The Condor and the Eagle

More than 500 years ago, before the arrival of the first Europeans, vast civilizations flourished in what is now called the Americas.

Trade routes and commerce had long been established across the Rockies and the Andes, from the farthest northern to the farthest southern regions of the Americas. It has been said that this was the time of union for Indigenous Peoples, the time of the Condor and the Eagle.

The Condor represents the Indigenous Peoples of the south, while the Eagle represents the Indigenous Peoples of the north.

Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., a member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe and Chickasaw Nations who has devoted much of his life toward the actualization of the reunion of the Condor and the Eagle, explains the prophesied decimation of the connection of the previous “kinship network, based in spiritual and cultural relationships” of the two.

“Respected scholars… believe that 80 – 100 million Indigenous Peoples perished from disease by the mid-1600’s, a catastrophe on an even greater scale than the ‘black deaths’ in Europe. Many more died afterwards as the direct result of hostile colonial policies.

“All of these prophecies predict, after a long and bitter wintertime of 500 years, that the ‘Reunion of the Condor and the Eagle’ will begin slowly and then rapidly accelerate following the end of the long-count of the Mayan Calendar, December 12, 2012, and the beginning of the fifth Sun. It is prophesied that this spirituality based movement, led by Indigenous Peoples, will ultimately result in a great era of compassion, peace, justice and prosperity that will unite all members of the Human Family.”

It is in this time of reunion that the wounds of injustice, of colonization, oppression, and greed – wounds that have been borne for generations - will begin to heal. And this spiritual Springtime will birth a galvanized and reunited human family.

VIDEO: Watch the preview clip for “The Condor and the Eagle” by filmmakers Sophie and Clément Guerra.

This long spiritual winter has begun to thaw, and more and more people are awaking to find themselves in a bleak world where the symptoms of industrialization, which stem from the disease of colonization, has become a cancer to many lands and waters.

"As the industrial corporations push further and further their destructive projects, destroy more and more Mother Earth, the people are now rising up. From outside, it seems to be tragic; but from inside, a spiritual giant has awakened. It is the reunion of the people that were already linked together. It is a reunion beyond borders. It is a reunion around the world," explains Lane.

With respect to this time, filmmakers Sophie and Clément Guerra have initiated a campaign to send four indigenous leaders affected by this destructive industrial nightmare to become ambassadors to this reunion.

“We reached a point in our lives where we felt that we could no longer keep our eyes closed as if our future, and that of our children, was not on the line. We began to see the world more clearly, becoming more aware of the injustices that are going on in the world. During our awakening, we witnessed an incredible movement building and being led by indigenous people and wanted to support their efforts. When you are aware, you have a responsibility to act,” they explain as a part of their Indiegogo fundraising campaign.

“For many years we watched many environmental disasters as a result of extractive industries. When we heard about the tar sands we knew it was time to act. We quit our jobs, took our ten years savings and began our journey to North America.”

Their project, The Condor and The Eagle, “weaves together the story of four individuals who in their way take a stand against corporate pollution, organizing communities where they live. Each person is involved in the fights against the tar sands (Northern Gateway pipeline, KXL pipeline, Houston refineries, oil tankers). In 2015, they will travel to South America’s Amazon rainforest to meet Indigenous communities impacted by similar extractive industries.”

An elder and matriarch of the Ponca Nation in Oklahoma, Casey Camp-Horinek, has stood against the KXL pipeline, which would connect Alberta tar sands to the Gulf Coast refineries in Houston, Texas.

VIDEO: Casey Camp-Horinek speaks of her involvement with the project “The Condor and the Eagle.”

Ta’Kaiya Blaney, the now 14-year-old singer, songwriter who has been challenging the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipeline projects in the country known as Canada.

VIDEO: Listen to indigenous singer song-writer Ta’Kaiya Blaney tell of the injustices of tar sands production and her wish to participate in “The Condor and the Eagle” documentary project.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, of the Lubicon Cree First Nation, also living in Canada, stands against tar sands extraction in all forms and works to make the connection between the violence against Mother Earth and the violence against all women. “The two are inextricably linked,” she explains.

VIDEO: Melina Laboucan-Massimo explains the balance needed during this time and her involvement with the documentary project.

The Gulf Coast’s Bryan Parras lives in Houston, Texas and has been committed to fighting tar sand refining in his area, as well as in “organizing marginalized communities to confront environmental racism” across the Gulf region. (Bryan is also on the core leadership team of Bridge The Gulf project).

VIDEO: Bryan Parras discusses his work with Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.) and how that relates to the video project “The Condor and the Eagle.”

Through the travels of these four ambassadors, the Guerras’ hope is to “use the film as a way to blow the whistle and alert the public to the urgent issues emphasized in our film.”

“Once the film is finished, we will continue our travels (North America, South America and Europe) using the film as an educational tool,” they explain.

Writings from Lane underline the timing of the project as right and important.

“Once the Reunion of the Condor and Eagle is fully realized, Indigenous Peoples and their Allies will become a major and decisive economic and spiritual force not only in the Americas, but around Mother Earth. Indigenous Peoples and their Allies will then be in a position to mandate the wise and harmonious ways our Mother Earth’s gifts will be, respectfully, safely and sustainable developed, as well as, when development is not appropriate, no matter how much profit is to be made!”