Pre-Parliament Event: Chicago, IL, USA
Chicago Pre-Parliament Event Sunday, December 7, 2008
3:00 to 8:00 pm
UIC Forum
725 W Roosevelt Rd.
Chicago, IL 60608

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December 7, 2008

Living Within Our Means

The Wisdom of Our Traditions for a Changing World

"Joyous" was the word used to describe the Chicago Pre-Parliament by one participant.  The voices of Indigenous leaders, Noble Peace Prize laureates, youth, and environmental experts permeated this event held in downtown Chicago on December 7, 2008.  Warren Clements mezmorized those gathered with traditional Aboriginal didjeridu music, song, and dance.  Mikael Smith brought great insight both as the keynote speaker and as a Indigenous panelist.  People from many different religious and spiritual tradtions throughout the greater Chicagoland area talked with each other, laughed, and learned from one another.  

Featured Keynote Speaker  

Mikael Smith

Mr. Mikael Simpson Smith, a Kamilaroi man, is the Indigenous Community Organiser with the Melbourne Parliament of the World’s Religions, Co-Chairperson of Reconciliation Victoria and the Managing Director of Australian Aboriginal Management Solutions. Mikael provides specialized Aboriginal services aiming to modernize Aboriginal culture retaining old structures, change perceptions of Aboriginal culture in the mind of mainstream citizens and raise the profile of traditional people to take their rightful position in society.

Breakout Sessions

“The Invitation” Performance

Join eight Noble Peace Prize laureates in a profound experience of gratitude and humility with the Chicago premiere of "The Invitation," a live theatrical performance by the School of Metaphysics.

Environmental Panel Discussion

Engage with panel of religious leaders from the Chicago area and witness how their varying spiritual perspectives inspire them and their communities to take action on pressing ecological concerns. Panelists include:
  • Dr. Stephen Perkins (moderator), senior VP of the Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • Rev. Clare Butterfield, director of Faith in Place
  • Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president of the Mosque Foundation
  • Joseph "Standing Bear" Schranz, president of Midwest SOARRING Foundation
  • Cyrus Rivetna, Principal of Rivetna Architects

Indigenous Panel Discussion

Learn from expert panelists about issues affecting various Indigenous groups in the U.S. and around the world. Panelists include:
  • Sr. Patricia Ann Mulkey (moderator), director of the Anawim Center
  • Prof. Joy Murphy Wandin, keynote speaker
  • Dr. Dorene Wiese, president of the American Indian Association of Illinois
  • G.B. "Starr" Bresette, Chippewa elder and pipe-maker
  • Georgina Roy, Certified Ojibwe Teacher
  • Mariel Blacksmith, Lakota Elder and Pipe-carrier

Youth Roundtable Dialogues

Dialogue with young people of faith about their vital role for the present and future of the interreligious movement. Explore the challenges that lie ahead as our world becomes increasingly globalized and our religious diversity more salient. Dialogue facilitators include:
  • Rev. Richard Williams (moderator), campus minister of Agape House at UIC
  • Jason Gutstein, founder of Student Pluralism Interfaith Network
  • Hannah McConnaughay, Outreach and Education Trainer at Interfaith Youth Core
  • Hafsa Arain, DePaul Interfaith Scholar

Shared Vegetarian Dinner

Continue the dialogue while partaking in a shared dinner that conforms to the dietary needs of nearly all religious traditions.  All dishware and utensils are biodegradable and safe for the environment.  Dinner is included in the registration fee.


Special Performances

Warren Clements, Performance Artist, Cairns, Australia

Watch Warren Clements bring his Aboriginal culture to life through music and dance. An Indigenous Australian born in the town of Katherine, NT, Warren holds a key position within the internationally acclaimed Tjapukai company based in Cairns, Queensland. He is a master of the didjeridu instrument, and with 17 years of experience in all aspects of performance, he is most in his element when he is onstage.

Genesis World Music Ensemble

Enjoy a unique blend of musical styles from around the world. Genesis at the Crossroads, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to bridging cultures in conflict through the arts, presents Genesis World Music Ensemble, a team of musicians from five different nations. Together they weave a tapestry of melody that is sure to inspire.

Chicago Didjeridu Chorus

Listen to the low, hypnotic hum of the Australian didjeridu, accompanied by instruments from other Indigenous cultures. The Chicago Didjeridu Chorus is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious group of 10 multi-talented musicians, dedicated to sharing the beauty of this simple yet impressive instrument.