Newe (Western Shoshone) Spiritual Elder
Founder of Shundahai Network
Many of you know Corbin or know of his life’s work over the past couple of decades. He has had a profound impact on almost everyone he has met.
This past summer, Corbin was diagnosed by western doctors with prostate cancer which has reportedly spread to his bones. After spending the early summer at Nanish Shontie, Corbin is back at Poo Ha Bah where he is receiving constant care and is close to the healing hot springs.
Due to the healing ceremonies, prayers and help of many people, his health has been improving but he still needs our prayers and any good energy that you could send him. We send our heart felt gratitude to those who have been already doing this. We do believe that this has been helping him in his healing. Corbin is in good spirits and has said that he is feeling better.
We are asking that if anyone would like to help in the expense of Corbin’s medical treatments, exams, herbs, transportation costs, and other related expenses, please send checks to Corbin Harney, P.O. Box 187, Tecopa, CA. 92389
We are collecting messages to send to Corbin towards the end of December in a care package. If you know Corbin, please consider writing a short statement that we can include.
Update 10/6/06 from Nanish Shontie :
Corbin Harney is an elder and spiritual leader from Newe Sogobia (The Peoples land). The Newe or Western Shoshone are the indigenous people whose homeland spans across five different states; Nevada, Utah, Idaho, California and Montana. Corbin works tirelessly to save the land that his people have survived on for millions of years. The land where the United States Government has exploded countless numbers of nuclear bombs and dumped the resulting highly radioactive, nuclear waste.
"The food that my people survived on is not here no more on account of this nuclear weapon that we have developed," Corbin explains. " The pine nuts aren't here no more, the chokecherries aren't here, the antelope aren't here, the deer aren't here, the groundhog aren't here, the stagehen aren't here."
Today, instead of hunting antelope or gathering pine nuts, as his ancestors have done, Corbin travels around the world spreading his message about the dangers of nuclear energy and the problems facing our Mother Earth. "The Mother Earth provides us with food, provides us with air, provides us with water. We, the people, are going to have to put our thoughts together, to save our planet here. We've only got one water, one air, one Mother Earth."
Corbin has not had any college education yet he speaks eloquently to students, government officials and members of the public, educating them about the dire situation our environment is in due to an over-abundance of chemical usage on this Earth and especially the radiation damage from nuclear testing, storage and transportation on our roads and railways.
He speaks out about the contamination of our water and shares with people a vision that he experienced several years ago. "I was praying to the water and the spirit of the water told me, 'Pretty soon, I'm going to look like clean water, but no one is going to use me'. I didn't really understand what I was told until I went to Kazakhstan in Russia. Kazakhstan is where Russia tested nuclear bombs for many years. Over there I saw water that looks like clean water, but people can't drink it because it is contaminated with radiation."
Some people may find environmental and nuclear issues too depressing or apocalyptic. But the beauty in Corbin's words lie in the fact that he offers solutions to these problems based on the every day element surrounding his culture and all indigenous peoples. This quite simply is the power of prayer. Acknowledging the living spirit in every living thing, appreciating it, respecting it, talking and singing to it.
"The nature put all the living things here for us to take care of, not to destroy them, but to work with them so that we may live with them for many more years."
Those who have spent time with Corbin have seen him communicate with the natural elements and living things and they have seen the result; rain in drought areas, dry springs which started flowing once more, plants flourishing where they were sparse before and the return of animals that had not been seen in their habitats for many years.
"We have to come back to the Native way of life. The Native way is to pray for everything. Our Mother Earth is very important. Everything survives on our Mother, the only Mother we've got. We can't just mis-use her and think she's going to continue. Let's not destroy the Mother Earth. Let's take care of her and she will take care of us."
Corbin recently completed his second book, “The Nature Way”, in which he shares the traditional knowledge that his people, the Newe, have followed since time immemorial. He is the founder of, and directs, Poo Ha Bah, a traditional healing center in Tecopa, California. For his tireless efforts, Corbin received the 2003 International “Nuclear Free Future Solutions” award.
"I have established Poo-Ha-Bah for all the people. Poo-Ha-Bah in my language is a very important word-- it’s talking about Doctor Water. It’s really important to have healing water here, not only as a human-- a lot of animal life have used healing water, a lot of different ways. My people have always traveled for many miles to get into different kinds of healing waters. This is something that we all need, and this is one reason I have looked for healing water and I finally found one in Tecopa, California. I am pretty sure that we all will enjoy the healing water if we ask the healing water to help us with our illness of all different kinds. This is something that our people have talked about for many, many years."
Corbin says, “We need your help. Who ever you are, whatever color you are, wherever you come from on this Mother Earth of ours. We’ve only got this one Earth and we all have to take care of it. So I am asking all of you people through out the world to unite your selves together. Give us a helping hand so we can take care of all the living things.”
|"It's in our backyard... it's in our front yard. This nuclear contamination is shorting all life. We are going to have to unite as a people and say no more! We, the people, are going to have to put our thoughts together to save our planet here. We only have One Water...One Air...One Mother Earth."|
2003 Nuclear-Free Future Award Solutions Recipient Corbin Harney, eighty-three, is a Native American spiritual leader, healer, and internationally known indigenous rights and anti-nuclear weapons activist. Already as a youth he noticed something fundamental: your roots are important! When they dry up all strength wilts away. As a young man he left the missionary school in which his traditional language was forbidden, and trekked with two packhorses into the mountains of Idaho. There he learned the second part of his lesson: the love you bestow upon the land returns ten-fold to you. Read more >>>
Corbin featured on PBS Circle of Stories
Biography: The Bear Goes Hungry
When Corbin Harney was a boy, he would run away from the missionary school where he was forced to sit and listen to a language he did not speak or understand. The children were punished for talking to each other in their own native tongue. Having lost his parents when he was a baby, he came to live with his uncle who gave him the choice of staying in school or going off into the mountains to learn to survive on his own. Corbin took two horses and went into the hills of Idaho to live off the land his people had called home for centuries.
Today, Corbin Harney is a spiritual leader, healer and internationally known indigenous rights and anti-nuclear weapons activist. He has performed his songs at the United Nations and at demonstrations from The Nevada Test Site to the Russian Nuclear Bombing Range in Khazakstan. He has been the featured speaker at anti-nuclear conferences around the world and has led thousands past the front gates of the Nevada Test Site on his traditional lands in mass acts of non-violent resistance to stop the testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons. Read more >>>
Corbin Harney has conducted ceremonies and shared his songs at gatherings from Tahiti to the Russian Nuclear Test Site at Khazakstan to the Nevada Test site.
Tribal Waters" CD featuring Corbin's 'Water Song' from the Sunrise Ceremony. Buy it from Amazon for $12.50
The Storyscape Project recorded Corbin Harney's Mother Earth Songs (Newe Huvia) in May of 2001. The songs speak of the sacredness of the earth and our relationship with its precious life and spirit. Harney is a Western Shoshone elder and leader and an internationally known anti-nuclear weapons and indigenous rights activist whose traditional lands has been used as a nuclear weapons testing grounds for the last 50 years. Read more >>>
Download Corbin's songs that he sings at each sunrise ceremony
These are mp3 files. If you have problems downloading, right click the file, save as, then play
Book Review: "The Way It Is" by Ramona D. Gaul
Enmeshed in the high-tech, hyper speed, information-age economy, it's easy for most of us to forget that we simply cannot survive without clean air, clean water, clean soil. It's also easy to shrug off your concerns by thinking, "What can one person do?" Corbin Harney, a spiritual leader of the Western Shoshone tribe, demonstrates what one person with a vision can do. "The Way It Is" is a wake-up call. It lays out Harney's vision of the law of life, the law that native peoples have always understood--that we have only one planet to take care of.
Since 1985, Harney and other Western Shoshone people have been fighting against nuclear weapons testing in Nevada. (The Nevada Test Site occupies land that the federal government illegally seized from the tribe in the 1940s to use for weapons testing.) The elderly Harney has totally dedicated himself to healing people, healing the land, and--most important--sharing his vision about the damage that nuclear pollution and other environmental abuses are doing to the land, air, and water. In down-to-earth, direct language, Mr. Harney lays out his beliefs and speaks directly to your heart.
His vision about water is alarming: "One time...when I was praying for the water, the water said to me, 'I'm going to look like water, but pretty soon nobody's going to use me.' Now, wherever I go, the people talk about their water being contaminated, and they can't use it."
Harney leads ceremonies and healing rituals on tribal land in Nevada and travels the Earth to talk to whomever will listen, telling them to pray for the Earth.
Over the years, he has achieved the stature of a moral authority for the Earth. He says, "I pray in the mornings for the sun, the air, the water, plants, the animals, the rocks. Those prayers have been passed on down from way back for thousands of years, but we haven't been doing enough of these things, of taking care of things, and now we have to come back to it. We are going to have to start taking care of things again."
As I see it all around me, the trees are dying out, our water is contaminated, and our air is not good to breathe. Those are the reasons why today I'm trying my best to come back to our ways of thousands of years ago.
We have to come back to the Native way of life. The Native way is to pray for everything, to take care of everything. Our Mother Earth is very important. We can't just misuse her and think she's going to continue. We can see what's taking place: the animal life, the tree life, even the water is telling us, but we're not paying attention to it.
We've been told to take care of what we've got so that we can leave something for the younger generation. We've tried to practice that from the beginning of our life, but we forgot our way.
I never have spoken out until lately here, the Spirit coming to me and telling me, "Well, you are going to have to give us a hand here." In a vision, not too many years ago, the water came to me and told me, "I'm going to look like water, but pretty soon nobody's going to use me." These words came from the water, the Spirit. Now I see that the water has been polluted everywhere you go, and pretty soon we're not going to be able to use it.
All living things like to enjoy clean water. The rocks right here, they want clean water. The tree life has to have clean water. We are all one life, and clean water is something we have to rely on.
We, the people, are going to have to put our thoughts together to save our planet here. We only have One Water . . . One Air . . . One Mother Earth.
Corbin Harney has just recently completed his second book, "The Nature Way", in which he shares the traditional knowledge that his people, the Newe, have followed since time immemorial. "The Nature Way" gives deeper insight into Corbin's early life, the teachings of his grandmother and the ways in which he learned to rely upon nature for his survival.
By talking about the importance of all life on this Mother Earth, Corbin inspires us to return to "the nature way," so that we can "start taking care of the land, beautifying our land, helping each other, sharing things together, then we can do a beautiful thing"
If you are a publisher or know a publisher that may be interested in publishing Corbin's new book please contact Corbin Harney by email email@example.com PO Box 187, Tecopa, CA 92389
One Water, One Air, One Earth Come and sit with this wise and gentle-spoken Western Shoshone elder and spiritual leader. You'll hear stories of his childhood in a white man's world, and teachings he learned from his grandmother. Corbin Harney has a vital message for all of humankind: "It's very important for all of us that we really take care of our own power. We were given the power by the Nature to heal each other. What we should be doing today is uniting ourselves together throughout the country, throughout the world." In the measured words of a wise man, he explains the hazards we face in a nuclear world, and how we can live respectfully on this one mother earth. 1 hour - purchase for $12
Summary: Corbin Harney of the Shundahai Network was interviewed by Joe Sacco on May 28, 2006 at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) peace camp across from the NTS the International Day of Action to protest Divine Strake
Corbin on the web and in print
Blockade of Nevada Test Site Highway
by Susan Lee, 1997
Nuclear Reservations 1995
Circle of stories (interactive website)