There is a beautiful and very inspiring website, peerservice.org which regularly sends deeply inspiring (and only inspiring) messages. You can subscribe to their newsletters from which I took the following message.
It is a declaration that was recently made at Standing Rock, the place in North Dakota where Native American tribes and their supporters from the environmental movement won a major victory over an energy company that wanted to lay a pipeline which would have soiled some sacred lands of theirs. It was an unprecedented victory in the history of the Native American Nations and one that all those concerned with justice hope will be permanent.
During the recent manifestations of these nations, a group of US army veterans made a declaration asking forgiveness of the Indian Nations for the way the vets’ ancestors had treated them. I consider this a statement of major importance, as I believe a great deal of the violence in the US and the world is due to the terrible violence and injustice that our forbears inflicted, in the US on the Native Americans, elsewhere on the former colonial territories. I am Swiss and we never had colonies, but members of the Swiss aristocracy were involved in the slave trade and I feel also a co-responsibility for what happened in these lands (e.g., there were many Swiss settlers in Algeria – and elsewhere.) And it is my conviction that, unless there is an act of repentance at the very highest level of our Western nations towards the former colonial territories, and in the US towards its Native and Black populations, an unhealed wound will stay open. Here is the statement of Standing Rock from the PEERS newsletter.
US VETS SEEK FORGIVENESS AT STANDING ROCK
We fought you
We took your land
We signed treatises that we broke.
We stole minerals from your sacred hills,
We blasted the faces of our presidents on your sacred mountains,
We took still more land,
We took your children
We tried to take your language, your language that God gave you.
We didn’t respect you.
We polluted your earth,
We hurt you in so many ways.
It is time to say: we are sorry
We are at your service,
We beg for your forgiveness.
And as a Swiss citizen, I beg forgiveness of the tens of millions of poor in the Third World whose presidents despoiled them of their wealth and hid funds therefrom in Swiss banks.
Together, we will heal this world or destroy it. There are no more private paradises. I deeply believe we will heal it. For we are not running the ball game.
May you all have a blessed 2017. Remember that WHATEVER happens, despite all material appearances to the contrary, the universe is conspiring at every moment for our ultimate good.
Such love to you all