Two thousand Indigenous Peoples gathered this morning in the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York for the kick-off of the 14th session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Then the opening is the drumming followed by the high-pitched evocative chanting of an Indigenous woman from Russia.
Fifteen minutes later we are all going through the formal motions of the protocol of a United Nations Meeting. New ‘chair’ appointed, agenda projected, statements are voiced, comments are taken. But, although it looks like a massive bureaucratic process, it distinctly doesn’t feel like that.
The formal motions have an undertone of dedication and determination of an intent that’s working its way to ground level, the place where thoughts become things. This is the largest body of people of the United Nations next to the General Assembly. But it is not like anything else. Colours, rhythm, oneness, power and passion. I can feel the earth. And it moves me.