What Is Naatanii 2013 – Mother Earth Blessing Way?
This year really Feels different, because it is different. Not only are we having the event at the STAR School which is the first and Only Charter School Off of the Grid in the USA, but we are also celebrating a new Path of Peace between the Navajo and Hopi people, which we have helped to focus on.
This is a coming together of community. People meeting people and learning new ways as we each share what we here to share. As we expand our circle of friends, we also expand our circle of family and learn new ways and interesting customs.
Working with the local Navajo people, the Navajo government Chapter Houses, and the Navajo Nation executive office of the Vice President Rex Lee Jim, we have seen some positive results with new modernized homes, human grade water lines, and electric lines being installed in several Bennett Freeze communities. We will continue to support and encourage positive efforts for fast and sustainable local development in the Freeze communities.
As we continue to focus on ways to assist positive change in the Freeze areas, we never forget our original focus of Peace. Not just Peace like I’m not going to hurt you today or tomorrow, but Peace through deep integrity and forgiveness between people through compassion and honest expression with each other in a sacred manner.
Exploring the Navajo culture and through the process, understanding more about the ancestral conflict between the Navajo and the Hopi, we have seen that many of the tough issues dividing each side are based on ancestral conflicts that date back hundreds of years.
Working with Navajo and Hopi medicine men and women, I have witnessed a profound healing and forgiveness process that will remain with me forever. The next evolution of this process is being planned now by the Navajo and Hopi for later this year and based on what I understand the plan to be, it will be quite a memorable moment.
So Naataanii 2013 is the third annual evolution of a Peace event that began in 2011. Each step along the way we each knew that something special was happening, and as each new day manifests we are grateful for all of the support from all people and forces seen and unseen. Love and compassion are very powerful and have proven once again to bring out the best in all people.
Earthday Naataanii 2012 is the 2nd annual sustainable earth festival held in a community called Naataanii, located about 1 ½ hours northwest of Flagstaff, AZ on the Navajo Reservation near Tolani Lake, AZ and all of the proceeds from this event and the related projects are directly focused on sustainable food, energy, housing and economic development for the the people of Naataanii and all other communities impacted by the half century of the Bennett Freeze which has now been lifted.
Earthday Naataanii 2012 is a 4 Day Festival that begins on Thursday April 19, 2012 and continues through Sunday April 22, 2012.
Thursday April 19 is an All Nation Pow Wow with Gourd Dancing, First Nation Speakers, Food, Crafts, Music and Dancing. Event host Harold Begay will perform the Ceremonial Lighting of the Peace Fire at 10am which will burn continuously throughout the 4 day Festival.
Friday April 20 is a Sustainable Peace Conference with Navajo Nation Vice President, Rex Lee Jim Performing Opening Ceremony, Evolutionary Speakers and Teachers, Navajo Peace Builders, Hopi Elders, Zuni Elders, Yaqui Elders along with Other Nations Elders and Spiritual Leaders from Many Beliefs and Philosophies from Around the World. Musical Performances by Shakti Tribe and Special Guests.
Saturday April 21 is Naataanii Sustainable Earth Festival featuring the Navajo BioDome producing Organic Vegetables and Talapia Fish for the Naataanii Community as well as sustainable Solar and Wind Power solutions that can be a model for all of the communities so negatively impacted by the Former Bennett Freeze.
Sunday April 22 will begin with a Sunrise ceremony on this sacred land connecting all people as one tribe with Mother Earth in gratitude for the Peace, Abundance, and the Evolution of Humanity as One. Prayers and closing ceremony will extinguish the Peace Fire with Love.
All Proceeds from Earthday Naataanii 2012 are being used to bring Organic Sustainable food production, Sustainable Solar and Wind Energy, Livable Homes with Indoor Plumbing and Human Grade Drinking Water, and Sustainable Economic Development in Alignment with the Beliefs and Values of the Navajo to the people of Naataanii and the entire Bennett Freeze area.
What is the Bennett Freeze?
In 1966, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Commissioner Robert Bennett issued an executive order banning all construction, housing and development of any kind for the Navajo and Hopi Nations on this disputed land as there were many, many disputes in this area. Literally frozen in time, this 1.5 Million Acres (700,000 in AZ and 800,000 in NM) became even more desolate as most of the population fled to larger cities due to the harsh imposed conditions.
The Bennett Freeze, by law, also prevented all water infrastructure, wells, electricity, roads, schools, and medical facilities which effectively killed all economic development and prevented any dignified future for the people on the land. As a direct result, 80% of the population left the land and all that remained eventually became uninhabitable due to the forced state of long-term disrepair. During this time coal, uranium, and rare earth mining grew massive and as a result water, air, and ground pollution is expansive which leads to some of the highest cancer rates in the country.
Originally put in place to bring an end to land conflicts, The Bennett Freeze stayed in effect until 2009 when the US Congress passed P.L. 111-18 which formally repealed the Bennett Freeze. The Navajo and Hopi signed their own Peace accord to end the conflict in 2006.
How Did Earthday Naataanii 2012 Come About?
In November of 2010, a Navajo Medicine Man and Peace Builder named Harold Begay and his wife Lillie Redsteer met with Peace Activist Gary Christmas on their land in the Navajo Reservation which is part of the former Bennett Freeze. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss having a Peace event on their sacred land with reverence and ceremony. This meeting was made possible by former AZ State Representative Albert Tom.
Albert Tom is Lillie’s brother and is known for his positive contribution to the Navajo people and his efforts to get the UN’s Indiginous Rights Act passed as law in the State of Arizona. Lillie’s son Robb Redsteer is also a Navajo Peace Builder and acts as co-producer of the events in Naataanii and he is also heavily involved with speaking and promoting the event within Native American Nations.
What happened at First Event in 2011?
On on April 22, 2011 the first annual Earthday event began on Harold’s land in the former Bennett Freeze area. It was a historic 3-day festival called Earthday 4 Corners and included sacred ceremony promoting Peace for humanity as One Tribe and it also shined a light on the situation in Naataanii and the surrounding communities which were so negatively impacted by the harsh restrictions imposed by the former Bennett Freeze.
A group of people referring to themselves as the Love Tribe drove in RV’s, motorhomes and even in a Prius from California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and New Mexico to join people from the Navajo, Hopi, Yaqui, Cherokee, Comanche and other indigenous Nations to celebrate Mother Earth as One Tribe and discuss the need for sustainable long-term solutions for food and energy in their communities and for the entire Earth.
Navajo Nation Vice President Rex Lee Jim spoke at the opening ceremony to a mixed crowd of Supporters for the event. He spoke of great wisdom handed down from his grandfather and how it was important to wake early in the morning to be the very first to greet the sun, and then related that wisdom to the idea of the newly donated Navajo BioDome being the first of its kind, which brings the potential for real sustainable food and energy resources to the Navajo people in the former Bennett Freeze area.
There was traditional food, Native American Ceremony, song and dance from the Navajo, ceremonial dance from the Yaqui, and drumming songs from the Hopi. All nations and all people truly came together as One Tribe on this sacred land. The seeds of Hope were planted deeply and sincerely on this day. This was a day that had been seen in a vision years earlier by Earthy, a Yaqui elder. This was a day signaling the beginning of a new possibility.
Has Any Progress Been Made In Naataanii?
The Navajo Biodome was donated by a private donor named Regina along with the installation and setup by Pacific Domes International and is currently being redesigned to enhance its organic food and fish production for the community.
In November of 2011, we learned that Harold and Lillie were going to get a new house built on their land. A house with a foundation, a real roof, indoor plumbing, and human grade drinking water. Currently there are a total of 4 houses under construction in the former Bennett Freeze area around Naataanii and planning for more homes is underway. There are currently 69 applications for new homes in the area.
There are also plans to pave a 50 mile main access road which will allow the elderly easier access to medical care and will also encourage continued housing and economic development in the area! This is a huge victory for the small community of Naataanii, one of 9 Navajo communities negatively impacted by the former Bennett Freeze.
Whats the Goal of EarthDay Naataanii 2012?
After half a century of Bennett Freeze, there’s finally a glimmer of Hope, although many there still doubt that real substantive changes will continue. Event Producer Gary Christmas believes that once an affordable model for organic food and sustainable energy production can be demonstrated in Naataanii, it can then be adapted to all of the other Bennett Freeze communities, and eventually be used in other areas in the US and around the world.
People just like you and I have a real chance to have an impact in the daily lives of these incredible people. Please consider attending Earthday Naataanii 2012, contributing time, money, promotion, clothes, computers, solar power, wind power, organic farming supplies, or whatever resources you may have, as literally everything is needed to bring balance to this situation.
Now that we have seen this situation first hand and have connected with these amazing resilient people, each of us have a chance to make a positive difference in their lives, and to allow them to make a positive difference in ours.
The rest of this incredible story is being written by our actions in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. You are here for a reason, so get involved right now and share your story with us.
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Welcome to EarthDay Naataanii!
We are thrilled to share a snapshot of the divine orchestrations that brought us where we are today. Please visit often as we update the timeline and unfolding miracles.
BEing willing to be catalysts for positive change, through the pure intention of peace, love, compassion and deep gratitude…EarthDay Naataanii was born! It is an absolute honor to show up and collaborate with like minds and hearts in the spirit of transformation. God Bless US ALL!!!!
2008 Peace Sisters Michelle, Kimberlee and Nadia meet in various places throughout the year.
March 2009 Peace Brothers and Sisters Gary and Kimberlee meet in Huntington Beach and begin sharing their vision and passion around the purity and power of peace and love.
May 2009 The Bennett Freeze is lifted from the 1.5 milllion acres of land in AZ and NM impacting the Navajo, Hopi and other Native American Nations
Nov 2010 Team Peace becomes aware of the conditions brought about by the 44 year freeze on sacred Navajo land and feels a deep calling to offer peace and healing through sacred ceremony. Through the help of former AZ State Representative Albert Tom, Gary meets with Medicine Man Harold Begay, his wife Lillie Redsteer, and her son Robb Redsteer. They agree to move forward and create an Earth Day Ceremony and Celebration in Naataanii. Earth Day 4 Corners 2011 is born.
Feb 2011 Attended the Green Valentines Fundraising event in Laguna Beach to share the vision of Peace in Naataanii. Michelle Anderson feels the energy and joins in to create a magical event beyond all expectations. This begins the momentum to gather together with other like minds and hearts. It was at this time that we discovered the wonderful gift of the BioDome from “Regina” to bring hope to Naataanii and her people.
April 2011 Peace Brothers and Sisters from around the world hear the call and join together to in the historic event to bless and be blessed by the sacred land and her people. The three-day peace and healing blessing brings multiple Nations together in Ceremony, Song, and Dance to honor Mother Earth and Humanity as One Tribe. The event closes with a Sunrise ceremony led by Medicine Man Harold Begay on Easter morning. We all felt transformed in a way that was beautiful and beyond words.
Nov 2011 Gary visits Robb Redsteear in Naataanii and receives the amazing news that 4 homes are being built, including one for Harold and Lillie! A total of 69 homes are in process to be built. Infrastructure for Human grade drinking water is being planned for delivery to the Naataanii community and electric lines are being installed. And 50 miles of dirt road is in planning to be paved! There is New Hope for Naataanii and the former Bennett Freeze!
Jan 2012 Team Peace begins planning the 4-day EarthDay Naataanii 2nd Annual Peace Benefit April 19th – 22nd 2012.
Naataanii will be the model for creating low cost sustainable communities!
Join Us In Transforming The Future!
Many Many More Miracles to be shared…stay tuned ; )