Member Highlight: Sacred Fire Foundation

Print

The Wisdom of the Past is the Seed of the Future
The Sacred Fire Foundation (SFF) is supporting initiatives that preserve and promote Ancient Wisdom traditions, ensuring their continuity for the benefit of future generations. Through events and media, the Foundation seeks to bring a greater awareness and understanding into our modern culture of the irreplaceable benefit that Ancient Wisdom provides the people of the world.First incorporated in Georgia in 2002, the Foundation received 501(c)3 status from the IRS in 2007 and was registered as a charitable organization in California in 2013.  The Foundation is run by a team of dedicated and passionate people, the vast majority of whom are working as volunteers.
About their work:  
Because of the nature of their work, the Foundation is unique: it focuses on the preservation of indigenous traditions and Ancient Wisdom, and also on sharing this Wisdom with the whole world, believing that this can help us all. Many organizations are focused mostly on preservation, which is vitally important and requires many groups raising funds and providing assistance on a global scale.  Where things are different for SFF, is that they feel the future of non-indigenous cultures depends on people coming back into a relationship with the world in a way that everybody honors and cares for the earth and for one another, as it was done for many generations before us. Therefore, SFF is looking to build bridges between the wisdom keepers and the predominant culture.  Once people experience and remember that all life is sacred, and that everything in the world is alive, SFF believes that the choices we make for how we live will begin to change and thus provide for a truly sustainable future for our future.
SFF achieves their goals through various channels: Ancient Wisdom Rising Conferences, grant making, the annual Wisdom Fellowship Award, and print materials like Sacred Fire Press and Sacred Fire Magazine.
In 2013, SFF supported  the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign, an education and advocacy initiative to raise awareness of, and build support networks, to address the devastation experienced by the Haudenosaunee nations as part of centuries-long efforts to destroy or assimilate them,  and the related environmental damage locally region and around the globe. Part of this campaign, a symbolic “enactment” of the treaty with the Haudenosaunee, took place in the summer of 2013 when Haudenosaunee and other native people paddled side-by-side, with their allies and supporters, down the Hudson River from Albany to New York City.  The Sacred Fire Foundation supported different Huichol Communities so they can continue to go on pligrimage to their Sacred Sites every year and conduct ceremony. In 2014 one of the SFF is sponsoring is the Elders Peoject, part of which is The Black Line Journey in which the four Indigenous Peoples from Santa Marta (Koguis, Arhuacos, Wiwas and Kankuamos) will go on their sacred pilgrimage to make offerings to their 54 sacred sites along the Línea Negra in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia so they can bring balance and healing to their people and their land and strengthen their traditions.
Ancient Wisdom Rising (AWR) Conference:
Every 1.5-2 years, SFF produces a conference that brings together elders from different traditions so that they may share their wisdom and their perspective on the world.  The purpose of the conference is two-fold. One is to bring the elders together for dialogue and sharing wisdom amongst themselves. The second purpose is to provide an opportunity for people to learn how the wisdom contained within the indigenous traditions can help them in their lives today.  Elders share their experience, stories of their people. There are some participatory activities that help participants to experience connection and community. The AWR conference is one way that we help people to remember this relationship to the sacredness of all life. Past recipients of the Wisdom Fellowship Award include Chief Oren R. Lyons, from the Onondaga Nation, and Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, from the Bön Tibetan tradition.
In 2014 SFF will present the Wisdom Fellowship Award at IFIP’s World Summit on Indigenous Philanthropy. SFF is very pleased to honor Tarcila Rivera Zea, a Quechua activist from Ayacucho, Peru who has devoted over 20 years of her life to defend and seek recognition and acknowledgment of Peruvian indigenous peoples and cultures. Her contributions have resulted in the creation of the Permanent Workshop of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women of Peru, the International Forum of Indigenous Women of the Americas and the Continental Link of Indigenous Women of the Americas. She has served as a resource person to the NGO Committee on Indigenous Rights, and has participated in forums in Nairobi, Cairo, Beijing, Durban and in the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples.
You can find out more about Sacred Fire Foundation on their website: http://www.sacredfirefoundation.org/.