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Byron Shire
June 4, 2023

Shire to welcome the wisdom of Standing Rock as we search for Climate Crisis solutions

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Uncle Barry Hoskins is one of those involved in Stories and Songs for the People events coming to Mullumbimby on February 21 and 22. Image supplied.

In 2016, the world’s attention was drawn to a Native American reservation in the borderlands of North and South Dakota known as Standing Rock.

There, a small, peaceful resistance action against the building of an oil pipeline through sacred lands had grown into a mass non-violent action, involving thousands of people, that inspired millions more.

Next month, two of Native American relatives that had significant roles at the Oceti Sakowin Camp (Standing Rock)  are coming to Mullumbimby for two interrelated intercultural and interfaith sharing events, focused on the growing climate emergency.

The events, Stories and Songs of the People, will bring together our Native Americans guests, Indigenous representatives from across the North Coast, and the local community, to further our understanding of the need for healing our relationships with each other and with our planet.

‘I think it’s really important for us to sit down and talk about how we can protect our country, all our relatives, the birds and the earth itself,’ said Uncle Barry Hoskins, a Gumbaynggirr man from the Coffs Harbour region who is helping to organise the event.

The first event will take place on the evening of Friday February 21 and involves both traditional and contemporary unique performances and story-telling. The performances and the tickets for the performance night are the support for all associated costs of the events; including the experiential processes and cultural perspectives day.

The second event, the experiential processes and cultural perspectives day, an interactive, takes place from 9am till 4.30pm. ‘Stories and Songs of the People’ do not charge for the sharing of culture and cultural perspective and this day’s event is free and all are welcome. This day will involve film, discussion and experiences from Oceti Sakowin Camp to further the conversation in the search for social, cultural and environmental justice.

These will draw and build on the insights of Standing Rock, Australian indigenous wisdom, and the knowledge and experiences of participants.

The Saturday event is free, while the Friday event is ticketed to cover costs.

Another organiser, Lisa Brown, said, ‘Ancient wisdom traditions know there are practices and processes to facilitate change through healing our hearts and minds.

‘We have to make spaces where we can share difficult conversations and continue to find our common humanity to work together…’.

Representatives involved in the event extended an invitation to the local Aboriginal community and other cultural organisations to take part, and to be part of a project in which they share their perspectives on relationship with the environment and with each other.

For more information and to buy tickets go to https://bit.ly/30TPr6C.

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