Taowhywee, Agnes Baker Pilgrim
Takelma Indian Elder, Confederated Tribes of Siletz
Supporting the Salmon Ceremony and the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers


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World Pulse Magazine

“Handed down from my people was a story that the only duty left to us from the ancient ones was the duty of prayer, so, I became a prayer person.”

Joining Prayers

Agnes Pilgrim, From the Great Forests of the American Northwest

It is exciting to be making history by venturing into the world praying to make a difference. Yet there are still many things that I don’t talk about as I’m afraid the Creator will quit helping me. In the beginning my people could become invisible, shape change, and talk to the animals. I believe what happened is they began to abuse their gift so the Creator stripped it from them. So, I try to be careful.

I travel to a lot of different lands being a “voice for the voiceless.” All things created need a voice. I am called to pray for the Bengal tigers, for animals in Africa, for wolves, for salmon, and for the Ganges River in India. I went to Australia to pray for the Murry Darling River and its pollutions. I prayed for the Condors and now they are coming back after being gone for over 200 years from Oregon.

My tribe sends me to areas that need prayer or blessings. They send me to christen a ship, to burial places, to testify for monuments, and to fight for special plant life. I’ve been called to lead prayers to stop clear-cut logging and to lobby in Washington D.C. to save our Siskiyou Monument here in Oregon which has plant life that grows nowhere else in the world. So far we’ve succeeded. We will continue to struggle to save some of our beautiful spiritual places. The prayers will help.

I’m the oldest living female left of the Rogue River Indians who lived in Southern Oregon for over 20,000 years. As a registered member of my tribe, The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians for many, many years I have served on tribal committees always fighting for cultural and traditional improvements. My children and I are all traditional First Nation natives and we “walk our talk.” I’ve been at death’s door, I have survived cancer since 1982. I asked my Creator to let me live because my family needs me and I’ve got a lot to do. I said if you let me live I’ll keep busy the rest of my life. And I’m certainly doing that!

Years ago when I was about forty-five, I experienced a restlessness. This sensation was not only present in my waking hours but also in the dream time. There was a force pulling me toward a spiritual path. I was told to cleanse my inner-self. Ultimately, I did what I call a “dying to self.” But first I fought this inner-calling, thinking I wasn’t worthy to do it. Looking back, however, I can see where I began to change. I started to fly around and I went to all my six children and asked them to forgive me for any hurts I caused them. I asked them to voice anything they wanted to me. I told them how much I loved them and that I would pray for them. I know I made mistakes as a parent – there wasn’t any parent school to go to.

Yet I still hadn’t committed myself to walk this “spiritual” path. I was still arguing to my Creator. Finally one day my friend, who is a psychiatrist, told me to stop fighting this path and resign myself and just do it. So, I did. It was like a big load was lifted off of me.

Handed down from my people was a story that the only duty left to us from the ancient ones was the duty of prayer, so, I became a prayer person. The Creator has answered many, many prayers and I giving blessings for allowing me to be a mediator.

Prayer is needed throughout the World. It is time we step forward and join prayers with people around the globe. Together we can stop the abuse of women and the molestation of children, hunger, overgrazing, protection for our medicinal plants, and drug abuse. We can join together no matter what our religious or spiritual beliefs are. We can join together and fight to save our Earth Mother and salvage our own existence.

It is time to take action now if we want to help. We need not for one moment, limit ourselves about what we can do. We must give support and encouragement to each other and to whomever we meet on our path. Love people unconditionally and add their voices and prayers to ours. People need to be encouraged to use their voice. The Creator will hear our cries and turn the dark side around and speak to the terrorists. Together we can make a difference.

Yes, we have a lot of work to do to have harmony and peace. We have many goals set before us but we can accomplish them by working together. Together we have gifts to bring by teaching what is sacred. We are all in this “leaky canoe” together so we need to be a united force to be reckoned with and we will keep on keeping on until our “hearts are on the ground”


Bless you
Walk in beauty

Agnes Pilgrim

World Pulse Magazine
From a story about the 13 Grandmother’s Council in the second issue, p. 37.
Courtesy www.worldpulsemagazine.com , 2005