July 14th-17th 2017 – PLEASE SHARE

Greetings folks,
I’m heading up to Maine for the prophecy-based ceremony, Healing the Wounds of Turtle Island.  Sherri and I put on a call about this not too long ago, listen to an excerpt here and the whole story here.

As I started putting together We Are Nature Rising, I was looking for Indigenous advisors to partner with and I was introduced to Sherri within a few weeks.  She instantly connected with the vision and said she was tasked with organizing a ceremony for an emerging prophecy that goes back hundreds of years.

I see this as the WANR ceremonial launch of the next generation leadership vision with indigenous partnership for a healthy planet.  She and I began partnering right away mostly through raising funds for this ceremony.  When you listen to the call she will speak about the elders who will be present at the ceremony and offering them gifts with the request to host future next generation WANR leaders, training them in earth wisdom and indigenous core values of leadership.

I would love to have a sharing call after I’m back in a week about the vision of We Are Nature Rising and the impact of this ceremony.  Will you listen in on the stories?

In the meantime, listen to the call with Sherri, read the information below and if you feel called, support this healing event that is for all of us, here. Send some love, mention your connection through us when you donate.

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Towards a regenerative future,


Prophecy of the Eastern Gate

Our ancestors have long carried the story that the East is where we will gather to begin the healing of this land. It is here in the East where first contact was made between the Native peoples and the newcomers. And, it is here that the first blood was spilled and our history of violence began. So, it is here on this same land that the healing must begin.

Our prophecies tell us that when the people of the Earth begin to rise and unite to heal Mother Earth they will need to return to the East, the place of first contact, and heal the wounds that we all carry from our shared history of violence. The East is also the direction of Creation, where new life emerges. Once the people unite in prayer on that land, the healing will begin and true unity can be achieved. Here, we will renew our sacred contracts with one another as human beings, and we will renew the sacred contracts between humans and the rest of creation.

The Wabanaki, the people of the first light, are the keepers of the Eastern Door. We are the first peoples to greet Kihsus, the Sun, each morning, and Nipawset, the Moon, each evening. Now, we open our hearts and our homeland to greet all of you, so that together we may begin to heal the wounds of Turtle Island and set a new path forward for all life.

Structure of Ceremony

The first day will be for healing the wounds carried within the hearts and minds of the people. The second day will be for healing the wounds of Mother Earth. And, the third day will be for healing the energetic and spiritual imprint of that wound that lays over the Earth.

The ceremonies will be conducted by spiritual elders from Indigenous communities around the world, and by spiritual leaders from other traditions. We will be gathering on healing ground, along the Penawahpskek (Penobscot) River, at Nibezun in Passadumkeag, Maine.

People from every corner of the world, and from all walks of life are welcome. We ask that you come with a good heart, and good mind, and carry the intention of healing with you.

About We Are Nature Rising:

  • How can we take action to support native people and support the earth at the same time?
  • As Connected Leaders in the workplace, nested within ecological systems, how can we leverage our resources and leadership to live regeneratively on the planet?
  • As leaders in the nature connection movement, how are we potentially positioned between the native world and the modern world to affect positive change?

We Are Nature Rising, launched in December, is an integrated response to these questions. We Are Nature Rising is a regenerative leadership project that will awaken young adults to their ecological identity, immerse them in regenerative culture and foster the leadership skills needed to act on behalf of the planet.

We Are Nature Rising weaves together my passion for nature-connected leadership, evolving the relational and ecological capacity of the business/financial world, and deep respect for indigenous core values that I believe will result in a healthy world for us all

Our aim is to systemically address the intersection of issues that we believe challenge our ecological, cultural and spiritual well-being today: Indigenous Rights, Climate Change, Extraction-Based Economy and Nature Disconnection. We believe now is the time to step up and actively develop an intergenerational eco-social justice strategy at the national level.

How are we all related? Whether from an indigenous perspective or from an ecology perspective, things point towards the truth that we are all intimately linked in a living system of relationships.

Join Sherri and I on this webinar about
Indigenous Core Values and the vision of We Are Nature Rising.
Wednesday June 7th, 2pm
Register here.

We Are Nature Rising is working to address the intersection of issues that challenge our ecological, cultural and spiritual well-being today: Indigenous Rights, Climate Change, Extraction-Based Economy and Nature Disconnection. As part of this effort, we wish to evolve thinking around philanthropic giving from a compartmentalized single issue approach to one that embraces the complexity of nature, culture and leadership.  

During this webinar, Sherri Mitchell will discuss indigenous core values of kinship, responsibility, sharing and cooperation.  Mark will talk about the necessity of intergenerational leadership development.

What kind of cultural values are needed to cultivate the next generation of leaders?

How can we move towards integrating differences, and forming a new whole versus advancing a culture of winning and domination over others?  

How can we transform financial capital into social, cultural and natural capital for the purpose of long term regenerative culture?

There is limited seating on this call, if you are interested in attending live with us, register now.  If you are unable to make this time, registering will get you a recording of the call by email.

In addition to sharing teachings and stories, we have two fundraising goals:

  1. Sherri will be speaking about a ceremony taking place this summer based on Penobscot prophecies, that is called Healing the Wounds of Turtle Island. To come together to heal the earth and address the challenges of our times, Sherri says: “prophecies tell us that we will need to heal the original wounds and renew the sacred contracts between the people and the rest of creation”. All are welcome. Contributions are needed for travel expenses for indigenous spiritual elders coming from around the world.
  2. We are seeking a circle of visionary philanthropic supporters who will annually commit to a gift of $900- $90,000 for the next three years.  Our intention is to fund more native led projects like this and secure the first three years of operating expenses as soon as possible so that we can shift our focus to doing the work of We Are Nature Rising and not spend all our time raising money. Vision Circle members receive special updates and opportunities to directly connect with our indigenous partners and next generation leaders, as well as a chance to gather at our annual dinner.

Registering will include an invitation to a follow-up conversation about advancing We Are Nature Rising.


Sherri Mitchell, a Penobscot native advisor to We Are Nature Rising, is an indigenous rights activist and attorney. (Learn More)

Mark Morey, founder of We Are Nature Rising, fosters regenerative leadership values, practices and learning systems for communities and workplaces. (Learn More)

My name is Kawisente, I’m a Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) Clan Mother from Kahnawake, a Mohawk reservation just across the bridge from Montreal. I’m a mother of two: a daughter, age 17 and a son, age 14. My children and I have always been active in social and environmental causes. Culturally we were taught to be responsible for caretaking of the land, water, and all living things.

Because of people being disconnected to the natural world, we see all life suffering. Because of colonization, my people are lacking certain skills, (forest skills). Many people are just taught to have a high paying job and take care of their nuclear fmaily.

I first met Steve Leckman a few years ago when my chidlren were young and it was proposed by friends that it would be beneficial as families to learn these skills to bring back this connection to Mother Earth. Traditionaly it is the Uncles and Aunties that take the children and show them these skills. But Uncles, Aunties, Grandparents are too busy working. So Steve’s survival program and its volunteers fill the Uncle Aunt role.

Helping to bring the inner child (forest child) to the surface, playing in the forest, makes people connected to nature. When you’re living in it, you love it and so you value and protect it.

I allow non-native people on this land because I believe this program is a medicine that needs to be dispensed or prescribed to everyone. My children and non-native children are working side by side as caretakers of Mother Earth. Nursery school is where our first introduction to others begins. Forest teachings should begin as young as possible. This is when we are being formed and where we’re most open-minded.

“From Standing Rock to Queensland, colonized and indigenous people are demanding new relationships to water that sustains the life and land which provides for the people.
This approach entails returning lands and resources to indigenous control and rethinking our relationship to the environment by recognizing and protecting indigenous values and the rights of nature through the law.
While indigenous values, beliefs and practices are as diverse as indigenous people themselves, they find common roots in a relationship to land and water radically different from the notion of property. For indigenous people, land and water are regarded as sacred, living relatives, ancestors, places of origin or any combination of the above.”



“The deeper we understand ourselves, the more of the world we identify with and, as a result, the wider our circle of relationships and belonging.” – Bill Plotkin

We Are Nature Rising at it’s core is about leadership identifying with something greater than the self. It’s about identifying with community, with difference, with the greater collective and ultimately the natural world as a greater version of ourselves.

The role of culture is to guide the development of our humanity, honoring both wisdom and adaptive innovation. This includes the development of the self from an egoic identity to a collectively centered ecoic identity.  

There has been a lot of rapid change over time that has disrupted many culture’s ability to guide healthy human development.  The decline and outright loss of adolescent rites of passages, for example, has had traumatic impacts on adult behavior and moral compass.

We Are Nature Rising takes direction from the cultural practices that cause an individual to reflect on the deep questions such as “Who am I ?, What is my Essence? and What is my purposeful role in relation to the whole of my community?”.

These practices include solo times in nature, thoughtful self-narrative storytelling and deep listening time with those that hold knowledge and provoke inquiry.

If you feel moved, please SHARE this post and help us lift up We Are Nature Rising !
We Are Nature Rising is a project of Merrohawke and has 501c3 tax deductible status.  Make a donation today and help lift the next generation of leaders !  DONATE

When asked, “How can we know if a nation or culture will survive or not?” the Buddha answered:

“As long as a society holds regular and frequent assemblies, meeting in harmony and mutual respect, can they be expected to prosper and not decline.

As long as a society follows the long held traditions of wisdom, and honors its elders, can they be expected to prosper and not decline.

As long as a society protects the wives and daughters and vulnerable among them, can they be expected to prosper and not decline.

As long as a society cares for the shrines and sacred places of the natural world, can they be expected to prosper and not decline.

—Mahaparinirvana Sutta (a text of Buddha’s last teaching).


If you feel moved, please SHARE this post and help us lift up We Are Nature Rising !
We Are Nature Rising is a project of Merrohawke and has 501c3 tax deductible status.  Make a donation today and help lift the next generation of leaders !  DONATE

We Are Nature Rising takes direction from regenerative cultural practices that create health and well-being for people.  Culture is like an invisible mentor, always guiding and informing the people.

The Three Great Mysteries: air to a bird, water to a fish, mankind to himself
~ Hindu Proverb

Cultural initiatives are a very effective way to create change in a …community, school, church, institution, business, neighborhood…


Culture is about the context.  It’s the ocean you are swimming in.

The WW2 Victory Gardens are an excellent example of a cultural level initiative to create change.  This was a whole systems cultural approach that essentially changed the nature of the ‘ocean’ that people in this country were ‘swimming in’.  Take a look at this article clip below that shows the many ways this simple gardening initiative really had it going on.  It wasn’t just “hey let’s do this” and everyone thought it was a good idea. It was intentional.

What if we applied this approach to a nature connection campaign, a community resilience, local food, slow money, intergenerational community peacemaking campaign ?

Please comment below, I want to hear what you think !

During World War Two, 200 million people gardened, and 40% of produce consumed in America was homegrown.


How do you teach an entire city to grow food?

The Mayor of Boston helped plow up the Boston Commons.

Movie stars became part of the program. Veronica Lake changed her hair from swept over one eye to keeping hair back and out of the way – better for women munitions workers and gardening. The campaign was called “Hair wins the war”.

Cartoon characters and superheroes were used to further gardening message.

Popular culture was drafted into the gardening movement – beer drinkers showed having a drink after sweaty gardening. Fashionable gardening clothes were sold from department stores.

Children were brought into the movement by their parents and their schools. Chicago held well-attended harvest festivals and garden parades.

Corporations got involved. Sears started 24,000 Victory Gardens in the Los Angeles area. International Harvester provided the plows in Chicago.

To keep that food year round, there was a mass program of canning. Five billion pints of produce were canned by volunteers every summer during the war. “Pressure cookers and canning supplies were in such high demand that their production was overseen by the government.”

Gardens began sprouting behind sign posts, on railway embankments, in school yards and church yards and in window boxes.” Vacant lots and parks were also used – any spare space.

The Office of Civilian Defense was put in charge, with Fiorello La Guardia. His “assistant” was the President’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt – the last person to plant a food garden on the White House grounds until Michelle Obama. Could the Department of Homeland Security start thinking about real food security, and help found local gardens instead?

90% of the participants had never gardened before. This required a massive public training effort through: community groups, film nights on how to plant, educational brochures, talks by experts, newspaper articles. They mounted Kiosks near gardens and in public places to post notices and articles, a kind of social media of the day.

The City of Chicago was broken up into 7 regions, then down to block captains. Each official garden received a decal. There were many more gardens in private yards, and people who didn’t want to register of keep the paperwork. 75,000 of these decals were posted in the first year in Chicago, 1942.

In 1942, Chicago had 12,000 community gardens on over 500 plots, covering 290 acres. That doesn’t include private or non-registered gardens. By 1942 it was 53,000 gardens on 1500 plots. 14,000 children were gardening.

The first Victory Gardens were in Chicago, and it became a national model. The largest garden there was 32 acres, with 800 families participating.

Chicago passed an ordinance against damaging or stealing from Victory gardens. The fines were $50 to $200, which would be $650 to $2,600 in today’s currency.

It’s interesting to note that the food shortage and poverty during the Depression of the 1930’s was so severe that 35% of the men drafted for World War Two could not be accepted due to malnutrition.  

I wonder, Was this the primary motivation behind the Victory Gardens ?  National Security?

How did Chicago do it? “We had government support. There were overarching organizational structures. There was a donation of space and equipment. There was mass education, promotion, corporate and individual commitment, and recognition.”

If you feel moved, please SHARE this post and help us lift up We Are Nature Rising to the level of a Victory Garden Campaign!
We Are Nature Rising is a project of Merrohawke and has 501c3 tax deductible status.  Make a donation today and help lift the next generation of leaders !  DONATE

The following is an excerpt from Bill Pfeiffer’s book about transformational leadership experiences in nature. He interviewed me for one of his chapters in: Wild Earth Wild Soul.

We ended up talking about the role of extended family in bringing culture back into a regenerative state again.


Mark: If we take the long view of human beings as animals on the planet, we know— even with our limited anthropological lenses—that the culture our ancestors created was an imitation of the natural world they inhabited. The amount of nature-based arts that Native cultures have is outstanding—music, storytelling, dance, regalia, crafts; it goes on and on. And you know what? There’s no school in sight. The school I grew up with was designed to feed a machine, and I think it kills children’s creativity. Sir Ken Robinson and John Taylor Gatto have spent their lives explaining how this happens. Instead, I’m championing a life of intergenerational community mentoring designed around nature’s instructions. Nature becomes the school, and that’s been very successful and resilient over the long haul.

I think facilitating regenerative culture is like a holistic Chinese Five Element acupuncture treatment. Mentors who have spent a lot of time connecting with nature and applying that to people are like a combination of the acupuncture practitioner and the needles. They stimulate the meridians and multiple places throughout the entire body called culture, through core routines of nature connection and cultural mentoring.

Bill: Where do we start this cultural change?

Mark: One place to start is with the extended family.  It wasn’t that long ago that extended family was far more vital, so it’s not too hard to actually bring it back. The questions I ask to get people to think along these lines are: How long ago was it that the grandparents still lived with their families? What was life like before the nursing home? And what are the cultures around the world that are still that way? How many of you long to be in a village? How many of you wish to be seen by someone who can see your gift? How many people have adopted you as part of their extended family?

The answers to these questions are richer and more meaningful when the extended family becomes familiar with transition ceremonies around death, rites of passage, rites of competence, festivals, and other things like that. This is the beginning of intergenerational healing.

If you feel moved, please SHARE this post and help us lift up We Are Nature Rising !
We Are Nature Rising is a project of Merrohawke and has 501c3 tax deductible status.  Make a donation today and help lift the next generation of leaders !  DONATE