“In spite of the devastating effects of colonization, there are Indian Elders who have successfully safeguarded their ancestral cosmologies, philosophies, and cultures – an ancient basic wisdom known as the “life originating principles” through which they continue to interact with the sacred, with nature, and with other human beings. The “original instructions” are the primordial wisdom that provides the framework for their current perceptions of the world, and their actions.”
The International Elders & Youth Council will be hosted by traditional leaders of the Nooksak Nation of Washington State in their home territory this August 10-14, 2016 and will include a “Runners” component whereby the host nation will send out messengers with invitations to Native nations from the Four Directions in advance of the gathering.
The Council provides a spiritual forum for grassroots people from the Four Directions to address issues involving and effecting Indigenous people and the world; nurtures a grassroots revitalization of traditional culture, values and worldviews among all Indian people to ensure the continuity of that wisdom through Native youth; and provides Elders with emotional and spiritual support from their peers so that they will each return to their people full of renewed strength and hope.
The Council is one of the largest annual assemblages of grassroots Indian Elders and traditional leaders in North America. AII is expecting 500 participants from throughout Indian Country, including delegates from Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia.
AII has been organizing the council for 38 years now, bringing together people from all the Red Nations, and from different generations, in order to ensure the survival and revitalization of the ancient, ancestral spiritual knowledge.