The Traditional Elders Council sent a letter to President Biden on the day of his inauguration, January 20, 2021.
The letter welcomes the new president and his family as a way to promote peaceful relations and to respect and recognize one another “as an integral part of Creation.”
The letter says, “We are the Spiritual People of the Earth, united under the Creator’s Natural Law working in unity to restore peace, harmony and balance for the future of all living beings.” The leaders offer assistance to restore peace and healthiness to the land.
They continue by saying, “You are stepping into the leadership role of a Nation which has lost its direction and understanding of its sacred responsibilities to the Creator and to one another. Your obligation to the future of all life goes beyond healing a Nation divided. It encompasses healing a people who have caused irreversible environmental destruction and global climate change by abandoning their sacred responsibility and relationship to the Natural World.”
The themes of the letter echo those heard across the country in the celebration of the Biden inauguration; a call for unity, calls to the divine or sacred, and
In some ways the statement echoes the calls from the Right in saying something is broken and the nation has lost its way, that there is sense or urgency across the nation, and that the nation needs guidance. But the statement diverges from the ideology of the Right in its call for leadership from cultures older than the United States and for multicultural and interreligious leadership.
The letter says, “Our sacred aboriginal indigenous science and your western science must unite to provide hope for the future. It will take all of us, people from all faiths, to put our good minds together to begin correcting all the laws and policies which are abusing Mother Earth and the people of the Earth. We believe peace is possible in our life time when we uphold the Creator’s Natural Law as a foundation for all decision-making.”
In this context, the phrase “Creator’s Natural Law” means that there are some actions which are not acceptable in traditional or indigenous cultures and, when faced with a decision, sometimes it is better to take no action and leave things as they are.
The letter closes saying, “We speak on behalf of all Creation and with an unwavering faith and belief in the Creator. We are the Original Nations and Peoples of this Land and thus, must be included in discussions and decision-making process from the beginning,” and ends with an urgent request to meet with the new president in person.
The letter is signed by council representatives Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe and the spiritual leader of the Great Sioux Nation; Shawn Mulford, Diné; Leland Grass, NoHooká Diné Traditionalist; and Big Buck, Wokotaqa.