Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. At the age of 12, he was given the responsibility of becoming the 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, the youngest ever. He is widely recognized as a chief and the spiritual leader of all three branches of the Sioux tribe.
He is the author of White Buffalo Teachings and a guest columnist for Indian Country Today. A tireless advocate of maintaining traditional spiritual practices, Chief Looking Horse is the founder of Big Foot Riders which memorializes the massacre of Big Foot's band at Wounded Knee.
Cheif Looking Horse's prayers have opened numerous sessions of the United Nations and his many awards include the Juliet Hollister Award from the Temple of Understanding, a Non-Governmental Organization with Consultation Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. He lives on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.
Grandmother Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance
She is one of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers representing native peoples all over the world, leading petitions and prayers for peace, human rights and the rights of our planet and its citizens.
Grandmother Beatrice, an Oglala Lakota, came to the Zen Peacemakers’ retreat at the Black Hills last August along with her daughter, Loretta. She was already somewhat frail, but I was deeply moved to see her. How strong these Lakota women have had to be! They raise not just children but also nephews, nieces and grandchildren, and are often the most consistent breadwinners for their families. Grandmother Beatrice was no different, and in her younger years had to combat alcoholism like many other Lakota. But she became a leader and an inspiration to others, advocating finally not just on behalf of her native land and people but also for the entire globe.
Don Oscar Santillan
Yachak Don Oscar Santillan - KuriCharik (gold or sun in the heart) is a 7th generation sound healer, community leader, and teacher of traditional Andean wisdom from the Otavalo Kichwa Nation in Ecuador. He s the Co-founder of Centro de Sabiduría Ancestral Pakarinka Sisari, Agato, Pichincha, Ecuador. An active member of indigenous organizations, he educates people about culture as well as sustainable development through Fair Trade practices and micro-financing. A Kichwa speaker with a strong connection to the natural world, he has made many radio appearances to spread ancient Andean wisdom and culture. Along with his family, he has created the Pakarinka Sisari, or Center for Ancestral Wisdom, displaying sacred musical instruments, pre-Colombian bowls, and symbolic clay hands for guidance and protection. With the majestic mountain, Imbabura as the backdrop, the center is a place to learn about ancient Andean ways and connect with Mother Nature.
Grandmother Aama Bombo
Grandmother Aama was born into the Tamang tradition – a tradition originating in Tibet and comprising the largest ethnic group in Nepal – which did not allow women to become shamans. From the age of 5 onwards, Aama wanted to become a healer but was prevented in every way by her father who forbad her to develop her gifts. When she was sixteen, Aama moved to Katmandu where she married a man who already had two wives. They all lived harmoniously in one household. Aama’s father died at the age of 80.
Don José Matsuwa
Don José Matsuwa was the renowned shaman from Mexico who passed away in 1990 at the age of 110. He was a farmer, healer, and master ceremonial leader, and a revered and respected elder throughout the Sierras.
He dedicated his whole life to completing the sacred path of the shaman and it is his life and vision that are the inspirations for the Dance of the Deer Foundation. Before he died he left Brant Secunda this message: “I leave you in my place. Tell your people to pray and follow the deer all the way to their hearts.”