An invitation to attend a historic gathering: 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions, October 15 – 19

Parliament of the World’s Religions, Indigenous Peoples’ Program

When Prophecies Come True: A Welcome Extended Long Ago

It was told long ago, that the spiritual leaders of the indigenous nations would join on spiritual grounds with religious, faith, and spiritual leaders from around the world. Shoulder to shoulder in a great council, they would commit to work for peace and the Protection of Mother Earth

The Parliament is honored to share and learn from the wisdom of the Indigenous Nations of the world and Utah. The Indigenous Nations from the Great Salt Lake region, the Great Basin, and the State of Utah have extended a warm welcome to the people of the world into their spiritual and ancestral home, the ancient and sacred gathering place that is the Great Salt Lake and the now called Salt Lake City.

The 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions Program will provide participants with a first class and unique opportunity to share in and learn with the spiritual leaders of the Indigenous Nations that will gather at this Parliament. “The Parliament has a unique relationship with indigenous people not just in Utah but around the world,” explains Lewis Cardinal, Trustee of the Parliament and Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Task Force.

The Indigenous Peoples’ Program at Salt Lake City will include:

  • Opening Ceremonies: the Indigenous Grand Procession and Welcome
  • The Sacred Fire and Sacred Space
  • “The Indigenous Dialogues”
  • The Indigenous Main Plenary
  • Indigenous Panels and Workshops
  • The Indigenous People’s Amphitheatre/Outdoor Pavilion
  • Indigenous People’s Film Presentations
  • Traditional Council Lodge
  • Ceremonial Space and Legacy Project
  • Closing Ceremonies

Parliament participants will have the opportunity to attend an Indigenous Plenary, which will present Indigenous Spiritual leaders performing and evoking a global message, including offerings from Chief Arvol Lookinghorse, the Lakota nation tribal leader who is a global defender of sacred sites, Chief Oren Lyons, Faith Keeper of the Turtle Clan and member of the Onondaga and Seneca nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, and Dr. Rangimarie Turuki Arikirangi Rose Pere, a Tohuna, a teacher of the Kura Huna, the elder of several major tribes and a Guardian of Earth Mother as three of the major speakers at the Parliament.

Learn more about the Major Speakers here.

Opening Ceremonies: the Indigenous Grand Procession and Welcome
The Welcoming Indigenous Nations from the Great Salt Lake region, the Great Basin, and the State of Utah; the Paiute, the Ute, the Goshute, and the Navajo, will lead a traditional procession of Indigenous Elders, Spiritual leaders, and political leaders into the Plenary Hall at the beginning of the Opening session of the Parliament on October 15.

At the end of the Traditional Opening Procession, select Indigenous Spiritual leaders will bring Welcome and Blessings for the Parliament gathering in conjunction with the Opening Plenary ceremonies. Participants will be asked to wear traditional attire.

The Sacred Fire and Sacred Space
Located outdoors at the main entrance of the Salt Palace, the Sacred Fire will be lit at sunrise on Thursday, October 15, and will continuously burn for the duration of the Parliament.

In many traditions of Indigenous peoples the presence of a Sacred Fire at gatherings of deliberation or ceremony is a very important and necessary part of the gathering. The Sacred Fire is lit at the sunrise ceremony on the first day. It then burn continuously, watched over by fire keepers and ceremony helpers, until the end of the gathering and then is left to burn until it extinguishes itself.

It is believed that a Sacred Fire holds open a direct connection to the Creator, Mother Earth, the Spirit world, and our Ancestors as we convene. During the assembly the Sacred Fire becomes the place where prayers and offerings are given every morning and when necessary during the gathering. The Sacred Fire is open for those at the gathering to make personal offerings for gratitude and guidance into the Sacred Fire when they so choose.

The Sacred Space, that will encompass the Sacred Fire, will contain Tipis and other traditional lodges to be used for the sharing of sacred teachings and for small group meetings, ceremonies, and discussions that may arise from the experiences at the Parliament.

“The Indigenous Dialogues”
A full-day event that allows time and space for Indigenous Spiritual leaders to engage one another and share with others urgent and pressing issues, visions, and insights.

Suggested topics of dialogue include:

  • Water
  • The Doctrine of Discovery
  • Prophecies
  • Reconciliation
  • Visions of a New World
  • The Protection of Mother Earth

As one of six main 90-minute Plenaries, the Indigenous Plenary will involve selected Indigenous Spiritual leaders sharing their messages and/or performances with the whole of the gathered Parliament

The Indigenous Main Plenary
This event will take place in the Main Plenary Hall on Monday, October 19.

Indigenous Panels and Workshops
There will be 20 Indigenous-led Panels and Workshops throughout the Parliament each with topics of their choosing.

A complete schedule of the Indigenous Program can be found here.

The Indigenous People’s Amphitheatre/Outdoor Pavilion
Located by the Art Museum adjacent to the Salt Palace, will be an outdoor venue that can seat from 300 to 400 people. The program will showcase Indigenous Cultural presentations, performances, music, storytelling, and much more throughout the Parliament gathering.

Food kiosks will be available that will provide traditional foods coordinated by local Indigenous organizations. The amphitheatre/outdoor performance events will be free and accessible.

Indigenous People’s Film Presentations
Indigenous-based films will be presented by local, regional, and global Indigenous peoples participating in the gathering, with opportunities for discussion and dialogue after each presentation.

Traditional Council Lodge (“the Long Trip”)
During the entirely of the Parliament, a Council Lodge will be erected and maintained for the purpose of utilizing the space for Indigenous Elders and Spiritual Leaders to discuss the release of a statement for global distribution at the end of the conference.

It will also provide a space for over 40 people to convene teaching space and deep dialogues on relevant issues brought forward during the Parliament. The location of the Council Lodge will be directly east of the Salt Palace in a green space called “Rocky Mountain Plaza”.

Ceremonial Space and The Legacy Project
With direction, guidance, and coordination from the SLC Indigenous Working Group, ceremonial land space will be made available away from the Salt Palace for Indigenous peoples to hold spiritual ceremonies and for those Parliament participants whom may be interested in participating in those traditional ceremonies.

It is envisioned that the Indigenous Ceremonial Land Space will then be declared a continuing ceremonial land space for Indigenous peoples of the Salt Lake City region to continue to have access and usage in perpetuity.

Closing Ceremonies
During the closing ceremonies the Indigenous Elders and Spiritual Leaders will remove the Eagle Staff and Flags from the main plenary stage and with a blessing of safe returns, close the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Update: Danny Beaton will be the fire keeper at these ceremonies.


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