Reflections from the meeting of the International Working Group (IWG) of the Social Investment Forum, meeting at the Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, Nov 2-3, 2007.
"We are all indigenous peoples," said Larson Bill, a leader of the Western Shoshone. "Some of us have preserved the knowledge longer." He went on to say that "climate change" hit the first peoples of North America in 1492, with the results of destroyed environment and human lives, forced migrations, and cultural devastation.
Larson believes that some indigenous peoples have preserved enough of the knowledge so that there is still time to share it for the sake of all of us now experiencing climate change.
As we were also learning at the IWG about alternative energy projects, it was clear that humankind is in a period of return to the indigenous knowledge of ecological and social balance.
This indigenous knowledge includes acknowledgment of the human tendency, including their own, to greed and ignorance, the tendency to mess up the balance. But the myths stress (and preserve) the value of balance and sharing over exploitation and greed.
Indigenous peoples now reside on empty, "undeveloped" land where they are able to innovate with the alternatives to oil energy that we all need - wind and sun.
Can we respect indigenous "development" values this time around, rather than spread exploitation and impoverishment of land and peoples?
Larson Bill invited all to the 15th Indigenous Environmental Network Protecting Mother Earth Conference: Answering Mother Earth's Call for Healing - Reaffirming Our Roots
July 17-20, 2008 Newe Sogobe (Western Shoshone) Territories So Ho Bee (Southfork Pow-Wow Grounds in Lee, Nevada)
Topics to include: Traditional L.A.W.S. (land, air, water, sun); Energy, Global Warming and Climate Change; Rescinding the Doctrine of Discovery; and Youth and Elders.
Hosted by the Western Shoshone Defense Project (WSDP) and sponsored by Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN).
(For more information contact IEN at 218-751-4967 or email@example.com)