Different Faiths Unite In Historic Prayer Service
Emergency declared for Duck Valley Indian reservation
ELKO — Chairman of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe Chairman Kyle Prior declared a state of emergency this morning for the Duck Valley Indian Reservation as fires have burned over 240 power poles in the south Idaho and northern Nevada region, causing a power outage that has lasted six days.
The Tribe is helping its community members by supplying households with water, dry ice, cubed or block ice, propane, flashlights, batteries, battery-operated fans and generators for the elderly and those with medical needs. The tribal fire department is providing water to homes and filling bathtubs with water for sanitation facilities.
For contact information:
Sho-Pai Fire Sation
(775) 757-2373 - Ask For Brett Harris
Si Thomas - (775) 777-7739
Historic Prayer Service
By Kathy Helms
July 16th, 2007
WINDOW ROCK -- Not since World War II has there been such united effort on the Navajo Nation to bring home America’s warriors.
But beginning Friday evening, (July 20th) Navajo traditional medicine men, members of the Native American Church, and those of the Christian faith unite near Wheatfields Lake in a historic prayer service, billed as the "First Annual Navajo Nation Day of Prayer for Our Active-Duty Warriors' Safe Return, for World-Wide Peace and an End to All Wars and Conflicts."
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley, Jr., Navajo Nation Council Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan, and Navajo Chief Justice Herb Yazzie proclaimed July 21 a day of prayer for peace, the end of world-wide conflict and the return home of warriors.
At Wheatfields, that proclamation will be taken to heart. "We want to pray for these active-duty men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea -- all over the world," Native American Church member Raymond Jones of Rock Point said Sunday. "We want to pray for their safe return."
"Secondly, we'd like to put an end to this war and the conflicts that are going on right now -- Afghanistan, Iraq again, and then we keep hearing that North Korea is about to blow up. We'd like to put a stop to it," he said.
"We want to pray for the parents of those men and women that are over there. They're the ones that are suffering. The grandmothers, grandpas --they're glued to the TV, even though they don’t want to be. We want to pray for them also.
"The fourth thing we're going to pray is that maybe George Bush can have a change of mind and get his mind back on the right track and send those men and women back over here to the United States. We want to add on to what the Republicans, some of them, are telling him so it can happen."
Though those items will be the main focus, Jones said there also has been a special prayer request. "Somebody was saying, 'What about the conditions out there right now? We need to pray for rain.' We said, 'Yes, we can do that.'
"We understand, like in the NAC, nothing of this magnitude has happened except in World War II. Everybody joined up and they prayed -- NAC and traditional. Everybody prayed that the war would stop."
Jones believes, however, that there was no one thing that ended the war."The Navajo Code Talkers say, 'Our language put a stop to the war.' The atomic bomb stopped the war," he said, "but I think the prayers also helped. It was a combination of things."
And it is hoped that, that same winning combination once again can have an impact on world events.
Jones, who served as a member of the 19th Navajo Nation Council, said the Day of Prayer events begin Friday evening with a Protection Prayer ceremony conducted by the traditional medicine men.
"It's the type of prayer that was done back in World War II and Desert Storm. They don't want no audience, just themselves and a few people, that's it. But Saturday night, that's open to everybody. Everybody's in this together," he said.
"Apaches, Hopi, Zunis, Pueblos, Utes -- we want to invite all tribes andtribal veterans groups to participate."
Saturday's scheduled events begin at 1 p.m., 1/2 mile north of Wheatfields Lake alongside Highway N12.
"We kind of want to stay away from the regular political program. We don’t want no empty drums." Jones said.
Representatives of Navajo Nation Behavioral Health are expected to be onhand to offer counseling services for returning service men and women. "TheVeterans Office also is helping with that," he said. In addition, Behavioral Health plans to have available a portable sweat lodge for those who are interested.
"We will have dinner probably around 5 p.m. and then take them into the meeting. The next day, when they get out, there will be breakfast, and the main meal again Sunday afternoon around 11 a.m."
Donations are appreciated. "The Saturday evening meal we might have catered. Sunday, we kind of wanted the usual Navajo preference -- mutton stew, frybread, that kind of thing -- something greasy for the regular Navajos," he said, jokingly.
On Sunday morning, Christian worship services will begin at 9 a.m. "Some of them elected to have the services at their own churches," Jones said.
Active-duty men and women, their parents, families and relatives areespecially invited to attend and participate; and all veterans, Native andnon-Native, are encouraged to attend and extend their support and services. All community members, officials and supporters are more than welcome toattend and lend a helping hand, Jones said.
Families wanting to set up a teepee and conduct an NAC meeting for their loved ones are more than welcome to do so, he added.
For more information, contact Raymond Jones at (928) 349-7242.
The event is supported by the five agency commanders of the Navajo Nation within each agency. Jones is commander for Chinle Agency.
Prayer Service Wrap-Up!
By Kathy Helms
July 24th, 2007
WHEATFIELDS -- Margaret Mead said it best: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Such was the case during this past weekend’s prayer service to bring America's service men and women back to U.S. soil. Traditional medicine men, members of Native American Church and those who follow Christianity joined prayers to end U.S. participation in the war in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts, and also to pray for much-needed rain.
Raymond Jones of Rock Point, who helped organize the event, said Monday that the turnout was small compared to what was expected, but those who showed up were sincere and dedicated, and all signs observed by NAC members indicate that their mission was accomplished.
They asked for rain and they got it -- by the bucketful -- which was a blessing but also probably a factor in the small turnout. And when the eagle whistle sounded at midnight, shooting stars streaked across the night sky.
"Everything pointed to it was good. Everybody was seeing things in the fire, the coals, the ashes. They said it was good," Jones said. "People felt better, especially the moms who had their sons in Iraq. They were really thankful that somebody thought of something like this."
The traditionals came out Friday evening, and the Christians, "they did their prayers at their own place on Sunday. We just kind of left it up to them," he said.
On Saturday, visitors from Fort Defiance, Dinnehotso, Oak Springs, Dilkon, Shiprock, Wheatfields, Rock Point, Lukachukai, and Tohatchi stopped by.
"A bunch of them brought their sons' pictures for blessing and prayer and to have them cedared off and fanned off. We did that and included them in our prayers," Jones said.
"We had one active-duty guy that had made two tours to Iraq. He was back and was on his way to Missouri, where he will be stationed. He spent the night in the teepee. He saw the flier in Gallup somewhere and made it over here. He had some stories.
"And then we also had a presence from the President's Office, T.C. Tso. He spent the night with us. Everybody was glad that the President's Office was sending somebody."
Out of 110 chapters, there were only a few represented, Jones said. "They were thankful for them, but for all the rest, they were saying, 'Where's the rest of the people?'" There were no local politicians, no delegates.
"We had three non-Natives from Nashville, Colorado. They said they saw it on the Internet, and it was something they wanted to see. If they can make it from Nashville, local people -- what's wrong with them?" he asked."Everybody yells, 'Veterans this, veterans that,' at election time, but whenthat's over, nothing."
About 50 people gathered inside the 28-foot teepee Saturday night, filling it to capacity. Others sat outside in chairs, and participated from that vantage point.
"A lot of the older people were saying that the fewer, the more effective the prayer meeting, rather than having a mixture of people that are just there for the good time and the drumming -- the fewer people, the more sincere and true at heart. They'd rather see that.
"They were really glad about the ones that showed up. They said, 'You are the ones that are concerned about the warriors, the veterans.' They'll beblessed double for making that effort," Jones said.
Afterward, some of those in attendance told Jones, "This might be a start, and it should grow." But, he told them, "Maybe this is the first and the last and there will be no need for another one."
In the long run, the answers to some prayers happen right then and there, he said. Some of them take a few days, a week, maybe a month.
"All you need is one meeting to pray for something to happen," he said.
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