Recovering and Reclaiming Our Roots

I ask that we consider committing ourselves to the following personal work for the next two years. It will give all of us—Indigenous people, People of the Global Majority, and white people—a foundation for and a bigger perspective on our work in Sustaining All Life.

1. Investigate the ancient origin of all our ancestors. What is their origin? Find out about the geographical areas where they and their grandmothers and grandfathers were born. Who were the Indigenous people that existed in those regions? Learn about the cultures they developed there. What was the “language of the heart,” as Xabi Odriozola (the International Commonality Reference Person for Languages and Interpreting) says—that is, the original language our ancestors developed in those cultures? Learn about the original spirituality of the cultures from which we came.

Investigate our roots, but do it in a systematic way, without urgency. Turn it into an activity we can enjoy. Along the way, take what we are discovering to our Co-Counseling sessions and see how it can ignite a light within us or return us to something familiar (home?). Follow our intuition as we follow our thinking.

2. Investigate how the spirituality, culture, geography, and language of the people our family originated from continued to survive and not disappear from genocide. Or if they were totally assimilated by a colonizing group, what happened?

For this we will need tools beyond RC, like anthropology, archaeology, history, traveling, asking people, listening to family members, and preparing a list of questions we want to ask (that we can review periodically and adjust as necessary). We will need to look for information from sources other than the dominant scientific-academic-religious world, because there we will find much confusion and support for the genocide and assimilation. We will need to receive information directly from the Indigenous people who keep the wisdom. This includes ourselves, because it is true that we are also the keepers of the wisdom of our people, of our ancestors.

We will need to be open to accepting as valid new ways of understanding life that may not match what we were taught in our families, at school, in religion, in the media, or in documentaries.

3. Accept that the following ideas can open to us a door to a bigger perspective:

“I belong to the Earth; the Earth does not belong to me.”

“All that exists on this Earth has life and a profoundly ancient wisdom.”

If we are white people or People of the Global Majority, recovering and reclaiming our roots will help us understand with more clarity the information that Indigenous people can transmit to us. It will strengthen our efforts to follow and support Indigenous leadership (inside and outside of RC) and deepen our understanding of the significance of Indigenous leadership as it relates to Sustaining All Life and care of the environment. It will give to all of us—Indigenous people, white people, and People of the Global Majority—a foundation and bigger perspective for our work in Sustaining All Life.

Appreciations to my allies who supported my thinking and helped me clearly express things in English. I think in Spanish and do not write in English fluently.

Juan Manuel Feito Guerrero

Bilbao, Bizkaia, Euskal Herria (Basque Country)

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of wide world change

(Present Time 187, April 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00