by William Skink
I like this Q/A especially:
van Gelder: It seems like there are so many issues besetting the native communities all across the country. How does a group that is so embattled take on this big question for the whole of humanity?
Price: I think, especially for land-based tribes—tribes that still have remnant parcels of their homelands reserved out of what was stolen—there’s this ancestral tie that lets them know on some level that if the fossil fuel companies have their way, they’ll take their actual source of life.
The money world that we’re forced to participate in and work for is not really the source of life. It’s kind of a distraction they have to indulge in to some degree. There’s high unemployment on reservations, but [being] unemployed for money doesn’t mean people aren’t working; they’re still doing subsistence activities: hunting, fishing, growing crops, cutting firewood. People are still connected to that and to the deep spiritual meaning of relationship to the land as caretakers of the land. They are cognizant of our interconnectedness.
The other thing that’s happening at this time is the leadership of the women, and that has its roots in the destruction of male roles by the reservation system. Tribes did have gender-based activities. That was just a norm. You find exceptions, but you have coming-of-age ceremonies that lay roles out clearly. But within that, you have these elder women now who teach people that our issues, first and foremost, are keeping our land and our water, because everything else crashes in that crazy world out there. Their society, their money, their currency and technology will someday become worthless, and everybody will only have to answer to the Earth. Especially, the tar sands are such a traumatic example of Western technological capitalist society gone wrong.
Anybody, no matter how much of a brainwashed capitalist you are, can see this from the air. You fly right to edge of the tar sands and see the beautiful boreal forest and the lakes everywhere up in that northern section, and then just miles and miles of total devastation. No life. I mean anybody with any sense that nature might be a little valuable, any sense that trees are kinda nice, looks at that and gets a message—a really strong message.
I’ve also added a link to a blog I got turned on to years ago, Rigorous Intuition. This blog covers the weirder stuff happening on this crazy rock circling the sun.