Water for the people

As a third-generation Claremonter and descendant of indigenous First Nations Peoples, I humbly express my concerns regarding the Claremont water issue.

With respect, I speak for the Hokan and Uto-Aztecan speaking peoples who were the original inhabitants of Claremont. I speak for the voiceless and powerless of our ancient creation stories. I speak for our Earth Mother, the tree and plant people, the birds, the swimmers and our four-legged relatives. We are all related.

We are a reflection of our Earth Mother. Our earth is 70 percent water. Our two-legged human body, likewise, is also nearly 70 percent water.

Water is a powerful natural force, like the air and sacred fire. We humans cannot hold it tangibly in our hands. That is why Creator made water that way, because Creator wanted no creature to own and control a sacred gift and natural element that is to be shared by all creation.

Our Earth Mother is crying. She is crying because she is dying. She is dying because there is a cancerous virus that is destroying her and preventing her to love and nuture her children. This virus that is roaming our Mother Earth is called the human race. It is a deadly virus because of the selfish greed of money and profit, a human sickness.

We First Nation Peoples continue to see ourselves as caretakers of Mother Earth. We must understand that we cannot own the earth. The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth. We cannot buy and own the air, because the air must be shared with all of Creator’s creations. We cannot own the water, because water is the life giving source of all life on earth. It is God’s most sacred gift. Water is revered as so sacred before the eyes of the Creator that it is used in Christian baptisms and Native American sweat lodge purification ceremonies.

Native Americans do not view water as a commodity to be bought and sold for profit, but used and shared among all human nations and all of creation. As caretakers of Mother Earth, our efforts to preserve our lands and water rights have been brushed aside as impediments to personal fortune and “progress.” In our indigenous culture, water belongs to the earth and all species for all times. It is a basic human right and a common good to be protected by all peoples, communities and nations.

Water must not be left to shareholders of the private market, because no person or entity has the right to profit from it. Every human being has a right to clean and affordable water. City government cannot transfer its responsibility of providing the sacred gift of water to the private sector. People living in Claremont who rely on water for their lives must control water as a public trust and an inalienable human right.

Lakota Medicine Wheel prophesy teaches that it will be the common person from all four nations (black, yellow, white and red), not principalities and powers, that will come forth together in harmony to solve Mother Earth’s problems and heal the human virus of greed.

As a Claremont community, we have to embrace, respect and honor water as sacred. If we don’t, the water spirit will go away and never return. Nature and its elements are merciless and unforgiving.

Al Villanueva