Comment: An open letter from the World Rainbow Family

This is an open letter to the Vancouver Island community from designated representatives of the World Rainbow Family.

The Rainbow Family is an open family; for that reason, we cannot possibly talk for the multitudes of brothers and sisters around the world. However, the World Rainbow Council in Raft Cove designated us to convey the family’s sentiments.

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We would like to introduce ourselves as the Rainbow Family of Living Light. We are a worldwide, inclusive family of conscious people who gather to share our creativity in a loving and peaceful environment.

We further wish to convey our apologies to the residents of the North Island community and First Nations for not asking for their blessing to gather at Raft Cove. There were unforeseen circumstances that required us to change location at the last minute. We were also functioning with the understanding that as it was a public park, we could safely gather at Raft Cove. We continue to evolve and grow from our mistakes.

Having since spoken to residents, park rangers and First Nations representatives, we understand and acknowledge all concerns. We have acquiesced out of respect for the wishes of the North Island First Nations, whom we regrettably didn’t consult as to whether we could gather in a place of cultural significance to them.

To be clear, there were never more than 125 brothers and sisters on the Raft Cove site.

We would like, however, to give you our perspective on that situation. A main reason sounded for why we shouldn’t be able to gather on Raft Cove was the environmental impact on this place of significant natural beauty. What our family saw on our journeys around the North Island deeply shocked us, and we would like to share with the local community and the world the horrific level of deforestation of ancient and sacred trees occurring now on the North Island.

 The Hopi prophecy that forms the ideology of our family is that a tribe, from all corners of the world, with multiple colours, will rise up from the midst of destruction and heal the earth. Given that we are a deeply environmentally conscious group, these environmental concerns were hard to comprehend. Historically, we have been involved in local environmental matters, such as the 1993 protection of the Clayoquot Sound forests.

We have engaged the Tofino Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and council of chiefs in an open dialogue to identify an alternative, safe venue for our gathering.

The World Rainbow Gathering is not a party or a festival; it is about healing the world and a celebration of unity with each other and the earth. From our meetings with numerous representatives of the First Nations and the mayor of the District of Tofino, Josie Osborne, we understand that Tofino-area Tla-o-qui-aht children are in need of a playground. We have therefore extended an offer in order to healthfully contribute and help bridge our communities in providing a safe haven for the children to gather and play.

Although it’s very hard to accurately forecast numbers, we estimate that about 250 of our family will gather on the Island until the end of August. We now hope that a light has illuminated a previous darkness with regard to these issues.

We would like to thank the Vancouver Island residents for the kindnesses they have shown our family members on an individual basis over the last couple of weeks. Through nothing more than our efforts to heal this area, we would like to be remembered here. We look forward to this beautiful opportunity to give back to the local community.

Love and Light.

The World Rainbow Family is a community of people dedicated to peace and love.

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