This means events and happenings over what we call Time which are in a fractal process of Creatrixion – of learning. And the “western” (read consumptionist) of any colour or religion or political stance has much to re-learn. Not impossible.

Indigenous: people of the Land they live on, that they maintained in community and communally. Many think this as only specific groups as being indigenous. EU states that Sámi are the only indigenous in EU. I think that there are more indigenous peoples within in the EU, however that is not the point of todays thoughts.

Indigenous People may be and are ones who stay on the land and waters of their birth. Indigenous People are seemingly the ones who have their lands cut-up, redrawn borders, resized to small patches of “reservations”, and moved because of imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, communism and rape-war-womb stealing. Shit! in the city could be called gang-wars? Block parties? No.

Or they may be physically displaced because of imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, rape-war-womb mongering, etc., yet despite this trauma, they come to a deep knowing of their new homeLAND.

Indigenous is Knowing the plants, the waters, the flow of where rains travel and how; what grows where and how much; who walks and swims and borrows where; where are the springs and how do they flow? Where are the berries, the mushrooms and in which seasons do they arrive and leave? The birds migration – knowing how and when and where. The revere of the wolf and bear or raven. Yet it is not a book-knowing!

Indigenous may mean that one who sits on the land – everyday. The one who speaks with elders, listens to their stories about what happened where and when and how and with whom (all Kin). Maybe the one who speaks with all the kin around them. Maybe one who walks or even rides their bike all over the land and observes, listens, questions not the books yet goes out and understands the inter-connectedness and how reliant each are to the other.

I participated in an online talk recently, given by Grandmother and Knowledge Keeper Sophia Rabliauskas as part of Indigenous Climate Action learning (see end of quote for a video). Several phrases – or rather sentences struck me. Forgive me for not being able to directly quote, but with essence:

Why do we have to validate our being here for 6 000 – 7 000 yrs to a white anthropologist? In order to have the lands we have lived on all that time to be accepted? All our stories tell us so that we have lived there!… who better to know how to care for our land? We managed all this time…

Grandmother and Knowledge Keeper Sophia Rabliauskas on her involvement in Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Site

Indigenous stories – learning the stories of the land. The land where you live. Right outside your door. Nature. Greenery or desert or mountain or waterways or valley; forest, field, swamps, oasis. Not the landscape of the city or village.

How are we to know what is best for a place except by listening to those who live alongside and with the land? Biodiversity and the well-being of ALL KIN in that area needs to be considered. Do the human-kin know how fragile this Kymi River region is, for example? From observing the way forest “management” in the region (all of Finland), this is highly unlikely. I was told when I enquired about the plans for forest management near me that old birches were going to be taken out. The first cuttings have appeared – and now we are left with mono-culture once more: only left standing in the forest are same-sized birches – ready for culling in twenty years. And so the old school cycle repeats.

The bracken (sananjalka- suom) now has more room for spreading, and it is spreading rapidly (what a mess we shall have in the next generation!). The ground is churned up by the forest machinery so that one cannot walk there without twisting an ankle or wrenching a back muscle. The Finnish Every (hu)man’s right- law is violated because no one can walk there any more to pick berries or mushrooms or take children out on the land to explore or just to be. And we, the indigenous people of this village are to be grateful that they did not take everything down!

Indigenous knowledge of how the land and river cooperate with all kin in the region is ignored for various reasons. The “I deserve” and “my right” and “gotta make a living” all reflect non-indigenous thinking. Long-term – many grandchildren time – generations is moving towards indigenous thought. Making plantings in a clear-cut area is not long-term because the biodiversity is lost. Period. I am not saying we should not plant trees! AND they intend to repeat the cycle of cutting it all down. All of this is agricultural society behaviour and we have to go behind that.

The plans for culling forest in this watershed area are vast. The watersheds those places that feed water (silt, bugs, animals, birds, fauna also) are being clearcut continually. Small and larger patches. One cannot sit in the forest and see old-growth without seeing clear-cutting, machine tracks, same age trees. Outside our backdoor is now under threat. The birds, four-legged, butterflies, bees and other pollinators all rely on the biodiversity of this river forest. I think that if the owners of these places actually came out for a day to sit on the land, to listen, smell, feel, observe they would change how they approached living with land and water (and air). Maybe I or we could convince them to take the long-view, to step outside the forever eating itself cannibalism (and still taking selfies), self-masturbation consumption-ism. Only satisfies for a moment (be that first-quarter, second-quarter, annual or 5 yr).

Thinking with this rattling ball-thing on our shoulders is not enough. Sitting in meditation is not enough. Counting the money in the bank is not anywhere near the point. Succumbing to political and industrial pressure is very old school and definitely not enough. Thinking with how to make share-holders more rich or keep the machines in business is not enough. We must all become indigenous once again and Know our land and re-member long-viewing.

Key Findings of Territories of Life: 2021 Report

  1. Indigenous peoples and local communities play an outsized role in the governance, conservation and sustainable use of the world’s biodiversity and nature. They actively protect and conserve an astounding diversity of globally relevant species, habitats and ecosystems, providing the basis for clean water and air, healthy food and livelihoods for people far beyond their boundaries.
  2. Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ extensive contributions to a healthy planet are rooted in their cultures and collective lands and territories – in essence, the deep relationships between their identities, governance systems and the other species and spiritual beings with whom they co-exist. Thus, they are also contributing significantly to the world’s cultural, linguistic and tangible and intangible heritage.
  3. The global spatial analysis shows that Indigenous peoples and local communities are the de factocustodians of many state and privately governed protected and conserved areas, and they are also conserving a significant proportion of lands and nature outside of such areas. However, the mainstream conservation sector has a historical and continuing legacy of contestation for Indigenous peoples and local communities, depending on the extent to which their rights, governance systems and ways of life are recognised and respected. This poses both a challenge and an opportunity for future directions of local-to-global conservation efforts.
  4. Indigenous peoples and local communities are on the frontlines of resisting the main industrial drivers of global biodiversity loss and climate breakdown, and they often face retribution and violence for doing so. Along with other challenges, these multiple stressors can have cumulative and compounded effects on Indigenous peoples and local communities, which in turn pose longer-term threats to their lives, cultures and resilience. However, they continue to resist and respond to these threats in diverse ways.
  5. Even in the face of immense threats, Indigenous peoples and local communities have extraordinary resilience and determination to maintain their dignity and the integrity of their territories and areas. They are adapting to rapidly changing contexts and using diverse strategies to secure their rights and collective lands and territories of life. Although not without setbacks, they have made key advances and continue to persist in pursuit of self-determination, self-governance, peace and sustainability.

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