October 24, 25, 1997, a group of 22 indigenous leaders from Canada, U.S.A., and New Zealand, met in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A., where the decision was made to host the Second World Christian Gathering On Indigenous People, September 6-13, 1998, in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA. Over 2000 people from 32 countries attended last year's inaugural event, hosted by the Maori people in New Zealand. The First Nations peoples of North America are next year's hosts. Plans are underway to host an event to be attended by 10,000 people from 50 countries. Lord willing, the Aborigine people of Australia will host the Gathering in 2000 and the Saami People of Norway in 2002.
The site of the September gathering, Rapid City, is in the Black Hills - Paha Sapa - the sacred homeland to several Northern Plains tribes, but the Dakota/Sioux people in particular. Black Elk called it the center of the universe for the Lakota people. I am told it is the geographic center of the continental U.S. It was also considered as a site for the United Nations. It has become a key New Age center of activity.
Sixty miles south of Rapid City is Wounded Knee, the site of the last battle (massacre) between the U.S. Army and native people. Mt Rushmore is in the center of the Paha Sapa, as is the new Crazy Horse Monument. John Dawson, as well as many local pastors, see Rapid City as a gateway city in the land.
Because of the redemptive dynamic regarding native cultures, there will be a tremendous amount of spiritual warfare and heated opposition to the vision. The redeeming of native cultures for the glory of God and building up of the Body of Christ among the nations of the earth has been held in check by the enemy for centuries. We see an emerging among native Christians occurring all over the earth. The fact that the first Nations of North America are hosting the gathering is significant.
A growing number of leaders around the country believe that this event has the potential to break the authority of some significant strongholds in the land as it relates to native people and God's redemptive purposes for the nations.
The Gathering is supported as by national and international leaders in the Body of Christ, including Dr. Luis Bush, International Director of the AD2000 and Beyond Movement, Mission America, Dr. C. Peter Wagner of Global Harvest Ministries, John Dawson of the International Reconciliation Coalition, as well as many key national indigenous leaders from around the world. Our North American planning committee is comprised of 45 native leaders from the U.S. and Canada, representing a wide variety of denominational, tribal and church traditions.
The Gathering is ...
Terry LeBlanc, Mi'kmaq Nation
Manager, Aboriginal Programs, World Vision Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org 204-826-2689 (Canada)
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