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#351#352#353#354 Episode #355 - One Dish, One Spoon to Share
(Haudenosaunee Land Stewardship)

#356#357#358#359

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Sun 22 April 2007  Robin Kimmerer, Jeanne Shenandoah, Chris Amato
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2 We beginning this week with a look at stewardship of the North American continent before the arrival of the Europeans and the land management practices of the Haudenosaunee, the ancient culture who has called this land home for thousands of years. Next we have part of a two day last October which brought together Haudenosaunee leaders, scientists, lawyers and Syracuse areas residents to address the restoration the land and water of the historic Onondaga nation territory.
The Onondaga Nation and Haudenosaunee Confederacy, to which it belongs, existed long before European settlers came to these shores. They had developed a sophisticated culture and governance style which allowed them to live harmoniously with the Earth and with each other.

The culture of environmental stewardship practised by the Haudenosaunee has been supplanted by a culture that views the land as real estate and resource base. The ultimate result of that way of thinking and acting is epitomized by the destruction of Onondaga lake, site of the present city of Syracuse, NY which has in the course of less than 200 years, been turned into a toxic soup containing more than 22 million tons of industrial waste. The corporations responsible have mostly closed their plants and moved them to other countries, where they continue a similar process of destruction which is called in mainstream parlance "development."

This weekend, Earth Day celebrations were held all over the country, and many of them focussed on the need to address global warming, a result of the same type of industrial activity and thought processes that has laid waste to a beautiful lake in central New York.

As millions of Americans are seeing and discussing Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, as well as his recent Congressional testimony, about what should be done to respond to global warming, I would like to pose this question: can these problems be solved using the same mindset, the same cultural values, that created the problem? Gore has attempted to sell his solutions as a great economic opportunity. Earth must be saved, whether it benefits the economy or not.

Our culture devalues the land as home, relegating it to a natural resource, just as it denigrates people into a so-called "human resource." Is it any wonder that our culture has transformed a paradise into a Prozac popping polluted hellhole of prisoners, wage slaves, and tinpot tyrants? I submit to you that the very reason that the powers -that -be have fought environmentalists with such ferocity, is that they know, that values of earth call us to values different from those upon which their powers are based.

The land rights action of the Onondaga nation has called upon us to take up, with them, stewardship of the land. To that end, they came together with their settler neighbors in a year -long series of dialogs to discuss our common future. Last October, a two day event brought together Haudenosaunee leaders, scientists, lawyers and Syracuse areas residents to address the restoration the land and water of the historic Onondaga nation territory.
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