The traditional teachings among most native people worldwide reveal their understanding of the concept of enough. I list some of these in part 1.
Embedded in the Indigenous peoples’ histories is the belief that we are all our Planet’s stewards.
We would do well to listen to the Indigenous peoples and their concerns about maintaining fresh air, clean water, and healthy land. To carefully study and reflect on their approaches to nature.
We must do this for them so that they can maintain their connections to the land and cultures, and therefore their sense of empowerment, but we also must do it for all people.
As a collective society, it is the Indigenous people who have maintained the knowledge of how to keep our Planet healthy. Their beliefs about it are our road-map to achieving a good and healthy future for our children and our survival as a whole – just as they intended eons ago.
This article/blog post is based in concepts from my books
“Your Journey to Peace … “ and “Why We Are the Way We Are”
(Available in print and e-book, About links and book cover images are below)
We Disempowered the Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous people all over the world tap into and sustain their empowerment through their connection to the land and cultural traditions.
Wherever we have overtaken their lands and/or forced our ways upon them we disempowered them, to say the least. The effects of centuries of abuse, misuse, control, and marginalization has done extensive damage that echoes through their generations.
We must work acknowledging the accumulative effects of past abuses, with compassion for the plights they now suffer, with fairness in mind, and a goal towards equal rights.
- We must ensure that future projects for profit (or those in the name of progress we want to promote) no longer infringe on rural, native, or Indigenous peoples’ health, culture, community, or way of life;
- we must also acknowledge what we are still doing to undermine them, or their healing. Their welfare must be kept at the forefront of any decision-making that impacts the environment as a whole, their health, general welfare, cultural traditions, and their land;
- we must do this so that Indigenous peoples can regain and maintain their connection to the land, which is essential to their sense of empowerment. This is what will allow them to thrive again;
- we need to create partnerships with the Indigenous groups within our countries and work together to create a harmonious future that will benefit us all, and our future generations, on the lands we now share.
Programs and Movements Are Being Created Around the World
We are starting to address Indigenous peoples concerns: for the repercussions Indigenous peoples suffered at our hands, as well as to support their struggles against further encroachment on their heritage lands for greed and profit.
In 2012, a movement called Idle No More, was started in Canada countering a specific bill that would directly affect the First Nations concerns.
It spread to the United States, where it grew into one of the largest protests ever regarding Native American issues, and various other protests arose in solidarity around the world.
Many who were not of Indigenous heritage joined the Idle No More protests – some to show support for the native peoples’ concerns and others because of general environmental issues that affect all of us and our future.
In 2015 Canada set up a commission to bring to light and address the abuse and other ill effects for First Nations children that resulted from the Indian Residential School system that was set up by Government and Church over 150 years ago, with the last school closing only in the mid 1990’s.
These schools were aimed to alienate the First Nations children from their families and undermine their culture. The children who were forced to leave their reserves and attend these schools (where they were also badly treated) were heavily affected.
So were their descendants: the repercussions from alienating these children from their families and culture caused far-reaching negative effects.
In India, and after years of struggle, in 2010 the Dongria Kondh tribe won their battle against a resources company to prevent a planned bauxite mine that would have had a huge impact on their land and way of life.
They received support from various sources, one of them being Survival International, who helped create a documentary film “Mine: Story of a Sacred Mountain,” about the tribe’s life and this struggle. Survival brought in well-known British stars Joanna Lumley to narrate the film and Michael Palin help promote their cause. (1)
The film shows that the Dongria Kondh people are autonomous and actually thrive in the area their people have occupied for centuries, contrary to the popular belief that rural tribes and those living isolated from civilization are all characterized by hardship. The proposal to go ahead with the mining project was denied.
This denial has set a precedent and now has an international impact for future companies whose intention is to encroach on tribal lands for profit.
The extensive research that was done throughout the tribe’s struggle brought to light the necessity of fully investigating the effects projects of large corporations have on tribal and native peoples and their way of life.
Next week, in Part 3 I will continue this theme that the Indigenous people are our road-map back to harmonious living. with my article Our Countries’ Harmonies Are Linked to the Indigenous Peoples’ Healing.
(See below for endnote)
~ Rosemary McCarthy© August, 2019.
here for About “Journey to Peace… “
here for About “Why We Are the Way We Are” – Book of of my “Our Journeys to Peace Series” (with book 2, Becoming Our Best Self, due out end of Summer 2019, and Book 3 Relationships in an Evolving World due out Fall 2019)
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(1)Mine, Story of a Sacred Mountain, narrated by Joanna Lumley, (Survival International) http://www.survivalinternational.org/films/mine
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