
healing of our world. Make it your business too.
–David Gehue, Spiritual Counselor, Mi-kmac Nation
When the world ends, it will be like when the names of things are changed during the peyote
hunt. All will be different, the opposite of what it is now. Now there are two eyes in the heavens,
Dios Sol and Dios Fuego. Then, the moon will open his eye and become brighter. The sun will
become dimmer. There will be no more differences. No more men and women. No child and no
adult. All will change places. Even the mara'akame will no longer be separate. That is why there
is always a nunuisi (Huichol - little baby) when we go to Wirikuta. Because the old man, the tiny
baby, they are the same.
When the original thirteen baktuns were created, a war was waged which caused the country to
cease to exist. Little by little, however, our enemies came to hear the prophecies of Ahau; but
finally even the hope of hearing Ahau is brought to an end, because of the words of opposition.
When the need arises for the high authority at the head of the mat to safeguard our children, then
we will feel deeply the tragedy of being captives in war; also when we are ordered to obey...And
when over the dark sea I shall be lifted by a chalice of fire, to that generation there will come the
day of withered fruit...The face of the sun will be extinguished because of the great tempest. Then
finally ornaments shall descend in heaps. There will be good gifts for one and all, as well as land,
from the Great Spirit wherever shall come sailing, figuratively speaking, bringing the ornaments
of which I have spoken, from your ancestors. Then the god will come to visit his little ones.
Perhaps "After Death" will be the subject of his discourse.
–Mayan, Prophecy of the End of the Great Cycle, from The Book of Chilam Balam of Tizimin
We must all work together to protect our natural heritage, our flora and fauna, and the overall
health of our global environment. These goals have always been an integral part of the spiritual
traditions of those native to the soil of the Americas. Please keep me apprised of the
accomplishments of this meeting as well as any future events inspired by your conference.
–Al Gore, Vice President of the United States
It is prophesied in our Instructions that the end of the world will be near when the trees start
dying from the tops down. That's what the maples are doing today. Our Instructions say the time
will come when there will be no corn, when nothing will grow in the garden, when the water will
be unfit to drink...We were instructed to carry a love for one another and to show great respect
for all beings of the earth...In our ways, spiritual consciousness is the highest form of politics...We
must live in harmony with the Natural World and recognize that excessive exploitation can only
lead to our own destruction. We cannot trade the welfare of our future generations for profit
now...We must stand together, the four sacred colors of man, as the one family that we are, in the
interest of peace. We must abolish nuclear and conventional weapons of war...We must raise
leaders of peace. We must unite the religions of the world as the spiritual force strong enough to
prevail in peace. We are the spiritual energy that is a thousand times stronger than nuclear
energy. Our energy is the combined will of all people with the spirit of the Natural World, to be
of one body, one heart, and one mind for peace.
–Leon Shenandoah, Tadodaho, Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy
The prophecies of the Ancestors of the Lakota Nations have important meaning for the future of
Mother Earth. Through the generations, these prophecies have been maintained courageously,
methodically and accurately. Now, we are in a critical stage of our spiritual and moral and
technological development as nations. All life is precariously balanced. We must remember that
all things on Mother Earth have spirit and are intricately related. The Lakota prophecy of
Mending the Sacred Hoop of all nations has begun. May we find, in the ancient wisdom of the
Indigenous Nations, the spirit and courage to mend and heal.
–Arvol Lookinghorse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred Pipe, Lakota Nation
Many years of United Nations action for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples have
culminated in impressive successes in the last few years. The International Year of the World's
Indigenous People set two basic aims as the framework for international action; to create
awareness about the situation and the aspirations of indigenous peoples, and to integrate
indigenous concerns in the operations of the United Nations system with the full participation of
indigenous communities in projects which concern them. Through the historic processes of
drafting the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, the Rio Conference
on Environment and Development, and the Vienna Conference on Human Rights, the world has
learned to respect and listen to the wisdom of indigenous peoples and to recognize their unique
contribution to civilization. The door of the United Nations is and will remain open for
–Ibrahima Fall, Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights (UN)
"When we walk upon Mother Earth, we always plant our feet carefully because we know the
faces of our future generations are looking up at us from beneath the ground. We never forget
–Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation