Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Body, Our Earth

"...We live in a time where the dominant interaction between the Earth and people is one-sided, with no reciprocity. Throughout the centuries, the notion of Manifest Destiny was used as justification for this one-sided use of the land and its resources; political and religious leaders were able to claim their exploitative practices as their divine right. Growing up in my Cree community where traditional interaction with the Earth is based on respect is in stark contrast to these dominant world views.

Traditional Cree values are difficult to articulate because the ideals are easily associated with contemporary socialist and environmentalist perspectives, and people are inclined to frame Cree values based on these perspectives. While there are similarities, the distinction is that pro-environmentalist perspectives are ideals that people strive to incorporate into their lifestyles, whereas for Cree people, it is part of our traditional lifestyle, with no distinction between the way we live and our ideals...

....If we continue to abuse the land by taking without giving back, the situation will become chronic and irreversible. The consequences associated with this neglect and disrespect of the land has culminated in climate change. What Cree people have to offer to the world is shared with many other indigenous people—that interaction with the land must occur with deep respect and with recognition that what is taken, must be given back...

....Growing up in my community, my experiences have provided me with an opportunity to understand the connection that Cree people have with the land. Also, growing up in a broader society that is dominated by capitalism, I’ve been able to see the drastic disconnection between humans and the land. The direction capitalist society is headed is unsustainable. These insights, based on my Cree background, bring me to the knowledge that genuine respect for the land is not only important, it is required for the continuity of human existence..."

Null at here

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