Gabriel of Urantia SPIRITUAL ACTIVIST
Activism in Arizona
On May 5-8, 2016, Avalon Organic Gardens & EcoVillage in Tumacácori, Arizona was honored to host a sacred international event called "The Times of the Purification Gathering". The intention of the Purification Gathering is to capture the heart of the Native American legacy through the arts, while exploring the indigenous wisdom of the ancestors as revealed in the prophecies of the numerous tribes of Turtle Island/the United States, and in particular highlighting the esteemed Hopi Prophecy of the coming "Fifth World".
The Times of the Purification Gathering is a coming together of elders, speakers, storytellers, musicians, and dancers to share and teach about the prophesied signs which have been (and are being) revealed, indicating these times are upon us, and that all tribes are called now to join together for the good of all. The Purification Gathering is a call to brothers and sisters from the 4 corners of Mother Earth to come together in recognition of the Creator's call to purify and be made whole once again. A global ecological crisis is upon us and now, more than ever, it is imperative to pay attention to the ancient warnings of the indigenous peoples whose reciprocal and traditional relationship with Mother Earth has made them the earth guardians of the 21st century.
The Times of the Purification Gathering is part of the vision and work of Gabriel of Urantia (also known as TaliasVan) who is a spiritual leader, activist, author, musician, and cofounder of Global Community Communications Alliance and Avalon Organic Gardens & Ecovillage. The community was established in 1989 by Gabriel of Urantia and Niánn Emerson Chase and now has 110 Destiny Reservists/Change Agents from around the world who have been called to the work of restoring global balance and harmony through personal transformation and selfless service to humanity. See footage of some of the highlights of the Times of the Purification Gathering on Facebook.
Brothers and Sisters came from all over the country (and some from other countries) to attend this sacred event. We had visitors from many Indian tribal nations and many cultures. Many people commented on their gratitude for the very reasonable entry fee, which proved to them that this event had a purpose other than making money. Many of our guests chose to volunteer to work with some of the various teams from Avalon Organic Gardens & EcoVillage rather than pay entry and camping fees.
Many of the presenters spoke about social and environmental issues during this gathering. Here is a brief introduction to some of the activists who spoke and a few highlights and key points shared:
Gabriel of Urantia
For his entire adult life, Gabriel of Urantia has been dedicated to making the world as it should be — where every man, woman, and child has food, clothing, a home, and not just subsistence-level work, but the tools and assistance to cultivate their unique gifts, talents, and dreams. As founder of multiple service organizations, Gabriel is putting what some might call a "Utopian" vision into ever-expanding practical applications daily.
Gabriel of Urantia shared many statistics that prove that we are indeed in the Times of Purification and Earth Changes. These were statistics about natural and human generated disasters that have occurred since 1989. Many of these facts were not easy to find since the Corporate Media in America is diligent about hiding them whenever possible. He shared with great clarity and strength that the Fifth Epochal Revelation and Continuing Fifth Epochal Revelation are the language of the Hopi Fifth World. He shared the message of the importance of forming communities and subcultures so that we can survive the tremendous upheavals that accompany the birth of a new world. The old ways are passing away as the new world is emerging.
Niánn Emerson Chase
As a youth, Niánn grew up on four Native American reservations in the southwestern United States. Her home life was based on Christian principles where she additionally incorporated Native American spirituality in her youth experiences. While attending Arizona State University, she broadened her horizons by studying other world religions and philosophies. She is also the co-founder of the various outreach service programs of Global Community Communications Alliance. You can find her on Facebook
Dennis Banks — Anishinabe/Ojibwa
Dennis Banks is a Native American leader, teacher, lecturer, activist, and author. He is an Anishinabe, Ojibwa, born on Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. In 1968 he co-founded the American Indian Movement (AIM) to protect the traditional ways of Native people through activism and legal cases.
Dennis Banks left the Longest Walk 5 to attend the Times of the Purification Gathering.
Stay tuned to the Longest Walk 5 at: https://www.facebook.com/longestwalk5
Dennis made us laugh and he made us cry. He told hilarious stories of the trials and tribulations of the early days of the American Indian Movement. He also sobered us with horrendous statistics on the drug problem on reservations across the United States. The Longest Walk 5 is crossing the country three times. In 2016 they are visiting reservations along the Southern end of the country and gathering statistics from the people they meet at every reservation on drug abuse and domestic violence. In 2017 and 2018 they will walk across the middle and the North of the United States gathering these statistics and marching in their war on drugs.
Dennis says that we are in a drug storm across this country. He said that the drug abuse (in all cultures) will ruin America.
José Martín Garcia Lewis — O'odham
José serves as Lieutenant Governor of the O'odham in Mexico for the Traditional O'odham Leaders. He is actively involved in issues regarding indigenous territory, hosting well-attended congresses in Sonoro, Mexico. He was recently elected as Regional Governor for the O'odham in Caborca, Sonora, Mexico. With his father, José co-founded the Traditional Council of the Indigenous Peoples of Sonora.
Elder Maria Angelita Garcia — Purépecha
Elder Maria of the Purépecha tribe is a cofounder of a free naturopathic health clinic in Magdalena in Mexico. She is the wife of Governor Jose Martin Garcia Lewis of the Tohono O'odham tribe in Mexico. Together, she and José care for the indigenous people and fight for their rights to land and health care, reminding them of the ways of their ancestors and the dignity of their history and culture.
Wendsler Nosie — Apache
Tribe councilman of Apache Stronghold and former Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe of Arizona, Wendsler Nosie stands as a forefront activist for Native American social justice concerns. He most recently spearheaded the ongoing "Save Oak Flat" movement to reclaim his tribe's traditional sacred land from the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange. Nosie strives to empower all peoples around the world to defend the places that have long-served as sacred and culturally-rich areas.
Maryellen Baker — Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe
Maryellen Baker is a Ojibwe Elder enrolled on the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. In the past 12 years Mary has focused her energy on the Water and has organized Women and Water Symposiums that are intended to educate women on their strong connection and responsibility to water and empower them to stand up for our environment. She believes that women can change the world.
MaryEllen Baker is organizing A Cultural Symposium on Women & Water on August 7-11 2016 on the Las Courte Oreilles Reservation near Hayward, WI. This symposium is an indigenous perspective that combines spiritual, cultural and environmental sharing and education to inspire women from all over the world about their roles as caretakers of water.
MaryEllen Baker led a powerful ceremony on Sunday May 8th for Mother's Day. In this simple ceremony she impressed upon us the value of fresh and clean water and challenged us to take good care of what is left of this precious, life-giving resource.
Clara Natonabah — Navajo Diné
A Navajo Diné and 2015 graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston MA, Clara has received a BA in songwriting. Possessing a deeply rich voice, she captivates the heart of the listener while she weaves melodies from the traditional thread of her ancestry to fuse with the modern world she finds herself in. She currently teaches Music and a Mixed Media Performance Art course at The Santa Fe Indian School.
Clara Natonbah performed her beautiful music every day and also shared deeply her concerns for her people. She spoke eloquently and passionately about issues of domestic violence and drug abuse on Indian reservations.
May 5, a Day for Native Women
an article by Ele-Elleid Kay
I was born on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin where I lived on and off for about 30 years. I was too white on my mother's side of the family to be a registered tribal member, but my heart was too red to fit into the uncultured ways of the city that overlapped the reservation. As I became an adult I worked on the reservation with the youth, the men coming out of the prisons, and worked with drug and alcohol and domestic violence issues. I felt led by the Creator to work with these souls and take them to ceremonies where they could face the demons that I also had to face in the past. My own life and years of experience impassioned me to live and die for human rights and to strive to build a world that is safe for the next seven generations.
One issue that is strong on my heart is the very difficult and complex problem of Native women, my sisters, going missing from their homelands. Some show up murdered, and some are never to be found or heard from again. There is poor media coverage, almost no justice in the court systems, and a real lack of support for these women and their families. Very few individuals want to hear these stories, and even worse than that, many of the women are blamed for their own murders, seen as only drunks or savages. Many of their families live with no answers, only questions and grief.
On July 5, 2013, Hanna Harris, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, was reported missing by her family. Five days later her body was found. In response to this murder and the murder of many other Native women, the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center and at least 165 or more tribal, state, regional, and national organizations, have joined to support a resolution to declare May 5th, Hanna's Birthday, A National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
In my opinion this is a powerful serendipity because here at Avalon Organic Gardens & EcoVillage, where I have lived for the last 11 years, we believe that May 5th is a significant day of positive change for our planet. Through the vision of our Co-Founders, Gabriel of Urantia and Niann Emerson Chase, on May 5th, 2016 we hosted "The Times of the Purification Gathering". The purpose of this gathering was to bring awareness to these planetary problems and the spiritual solution.
Several Native American Elders attended the gathering and spoke on the prophecies of their tribal ancestors. One of those elders was Dennis Banks, Co-founder of the American Indian Movement. Very recently his own granddaughter was found murdered. The abuse of Native American women, often by their own tribal members, is rampant. We believe we are living in the times that our world is being purified of the evil ways of "the talker" that causes such travesties as women going missing and being murdered, like Hanna. Someday soon when the Creator and our Ancestors return to this planet, there will be no more evil, sin, and iniquity.
There is much hope, there is a new world waiting to be born. A World of Light and Life. A world where all colors of man will realize they must return to the sacred ways as Sons and Daughters of the same God. A world where humanity will realize they have a responsibility to care for one another and our beloved Mother Earth (Urantia). I believe our spirit/celestial helpers are working on the other side to make May 5th a true and lasting day of change that will bring forth justice, unity, and peace. As Gabriel of Urantia says, "One God, one Planetary family." Aho!
Songs for Activism
One of Gabriel of Urantia's strongest areas of activism is in the area of music. He continues to inspire people around the world with his own CosmoPop™ and CosmoWorship music as performed in TaliasVan's Bright & Morning Star Band and TaliasVan's 40-voice Bright & Morning Choir & Orchestra. (TaliasVan is Gabriel of Urantia's name as a musician).
He also inspires people all over the world to become a part of Global Change Music by writing and performing beautiful and powerful songs with a message of truth.
Some activist songs by TaliasVan, that you might want to look up on Spotify, are:
- Wake Up America
- The Great American Dream
- The Freedom Song
- Holy City
In December 2015, the Global Change Music Band VansGuard released the music video of their song "Syria".
It can be viewed at: http://vansguard.org/videos
This song has touched souls around the planet. VansGuard has received many kudos for this song from people all over the world, many of them Syrians.
Blue Evening Star is a folk musician and song writer who has been coached and supported by Gabriel of Urantia for many years. She writes songs in the "activist folk" genre and her songs are being used in social justice workshops here in the borderlands and elsewhere.
- "The Privilege Game" is played during social justice workshops given at Windsong Peace & Leadership Center in Patagonia, AZ.
- "White Girls at the CheckPoint" is played during border justice workshops given in Pima and Santa Cruz Counties.
- "The Leonard Peltier Song" was played for Chief Kindness, while he rested from the Longest Walk Five at the occupation at Oak Flat, and he is looking for a way to share this song with others in the American Indian Movement.
Apache Stronghold at Oak Flat
The occupation of Oak Flat by the Apache People has been strongly supported by Gabriel of Urantia — and members of Global Community Communications Alliance — from the very start in 2015.
In a sneaky congressional maneuver by Arizona Republican Senators McCain and Flake and Representative Gosar, 2,400 acres of land, in Arizona's Tonto National Forest, was given to Resolution Copper (which is part of London-based Rio Tinto) and Melbourne-based BHP Billiton. Arizona Republicans had tried - and failed - to give this land to Copper Mining Companies five times in the past. Only by sneaking it into a must-pass bill did they succeed.
The area known as Oak Flat is sacred to the San Carlos Apache Tribe and Yavapai-Apache Nation. It has long been a place of religious significance to the Apache people, who continued to hold ceremonies there after the government removed the tribes and expropriated the land in 1886.
Resolution Copper plans to mine copper at Oak Flat using the "block cave mining" method. This would completely devastate the land, leaving a 7,000-acre, 500-foot-high waste dump of toxic tailings and a hole the size of five Empire State Buildings.
Under the leadership of Wendsler Nosie, Apaches began an occupation of Oak Flat in February 2015. They are not asking that the land be returned to them, only that it not be mined. Since February 2015, an international groundswell of support has arisen to support the objectives of the occupation at Oak Flat. And Global Community Communications Alliance has been very involved in that support.
Our Spiritualution℠ Team has attended several events at Oak Flat and created videos about the issues there. These videos can be viewed at http://spiritualution.org/campaigns/indigenous-rights.
Gabriel of Urantia and Niánn Emerson Chase have a personal connection to this movement. Wendsler Nosie was the student of Niánn Emerson Chase, during her years of teaching on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, where she grew up and then returned to teach for 15 years, after she left the area to attend college and become a teacher.
Members of Global Community Communications Alliance have attended all major events at Oak Flat, as well as some supporting events held in Tucson. Blue Evening Star and Celasai attended the Women of Indigenous Heart Conference, on November 5th, 2015. SanSkritA, Ele-Elleid and Blue Evening Star attended the Anniversary March and Celebration of the One Year Anniversary of the Oak Flat Occupation on February 25-27, 2016.
We have been active on social media to support Oak Flat. Here is the latest update we have posted on the situation at Oak Flat.
Historical Designation for Oak Flat Region (as published in the Sierra Club Rincon Group Newsletter) by Nancy Freeman
Things are happening on behalf of Oak Flat! On March 4, 2016 the National Park Service added Oak Flat region to the National Register of Historic Places, as the Chi'chil Bildagoteel Historic Region. In addition to the sacrifice of warriors at Apache Leap, this section of the Tonto National Forest is held as hallowed ground by the San Carlos, Fort McDowell, White Mountain, and Yavapai Apaches among others. Historically, it was the site of a massacre by the U.S. Calvary of Apache families camping there for the summer. I have met and spoken with a couple whose grandparents disappeared there and also a woman whose great aunt disappeared there. Their bodies were never recovered for a proper burial.
Although this designation does offer some protection on federal projects or licenses, including Army Corps permits and proposed highway work (including state highways, as they depend upon Federal funds), there is no guarantee that the designation will stop the mine. The process for designating historic places is handled by the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, a separate entity that is not under the Interior Department, and that is only responsible for maintaining the registry. Rep. Grijalva, who has worked so hard to protect Oak Flat, expressed gratitude for this designation, while Flagstaff District Rep. Gosar is making his usual nasty remarks.
Only two weeks after the designation was announced, the Tonto National Forest issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Resolution Mine project that is such a threat to Oak Flat:
"Environmental Impact Statement for the Resolution Copper Project and Land Exchange. The EIS will analyze the environmental effects of: 1) a mining proposal submitted to the Tonto National Forest by Resolution Copper Mining, LLC; 2) the exchange of 2,422 acres of federal land near Oak Flat for 5,344 acres of privately held land elsewhere in Arizona; and 3) any necessary amendments to the Tonto National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan : 81 Fed. Reg. 14829."
According to the earmark that Senator McCain placed in the Defense spending bill, this EIS is just a formality; the project is already approved in spite of negative outcomes to the environment and cultural impact on the Apache people. Nonetheless, it is important to make your voice heard in the comments. You can comment at www.ResolutionMineEIS.us. I suggest you pick a relevant subject that you are passionate about and focus in depth on that subject when making comments.
Convergence at the Border
On Saturday October 8, 2016 twenty members of Global Community Communications Alliance attended the Convergence at the Border events in Nogales, AZ.
Avalon Organic Gardens & EcoVillage was also made available for traveling participants in this event to camp for free.
The School of the Americas Watch (soag.org) moved their annual convergence (held for the past 25 years at the gates of the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia) to the militarized US-Mexico border at Ambos Nogales.
At the heart of the annual convergence is increasing awareness of the militarization of the US-Mexico border and Latin America, as well as the criminalization of migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and people of color. The Convergence at the Border took place from October 7-10, 2016 in Nogales, Arizona/ Sonora, at the Eloy Detention Center and in Tucson, Arizona. The change of the location goes along with the broadening of the issue and the expanded fight against US militarization at home and abroad.
Visit www.soaw.org/border/ for full report photos, videos and more about this powerful encuentro.
The School of the Americas (SOA) is a combat training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 2001 renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).
It was initially established in Panama in 1946 however it was expelled from Panama in 1984. Former Panamanian President, Jorge Illueca, stated that the School of the Americas was the "biggest base for destabilization in Latin America." The SOA have left a trail of blood and suffering in every country where its graduates have returned. For this reason the School of the Americas has been historically dubbed the "School of Assassins".
Since 1946, the SOA has trained over 64,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training, commando and psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics. These graduates have consistently used their skills to wage a war against their own people. Among those targeted by SOA graduates are educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor. Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have been tortured, raped, assassinated, "disappeared", massacred, and forced into refugee by those trained at the School of Assassins.
It was a great weekend at the border Convergence on both sides with easily 1000 people from all over North & South America. First, concurrent veteran-led marches led from both sides of the border to the US/Mexico border wall, where an enthusiastic rally which bridged the high wall was held. Featured on the Mexico side were Veterans who fought in American wars (most with Green Card status in the US) only to be deported to Mexico after their time in the military was done.
To see a list of all the speakers and musicians who presented at this rally, and throughout the weekend, go to this link: http://www.soaw.org/border/speakers-and-musicians/.
Also on Saturday, all day at the Americana Hotel in Nogales, AZ, were held workshops and breakout groups on many topics including re-imagining mutual solidarity against state-sanctioned violence and upholding racial and gender justice. The Encuentro provides a unique opportunity for those most directly impacted by state sanctioned violence in the US, Latin America, and other parts of the world to learn from one another, and begin building inter-racial, transnational solidarity networks. The moral necessity to make the Encuentro accessible to undocumented family led the organizers to create the People Of Color Space in Tucson, AZ, where people are not forced to traverse a Border Patrol checkpoint in order to arrive.
To see a full list of all the excellent workshops presented at the Americana Hotel in Nogales, AZ go to http://www.soaw.org/border/workshops-in-nogales-arizona/.
Saturday afternoon we also participated in the Anniversary Vigil for José Antonio Elena Rodríguez in Nogales, Sonora: starting with a march from the Plaza de las Palomas in Nogales, Sonora to the site where Jose Antonio was killed by Border Patrol forces and a mass with the Nogales Bishop. We participated from the US side of the wall. On Saturday evening, an interfaith ceremony at the border wall & candlelight vigil was held, and followed by an energizing cross-border concert. The tall ugly wall the stands for so much hate and violence seemed nonexistent as we joined in a giant circle that spanned both sides of the border holding our bright candles high and singing together songs for peace.
Border Patrol Victims Network
Gabriel of Urantia and Global Community Communications Alliance are strong supporters of the Border Patrol Victims Network. We have participated in several border vigils in Nogales, AZ which are actually shared with people in Nogales, Sonora. Here is a description of these powerful vigils, written by Blue Evening Star:
2015 Border Vigil in Nogales, AZ, USA
On the evening of October 10, 2015 change agents of the Spiritualution℠ Movement joined others in vigil for Jose Antonio Elena, a 16-year old boy who was shot 10 times by border patrol agent Lonnie Swartz in 2012. The gathering takes place monthly on both the US and Mexican side of the border fence and is in solidarity for all of the innocent victims of border patrol violence. It is also a protest against the impunity the agency and agents have received and a call for true justice. Just recently Lonnie Swartz was indicted for second degree murder charges. We await justice in this case and pray that further action is taken by authorities to bring the many other similar cases to justice. The Spiritualution℠ Movement thanks the Border Patrol Victims Action Network and the tireless work of Ana Maria and Richard to continually bring public attention back to this issue.
See entire photo gallery on the Spiritualution℠ website.
These monthly Border Vigils are destined to rock the world. This runs through my mind as I stand on the cement footing that is the foundation of THE WALL and press my face through the bars, looking down on the crowd of people who gather on the Mexico side of this monthly international cross cultural emotionally charged vigil—held at the very site where Jose Antonio Elena was shot. How ludicrous it is for the Border Patrol to claim Jose Antonio with a rock was a threat to their agent up the hill and behind the wall with a state-of-the-art weapon. Go there sometime and you will see what I mean.
The correlations between this ugly wall — that separates families and stands for hostility towards neighbors who once shared Ambos Nogales (a city in two countries) with harmony and unique borderland style — and the Berlin Wall keep bubbling up into my consciousness. The Berlin Wall had a "killing ground" that was open game for anyone caught trying to cross. Do some of the United States Border Patrol agents have delusions of being allowed to shoot anyone they want to shoot as long as they are near the wall? The desperately sad reality is that the region around the Border Wall has become a killing ground, not only for those who chance to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (like 16 year old Jose Antonio who was simply walking in the neighborhood where he lived) but for hundreds of travelers who are willing to risk their lives to travel to El Norté for economic and security reasons. For if they can get past the killing ground, where the Border Patrol and ICE agents are conducting open warfare against them (and the elements of the harsh desert terrain they must traverse to get around the check points) they, or perhaps their children, may have a chance at the American dream.
We stand and sing and pray at the Border Vigils in solidarity with the families of all the victims of violence at the border. The Border Patrol Victim's Network says that in the past 10 years 52 people have been killed by the Border Patrol — with not one being brought to justice. Lonnie Schwartz is the first to be charged with criminal charges. We can only pray that justice will served in this case. How else to send the clear message that says "This is not allowed!" Right now the message is "This is a region where certain federal agents are allowed to murder people and get away with it completely".
But this is not a vigil of anger and rage, no matter how justified those emotions may be. This is a vigil of unity and hope. This vigil is permeated by a spiritual presence that attends the faith and highly ethical intentions of all who participate. And it is permeated by the strength of our resolve to uphold humanitarian decency in the borderlands.
Spiritualution℠ — Justice to the People!
The Border Patrol Victims Network can be contacted at: http://borderpatrolvictimsnetwork.blogspot.com/
Free Leonard Peltier
Gabriel of Urantia has joined with millions around the globe to call for President Obama to grant clemency and release Leonard Peltier from the unjust imprisonment he has suffered for over 40 years.
Here is information on the latest regarding the release of Leonard Peltier: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2016/03/attorneys-seek-clemency-for-leonard.html
And here is a petition that Global Community Communications Alliance supports and promotes for the release of Leonard Peltier:
Oak Creek : Red Rock Crossing
In the environmental arena, Gabriel of Urantia fought for 20 years against the building of a major bridge across Oak Creek at Red Rock Crossing in Northern Arizona. His stance is that no major bridge should be built at any spot across Oak Creek in Northern Arizona. The Red Rock Crossing site gives a direct center view of Cathedral Rock and attracts thousands of visitors. Because this site leads to prime real estate for developers, a major bridge would ruin the pristine, natural beauty of this area, due to increased traffic and unnecessary development.
Bella Terra Development in Northern Arizona
Gabriel worked very hard to reduce a major development on 54 acres adjoining Upper Red Rock Loop Road in Northern Arizona, from more than 225 homes to 109 homes. While BySynergy had refused to reduce the number of lots planned for their Oak Creek Bella Terra development to less than 109 on this small property, Gabriel continued to encourage them to be more ecologically-minded in the building project.
In 2009, thanks to the activist work of Global Community Communications Alliance, The Red Rock Rural Association, the Sierra Club, and other concerned activist neighbors, the Bella Terra property at 2202 Red Rock Loop Road went through foreclosure auction on Friday August 7, 2009, at 2:00 PM on the Prescott Court House steps. No one bid on the property and ownership went to the first position lien holder who says that they have no plans for development. The Bella Terra property was under contention for years concerning its high-density planned use and the potential contamination of Oak Creek and the shallow aquifers from which our community draws its drinking water. Also under contention was the destruction of wildlife habitat and the covering-up of wetlands along Oak Creek.
A Comment from the grist.org Environmental News and Commentary Website
"Your list of Green Religious Leaders is incomplete without Gabriel of Urantia, pastor of the Global Community Communications Alliance temple. This unique man has been an activist for over thirty years while helping countless people of all ages through his spiritual rehabilitation programs. In scenic Northern Arizona, where he currently lives, he has been instrumental in resisting over-development and in helping to preserve the natural resources of this national jewel. He publishes the Alternative Voice, a periodical that addresses a myriad of environmental issues and offers solutions to such pressing problems as the current state of the global and local water supply.
I heartily nominate him."
- by rosewood, Aug 03 2007View website
Santa Cruz Valley of Southern Arizona
Under the direction of Gabriel of Urantia and Niánn Emerson Chase, Global Community Communications Alliance's ministers and community activists support the ecological health of the Santa Cruz River Valley, particularly Blue Evening Star (a champion for water issues), Minister Lah-May (Managing Editor of the Alternative Voice), Ministers Ah'Nuit and Miesen (Soulistic Hospice), Minister Centria (international relations & green building), Minister TiyiEndea (green building) and Minister/Attorney Celinas (immigration and family practice).
Working with Friends of the Santa Cruz River
May 31, 2017 Update:
Local Youth Celebrate the Santa Cruz River in the Seventh Annual Celebrate The River Student Art Contest
The seventh annual Celebrate the Santa Cruz River Student Art Contest was held on Friday, May 19th, 2017, at the Americana Hotel in Nogales.
Hosted by Friends of the Santa Cruz River and sponsored by Global Community Communications Alliance, students from ten local schools are submitting art on the theme: "OUR WONDERFUL WATERSHED". Schools participating in this year's art contest were:
- Montessori de Santa Cruz (in Tubac)
- Global Community Communications Schools for Teens and Children (in Tumacacori)
- Mexicayotl Academy (in Nogales)
- Desert Shadows Middle School (in Nogales)
- Wade Carpenter Middle Academy (in Nogales)
- Mary L. Welty Elementary (in Nogales)
- Lincoln Elementary School (in Nogales)
- Bracker Elementary School (in Nogales)
- A.J. Mitchell Elementary School (in Nogales)
- Fco. Vasquez de Coronado Elementary (in Nogales)
Members of Friends of the Santa Cruz River, and students from Global Community Communications Schools for Teens and Children, have given presentations to over 2,000 students on the art contest theme. By combining science and art, students participating in the contest learn about the wildlife and plants in the rare cottonwood-willow gallery forest that thrives in the riparian zone that is the life-blood of the Santa Cruz Valley.
A reception for the art contest display, presentations by local youth, and awards for winners of the art contest was given on Friday, May 19th from 6:30 — 8:30 pm at the Americana Hotel - 639 N. Grand Ave. Nogales, AZ. Many families and teachers came to the reception, and to view the wonderful art created by local youth.
The Art Contest display continued through May 22 at the Americana Hotel. The student art was viewed at "The Little Gallery at the Americana".
Here is some of the winning art from this years contest:
"Visions of Santa Cruz River". 1st place in the 5-8 age group. By Bracker Kindergarten.
"Humming Bird in the Santa Cruz Sunset". 1st place in the 9-11 age group. By Sympleahtae Raymond from Global Community Communications Schools.
"Extinction is Forever". 1st place in the 12+ age group. By Karina Torres from Wade Carpenter.
"Flirting With Disaster" Film Puts Spotlight on a Looming Public Health Threat in Nogales, Arizona
Every storm that hits Nogales, AZ puts pressure on the deteriorating, leaky sewage pipe that carries more than 14 million gallons of sewage daily, mostly from Mexico, right through the small city of Nogales, AZ to the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant (NIWTP) in Rio Rico, AZ.
This pipe, the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI), was constructed in 1971. Its path to the NIWTP lies mostly under the Nogales Wash. It is protected from erosive flood flows only by the concrete-lined floor of the Wash and several feet of dirt. Only about half of the original IOI pipe thickness remains due to over 40 years of wear and tear.
Because of upstream urbanization and its deteriorated condition, the IOI is in danger of becoming exposed and bursting every year during heavy summer monsoon flood flows in the Nogales Wash. Additionally, the IOI continues to leak raw sewage into the groundwater aquifer system that provides drinking water for most of the community.
The Nogales Wash channel and the IOI have outlived their useful life and capacity. A failure of either could have devastating impacts on property and public health. In addition, habitat for the newly returned Gila topminnow, an endangered species, could be compromised just as this native fish is being reestablished in its native Santa Cruz River into which the Nogales Wash flows.
A photo of the wash in Nogales, Arizona.
Friends of the Santa Cruz River commissioned a short video documenting the IOI problem to inform as many people as possible and to create a unified voice to urge federal decision makers to fund a proper repair for this failing infrastructure complex.
Federal legislation to remove financial responsibility for IOI repair from the City of Nogales, AZ has not progressed in the legislature and there are currently no introduced bills to actually fund needed repairs.
Friends of the Santa Cruz River is hoping pressure from the local government and community members will secure federal funding for the International Boundary and Water Commission, (which runs the NIWTP and oversees environmental infrastructure along the border) to repair the line with a plastic sleeve.
There are bigger issues that also need to be addressed, including the need for more and bigger retention basins and other water harvesting methods in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to reduce peak flood flows in the Wash. In order to protect the region from the potentially devastating pollution caused by a burst IOI during a big flood, a more permanent solution than the plastic sleeve in the IOI is needed. In order to find a solution that serves the entire watershed, extensive research will have to be done but the plastic sleeve repair of the IOI is a good place to start.
June 09, 2016 Update:
The Sixth Annual Celebrate the River Student Art Contest was a huge success! Hosted by Friends of the Santa Cruz River and sponsored by Global Community Communications Alliance, this year's contest received a warm welcome in its new location at the Americana Hotel in downtown Nogales, Arizona.
With ten schools participating and over 620 submissions of art, families walked into the Gallery at the Americana Hotel on May 13th to find every square inch of available surface covered with pictures, dioramas, sculptures, posters and more—all on the theme of the contest which was: The Return of the Gila Topminnow to the Santa Cruz River and other Local Endangered Species.
Students and teachers learned all about the return of the Gila Topminnow to the Santa Cruz River - and other local endangered species -during a power-point presentation, given by members of Friends of the Santa Cruz River, in the month preceding the art contest. By combining science and art, students participating in the contest learn about the wildlife and plants in the rare cottonwood-willow gallery forest that thrives in the riparian zone that is the life-blood of the Santa Cruz Valley.
At the awards ceremony at the Americana Hotel, a 5-minute version of the power point presentation was given by Blue Evening Star of Global Community Communications Alliance to the crowd. This was followed by questions from the audience which were answered by Doug Duncan, fish biologist from the Tucson office of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Also included in the presentations were two fantastic songs from the Cosmo Kids Choir, and a beautiful dance and poem. Both from the students of Global Community Communications Schools for Teens and Children.
A student from Desert Shadows Middle School, whose name is Jóse, was asked to speak and graciously agreed. Jóse shared what he learned about endangered species and about the Santa Cruz River. He, like many of his schoolmates, did not know prior to becoming involved in the art contest, that there was an area of the Santa Cruz River that has water flowing on the surface that supports a healthy and vibrant riparian corridor that is full of plants and wildlife. Jóse chose to make a paper-mache sculpture of the endangered Pima Pineapple Cactus and was very excited to share with the audience that he plans to do whatever he can to protect the river and all the life that it brings to this region. The emcee, Mr. Ben Lomeli from Friends of the Santa Cruz River, did an awesome job of making all announcements in both Spanish and English. Ben is a hydrologist and long-time advocate for all aspects of protection of our precious riparian habitats.
The contest judges had a difficult time awarding prizes due to the quantity and quality of the art submissions. Three Best of Show cash awards were given to three of the participating schools, and students in each of the three age categories were awarded art supplies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as well as eight Honorable Mentions.
Ms. Angelo Canto, Assistant Superintendent of the Nogales Unified School District, was also asked to speak at the awards ceremony. Ms. Canto was one of the biggest supporters of this year's art contest and it was her encouragement of schools in her district to participate that allowed us entry into so may classrooms. She spoke about the importance of including curricular activities that connect students to their environment.
The art contest display will continue to be available for viewing at the Gallery at the Americana Hotel at 639 North Grand Ave. in Nogales, AZ for the month of May. Gallery hours are: Mondays 3:00-5:00pm, and Thursday, Friday, Saturdays 12:00-4:00pm.
Friends of the Santa Cruz River and Global Community Communications Alliance want to thank everyone who contributed to making this art contest a success. The reason we are doing this contest is to make friends with our neighbors and to share the beauty of our precious river here in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. We know that relationships with local schools and families will continue to build, and together we will build greater awareness of the importance of protecting the Santa Cruz River.
In addition to moving forward with plans to organize the 7th Annual Celebrate the River Student Art Contest in May of 2017, we are already seeing significant connections being made as a result of this contest.
- The art teacher from Desert Shadows Middle School, Ms. Cuen, told us that she will be both the science teacher and the art teacher next year. She plans to include curriculum about this region and to take her students on field trips so they will know the names of the mountains that create our local watershed, as well as to get to know the Santa Cruz River.
- Melanie Rawlins, ranger from the Tumacácori National Historic Park, has offered to assist by welcoming students to the Park to visit and learn about the river.
- Natalie Brassill from The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Science, has offered to bring her mobile water lab to all school field trips generated to visit the river so students can see some of the science that goes into protecting the river.
- Doug Duncan from U.S. Fish and Wildlife is asking for permission to use some of the art for a booklet on Gila topminnow recovery plan, which should came out as a public review draft this year.
Now that is really combining science and art!
"Male Gila Topminnow" by Absolyten Raymond
6 years old Global Community Communications School for Teens & Children
Global Community Communications Alliance worked closely with friends at the Tumacácori National Historic Park, The Sonoran Institute, and the Friends of the Santa Cruz River to host two groundbreaking water-issues events in Spring 2009:
- a. Researchers Day (March 27, 2009) held at the University of Arizona. Many presentations were given by various groups who are doing vital research on the status of the Santa Cruz River, including discussing ideas for future networking and actions to preserve the environment of the Santa Cruz River Watershed.
The Researchers Day event has become an annual event, held every spring, in Tucson. The scope of the presentations has expanded beyond scientific research pertaining to the Santa Cruz River and its unique riparian zone to include presentations on scientific research projects about water quality/health issues in the Santa Cruz Valley Watershed, including issues south of the border in Nogales, Sonora.
In 2013, the event has become two days of presentations and networking due to its success and the increasing numbers of people and organizations who want to be involved. Researchers Days 2013 was held at the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson on April 15 & 16.
Participants of this event find it natural to build alliances of collaboration and information sharing in many ways that benefit the watershed. As the alliances of science and activism build, participants of Researchers Days are having ongoing discussions about ways to take this research and actively apply it in some way that will benefit everyone by protecting the watershed.
- b. Celebrate the River/Junior Ranger Day (March 28, 2009) held at the Tumacácori Mission. A day for families to learn about and celebrate the Santa Cruz River, with many interactive and educational activities for children to learn about the river, living history presentations, tours of the river, and games and music centered on the river. Other sponsors of this event were Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, Friends of Tumacácori, and Western National Parks Association.
In a partnership born of mutual dedication to preservation of the Santa Cruz River watershed, Global Community Communications Alliance and Friends of the Santa Cruz River began co-hosting the Celebrate the River Community Picnic and Youth Art Contest in 2011. This has grown into an annual event where 100s of neighbors from the various cultures of the borderlands region come together for a Sunday afternoon by the river to picnic, enjoy guided river walks, view a display of art done by local youth for the art contest (with a Santa Cruz River theme), and enjoy skits and music about the Santa Cruz River presented by students from the Global Community Communications Schools for Teens and Children and the Mexicayotl Academy.
Global Community Communications Alliance's annual Earth Day event (April 25, 2009) was held at the Main Stage at Tubac Plaza. This was a festive day of music, speakers, a Youth Forum with students from the Mexicoatl Academy on Nogales, Arizona and the Global Community Communications Schools for Teens and Children, with booths demonstrating a variety of aspects of eco-living.
A fruitful relationship between Global Community Communications Alliance has been formed with the University of Arizona Anthropology Department and the President's Good Neighbor Environmental Board, leading to Global Community Communications Alliance hosting an all-day sustainability workshop event at Avalon Organic Gardens, Farm, & Ranch with 40 students from Mexico/Guatemala/Ambos Nogales.
a. One group of workshop participants included high school students from Rio Rico and Nogales High Schools who were participating in an intensive Research Camp that week. While at Avalon Gardens these students videotaped some Global Community Communications Alliance students and teachers about sustainable practices with produce, waste, water, and green spaces. These interviews have been incorporated into a DVD that is being used by the Southeastern Arizona Health Education Center.
b. Global Community Communications Alliance also held a workshop on building with papercrete for students from the University of Arizona and friends Minister Centria met during a tour of environmental sustainability projects in Nogales, Mexico hosted by the University of Arizona Anthropology Department and the President's Good Neighbor Environmental Board.
Global Community Communications Alliance was invited to join a newly formed group called the Southwest Ecosystem Services Project. It is hosted by the EPA and USGS with the purpose of creating a Santa Cruz Watershed Ecosystem Portfolio Model. They invited Blue Evening Star initially because of her activism work with water issues and her networking with youth and other activist groups in Santa Cruz County, to create a Bioregional Sustainability Council for Earth Day 2010.
Global Community Communications Alliance has been a major supporter of Friends of the Santa Cruz River (www.friendsofsantacruzriver.org) since moving to southern Arizona in 2008. Lah-May and Blue Evening Star have served on the board of Friends of the Santa Cruz River (FOSCR) since 2008. Lah-May is the secretary of FOSCR as well as being editor of their newsletter THE FLOW. Blue Evening Star is involved in the outreach/education committee and the mining committee of FOSCR.
As of 2016, Global Community Communications Alliance members Lah-May and Blue Evening Star continue to serve as board members of Friends of the Santa Cruz River (FOSCR).
In addition to ongoing work to protect the river by monitoring in the RiverWatch program, FOSCR has undertaken a project to address a serious pollution threat in the Santa Cruz Valley. John Dougherty of Investigative Media has been hired by FOSCR to create a 5 minute documentary video about the catastrophic danger of a failure of the IOI. Here is an explanation of this danger:
A catastrophe is coming unless we act now. FOSCR needs your help to protect our community. People's lives and health are at risk, as well as our drinking water supply. In addition, this catastrophe will unleash environmental destruction on a massive scale. A sewer line, known as the IOI, runs under Nogales Wash. Every day it transports 14 million gallons of waste water to the International Waste Water Treatment Plant. It is collapsing. Without immediate intervention to rebuild this structure, when the conditions are right, communities along the Santa Cruz River from Nogales north to Tucson are at risk of a devastating flood of raw sewage. FOSCR has contracted with John Dougherty, an award winning documentary film maker to make a short film, to educate government officials at all levels as well as the community about the nature of the problem and the urgent need to protect not only people but the recently returned Gila Topminnow to the Santa Cruz River watershed. You can assist our efforts by making a financial donation and becoming involved with FOSCR.
Global Community Communications Schools for Teens and Children have partnered with Friends of the Santa Cruz River through Blue Evening Star's BioRegional Activism class. Over the years this class has been involved in many activities with FOSCR including:
- The contribution of educational displays about the Santa Cruz River to the FOSCR booth and the presentation of a shared FOSCR/GCCSchools booth at many events such as the Tumacácori Fiesta(2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), the Grasslands Fair at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (2011, 2012), the Watershed Managemant Group celebration at Guy Tobin Trailhead in Rio Rico(2012), Earth Sustainability Day (2009, 2010, 2011) and Earth Harmony Festival (2012).
- Attending FOSCR hosted events such as the annual Fish Survey (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), RiverWatch (2010,2011), riverwalks (many times since 2009), and power point presentations on flora and fauna of the Santa Cruz River in local schools (2012).
- Participating with FOSCR and Watershed Management Group in creating rain-water harvesting features at Guy Tobin Trailhead in Rio Rico (Six workshops in 2012).
- Sixth Annual Celebrate the River Student Art Contest
Gabriel of Urantia has a long history of inspiring activism through arts. Global Community Communications Alliance is the co-sponsor of the sixth annual Celebrate the River Student Art Contest, to be held at the Americana Hotel in Nogales, AZ on Friday, May 13th 2016 from 6:30 - 8:30pm.
We have ten schools participating in the art contest this year. The Nogales School District Superintendents Office has worked to make this year's event a great success by helping Blue Evening Star (who is the main event coordinator) to make contacts with art teachers in local public schools. Presentations on the contest theme are being given in many classrooms to prepare students for the art contest. This year's theme is "The Return of the Gila Topminnow and Other Local Endangered Species".
See more information at: http://friendsofsantacruzriver.org/events/
Building Food Security Alliances
Since the relocation of Avalon Organic Gardens & EcoVillage to Southern Arizona, we have been busy networking with various food security and justice organizations. All of southeast Arizona is buzzing with the support of much local, national and international organization to improve the local food security and health. Our alliances have strengthened with Somos La Semilla, Cosechando Beinstar, Mexicayotl Academy, Nogales Development Group, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Sabores Sin Fronteras, ARAN (Association of Reforestation of Ambos Nogales), Tucson Meet Yourself, Community Food Bank, Southwest Marketing Network, WHY Hunger and many more.
In 2013, Mariposa Community Health Center has been awarded a substantial 3 year USDA grant to improve food security and health in Nogales and neighboring areas. We are partners and provide technical assistance with organic gardening workshops at Avalon Gardens, as well as assisting with the establishment of a weekly Nogales Farmer's Market.
UPDATE: As of April 21, 2016, we at Global Community Communications Alliance continue to actively participate in the fight to stop the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains.
In February 2016, Hudbay Minerals Inc. (the current owner of the Rosemont Mine project) announced that construction of the proposed Rosemont copper mine will be delayed until the depressed copper market improves, but that it still intends to build the $1.5 billion project. We have seen major lay-offs of employees on other local copper mining operations. Asarco and Freeport-McMoran have released hundreds of employees at the Hayden concentrator and the Sierrita Mina respectively.
Mining economists agree that Hudbay is likely to open Rosemont when and if it gets permitted, even if the prices stay low.
Hudbay Minerals Inc. has yet to secure all nine permits necessary to open the Rosemont Mine. The final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), from the Forest Service, is inadequate and may have to be revised or supplemented. The EIS does not properly address issues pertaining to impacts on water pollution, migratory species, and endangered species from the proposed mine.
Multiple photos of the only known jaguar in the United States, and an ocelot near the site of the proposed mine, indicate that the project impacts on endangered species is much more serious than previously anticipated.
The 404 Permit from the Army Corp of Engineers (for compliance with the Clean Water Act) is not anywhere near secured. The EPA has strongly and repeatedly stated that the Rosemont Mine does not meet with their approval and the EPA has the authority to overturn a 404 permit issued by the Army Corp of Engineers.
The air pollution permit for Rosemont Mine was originally rejected by Pima County. The owners of Rosemont Mine then appealed to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) who approved the permit. Save the Scenic Santa Rita's filed a lawsuit and won, thus overturning the permit. Judge Crane McClennon of the Arizona Superior Court ruled that the decision to issue the permit was "arbitrary and capricious" an "abuse of discretion" and "not supported by substantial evidence". This ruling means that ADEQ will have to re-evaluate the air pollution permit in light of additional data and analysis presented by Save the Scenic Santa Rita's showing that the mine would violate State air and health standards.
To find out more about the Rosemont Mine see: http://www.scenicsantaritas.org/
To view excellent documentaries about the real story behind the Canadian-based companies who own the project see: http://www.investigativemedia.com/rosemont-mine/
Global Community Communications Alliance members have had several opportunities in 2009 to support the groups "Save the Scenic Santa Rita's" and "The Empire-Fagan Mine Coalition". These groups are working to protect the Davidson Canyon area from mining operations that threaten pristine wetland and canyon regions of the Santa Rita Mountains.
Global Community Communications Alliance has continued to closely monitor the process and proposals for more corporate mining projects in Southern Arizona, especially the infamous Rosemont Copper Mine proposal in the Santa Rita Mountains. Many individual members of Global Community Communications Alliance have been personally involved in writing letters to the United Stated Forest Service and other agencies involved in gathering public input and issuing permits for the Rosemont Mine, as well as volunteering for tabling with Save the Scenic Santa Rita's to assist in educating people about local mining issues.
On March 2, 2013 Blue Evening Star attended a workshop hosted by the ParaWatchdogs in Patagonia, AZ on advocacy training for protection of the Patagonia Mountains from new mining operations.
"Every 15 seconds a child dies from lack of access to clean water." as stated in Utne Reader magazine, March/April 2007, p. 5 by Aveda Corporation
Through his publication The Alternative Voice, Gabriel of Urantia has addressed many water issues both locally and nationally, read about them here:
March/April 2003 - Water: Basis of Life or Commodity for Profit
November/December 2003 - Running On Empty: The Value of a Natural River
January/February 2004 - Plundering Natural Resources; Water On Indian Lands; Part 1
March/April 2004 - Plundering Natural Resources From Indian Lands; Part 2
June/July 2004 - SRP: What is it? Who does it serve