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PAGE 22 ASSERTING NATIVE RESILIENCE: PACIFIC RIM INDIGENOUS NATIONS FACE THE CLIMATE CRISIS spiritual way will come to a crossroad…. It’s our belief that if you’re not spiritually connected to the Earth and understand the spiritual reality of how to live on Earth, it’s likely you will not make it…. Everything is spiritual. Everything has a spirit. Everything was brought to you by the Creator…. We are all from the Earth, and when the Earth, the water, the atmosphere is corrupted , then it will create its own reaction….To me, it is not a negative thing to know that there will be great changes…. It’s time. Nothing stays the same. You should learn how to plant something; that’s the first connection. You should treat all things as spirit, and realize that we are one family. It’s never something like the end. It’s like life—there is no end to life. (Floyd Red Crow Westerman, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =g7cylfQtkDg ) I ndigenous peoples, the First Nations of our planet, are the first victims of climate change, but are also the first to grasp and explain the profound meanings of a changing climate. Indigenous voices draw on many millennia of experience with the land and waters and the plants and animals that share Native homelands. Indigenous harvesters are often the first to recognize both the subtle and drastic changes taking place in the circle of life, or what Western science describes as “the environment.” The dominant industrialized society ignores these Indigenous voices at its own peril and can now begin to listen before it’s too late. Traditional ecological knowledge, which the Santa Clara Pueblo educator Gregory Cajete calls “Native science ,” is a set of varied and time-tested practices rooted in each local landscape that provides a guide to the natural laws of interdependence. In this era of rapid climate change, these laws are being thrown into disarray. Native science can identify these massive shifts and provide an early warning long before the academic research studies of Western science can be funded, reviewed, and released. Ideally, Native science and Western science can (and must) work in tandem to reinforce their respective strengths and respond together to the deepening crisis that faces Native and non-Native communities alike. Indigenous peoples from around the world have prophecies that describe the times that we are in. Many of these prophecies describe changes in the climate resulting from the actions of human beings who neglect the Earth. By conveying this traditional knowledge, the ancestors and elders warned the present generation about the crisis ahead and gave advice about how to survive it. The Sisseton–Wahpeton Dakota musician, actor, and activist Floyd Red Crow Westerman said in an interview before he passed in 2007: Time evolves, and comes to a place where it renews again. There is first a purification time, then there is renewal time. We are getting very close to this time now. We were told that we would see America come and go. In a sense, America is dying from within, because we forgot the instructions about how to live on Earth. Everything is coming to a time in prophecy when man’s inability to live on Earth in a CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES Ojibwe grandmother Josephine Mandamin (Beedawsige ) began the 2011 Mother Earth Water Walk from Bushoowah-ahlee Point on The Evergreen State College campus in Olympia, Washington. She was one of four elder women walkers who converged two months later atWisconsin’s Bad River Reservation on Lake Superior. ...

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