What International Day of Peace Means to our Tribal Partners
Peace. It’s an ideology called for a lot during times of conflict and adversity – even making its way into popular songs of the day. Additionally, September 21 is the International Day of Peace. On this day, groups around the world will host events and festivals imploring us all to give peace a chance.
This year’s theme for the day is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” and yet peace has diverse meanings for diverse peoples. This is why Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) reached out to some of our tribal partners to understand what peace means to them.
Karen Red Star, PWNA partner and Director of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Health Education program on the Pine Ridge Reservation shares, “What peace means to me, my tribe and my community and reservation is to be at peace with self, to live in harmony, in balance; to be peaceful and nurturing with others, relatives and non-relatives. In the workplace, it means to help and support each other; to believe that you belong and be accepted for who you are; to be respectful of self and others using our Lakota values. It means to constantly strive to enhance learning, education and knowledge and especially to teach, guide and show our youth that living and life are the most sacred and precious attributes in our lives.” Karen also expressed that PWNA’s support helps offset daily struggles and keep Native lives in balance physically, mentally and spiritually.
Dr. Urla Marcus embraces similar values, citing Lakota values and education as a year-round pathway to peace. Director for the Center for American Indian Studies (CAIS) at Black Hills State University and PWNA college partner, Urla shares, “The Center for American Indian Studies at Black Hills State University strives to promote peace through education, growth, and self-awareness. The CAIS strives to move forward by educating all people emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually, giving future generations the ability to live, learn and breathe through cultural clarity. Education will help increase cross-cultural awareness by bringing students and community together regardless of race, culture, socio-economic status, age or religion, and in return strengthen peace and harmony.”
As you approach the International day of Peace, follow @PeaceDay on Twitter and consider how you can support peace, balance and social inclusion through Native American programs such as those led by Karen and Urla and #NativePartnerHOPE. Read more