As children of water, we raise our voices in solidarity to speak for all waters. Water, the breath of all life, water the sustainer of all life, water the voice of our ancestors, water pristine and powerful. Today we join hands, determined to honor, trust and follow the ancient wisdom of our ancestors whose teachings and messages continue to live through us. The message is clear: Honor and respect water as a sacred and life-giving gift from the Creator of Life.Water, the first living spirit on Earth. All living beings come from water, all is sustained by water, all will return to water to begin life anew. We are of water, and the water is of us. When water is threatened, all living things are threatened. What we do to water, We do to ourselves.
Vernon Masayesva is the Executive Director of Black Mesa Trust and Black Mesa Waterkeeper, a Hopi Leader of the Coyote Clan and a former Chairman of the Hopi Tribal Council from the village of Hotevilla, one of the oldest continuously inhabited human settlements in the Americas. Masayesva received his B.A. degree from Arizona State University in Political Science and a Masters of Arts from Central Michigan University in 1970. He returned to Black Mesa of the Hotevilla Bacavi Community School, the first Indian controlled school on Hopi as the lead educator of the school systems. In 1984, he was elected to the Hopi Tribal Council and then served as Chairman from 1989. He immersed himself in the tangled intricacies of the coal mining on Black Mesa and the Hopi – Navajo land dispute, and is widely respected on and off the reservation.
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