Indigenous Sovereignty is Climate Action

Tamarack Verrall
Posted November 10, 2019 from Canada
Working together
Taking care of each other, taking care of the Earth

Marked on my calendar for this afternoon was to watch and listen to a broadcast called Indigenous Sovereignty is Climate Action. It is a call to action by a well known and very active group here in Canada and across North America, Idle No More.

Here is the online description of this group: “A grassroots movement for indigenous sovereignty, indigenous rights and respect for the treaties. Goals include stopping environmental degradation and economic and social inequality. Idle No More is an ongoing protest movement, founded in December 2012 by four women: three First Nations women and one non-Native ally”.

 https://www.facebook.com/IdleNoMoreCommunity/videos/721375908366532/

This was the opening message that had caught my eye: “As millions of young people around the world are taking to the streets in massive climate strikes, we too must raise our voices as Indigenous protectors of land, water, and sky.  Native Peoples face some of the worst impacts of this Climate Crisis but we also hold the knowledge and the power to restore the balance - to protect and heal our Earth.  

Join us on November 10th for a powerful webinar hosted by Indigenous Youth Casey Desjarlais and Dakota Bear with guest speakers Vanessa Gray, Michelle Brass, and Melissa Mollen Dupuis.

The webinar was led by Indigenous Youth, Casey who opened with an invitation to share voices and work together. Dakota spoke of unceded territory here across Canada, and that land in the original agreements made were for the land to be shared, never ceded. We heard of an auntie who lived in the woods to hold back the loggers who wanted to take all of the wood. Casey and Dakota brought into the webinar the speakers listed in their announcement, three Indigenous women leaders. From the first hello to the very end a beautiful message was sent out to all tuning in, which felt like a loving arm pulling me in to listen to the plan, to understand what the leadership of Indigenous Peoples here in Canada is offering us all to save this Earth and to live lovingly with each other. It was also a notice of action together on November 29, 2019 A #ClimateRoundDance has been called.

The video can be seen still on the Idle No More site: http://www.idlenomore.ca/nov10

The reason I am sending this link instead of describing what I heard and what I experienced by hearing it, is because I hope that every one of you will be able to listen and feel it in your own hearts - what I felt in mine. These five speakers sent out an organized, detailed plan of action for the Earth and all of its people with such wisdom, such inspiration, such an offering of love and understanding that there was nothing that could have taken me away from listening and imagining how I can take part in a deeper and more effective way.

Just listening was an experience I will never forget. The message coming across barriers of language and tradition, of how while one culture talks about ownership and parcels of land bought, Indigenous People are thinking of relatives and ancestors. How there is no recognition of Indigenous wisdom in taking care of the land, with sovereignty of land for traditional, sustainable food sources not as a quest for power, money, jobs. They called for an understanding of Indigenous Cultures by non-Indigenous people. They called for a recognition that Indigenous People with traditional understanding of the land, need to be at the forefront of this movement to save this Earth and the people on it. To treat the land as it needs to be treated, and to visit that land, use it in the way it is meant to be used. To imagine this land sustaining the children and grandchildren. That we live our lives for the children and grandchildren, whether our own or not. That there needs to be a recognition of Indigenous ways of thinking, that this is bigger than science, that just as we were looked after by our parents, we live to look after the young ones and that we live to take care of this Earth.

We heard of an auntie who lived in the woods to hold back the loggers who wanted to take all of the wood. There were messages about the importance of taking care of the land for growing sustainable food, how buffalo were wiped out by colonizers who knew that these animals were the main source of food in one part of this country, how boreal forests have been destroyed, how this land needs to be taken care of so that people can live, that when ancestral diets are possible again, Indigenous People will be well emotionally, physically, spiritually. And how the truth of the history of Canada must be told and understood, that there was a Government led attempt to destroy the food sources, and a many faceted attempt to destroy the Indigenous People. 

Each leader spoke with messages of love, that we take care of our selves and others, that we make sure to protect ourselves physically and mentally, that we develop our own plan, that we work together, that we be kind to each other, that we listen to each other, that we take the time to rest and stay healthy, to be able to pass the baton to each other, to do this together.

They spoke about us all being connected to this land and to each other.

They called for us all to take part. It was the deep wisdom in these messages that held me. It was also the generosity and love. I am full of joy and relief that we have such leaders and that it is possible to listen to them here.

There will be another online call for organizers, for anyone wanting to take part, on November 12 at 6pm PST, 9pm EST.

I urge all of us to pay attention to what is being planned for November 29, 2019. We are all being asked to take part. This will be big. Here in Canada plans are already being made. This action will be happening soon. 

These leaders live right across Canada. These are leaders I hope to meet over the next year. I want Indigenous women leaders here to know all of you. I hope that in the next few years their voices and their leadership will increasingly be here with us all.

 

 

 

 

This story was submitted in response to Protecting Our Planet.

Comments 26

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Anita Shrestha
Nov 10
Nov 10

Dear Sister
Thank you for sharing of Indigenous people contribution of Climate Action. Great work

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12
Nov 12

Thanks Anita,
I am committed to supporting Indigenous Peoples here in Canada toward Sovereignty and voice in the direction of this country. I was moved deeply listening closely to the messages in this webcast.

Hello, Tam,

Thank you for sharing this with us. I have followed the Idle No More Facebook Page, and will set aside time to watch the broadcast.

Climate Action and Indigenous Peoples are close to my heart. I agree that when we think of saving the environment, we need to uphold the rights of the Indigenous People because they understand the sacredness of protecting the environment.

I have read this on a post, and will share it here: Indigenous people comprise less than 5% of the world's population but protect over 80% of the world's biodiversity. If you truly want to save the rainforest, the ocean, the animals, humanity, and the planet, you need to join indigenous people in their struggles.

Have a great day, Tam!

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12
Nov 12

Dear Karen,
It means a lot to me to know that we share having Climate Action and Indigenous Peoples close to our hearts. I do hope you get the chance to listen. It is truly beautiful and so encouraging to witness the planning for this upcoming action.
Hugs, sister,
Tam

Hello, Tam,

Awww. Thanks! Yes, I will schedule a time to listen. I can't wait. Have a great day!

Jill Langhus
Nov 11
Nov 11

Hello Lovely Tam,

How are you doing, love? Thanks so much for sharing this inspiring video broadcast with us. It sounds like it really touched you, and I love that the indigenous people seem to be rising up more and that their inherent wisdom is being embraced more and more. At least I hope this is the case. There is so much to be learned and honored from these amazing people, worldwide. I'm eager to see what happens at the end of the month. It's great to see more and more people getting passionate about healing our beautiful planet, and I'm glad to hear this broadcast was all about love and not hate. This is where our future lies:-)

Hope you're doing well, and having a great day!

XX

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12
Nov 12

Hi dear Jill,
Far from the first I have been deeply inspired by the words and actions by Indigenous people here, but this webcast did bowl me over with the love and wisdom happening behind this planning for action. I hope you get a chance to listen.
xx

Jill Langhus
Nov 13
Nov 13

Hello there:-)

Yeah, it seemed like it:-) Thank you!

I hope you have a great, rest of the week!

XX

maeann
Nov 11
Nov 11

Hi Tam,

How was the event... i hope it went well and the voice was raised up!!!

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12
Nov 12

Hi Maeann,
This was a call to get involved. There are many here in Canada preparing for the event November 29. I'll send more news as this develops.

maeann
Nov 13
Nov 13

Okay thank you

Tarke Edith
Nov 11
Nov 11

Hello sis Tam
Thank you very much for sharing .
This issuer of climate change is really a call for concernt .
We have to fight it before it fight us hahahaha
Have a nice day sister .

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12
Nov 12

Hi Edith,
Yes, the storms, fires, temperature shifts are changing in a dangerously dramatic way and we must act to change the ways we are treating the Earth for the future of the Earth, the future of humankind, for those most affected now, and for the young ones who have not had the chance to live here yet into their adult lives.

Usha K.C.
Nov 12
Nov 12

Hi dear Tamarack,
thank you so much for giving us such opportunity reading your article on taking care of the mother earth. Worth reading your thoughts . keep inspiring us .
love

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12
Nov 12

Hi Usha,
Thank you so much for your message. We are in this together. I am so glad to meet you here on our World Pulse site.

Ekitah
Nov 12
Nov 12

Dear sister!
Protecting our planet is one of the urgent needs we have because we all depend on this planet for our livelihood (both Economy and Society).Thanks for informing us about the 29th of November. I will not forget this date and promised to look at it in my own little way in my community.

Nov 12
Nov 12
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12
Nov 12

Dear Ekitah,
At any time you can watch the call for action that I watched: http://www.idlenomore.ca/nov10
The event itself is in the planning. In fact tonight there is an online meeting for all groups planning to take part here. When the event happens i will send you a link to any news coverage.

Ekitah
Nov 12
Nov 12

Thank you sister. I am waiting patiently. Have a nice day!

lizzymark
Nov 12
Nov 12

Hi Tam,great work there keep it coming.

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 12
Nov 12

Thanks Lizzy,
Encouraging really works.

Adanna
Nov 21
Nov 21

Dear Tam,

Thank you for sharing this important message. This year, I have been reading a lot about climate change and how this affects us all.

Well done to all those who are speaking up!

Love,
Adanna

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 21
Nov 21

Hi Adanna,
Thank you! The young people are in the streets over climate change in numbers not seen before. Indigenous peoples in many countries including my own, have been leading the way. We have passed a critical point while my generation of leaders have ignored our calls, too busy allowing industry to do so much harm. The more we raise our voices together, the more chance we have to stop this global destruction.
love to you dear sister,
Tam

Spiritedsoul
Nov 23
Nov 23

Dear Tam,
Is thre a wy to be involved from Aus?
Hugs,
Jess.

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 24
Nov 24

Hi Jess,
Our 2 countries have much in common, and we are finally moving into Truth and Reconciliation. Both of our countries have many strong Indigenous women leaders. What I am hoping to do is have more chance to meet with and listen to them. Here, I want to be standing with them in actions for the earth, and in action for the missing and murdered Indigenous women here in Canada.
Big hug back,
Tam

Sinyuy Geraldine
Dec 04
Dec 04

Dear Tamarack, I feel so connected because i love nature and the environment and i want to protect it. I do my best in my little corner and if i hadcthe chance, i would use a greater platform. I love what you and others are doing for mother earth. Lots of love.