Oren Lyons

“All things are bound together, all things connect. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls also the children of the earth.”

“Man sometimes thinks he’s been elevated to be the controller, the ruler, but he’s not. He’s only part of the whole. Man’s job is not to exploit, but to oversee, to be a steward. Man has responsibility, not power.”

Indigenous View of the World

Oren is a faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Council of Chiefs, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy). He has been active in international Indigenous rights and sovereignty issues for over four decades at the United Nations and other international forums. He is a State University of New York (SUNY) distinguished services professor emeritus of the University at Buffalo. He serves on the board of Bioneers an environmental champion of the earth. Oren is chairman of the board of directors of Plantagon International AB, the leader in urban agriculture, Plantagon is designed to meet challenges of compounding human population, finite resources and global warming.

Oren Lyons - Water is Life

Oren Lyons - Water is Life from Longhouse Media on Vimeo.

Sovereignty with Oren Lyons Pt. 1

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month we turn to the wisdom of Oren Lyons. Watch, share and check out the second part of this series.

About: The history of the nations indigenous to North America and the burgeoning United States is one that is widely unknown. In order to uncover the entangled roots of the colonial settlers and the First Peoples of this land, Children of the Setting Sun convened indigenous knowledge keepers to speak on the subject.

The stories that emerged reveal indigenous values, beliefs and lifeways as they were pre-contact and as they are today. We begin with Oren Lyons, a Faithkeeper for the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy located in modern day upstate New York.

Assigned by his elders to go out into the world to fight for the rights of his people, Oren has taken his teachings all the way to the United Nations, where he was pivotal in the creation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People’s (UNDRIP).

In revealing the traditions of his people, Oren emphasizes the need to know the history in order to understand the current terms of a nation-to nation relationship as described by their treaty with the US government.

Filmed in the Council Chambers of the Lummi Nation.

Featuring original music by the Antone George Family and the Blackhawk Singers.

Sovereignty with Oren Lyons Pt. 2

We continue to celebrate Native American Heritage Month with Part 2 of the history and guidance brought to us by Oren Lyons.

About: This story of colonization was a universal story before it was a local story. Every tribal nation confronted the same challenges to their sovereignty, from the Haudenosaunee on the east coast to the tribes and nations here in Washington State.

To be Native American and alive today is to have survived attempted genocide. Oren speaks to the strength of the people and government of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. He attests to the endurance and power of his people’s sovereignty, and does so without ever mentioning the word.

“Sovereignty is the state of existence as a self-governing entity. Like the individual states of the United States, each member nation of the Haudenosaunee retains the authority to govern its own internal affairs. Within the framework of the Great Law and its own specific laws, each individual nation reserves the right to adjudicate internal disputes, pass laws for the welfare of their own community, assess fees, regulate trade and commerce, control immigration and citizenship, oversee public works, approve land use, and appoint officials to act on its behalf. Every member of the Haudenosaunee has the authority to defend its citizens against internal and external dangers and to advocate for the peaceful resolution of conflict and the equitable distribution of collective resources.”