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Fast for the Future
Lyla June Johnston begins a seven-day fast today on steps of the New Mexico state capitol building
By Lyla June Johnston Posted in Climate Change on January 20, 2020
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Today, in honor of the traditions of her ancestors, Lyla June Johnston will begin a seven-day fast on the steps of the New Mexico Statehouse. She begins her fast on Martin Luther King Day, as she says, “to honor his courage to act in times of crisis.” Johnston is challenging fellow Democrat Brian Egolf, Speaker of the House, and will be using the fast to invite contemplation and prayer; to draw attenton to the climate crisis; and to launch a discussion around her innovative Seven Generations New Deal.

New Mexico is home to the world’s top oil producer, the Permian Basin, which would account for 10 percent of the global carbon budget if extracted and burned. Johnston’s intention is to prevent that from happening, and to move the public to a larger discussion about the disastrous consequences of our country’s addiction to fossil fuels.

Here she explains, in a live Facebook video, the reasoning behind her decision:

Greetings, my kin and family, I am inviting you to my seven day fast on the Capitol steps here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It starts Martin Luther King Day this Monday and it goes through Sunday, January 26. I’d like to invite all of you to come and sit with me to come and pray with me. And we’re doing seven days because we want to pray for the next seven generations to come. This is an indigenous concept that all of our policy and all of our actions should consider the impact on the next seven generations to come. And as a candidate for District 47 in the New Mexico House of Representatives, I really want to embody that principle and have our policies embody that principle. So during these seven days, we will be unveiling our Seven Generations New Deal, which is a seven point program for climate action. And we’d love for you to come and listen to see what we’re thinking and give your input, because we really want this policy to be built from the ground up. We fully expect that the first draft that we are releasing on Monday will look nothing like the final draft that we have by the end of this campaign.

We want you to evaluate it. Tear it apart and put it back together, because we believe that the only effective climate policy is one that is built of, for and by the people. We believe that no matter how smart we are as experts, we will never be as brilliant as all of the minds of New Mexico woven together in a beautiful tapestry of ingenuity and innovation. We believe that we are stronger when we come together, when we honor diverse perspectives, when we honor different peoples in different situations. And we would love to hear what you think about our Seven Generations New Deal. It’s a hybrid of the Green New Deal and indigenous principles and practices. And each of our seven points has a policy action item so that these aren’t just principles, but real legislation that we could bring into the Santa Fe Roundhouse, the Santa Fe capital here in New Mexico and implement hopefully into law. And if it isn’t passed through the House and the Senate and signed by the governor, at the very least, we will be bringing these really important ideas into a sphere that has forgotten how to live on the Earth.

And so this is my humble invitation to all of you. I’ll be fasting all seven days. I will drink buffalo broth in the morning and evening. We have a medical crew monitoring my health every day. But we would really love if you could eat for me the first six days. And if you want to fast with me, come the last day, Sunday, the 26th, to the Capitol steps and fast with me. Pray with me and think with me. And as Sitting Bull said, Let us put our minds together and see what life we can create for our children. That is the whole plan here in my campaign. And if I’m elected, what I want to do as your representative. So please come and take the time to to be there with us. And if you want to learn more and see the exact schedule of all the events of the fast, you can go to And we would really love to see you there. So please come out and give me a little bit of strength because it’s gonna be a hard seven days. Thank you for your time. And we’ll see you there.

Checking my vitals and doing a pre-evaluation before this seven-day fast for Mother Earth in a time of climate crisis. We start at 7AM tomorrow. Normally I do not pray or fast in public, but extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. I wanted to use this opportunity to get us all together to think about solutions to our situation. Thanks to Nicolle Gonzales, RN, and Dr. Rupa Marya for checking in on me each day and making sure everything is going well with me. (Lyla June’s Facebook page)

For a full schedule, see Follow her on Facebook and Instagram, and read her previous articles in The Esperanza Project.

climate crisis Fast for the Future Lyla June Johnston Permian Basin Seven Generations New Deal

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  1. Dearest Lyla,

    You have my total sympathy for your fast on the steps of the New Mexico State Capitol Building. I am a writer and language teacher (77) am from the Netherlands originally and am living in the southeastern Sate in México, in 0axaca. I have lived one school year with the Mixe Nation here in the NorthEast of the State of 0axaca, who call themselves Ayouck Haj, the Ayouck or Ayüük people. I learned from them and have written a work of 60 chapters with the name of “El Ilcate”. This work is about the original peoples all over the World who have professions like small farmers, fishermen and carpenters among other professions that are close to working in Nature and who are the best defenders of ecological matters. Please contact me on [email protected] for receiving my friendship and sympathy, Poul van Bremen Mulder.