Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Sat

01

May

2010

Bolivia: Life lessons from Alaskan Native Women
Saturday, 01 May 2010 05:58
by Brenda Norrell

When the ducks first saw the vapors rising from the highway, the ducks that could not distinguish between the heat waves rising from the pavement, and the heat waves rising from the rivers and ponds, perished.

In a similar way, it is unknown what lies within each of us that someday may result in our own survival. As with the ducks, being able to distinguish between the rising vapors of the man-made world and the world of natural creation, ensures survival of the fittest.

This is one of the stories shared by Kay Wallis, Athabascan and Gwich’in elder, during the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Wallis shares the beauty and majesty of her Yukon homeland.

Wallis said she appreciated being given the opportunity to speak for the animals and Mother Earth. She said her name “Arrow Carrier,” means, “I carry messages between people.” Her father is from Fort Yukon in Alaska and her mother from across the border in Canada at Old Crow.

Wallis described how the ground shakes and vibrates when the caribou arrive at the calving grounds in Alaska. She tells how the ocean breezes greet them across the plains. In the mountains, too, the wolves, their predators, are giving birth, in the cycle of life.

“We love the land, and the land loves us, otherwise it would not give us our nutrients." But, she said, things are changing.

“When the ducks used to come in my grandpa's day, they would block out the sun, there would be so many of them.”


Other creatures have vanished altogether. “We don’t hear swallows anymore.”

Glacier water moves fast in her homeland, where the people hunt and fish, living off the moose, caribou, birds, fish and salmon. In this land where a frozen chicken can cost $50 in a store, the people are taught to hunt, hunting in a manner where the animals give themselves to them.

It is life on a grand scale, and life that is a harbinger of things to come. “Some parts of the Yukon River you can’t see across. It is one of the largest rivers in North America.”

It is in this land, of the far north, that the people see what is coming. As temperatures rise, the salmon can not survive in high temperatures without sufficient oxygen.

“The world is going through change. We can’t go back. We are going to be called upon to make great sacrifices and great changes.”

Wallis said people have a natural tendency to go into denial mode, but humanity must act now to ensure the gifts of Mother Earth for Seven Generations.

Mary Ann Mills, Kenaitze Indian Nation, said the world needs to understand that the Arctic must remain frozen because it acts as an air conditioner for the earth. The Arctic cools the earth’s temperature. Climate change goes beyond all racial boundaries, she said, asking: "What happens to the spirit of the people when the foods they have been eating are no longer available."

What most people do not know is that 75 to 80 percent of the population of Native Alaskans was lost after first contact with those who came to their land, Mills said during the interviews.

Mills warned that 31 villages face immediate threats and 200 villages are impacted by floods and erosion. Ice is coming down the rivers.

Ice is melting now that has never melted before.

“We are the first people to be effected,” she said. The sensitive areas of the north are being compromised by emissions and oil drilling. Alaskan Native villages will have to be relocated because of the melting ice, or the people will perish, she said.

Mills said in the prophecy, it is told that there will be those who will attempt to destroy the land. It is the Raven People who will protect the land. If others destroy the land, then the Creator will destroy these people, according to the prophecy.

“We have a chance, but we have to show respect.”

Alaska is the land of the Native people, but today there are few jobs and fuel sells from $10 to $14 a gallon. While trillions of dollars in resources have been taken out of Alaska, little has been returned to help Alaskan Natives.

While the United States and corporations have been taking with little given back, it was President Hugo Chavez and the country of Venezuela that brought heating oil to help Alaskan Natives.

Meanwhile, she said the result of the US Congress deceptively making Alaskan Natives into corporations has brought division, as it was designed to do, in this method of divide and conquer.

“The intent was to take our land,” she said of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. “It was to get the land for the big corporations.”

She said the United States does not own the land in Alaska, Alaskan Natives do.

“In my heart I am not a corporation. The truth is so powerful. Our people would like to have their freedom and like to have their land,” she said, adding that no one knows the land better than the Native people of Alaska.

Wallis and Mills thanked the people of Bolivia for their kindness during the World Climate Conference, President Evo Morales for calling for the conference, President Chavez for bringing heating oil to Alaskan Natives and the Alaska InterTribal Council for assisstance to attend the conference.

Watch the video interview, recorded live by Earthcycles in Bolivia: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6340428 . More information: Gwich'in Steering Committee http://www.gwichinsteeringcommittee.org/index.html -- Brenda Norrell, Censored News http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com Earthcycles webstream from Bolivia http://www.earthcycles.net Censored Blog Talk Radio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Brenda-Norrell
More from this author:
US Apartheid Wall under construction on Native Tohono O'odham lands (7065 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell SAN MIGUEL GATE, TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION (Arizona) -- The United States' Apartheid Wall is under construction on Tohono O'odham...
End of the game: Indigenous Peoples' bringing down Apartheid wall (6762 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell Mohawks were among 19 Indian Nations at the Indigenous Peoples' Border Summit of the Americas 2007. The four-day summit...
Mohawks Inflamed Over Tohono O'odham Tribal Council Complicity In "Border" Oppression Of Indigenous People - U.S. welcomes rich and kills the poor (9542 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell Indigenous delegates to the border on Tohono O'odham Nation land were outraged by the federal agents, hovering customs...
Fighting Apartheid at the borders of Arizona and Palestine (5683 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell SAN XAVIER, TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION (Arizona) - Michelle Cook, Navajo activist, and Aida Khan, bringing support from a...
Spin sets up Blackwater at border, while military smuggles drugs (7240 Hits)
by Brenda Norrell Television news is ready to pump you up, and deliver the agenda. Meanwhile, after writing about all the National...
Related Articles:
Why Bush wants immunity from prosecution for war crimes (239483 Hits)
Although not as widely remarked as the elimination of habeas rights and the consecration of torture, the recently passed Senate torture legislation...
More “Culture Wars” Gibberish from nutcase David Brooks (11768 Hits)
Most of us know David Brooks as the balding goofball on “The Jim Lehrer News Hour” who shrugs his shoulders and giggles gleefully whenever...
"Boiling Point" - Eroding Freedom: From John Adams to George W. Bush (13622 Hits)
Put a frog into a pot of boiling water, the well-known parable begins, and out that frog will jump to escape the obvious danger. Put that same...
Mosaic TV - World News from the Middle East (14567 Hits)
Mosaic features selections from daily TV news programs produced by national and regional broadcasters throughout the Middle East....
From Liberating Spirituality to Oppressive Dogma: The Politics of Religion (18697 Hits)
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D. Spirituality is intrapersonal. It’s a liberating and uplifting awareness. It nurtures personal growth. It inspires...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top