Bering Strait for Peace
In the middle of the Bering Strait, the border between the US and Russia – the two countries that possess over 93% of the world’s nuclear weapons – is less than three miles apart. This is the place where the peoples of the US and Russia are neighbors.
It is the place where birds fly and whales migrate freely but where the families of indigenous peoples who happen to live on one or the other side of the border are artificially separated, the place where the impact of climate change is observed and deeply felt, and the doorway to the Arctic where the US and Russia are increasingly in competition for our Earth’s precious resources.
In this place, where our countries nearly touch one another, we are co-creating a Festival for Peace for indigenous and all peoples both young and old — from the US, Russia and beyond, to gather in ceremony around the Summer Solstice 2023, to share culture, music, visual arts, dance and theater, to celebrate our common humanity and offer a vision for peace to the world, an invitation, a prayer, to open our hearts and minds and come together at this critical moment for our future.
“Sea mammals and birds can freely move across the Bering strait. One day all the children living on the shores of the Bering Strait should be able to do so too.”
At sunrise on Solstice 2023 – the longest day of the year – we will journey in small boats across the Bering Strait to a location as close to the border as the weather permits. There we will gather in a ceremony for peace and unity that will be filmed and shared with people of all ages and all backgrounds around the planet.
“He knows that getting upset and angry is meaningless. He knows that only the light of sharing and love can illuminate the road."
We are a group of people from Kaua’i, the US, Russia, and Greenland who have come together in the spirit of Aloha under the name Bering Strait for Peace to reweave the tapestry of our shared humanity that honors our ancestors’ prayers for peace and the well-being of all life on Earth.
We are a group inspired by a vision brought forth by Cynthia Lazaroff, founder of NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth, who has been involved in building people-to-people bridges for peace and reducing the nuclear threat with the Soviet Union/Russia since the late 1970s, and by Galya Morrell and elder Ole Jorgen Hammekan, founders of Arctic Without Borders. Galya and Ole have been working with the indigenous peoples of the Arctic for many years, have crossed the Bering Strait and been engaged in many efforts with the peoples of Chukotka. Galya’s ancestors are the Pomor peoples from the White Sea and the Komi peoples from the town of Salekhard, in Western Siberia on the Polar Circle. Ole's ancestors are the Kalaali peoples from Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland).
We are also working in close collaboration with Unangan Elder Ilarion Merculieff and with the core council of Wisdom Weavers of the World and Coherence Lab of Kaua’i. Together we hosted Global Prayers for Peace Water Blessing Ceremony on Summer Solstices 2018 and 2019 on Kaua’i with beloved Hawaiian Kumu Hula Puna Kalama Dawson and online Earth Treasure Vase Ceremonies for Peace in the Bering Strait with her on Summer and Winter Solstice 2020.
“The Bering Strait, with the omnipresent force of nature, with so many unknowns, the very unpredictable changes in weather, ice, storms, winds, currents, is a metaphor for our turbulent, unpredictable world today. If we can do it in the Bering Strait, we can do it anywhere."
--Galya Morrell, Co-founder, Arctic Without Borders
“I simply would like us to know more about one another, see more of one another, respect one another, take an interest in what is happening with one another and help each other... so that our countries which in fact share a border with one another at the Bering Strait can be good neighbors and good friends.”
"We should not fear one another. We should all fear the same thing together."
—Ivan Urgant, Most popular Russian Television host