Friday, November 14, 2008

Shell Mound Kickoff Dinner with Winona LaDuke

Shell Mound and Peace Walk kicks off with dinner with Winona LaDuke in Oakland

By Johnella LaRose
OAKLAND -- On Friday, November 14, participants of the Sacred Sites/Shell mound Peace Walk will gather for a kickoff dinner to start their two-week, 250-mile walk around the San Francisco Bay. Traditional Native American leaders and the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhists will lead the walk. We will walk and pray with our ancestors in areas where shell mounds and sacred sites have been desecrated by development. The November 14 dinner will feature Winona LaDuke, Native American leader, activist, and director of Honor the Earth, prayers, Native American drumming and prayers. The walkers will gather at Sogorea-te'-Glen Cove in Vallejo at 8am on November 15 to start walking. Local native people have been fighting for years to protect this burial ground and sacred site from development. Walkers will then travel on to Pt Pinole, El Cerrito, Alameda, Oakland, Hayward, Fremont, San Jose, and up to San Francisco to end with an educational picket at the Huichiun Shell mound in Emeryville on November 28 where a shopping mall complex was built on top of a series of shell mounds and burial sites. Each day of walking begins with a prayer circle. Participants then walk with sacred staffs as they travel through the Bay Area past dozens of sacred sites, Ohlone village sites, and visit many of the hundreds of huge shell mounds that used to dominate the Bay area. The largest of the shell mounds were as tall as 3 storey buildings and 300 feet in diameter. We stop to honor our ancestors and pray at the destruction of these sites. Along the way we are fed and housed by various community groups, churches, and a Sikh temple. This year is the culmination of four years of Sacred Sites/Shell mound Peace Walks. Read article and schedule

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