Reflections on the Circle of All Nations
A global eco peace community
Honoring the legacy of the great grandfather William Commanda – Ojigkwanong
Honoring the Return to Origin
Honoring the Rainbow Nation, the Nation of the Fifth Sun, the Universal Human Nation and/or the universal family.
Honoring the Sustainable Settlements Council of Latin America
Honoring the Global Ecovillage Network
Honoring the peace movement
Honoring the Banner of Peace
Honoring the World Beyond War organization
Honoring the Wisdom Dialogues and the Atmanway organization
Honoring the Transition and Permaculture Movement
Honoring the Caravan for Peace and Restoration of Mother Earth
Honoring the teams and purposes of: The Peace Road Foundation, the Caravan for Peace and the Restoration of Mother Earth Foundation, the Artisans of Peace Foundation and the Terunna Wallmapu Foundation.
Honoring and choosing life in this Great Turn towards Peace.
The Circle of All Nations – A Culture of Peace
Note on the work of an Anishnabeg grandfather that can support the coming together of communities seeking to promote a culture of peace.
This September 27, 2023, in Kanata, Ottawa, Canada I had a meeting with Romola Thumbadoo who Coordinates and animates the Circle of All Nations work and legacy of the great grandfather William Commanda. His Indigenous name is name is Ojigkwanong; he is a First Nations spiritual leader, an Algonquin of the Ottawa River Watershed, and his home was in Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg
For over 40 years, William Commanda was the carrier of 3 sacred wampum belts, ancient mnemonic devices of his ancestors, originally carried by his great, great grandfather Pakinawatik. A fourth wampum belt was lost in the time of «the long nights of oblivion» following the passing of Pakinawatik and the unfolding of history.
The idea to visit Romola came with the «Café de la Terre» at Montréal.
The three wampum have the following significance:
The most ancient belt supports the transmission of the Prophecy of the Seven Fires, which foretold the centuries of change and challenge that would come into the lives of Indigenous Peoples, and have negative impact on Mother Earth and all her peoples. (Grandfather Commanda is believed by many to be the carrier of the Seven Fires Prophecy at the time of the unfolding of the Seventh Fire).
The second, sometimes described as the 1700s Friendship Sharing and Welcoming Belt, commemorates the agreement of the Indigenous in the centre to share land, resources and values with the newcomers, then the French and English; this was a sacred agreement, as signified by the symbol of the Vatican, but not one fully respected; Grandfather Commanda reaffirmed friendship and peace repeatedly. The third is a fundamental spiritual message from the indigenous world about the «Absence of Borders». The ancient people, the nomadic Mamiwinini have a sacred responsibility and connection to the land of their birth. and to Mother Earth and the Cosmic World. As Grandfather Commanda puts it, «My territory is where the river flows, where the bird flies and where the wind blows.»
With the responsibility of these three Wampum the great work of William Commanda was to promote the Circle of all Nations for the promotion of a culture of Peace. This circle has as its fundamental principle «Ginawaydaganuc» which means that «everything is connected». William Commanda’s path was to promote Peace as much as to protect Nature. For four decades he animated this Circle of All Nations in the form of gatherings on his land in 4-day ceremonies.
Romola Thumbadoo, a woman of South African origin, had the privilege of walking and co-creating for more than 15 years with the great grandfather. A fruit of this alliance is the book «Learning from a Kindergarten Dropout – Learnings of a child who left the nursery» which represents the testimony of a collaborative experience between William Commanda and Romola Thumbadoo. Romola invites us to share the reflections that arise from the understanding of the great work of this Anishnabeg leader.
This article, given the importance that I assign to it, is written with the support of the following people: Francisca Gallegos, Walterio, Leyla and Romola Thumbadoo who also contribute from the translation, the sharing of ideas and/or from the perspective of adjusting concepts for greater clarity of our attempt. I consider of great relevance to give visibility to an ancestral vision that shows us a possible world and society, based on unity and the promotion of Peace and the care, regeneration and restoration of Mother Earth.
To give an idea of the stature of the great grandfather William Commanda we leave here a couple of notes:
At the historic Earth Summit organized by the United Nations in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Grandfather William Commanda had the responsibility of holding the Opening ceremony.
On November 22, 1993, towards the end of the UN «Year of Indigenous Peoples», a conference called the «CRY OF THE EARTH» was held. This historic meeting was attended by delegations from seven First Nations: Algonquin, Hopi, Huichol, Iroquois, Lakota, Maya and Mic Mac.
According to Grandfather William Commanda – Algonquin, he and elders from several other nations, including the Hopi, discovered on the occasion that each of them had centuries or millennia old prophecies related to a time when the very health of Mother Earth and the continuation of human life were at stake. These prophecies, related to the idea of «Purification,» coincided with each other in remarkable ways. The moment the prophecies are fulfilled, native peoples must inform all nations of the world so that people will change before it is too late.
It is important to me to communicate to the organizations and networks with which we link the existence of this «Circle of All Nations» and the open invitation that exists to adopt its principles and core values; to give intergenerational continuity to the stories we are telling. It is essential for me to distinguish our story from the dominant story, as well as to distinguish and differentiate ourselves from those who think that Humanity no longer has the option of finding a virtuous and wise path.
Our story, which invites us to return to the essential, to discover our true identity and to inhabit the authentic paradisiacal reality of living on Earth, is a story that implies a personal transformation. We change our perspective, decolonize ourselves and embrace wisdom. I note that there is a need to link the emerging trends of collaboratively conscious collectives with the great works that bring ancestral memory. I note that the «Circle of All Nations» stands out for its transcendence and calls me to make an effort to communicate the absolute validity of the «Ginawaydaganuc» principle which is the principle of interdependence and the intimate connection between all phenomena.
In view of the above, I am encouraged to ask for help in envisioning how we can rescue and reclaim the wisdom implicit in the Circle of all Nations.
Reflections on identity and the global crisis
It seems to me that the Circle of all Nations invites us to reflect on the existing Nations. Which are they? Where do they dialogue? There are those that are articulated in the United Nations and there are the other original or emerging Nations that are also invited to dialogue in order to undertake the mission of pacifying all our relationships, in particular our relationship with ourselves.
I understand pacification as a process of disarmament that begins within us and that will bring us to the conscience and the culture of empathy.
I had the opportunity to tell Romola that the Chilean context is that there is an open constituent process and that in the pertinent instances I have put the accent exactly on the issue of Nationality. It seems to me that the first issue in an organization is to discover who we are, what unites us, what makes us a Nation? My statement before the official Constituent bodies of the two open processes is that apart from plurinationality, which was a transcendent issue that was widely debated, there was no capacity to take into consideration the approach of a new emerging global nation.
It makes sense to me to identify myself with an emerging Nation, because I perceive it as real and with the strength of a story that makes sense and that offers an authentic solution to the mega-crisis we live in. This Nation asks for Peace, decolonizes itself and therefore honors ancestral knowledge. It is a Nation that is found and recognized throughout the Earth and that unites for the elevation of vibration from fear and shame to love, joy and peace. In education it is centered on the Self. We can call this Nation the Rainbow Nation, the Nation of the Fifth Sun or simply the Universal Human Nation. It is even a Nation that is also inspired by the ancestral world understanding of the Mamiwinini nomads mentioned above and that inspires the emerging movement of new nomads, such as the movement of the Caravan for Peace and the Restoration of Mother Earth. What matters is that we recognize ourselves, we observe the strength of our commitment and we know that day by day more and more people identify with this vision that promotes self-realization.
Secondly, I made Romola aware of the existence of another story that suggests a similar idea to the «Circle of all Nations» and that resulted from an agreement between indigenous leaders of different ethnicities that was achieved in the fourth year of the Roots of the Earth ceremony in the Kiva of Colombia in the community of Vársana and that is called the «United Nations of the Spirit».
Both the Circle of All Nations and the United Nations of Spirit bring us essential wisdom. «Everything is connected.» «Putting the Self at the center and harmony in all our relationships» are central ideas in both proposals, respectively.
Bringing together two such sacred endeavors as the Circle of All Nations and the United Nations of Spirit I believe is of great use in connecting our emerging collective narrative with stories and prophecies that are rooted in the depths of universal happenings.
When we say «it is now», with fabrics such as those described we are crystallizing the possibility and confidence that it will be possible to move towards a culture of peace. It is a dream, it is a miracle that we invoke, it is also a prophecy and finally, our option to be happy and to make sense together.
Reflections on the validity of the Circle of all Nations and its practical usefulness to support the movement that becomes aware and acts accordingly.
The Circle of All Nations has the Turtle Island in its logo, which means that it is linked to the North American territory whose geostrategic importance goes without saying. At the same time, the values and the fundamental principle it promotes are very close to the work of Joanna Macy, who also attaches primary importance to the achievement of awareness of the interdependence of all phenomena. This Buddhist teacher, who created the «Work that reconnects» lives in California and has a long pacifist and antimilitarist background and is well known in the Permaculture and Transition movement. She points out that Tibetan lamas expressed to her that the prophecy of Shambhala today boils down to: (1) Understanding the interdependence of all phenomena and (2) Asking us to make compassion the engine for action.
I note that the values promoted in the Circle of All Nations seem to me to be fundamental: Compassion, Peace, Justice, Hope, Forgiveness, Community, Respect, Diversity and Unity, Reconciliation, Healing, Love and Responsibility.
Considering the above, and considering the synchronicity that also called Romola’s attention to the name of our Caravan for Peace and the Restoration of Mother Earth, it seems to me that it is fair, appropriate and pertinent that we do our work honoring the Circle of all Nations, to give relevance to ideas that can be a Lighthouse to guide the great Transition we are going through.
Please find the https://circleofallnations.ca website for more information about the work and legacy of Grandfather William Commanda and Circle of All Nations.
We are also attaching the 2000 Peace Message of Circle of All Nations and Grandfather Commanda
Juan Pablo Lazo
Romola Thumbadoo email (with her permission): email@example.com