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2019 Kateri Peace Conference scheduled for this weekend

FONDA — The 2019 Kateri Peace Conference will be held Friday and Saturday at the National Kateri Shrine in Fonda, according to a news release. For more than 20 years, the Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference has met on this site to examine dangers posed by nuclear conflict. This year, climate crisis is also a focus.

For over 20 years the Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference has met within walking distance of a historic Mohawk Village, whose residents must have experienced incredible upheaval when their way of life was threatened by extinction and their homeland usurped. Slowly, as this sacred site has been revisited, the wisdom of the land has seeped into our souls, guiding us as we have worked to confront war and militarism, forces born out of greed, fear and a disconnect from nature and community, forces which have become enormously destructive to the land we live on. Facing the painful existential threat of climate collapse and then cultivating a garden of resilience requires a deep wisdom born of cultures more deeply connected to the land. The conference will begin by assessing where we now stand, with clear and insightful evaluations of the climate as it is evolving and look for sustainable ways forward to a place of resilience in the face of changes sure to come.

Speakers include ordained minister Terri Many Feathers, a member of the Cree and Ojibwa nations; H. Patricia Hynes, a retired Boston University School of Public Health professor of environmental health; Truthout reporter Dahr Jamail, who wrote “The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption”; attorney Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund, where he coordinates the Campaign for 100 percent Renewables Now NY; and poet Melissa Tuckey, an editor with a background in environmental justice activism.

There are a number of options for participating in the 21st Annual Kateri Tekakwitha Interfaith Peace Conference. No one will be turned away for financial reasons. Please contact John Amidon — jajaja1234@aol.com or (518) 312-6442 — for any questions about registration and attending.

Kateri Tekakwitha was a young Mohawk woman who lived in the 17th century. She converted to Christianity and was baptized and lived the bulk of her life at the site of what is now the Saint Kateri Shrine and National Historic Site. She is the first Native American Saint in the United States of America and Canada, and the National Shrine was created to honor Kateri and the Native peoples north and south of the border. For more information about Saint Kateri or the shrine or historic site, please contact Rita Gullion, director, at rita.katerishrine@gmail.com or visit https://www.katerishrine.com/news-events.

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