March 20, 2011 | 1 Comment | Print Print
Written by Larry Littlebird

Restitution is a spiritual principle. It has to do with “righting wrongs” committed. The first step is recognition that “injustice has occurred.” Next, admitting the wrong and seeking forgiveness. Then, giving back what has been taken or compensating with something of equal value. The human spirit regains peace and equilibrium when corrective action takes place.

Often it requires a long period to process all three steps. Restitution cannot happen without all the steps. Failure or refusal to take all the steps will always result in retribution. Justice as a spiritual principle is seldom understood and ignorance pays a devastating cost. I believe the citizens of the U.S. are in such a place and our individual “wellbeing” is about to be tested because restitution for Indian people hasn’t happened. What are we to do?

Transforming ignorance and accepting another opportunity at becoming who we truly are, is the challenge. Who are we truly? How do we make something that we can have? An example of what we now have is that we’ve now accepted scientific knowledge that our planets within our universe are constantly expanding. Can you imagine that planets give birth? They’re always expanding our uni-verse, our one world? It appears that at least for a few people, it hasn’t taken too long to gain or accept this mental and intellectual insight.

How long do you suppose it will take before we can find purposeful action by reading this “blog”? Will our eyes open? The writing is on the wall, not on this screen. Can we learn to read the writing? Or is it too late and can we even find the wall? Maybe, if we learn to listen, we have a chance.

How do we learn to listen? “With our whole being.” Gramma used to say. Your gramma didn’t say that? Listen carefully then. Using your whole-being, can you hear the children’s voices calling your name? Not Larry, or Mary, or Jack, or Tammy, Sam, Jason or Jenn, but your true name? The name that when called needs only a whisper and distinctly you hear and turn in response. This is the “listening” we have to re-learn because children are crying out and no one is paying attention.

Now, in the immediate national economic crisis we are facing, is when every possibility for learning correct living can happen. As larger numbers of our population are experiencing economic and health care hardships as never before, conditions for learning how to be human again are increasing and available and can manifest right now. Humans are creatures of their conditions and changing conditions are all around us. Embracing change helps to transform conditions and then make new choices possible. Whatever we want can become our choice. This is why spiritual principles, like restitution, are always present, because they’re so powerful and transformative in human lives.

Here in New Mexico, our learning center, Hamaatsa, is one such model. The vision for a place like Hamaatsa, a starting over place where learning to listen is a first step, is an old story of mankind. It’s ancient and simple. When the words “mankind” and humankind” are spoken they always have to mean “kindness”. Kindness is what allows people to live and love one another as humans.

Hamaatsa, the 320-acre half section of restored land was an act of restitution, a giving back from non-Native American people. Their action resulted in Hamaatsa, the life-long native-vision to take shape and grow. Their acts of generous kindness in turn blessed them. And as we keep growing the opportunity to continue sharing maintains the health of abundant reaping for everyone. What a different experience than the one driven by greed where only a few appear to make gains.

The handful of people who supported this restoration vision responded to the injustice of ancestral land stolen from Indian people by the U.S. and paid the current price and gave the land back into the ownership of native people. All three steps for restitution happened. This kind, correct action results in a viable model others can follow.

With this awesome result of restitution also comes a dilemma. Hamaatsa, is an indigenous oral learning on-going experience. Maybe one of the dangers of written words when attempting to communicate to a larger public is losing the “experiential” meaning. In order to be indigenous requires conscious awareness of place particular to spiritual experience made sensible through living connections relevant to that place.

How do we learn to gather informative information that impacts critical awareness? Can we learn once again, and then allow for inspired, heightened discernment? I don’t know.

Maybe you’ll listen once more? Hear your name this time. I’m the whispering child, and maybe this is our story? A story of reconciliation through restitution and we can start over again. Rebuild our relationship to one another. Who knows what can happen when brothers and sisters find one another again?

Larry Littlebird

Founding Director

Hamaatsa

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