Truth and Reclamation Pilgrimage
We are a collective of women from Turtle Island (America), who plan to start a pilgrimage from Cordoba to Huelva, Spain. The walk starts on Indigenous People's Day, October 10, 2016 and goes until Día de los Muertos, November 2, 2016. Our backgrounds are diverse and we come from different walks of life, but we are connected by our deep love for justice, truth and healing for our families, communities and Mother Earth.
The following women will be leading the pilgrimage and will invite others to join along the way: Caro Acuña Olvera, Lena Nsomeka Gomes, RaheNi I'naru, Tina Garnanez, Vaschelle André, Sara Vanderhorst and Alicia Lueras Maldonado.
The Truth & Reclamation Pilgrimage [Video]
Why walk from Cordoba to Huelva, Spain?
The pilgrimage is a step to a greater intention. In the spirit of the "Truth and Reconciliation" process in South Africa and most recently in Canada, we want to walk a pilgrimage in Spain from Cordoba to Huelva (350 km 215 miles) to pray and call for a truth and reconciliation process with the Catholic Church, the Vatican, the Spanish Government and Indigenous Peoples of the Americas & People of African descent .
The Catholic Monarchy Funded Christopher Columbus' voyages to the Americas, which started the process of genocide of Indigenous People in the Americas and gave rise to the Atlantic slave trade from Africa. Cordoba is the soil where Queen Isabella and the Catholic Monarchy agreed to and decided to Fund Christopher Columbus’ voyages. Huelva is the coast from which he left.
- We are walking to educate people about how this history continutes to impact our lives
- We will invite Spain to remove monuments of Christoher Columbus in Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla
- We will invite Spain and the Catholic Church to give a public apology to Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and People of African descent who live in the Americas.
The walk from Cordoba to Huelva is approx 233 miles.
Walking days will be approximately 12 to 13 days total.
We need your help to get to Spain:
Your donation will help us with travel costs and expenses while in Spain such as housing and food, as well as the filming, photographing and documenting of this journey by Vaschelle André. Please consider a donation today and be part of this healing journey.
Pope Apologizes to Bolivia
Taiwan Apologized to Indigenous Peoples 2017
Argentina: Columbus Statue Replaced by Female Freedom Fighter
13 Grandmas Bring Pleas to the Pope
Canada's Truth and Reconciliation 2016
South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation 1995
We are all settling back into the United States after the Pilgrimage.
We are in the process of organizing a report back event either February 15t,h 16th or 17th.
It will be in the Bay Area. We are looking for a space now. If you know of a space please contact us. We want to keep it intimate. We will be showing video and photos by Vaschelle.
We will keep you posted.
Again all those who kept us in your prayers, gave a donation and helped us in other beautiful way..... We say Thank You . We are most humble and grateful.
I come back feeling inspired by these young people, they were so engaged during the class and we all ended up talking outside after the class was over for at least an hour more. Most of the students were progressive and some of them are part of the feminista group that support the pilgrimage and some were new to understanding the effects of colonialism.Most were new to concepts around indigenous medicine and language related to ceremony and rituals. There were a few that are self educated to our ways.
In class, when I spoke of the monuments being taken down, one young man said, it is what we have learned to be proud of as part of our history.Prior to that comment, I had spoke to the class about generational healing and that all of us need to heal around the history of genocide and colonialism, including the people of Spain. When he made that statement I went back to generational healing and that one of the first steps to healing is realizing the truth .I told him in the USA ,l the day of columbus is a national holiday, but that there are many cities and communities officially changing it to Indigenous Peoples Day. I also asked the class” how will you help to talk about the true history of columbus and colonialism”. I also told them that I understand that the people of Spain are also struggling with the effects of Franco. Spoke about how the truth does set one free. One girl said she is very interested in indigenous ways and that she is seeing a latin american shaman. Another one asked about what songs we sang on the pilgrimage and asked about wanting to learn them. I encouraged them to find the suffering in their own land. I spoke about our elders, our songs, art and dances are our Universities.I encouraged them to find their own family stories from generations back and to understand their own ancestry and the beauty and pain that lies within their families and their culture. I spoke about ancestral altars and having conversations with their families about their history politically, spiritually and otherwise.I encouraged them be the archeologists of the land they come from. Of course gitanos entered the conversation. I talked about the songs of Flamencos specifically Solea , the equivalent to blues in the USA . I asked them to start to listen to the old lyrics of solea, I also asked them to research the songs of resistance and liberation from the people who were resisting Franco. The more they liberate themselves to the truth the more it will organically help all of us.
There was so many issues we spoke about. Too many to write. They came away inspired as did I. A few of them are going to “ protect” a huge reserve on the Atlantic called Donana Natural park almost 400 miles of reserve. They want to pull resources from the “ mother “ park. They are inspired by Standing Rock and nonviolent action. I spoke about ceremony vs protest in great depth. None of them knew of the Truth and Reconciliation Process in South Africa.I spoke about that process. Archbishop Desmond Tutu is not mentioned in Spain . They asked me why. I said he is a progressive Catholic and he is a black man.
I suppose I gave a spiritual lecture, history lesson and some consultation. These young people are committed to making the world better in a huge way. I wish a conversation with the young ones could happen. The young ones of color in the US and the ones from Spain Andalucia. Heck I want a well facilitated with conversation with the youth on the far right in the US and kids of color. So many possibilities.Again without your support this would not have ever happened. Thank you my fellow family members, Im so grateful.
We have footage of our journey but I want to share little stories with you. It will be a while before the footage gets out.
First I want to talk about the animal nation that we encountered, first the horse nation. We saw them in a variety of settings. We were mostly saddened by witnessing them as slaves as they pulled tourist around Sevilla and Córdoba . We had horse hair on our sacred staff ( its my offering to the staff as the horse is my spirit animal) . It was breathtaking to see them run in fields across Andalucia. We saw them working as herding animals and one scene was out of a movie. It was late in the afternoon on our way to Jerez, we saw them galluping with their humans on their backs. they were herding sheep. The sounds of the sheep and the bells on their neck along with the galluping sounds of the horses was so real , raw and alive!
Another part of the trip we were walking and about 12 or more horses ran towards us up to their fence... excited like old friends, curious like trusting strangers. We were in a rural area. It was the same day the White Buffalo showed up to Standing Rock, so we were also walking with that. We stopped walking. We faced them. They all stopped and faced us. We said a prayer yelling to them across the field , medicine was burning. It was a strong prayer. When the prayer was finished they all started walking away. One white horse stayed and bowed its head.Then we sang to them. When we started singing they all stopped walking, turned around and walked back to listen. Again they stood still to listen. When we were finished again they all turned and left. As we walked away they all galluped back to the fence as we walked away. Words fail to capture these moments. But they were dreamlike. That state when your in deep prayer and dreamlike feeling comes over you.
During our walking days we would stop for lunch and eat some where on the side of the road. Our usual lunch was filled with amazing fresh grapes, oranges, carrots, Espinacas con garbonzos , potatoe chips, spanish cheeses, olives, corn nuts, almonds & eggs. There was always a variation but that was typical.
All for now. Just wanted to write a bit as I dont want the stories to fade.
Blessings of complete protection and wellness be upon you...my love to you