CIRCLE OF UNITY
"World's First International Site for Peace"
October 18, 1986
"One day, I heard the thunder. It spoke to me, and through a human heart sprang forth music—music filled with love and hope. Unity for mankind had conceived and given birth to a new initiative for peace: a song of unity. Now, it plays from people-to-people, heart-to-heart."
— High Eagle, Osage/Cherokee July, 1986
Speech by J.C. High Eagle at the dedication of the World's First International Site for Peace, Equatorial Line near Quito, Ecuador:
"This special week marks the time when we care to share of the same spirit and bring the Circle of Unity together, if only for brief moments.
It is a time to put away our differences and stress our similarities. It is a time to celebrate our culture and extend the message of unity and peace. We all have much in which to be thankful.
Today, October 18, 1986, is a day to be remembered by all people of the Mother Earth. Starting here, in the center of the world, an everlasting mark is made not only in the great country of Ecuador, but world history:
Coming together for the first time, are native peoples and others from many continents uniting our hearts in Ecuador, South America, to initiate real, lasting peace and unity.
Let it also be recorded in the eternal pages of time as the intersection in time and space where the paths of human lives have crossed, met, and have honored each to the other, respect for the Earth, human life and all living things.
We have come representing no government motives, no politics, no religion nor military. Only one thing we carry in our hearts: love.
And from this, we carry a heartfelt message to the rest of mankind and the world: Peace is not only possible in the world . . . it has begun.
When others have talked of peace, we have come to experience, to witness, to let it be.
To understand the native Indian culture is to understand peace. Peace is not a vision, but a reality. It is something not to seek, but to let happen . . . for it already exists. We, as frail humans, only have to let it be and align ourselves with the power of it.
We can do a lot together. United we can solve. United we can help one another, for unity provides for strength.
We are all 1ike spokes in the Great Wheel of Life. Just as the spokes all meet in the center,
so do we all share a common purpose in the creation. In our own minds, let us continue to move forward and strive for understanding of not only ourselves, but also each other.
So, it is with a strong spiritual desire that we now reach out to experience and to touch.
As native peoples, we are very much aware of the interconnection of all things.
For thousands of years in this part of the world, the greatest gift both North and South American Indian people have knowledge of, is the Gift of Truths.
Truths crushed to the ground shall rise up and be seen and heard again. We thank the Creator for the things given us that we might meet here this day. We are thankful for the opportunity given us to carry out the Great Spirit's message carried within our hearts for so long. Thus, as a people, we have been silent for too long. Let us now speak out the Truths of Life we carry from the Creator and may they echo throughout the lands and across the seas.
The circle design before us represents the Sacred Circle of Life. Through the center of the Circle of Unity passes the Equator dividing the Circle into two separate, but equal halves. This North/South line further divides the circle into four parts representing the four seasons; the four directions; the four stages of life.
The Circle of Unity contains within it, the mineral kingdom represented by the rocks; the vegetable kingdom by the tree and the animal kingdom by those of us gathered around it.
The cedar tree of remembrance planted here represents the Tree of Brotherhood to commemorate the harmony of our people.
This tree is representative of the Tree of Unity—brotherhood among the peoples of the Earth. Each limb of the tree is symbolic of different cultures among the Earth. All are related, having in common the trunk of the tree and the roots of the tree, meaning we, as humans, all have different roots, yet we stem from the same common source.
From this day forward, may these grounds be preserved forever as a perpetual reminder of these basic human and spiritual principles of all humanity . . . of all life.
We came to this land not merely to dedicate this ground, but also, to dedicate ourselves to basic human values. In this, the meeting place of two hemispheres, we honor friendship, spiritual unity, peace and stand dedicated to the principles of respect for all life and the planet Earth—our sacred home.
As we gaze upon those of us gathered here around the Circle of Unity, at this sacred site, also notice that we stand as one people united. Though our journey has brought us from lands far away, today, we have taken one step closer in the world to unify our hearts. Truly, may the rest of the world take note that even a million miles cannot separate sincere hearts.
Let it be recognized by all men and women of the Earth that the unification of the northern and southern hemispheres at this time, at this moment, has caused unity among all of us in a spiritual way never experienced before. Look around you, my brothers and sisters. It is the first time the tribes of native Ecuadorians have gathered at one time, in one place, for common purpose. You are one. We are one. All peoples of the Mother Earth are one.
We came because we care. We came because we want to share not only your joys and happiness, but also your pain and sorrows. In this way, we are truly brothers and sisters, we are one.
In my country (USA), it had a great Indian leader, Black Elk of the Lakota nation, that once voiced his famous words, "The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness."
As said, the first peace is that which lies within each of our hearts, individually. But the second peace is that which happens when we bring our hearts together as a people, as children of all the Earth.
So, let us seek to make changes, not excuses.
Let us resolve to act, not make mere promises.
Let history note that our fate is not in others hands, but our own. It is of our own choosing.
Today marks the beginning of a tradition with the future participation of other countries in an ever-growing Circle of Unity. What we share here gathered among ourselves, people-to-people, heart-to-heart, we also share with our brothers and sisters around the world.
It is time that these unprecedented and unique efforts are extended in order that this peace of mind and spirit is not lost. Now sparked, it needs to be perpetuated, strengthened and radiated throughout the Earth. We are standing at the focus and beginning of future peace.
May its beacon shine out to other darkened parts of the globe to illume with the light of hope for a brightened future.
Now, my vision has become your vision. From two hearts that have united, have come your hearts linked with ours. Next, we will link those of the world! In our hands also lie the flints of the future, for tomorrow's fires are 1ighted by the sparks of what we do today.
This single event will be the spark that will unite the world in a new, special peace that stems from people-to-people, heart-to-heart . . . and may it start from where we now stand, today, and this day forth as we proclaim the spark ignited here shall be the flame of peace tomorrow: A spark that will ignite a flame for a world of peace, unity, and spirituality.
Thus, this week offers an opportunity and a reminder to us that to strengthen our world is to strengthen our spirits. So let us not fear of our future, but resolve that working together, we can all have a bright future—if we want it to happen.
We must be prepared to meet the challenges of today with the ebb of unity lest we suffer the web of dependency. We must go challenged with truth and action to re-institute respect for humans and their primal beliefs, and to change the sufferings which have been visited upon mankind. Only in this way will we grow as a prosperous people. Only then, will we recognize the face of "progress."
This week calls us to be filled with the emotion of togetherness.
Let our prayers of thankfulness be for each other.
Let us make a determined effort to learn to get along with each other and all people of the Earth, forever.
So, may hope and happiness be our daily bread.
Let the rhythms in our hearts be the songs of unity.
Let our spirits harmonize together and sing one song."
Circle of Unity on the Equator in Ecuador
"World's First International Site for Peace"
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