News flash


Women Reclaiming Our Physical Power
Teresa Enrico
September 30 or
October 1

September 17-23

“The Environment Is a Part of Who We Are”

For Native people here on the North American continent, the environment is a part of who we are; it is not necessarily seen as something “different” from ourselves. We work at it in our workshops, although it is never quite called “working on it.” We work on food, our diets, our traditional foods; how they are being threatened; how we don’t have easy access to them anymore; how we need to have special foods at workshops because so many of our folks are diabetic now as a result of a non-traditional diet and lifestyle.

Many of us and our extended families, who may or may not be Co-Counselors, are involved in wide-world Native movements to actively protest pipelines, fracking, mining, pesticide use. We are in anti-GMO protests as gardeners and traditional meat and fish eaters. We protest abrogation and illegal denial of our treaty rights that protect our lands, food sources, animals (such as the wolf, bear, and buffalo) that are sacred to us. To date, everyone in the constituency is in one way or another working on care of the environment.

First Nations folks in what is now called Canada, and the Indigenous peoples of South America are leading (not as Co-Counselors) the rest of us in movements to protect the earth, movements such as the Idle No More from First Nations (you can Google this). As well, there are the Native nations to the South that have led the way by introducing The Law of the Rights of Mother Earth (Evo Morales, Bolivia)—again, Google. There is also much online about traditional peoples of the South literally putting their lives on the line to protect their sacred grounds, to stop dams and mining. They have gone to war against multinationals.

One member of our group has proposed a goal simply stating: end genocide against all living beings. This would automatically include humans, animals, and plant life. All of us agree that the earth is our mother and should be treated as such, in all manner and ways of being.

There seems to be a general consensus that the goal should include an “action” piece, a proposal for action that Co-Counselors actually take on in the next period of time, not just go into session and discharge.

I, personally, not Native folks in general, have made suggestions. For example, all Co-Counselors work to cut their consumption in half (whatever that may mean for each individual); a population statement (zero population growth or one child per family).

Humans are truly the endangered species at this point, if humankind does not do something to stop our abuse of the environment. The earth will live on and regenerate itself without humans. It is really about us as humans being afraid of not existing, that is pushing our concern for the environment at this time. These are my own thoughts, not thoughts of the Native constituency as a whole.

Marcie Rendon
White Earth Anishinaabe
International Liberation Reference
Person for Native Americans
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Last modified: 2016-02-04 22:17:58+00