Proposed Gregory Canyon Landfill: Cultural Fact Sheet below and poster above from the savegregorycanyon.org website

1. The proposed Gregory Canyon landfill is located on the western slope of Gregory Mountain, a spiritual and religious site of tremendous significance to the Luiseno people.

2. Gregory Mountain is known as Chokla among the Luiseno. It is one of the resting places of Takwic, an important spiritual figure. For this reason, the mountain is also known as Takwic Puki, or Takwic’s House.

3. Luiseno people have long made pilgrimages to Chokla for spiritual guidance, religious ceremonies, and healing. Putting a landfill on the sacred mountain’s flank is akin to building a trash dump against the wall of a cathedral.

4. Medicine Rock, another important sacred site, is located at the base of Chokla just outside the boundary of the proposed landfill. This site is well documented as a religious and ritual center. The landfill would irrevocably damage the sacred nature of this site.

5. The water of the San Luis Rey river is also considered sacred to the Luiseno people. The name Pala means water in the Luiseno language. The Gregory Canyon landfill represents an enormous threat of desecration to this vital source of lifegiving power.

6. Sacred sites are intensely personal and private to the native people who use them. There is little physical evidence of religious and ritual use of Chokla. Yet, spiritual significance is not to be found in archaeological evidence, but in the hearts and minds of the living people who venerate this place, and the ancestors in whose steps they follow.

7. The location and nature of sacred sites are usually closely guarded secrets within native communities. Yet, out of fear that Chokla would be desecrated, the Luiseno people have chosen to speak out to save their sacred mountain, as well as Medicine Rock. The sites are both listed in the Sacred Lands File with the Native American Heritage Commission.

8. According to Luiseno cosmology, the people have always lived on this land. Their sites have always been sacred. Archaeologists have documented that native people have lived in the shadow of Chokla for at least 10,000 years. The fight to save Chokla from the landfill is a fight for cultural survival.

Meeting: June 3, 2010 6:00 p.m. at the City of San Marcos Senior Center Horizon Room, 111 Richmar Avenue, San Marcos, CA 92069 is the Army Corps of Engineers Scoping Meeting.

savegregorycanyon.org

Mel Vernon, below, Chair of the San Luis Rey Band of Luiseño Indians, and long-term collaborator on the Indian Rock Native Garden Project, will be speaking “against the water killer,” as he so aptly has phrased it.

See you there!

Posted by deborah small

19 Comments

  1. Whenever I read something like this I feel a mixture of sadness and anger, plus a sense of pity for those who inflict such damage on our planet. The indigenous peoples of the world are blessed with so much ancient knowledge they should be listened to as a source of wisdom not crushed into oblivion by those who seek only to damage the planet for profit.

    In the end it will be the indigenous peoples who will prevail.

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  2. “Luiseno people have long made pilgrimages to Chokla for spiritual guidance, religious ceremonies, and healing. Putting a landfill on the sacred mountain’s flank is akin to building a trash dump against the wall of a cathedral.”

    Really, the ones who proposed making the landfill there should review their conceptions of respect. Yes, they may have just been thinking of the good of the people. But they are clearly going overboard. Serving for the good of others SHOULD NEVER entail the disregard for the rights of others, especially their right to an identity.

    Amiel, Hookahset.com
    Hookah Set: Real Taste of Adventure

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  3. “8. According to Luiseno cosmology, the people have always lived on this land. Their sites have always been sacred. Archaeologists have documented that native people have lived in the shadow of Chokla for at least 10,000 years. The fight to save Chokla from the landfill is a fight for cultural survival.”

    I hope the Luiseno people win this fight. To preserve both their culture and the environment.

    Insomnia Revealed

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  4. “5. The water of the San Luis Rey river is also considered sacred to the Luiseno people. The name Pala means water in the Luiseno language. The Gregory Canyon landfill represents an enormous threat of desecration to this vital source of lifegiving power.”

    River flows not just in one area but it is a connection between one body of water to another. Aside from giving respect to the Luiseno people, consider the massive damage it will bring about to the environment and the areas in which the river runs through.

    Allison Clark
    Sleep Apnea Revealed

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  5. It is right that we should respect to sacred place. The picture above described the unawareness of people in respecting the sacred place. So sadly looking at the pictures above!

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  6. You all voted to clear the way for this landfill, and if North County is next in line for major developments (over the next 20 years), then you all will need a place for your trash. Miramar is closing soon, Otay and Yuma are too far away, so just figure out how to get it done and do it.

    Marie
    Buy Elecronic Cigs

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  7. This project is not needed and is on an area that is geologically unstable near an aquifer and two water aqueducts, not to mention a Native American sacred site. Don’t believe what the “smart money” supposedly says, this fight is not over.

    Jesse
    Win The Lottery Today

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  8. There are so many strong and genuine points made here, it makes me wonder why they are overlooked and they want to go ahead with this land fill. Just this point here:

    “3. Luiseno people have long made pilgrimages to Chokla for spiritual guidance, religious ceremonies, and healing. Putting a landfill on the sacred mountain’s flank is akin to building a trash dump against the wall of a cathedral..”

    this says it all. Some people just have no respect, this sounds like money talking here to me.

    Paul
    Cruise Lines List

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  9. David Lawrence April 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I find it interesting that a protest was necessary in this situation. I would think that the government entity making the decision of where to place the landfill would just need to be informed. Sad that this wasn’t the case. Like the rest, I would really like to hear an update on how this has worked out.

    David
    Online Guitar Courses

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  10. Was there a decision made? I just found this page and just like Graham said… “that poster sure s though provoking.”

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  11. It is absurd… These people have lived on and under the shadow of Gregory Mountain / Chokla for ten thousand years and yet they have to beg and petition to keep it as nature intended. Leave Chokla and the Luiseno people alone. I’m sure there’s plenty of land elsewhere that would serve just as well as a land fill

    – Justin Davis
    Short Sale Assistance

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  12. The Luiseno people have every right to protest and speak their mind about this horrible landfill intrusion at Grecory Canyon. I sincerely hope that the decision to defile this sacred site is reversed as it is an important and special place for these native people. Please give us an update on this situation when possible.

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  13. Hello Deborah

    I was wondering what the outcome of the Gregory Canyon landfill meeting was last year? I hope the protest was successful. Landfills are not only disruptive ecologically, but the desecration of sacred sites of Native Americans by dumping garbage in them makes it even more disturbing.

    Jason

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    1. Yes I think this post should be updated, what was the final outcome?

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  14. Bookmark your site. Thanks for publishing about the desecration of your sacred site – we will hold the thought that you will overcome the adversity and greed.

    We also hold the thought that more and more people continue to awake and take seriously the mindset of being good stewards of our beloved earth and the other precious beings who live here who have no say in matters such as these.

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  15. That poster is certainly thought provoking – what’s the latest on this? I hope you managed to put a stop to this desecration!

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  16. Julia Ann Rivers June 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    The Native Peoples would be interested in your issues as we can help with out voices from your northern brothers and sisters. We have native organizations across our country like yours. I am sure we have the same issues. Miigwetch/Thank You

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  17. I have heard about this issue from a few different places–thanks for this post. I hope that you continue to post updates about this. If you don’t mind, I am going to post a link to this on my own site.

    Ryan

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    1. deborah small June 1, 2010 at 6:15 am

      hi ryan, i’m going to the meeting on thursday, so will post an update. and thanks for posting a link on your site and helping to get the word out. deborah

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