Monday, October 12, 2009

Native American Conservation

While we were at the American Indian Arts Festival this weekend (see my prior post), I bought a copy of "A Brief History of the Powhatan Renape Nation" by Chief Roy Crazy Horse. This is an excellent and very readable history of this Native American Nation. The most powerful parts are where Chief Crazy Horse tells the story of the European conquest of America from the standpoint of those who were "discovered".

This being a nature blog, I would like to pass along the following quote from the book:

"When your grandfathers came to these shores and met my grandfathers, they found here a people who were healthy, who had good lives, who enjoyed an unparalleled independence, who looked after themselves and the old people, who saw to it that no one was in want.

"You found here a beautiful land, where game and fish abounded, where the water in any river was fit to drink, where the air was pure and clear. Truly, your ancestors found a paradise. This was the land which the Creator had given to us in the beginning of time, and we had taken good care of it.

"Your grandfathers learned about democracy from the Native People they met. You marveled that our leaders always consulted their councils, which consist of all the Old and Wise. And the Youth was also consulted ...

"Now you are many and we are few. But our strength never depended on numbers - even one person alone can represent the Truth. And so we still speak out, few as we are, with a moral authority, calling upon you to renew the vision which our grandfathers had.

"Join with us to bring back democracy, where the leadership moves on the Breath of the People, where there is justice for all.

"Join with us in restoring the land to health, making the water of the rivers once again good to drink, the air fit to breathe."

To read an (even briefer) history of the Powhatan online, or to order this fascinating book, click here.

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