Mona Polacca - North America
"Indigenous people have come through a time of great struggle, a time of darkness. The way I look at it is like the nature of a butterfly. In the cocoon, a place of darkness, the creature breaks down into a fluid and then a change, a transformation, takes place. When it is ready and in its own time, it begins to move and develop a form that stretches and breaks away from this cocoon and emerges into this world, into life, as a beautiful creature."
"We grandmothers, we have emerged from that darkness, see this beauty, see each other and reach out to the world with open arms, with love, hope, compassion, faith and charity."
Mona Polacca is a Hopi/Havasupai /Tewa elder. She has a Master of Social Work Degree from Arizona State University where she is working on her PhD in the Interdisciplinary Justice Studies department. She is also on the faculty of the Turtle Island Project, a non-profit program dedicated to promoting a vision of wellness by providing trans-cultural training, to individuals, families, and healthcare professionals. Grandmother Polacca has worked on issues of Native American alcoholism, domestic violence and mental health for the elderly native peoples. She advocates for the elderly and also has been doing some amazing educational work with indigenous children and their families. She represented the Council as the indigenous voice on the planning committee for the International Inter-religious Conference which will took place on December 10th, 2008 in The Hague. On the anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948, they invited supreme authorities of the different world religions to sign a Statement Faith in Human Rights. They did so in the presence of a large
gathering of national and international dignitaries and human rights activists including several Ministers, high level UN officials and Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
She is currently involved as a member of a working group for an upcoming Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, to be held three days prior to the World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, March 13-15, 2009