The Hidden Seeds Global Indigenous Network was formed to ensure a global Indigenous presence throughout URI. And, to create a network to support the work of each CC member’s projects, initiatives and gatherings; and to support, preserve and protect the rights of the Indigenous around the world. The Global Indigenous Network is the vehicle through which the Indigenous will continue to address the outcomes of the Hidden Seeds Global Indigenous Initiative Gathering in 2014, to give greater voice and visibility to Indigenous wisdom and faith traditions worldwide.
In 2014, The URI Global Indigenous Initiative hosted a gathering of wisdom keepers from around the world, who met for three days, July 1-3, near Napa Valley in Northern California. Attendees came from throughout the Americas, Russia, the Philippines, Greenland, Senegal, Uganda, Australia, Italy, and Canada. Among the outcomes of their meeting, the group unanimously agreed to work with existing efforts to have the Doctrine of Discovery and Papal Bulls officially denounced by the Roman Catholic Church, along with issuing a full apology to Indigenous people everywhere, who have suffered untold, immeasurable damage and hardship as a result of these orders’ far-reaching, long term affect.
The Hidden Seeds gathering was attended by 33 Indigenous wisdom keepers from six continents, including two young people ages 13 and 14, and was convened for the purpose of engaging in critical dialogue about practical issues and concerns facing attendees’ respective communities and humanity at large, and to develop a strategic plan for the future of a Global Indigenous Network that grows out of traditional ways of knowing and being.
GII Co-convener Audri Scott Williams shares, “The sacredness of this gathering was upheld with the highest integrity by the wisdom keepers. Fully aware of our charge, we chose to address the need for the Roman Catholic Church to officially denounce the Doctrine of Discovery, with full apology, because we find it essential to shifting the paradigm of the exploitation and devastation of Indigenous peoples and their rightful lands worldwide. For the past 500 years, the Papal Bulls, which form the basis of the Doctrine of Discovery, have been used to justify the displacement and annihilation of Indigenous peoples, and occupation of their ancestral homelands to the benefit of the global expansion of colonialism. Those in attendance determined that this is the best place to begin to allow the healing that must happen across the board, and to raise the awareness that Indigenous people have value, meaning, and wisdom that can help us shift the paradigm now for the wellbeing of all of life and the sustainability of Mother Earth.”
Other areas discussed included: (1) creating sacred gardens in each region to preserve and perpetuate plant life and healing herbs central to Indigenous communities; (2) accurately depicting Indigenous arts and cultures through the media as expressions of the sacred; (3) preserving and protecting sacred sites, and retrieving heirloom sacred objects dispersed throughout world, returning them to their rightful owners; (4) galvanizing connections with various global networks to support the Global Indigenous Initiative and its efforts; (5) Stopping the assault on Mother Earth by extractive industries that are destroying the waters and causing egregious imbalance to the natural environment; and (6) facilitating youth participation and heeding youth wisdom in what is understood by Indigenous people as 'seven generations' decision-making.
For over a decade, Hidden Seeds Co-convener Alejandrino Quispe Mejia, a Quechua elder from
Peru, along with a contingent of indigenous from throughout Latin America, have kept the vision for the URI Global Indigenous Initiative, whose purpose is to give greater voice and visibility to Indigenous wisdom and faith traditions worldwide.