Indigenous Elder Wisdom

1_EW_IEW_blue corn basketElders from around the world have read the signs of the times, and understand what it is we are facing as human beings at this time. Great changes are occurring on Mother Earth, and these changes are intensifying. These signs pose an urgent call: The time is now to vigorously restore our ceremonies, language, rites of passage, stories, art, prayer chants and songs, and Original Instructions given to the real human beings of all nations. As a traditional messenger, Merculieff has worked with indigenous peoples from around the world and participated in numerous sacred ceremonies, including with the Mapuche in southern Argentina, the Tarahumara people in northwestern Mexico in the Sierra Madres, with the Haudenasaunee in eastern Canada, with the Hawaiians, Yupik Eskimos, Mayans, Inca, Athabascans, Tlingits and many more.

“There is no First Nation without their significant gift. When the leaders of all traditions open their hearts and minds to share their ways in sacred gatherings, all will begin to see the importance of the traditions and gifts they carry, like pieces of a puzzle put back together. We cannot see the meaning of one piece until all the other pieces are put in place. It is time now to bring your part to share in the Great Council of Spirit that is mobilizing around the world.” – Ilarion Merculieff

Through these meetings, important exchanges occur through sharing stories, prophecies and ceremonies. What is shared in this section on Indigenous Elder Wisdom have been given to Ilarion to give to the world. Thank you for taking your time with what is here.

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Heart Matters

Summary: In this TedX talk given in Homer, Alaska, Larry Merculieff speaks on Native ways Knowing.    
Source: TedX Homer. 2011

13 Indigenous Grandmothers: Healing the Spirit from the Light Within

Summary“Healing the Spirit from the Light Within” was the theme this year’s International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers conference. Yup’ik grandmother and traditional healer, Rita Blumenstein of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium was honored by grandmothers from around the world at the 9th annual gathering held in Anchorage on May 18 – 21.
SourceAddressing Alaskans features presentations given by local native leaders, Rita Blumenstein, Rosemary Ahtuangaruak and Larry Merculieff at the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers gathering.
Forces of Nature – Environmental Elders speak
Summary: Larry Merculieff, an Aleut elder from the Bering Sea’s Pribilof Islands shares his wisdom about the importance of our relationships with ourselves, our spirituality, and how our thoughts and actions matter in our relationship to nature. Are we listening?  
Source: Forces of Nature. June 2011.
Indigenous Elder Wisdom for Modern times   
Description: Larry Merculieff speaks on indigenous elder wisdom for modern times. Additonally, features key information on the sacred feminine.
Source: Earth and Spirit Council, The Natural Way – i-WE Project – Natural Way: Indigenous Voices . 2011.
The Power of Ceremony
Summary: Linda Neale of the Earth & Spirit Council and author of the book, Power of Ceremony, responds to a question from the audience at the opening session of the Earth Day Conference 2012 co-sponsored by the Council and Portland Community College (PCC)/Sylvania Campus. She is joined in the response by Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff who was born and raised with a traditional upbringing on the Pribilof Islands of the Bering Sea. His traditional name, Kuuyux, was given to him when he was 4 and means extension of ancient knowledge into modern times.
Source: Earth Day Conference. May 2012 
Moore Up North
Summary: Features a panel discussion with Larry Merculieff, author of “Aleut Wisdom: Stories of an Aleut Messenger,” Craig Medred from the Alaska Dispatch, and
Tom Stenson, Legal Director, Alaska ACLU.  
Source: Moore Up North. December 2011.
Going to the Heart of Sustainability: An Indigenous Wisdomkeeper’s Perspective with Ilarion Merculieff
Summary: Indigenous peoples who have intimate and sustained contact with their lands and waters and who have maintained the spiritual basis for relating to everything in their environment have a profound understanding of what “sustainability” really means even though that is not the word that they would use. In this evening talk, Ilarion gives insight into what sustainability really means.
Source: Kalliopeia Foundation. 2012.
Beloved Community: Hello, My Other Self
Summary: In today’s radically shifting world, the name of the game is resilience – the capacity of both human and ecological systems to absorb disturbance, roll with the punches and come up standing. Resilience arises from building community – enduring relationship and networks that hold cultural memory in the same way seeds regenerate a forest after a fire. Indigenous leaders Ilarion “Larry” Merculieff and Guadalupe Avila come from old-growth cultures that have sustained community over centuries and millennia. Here, Merculieff shares on resilience.
Source: Bioneers Radio. 2012  
Mother Earth’s Sacred Sites
Summary: Indigenous elders around the world point out that our planet is a living organism and she has a fever. Her natural defenses are being released in the form of floods, droughts, heat waves, blizzards, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. The elders say Mother Earth has certain pressure points, or energy portals – also called sacred sites. The elders say we must return to ceremonies at these sacred sites if we are to avoid extreme suffering in the world. Will Mother Earth heal herself, or do human beings have to play a part? Guests are Siberian healer Galina Vladi and environmentalist Larry Merculieff (Aleut). (from NAC website)
Source: Native America Calling (NAC). 2010.  
Indigenous Elder Wisdom for Modern Times
Summary: Larry Merculieff speaks on indigenous elder wisdom and modern day personal solutions to global challenges.
Source: First Voices Indigenous Radio. October 2011.  

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Wisdom of the Elders – Conversation with Michael Stone
Summary: Radio program Michael Stone with Ilarion Larry Merculieff talking about Ilarion’s book, “Stop Talking” Native Elders wisdom, words and the journey of the real human being.
Source: Soundcloud Michael Stone Conversations, 2015

9th Gathering International Council of 13 Grandmothers held at Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage

  • Rita Pitka Blumenstein, Yup’ik grandmother, traditional healer, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, Inupiaq activist
  • Larry Merculieff, local native leader

EVENT: 9th Gathering International Council 13 Indigenous Grandmothers held at Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage
HOST: International Council 13 Indigenous Grandmothers
Recorded Wednesday, May 18 – Friday, May 20 2011 Broadcast on KSKA 
Elders saw Climate Change coming early
Summary: Radio program discussing how Alaska Native Elders witnessed the effects of climate change on their environments.
Source: Alaska Public Media, May 2012
Larry Merculieff on indigenous elder wisdom and modern day personal to global challenges
Summary: Host Michelle Schroeder Fletcher interviews Larry Merculieff who is one of the presenters at the Earth and Spirit Council’s Earthday Conference 2012.
Source: KBOO Community Radio, Portland Oregon. April 2012  


Aleut Wisdom: Voice of an Aleut Messenger (Les Intouchables Publishing Company of Montreal, 2009)
Ilarion Merculieff, co-author
Summary: The book, published in the French language, is based on the wisdom Merculieff learned from his Aleut people and indigenous elders from around the world, relating key information about traditional worldviews and cosmology.
Handbook of Contemporary Paganism
Edited by James R. Lewis and Murphey Pizza
Summary: Detailed look into modern day expressions of paganism from popular culture to the evolution from ancient times. Merculieff quoted on Pg, 219.
Source: Koninklijke Brill NV. 2009

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Published Articles

Mastering Moving Energy: An Iindigenous Perspective On Mind and Morality
By Ilarion Larry Merculieff
Summary: Mind and morality: where do they meet?
Source: Center for Humans & Nature, 2014
Stop Talking’ Reflection on Cultural Relevancy in Online Teaching
by Melissa White
Summary: Melissa White writes about how we learn about cultures
Source: EduTipps, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Dec 2014
Bioneers Report: What better time to be born than now.
by Sam Edmondson
Summary: Sam reports on the Bioneers conference with particular focus on the work done by Weaving Earth with young people. Ilarion Merculieff, is quoted in his role as co-anchor of Council Tent at Bioneers.
Source: Weaving Earth, Nov 2014
The Story of Larry Merculieff
Summary: Larry Merculieff gives a recipe for healing—ourselves, each other and the Earth—from the Four Sacred Directions.
Source: Our World In Balance blog, 2007.
The World of the Fifth Hoop
by Don Coyhis and Ilarion Merculieff
Summary: Authors speak about the role of Alaska in this time of healing, the coming together of the four sacred colors, the four sacred directions to restore the World of the Fifth Hoop.
Source: The Wellbriety Movement’s Online Magazine, November 2006.  
The Gifts from the Four Directions
by Ilarion (Larry) Merculieff
Description: Ancient stories tell of a time when the peoples of the world are reunited and their gifts bring a new world into being. Might this healing process already be underway?
Source: Yes Magazine. 2004.
Let Goodness Take its Place 
Summary: Ilarion Merculieff brings messages from the spiritual leaders of the Hopi and [also the] Maori people from New Zealand.
Source: Good works on, November 2004.
A Conspiracy of Hope; the gifts from the four directions
Summary: Merculieff gives humankind a map for restoring balance on the Earth, in ourselves and in our communities. Together, we must bring the gifts from the Four Directions together. With these four qualities, and with conscious intent and action to combine the gifts of the four sacred colors, one can only speculate as to what immense beauty will be created.
Source: Tierra y Vida blog. Spring 2004  

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The Talking Circle
by Larry Merculieff ©2009
Summary: Being present is the key to being part of the solutions needed today. The talking circle has been used in all indigenous cultures in different forms as a way to come together as a people to practice being present, welcoming communal wisdom and unburdening oneself to be able to think clearly. Merculieff gives nine key rules of engagement for trying this at home.  
The Original Instructions
By Ilarion Merculieff
Summary: Merculieff calls attention to the timely response needed to bring the world’s spiritual teachings together for the benefit of all life. Peoples from all directions carry unique gifts that must come together, in complement, to complete the Sacred Hoop. The time is now.  

Transcribed Presentations

Elder Wisdom, Subsistence Rights, and the Environment
Keynote Presentation to the Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management
October 9, 2006
By Larry Merculieff
Summary: The wisdom of the elders is needed and essential for facing the challenges we face today. Merculieff honors many who have gone before, who gave their lives to protect Aleut traditional ways of life and subsistence rights and acknowledges these ways are challenged now more than ever. He calls on the next generation to think big, honor the past and look toward the next seven generations with every act.

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