Native view: Agency should tap Native wisdomMother Nature thrives on balance; we expect our ecosystem to support humans, wildlife and habitats, as Rebecca Flood, the assistant commissioner for water for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, wrote in a Nov. 19 commentary in the News Tribune.
By: Rodney King, for the News Tribune
Mother Nature thrives on balance; we expect our ecosystem to support humans, wildlife and habitats, as Rebecca Flood, the assistant commissioner for water for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, wrote in a Nov. 19 commentary in the News Tribune.
I had difficulty understanding what she was trying to convey. We people are responsible?
She wrote about our ancestors having moved toward industrialization and urbanization to embrace a fondness for chemical-based products designed to make our lives cleaner, easier and more convenient. Because of this, Mother Nature just couldn’t keep up, she claimed. Therefore, resulting byproducts, land uses and pollutants tipped the scale too far and threw many natural systems into imbalance.
I wonder how many hours of time and how much money our government spent to arrive at this conclusion.
Information passed down to my generation from elders tells a different story. Our Native ancestors didn’t move toward the industrial age or into urbanization. They were pushed, pulled and forced into that era, many of them probably kicking and screaming and dragging their feet along the way. I fail to have ever seen any evidence to substantiate that we embraced a fondness for chemical-based products designed to make our lives cleaner, easier and more convenient.
These are the same products that have killed our trees from the top down, mutated frogs, contaminated air and water, and caused endless other environmental damage.
Flood, in summary, wrote that we as individuals need to think about our day-to-day activities and make choices that support the balance Mother Nature intended.
I have a question: Has anyone from any pollution control agency tried tapping into the great wisdom of leaders of indigenous people concerning the environment? If Mother Earth were still in our hands, there still would be pure water filling our rivers, lakes and oceans; the air we breathe would be clean; and mountains, forests and land would be protected, respected and cherished.
Rodney King of Cloquet is a retired medical social worker from the Fond du Lac Reservation with a longtime passion for history.