Third, we must protect tribal sovereignty. Without Indigenous leadership and the protection of tribal sovereignty, we lose the natural law of reciprocity. We lose the ability to take care of, and to be taken care of. We can’t forget to protect native treaty rights and tribal sovereignty. Understanding this means understanding the importance of traditional teaching and respect for nature. Only then can we connect to the scientific and technical information that we need in our present-day work.
Do I feel optimistic about what’s to come? You bet. I feel strong. I feel good energy. And, the more we educate people, the more they come aboard.
For the future, I see our schools really revitalizing our language and our teachings and our beliefs. I see here, at Wind River, our tribe developing green industry and diversifying our economy and taking advantage of protecting the land, water and natural resources we have. I see all of our tribal members with good homes and good healthcare and good jobs and strong families who protect and maintain our culture, our lodges, our ceremonies, our medicines, our way of life. That’s something to be optimistic about.
As told to Lauren Steele
The theme for Earth Day 2023 is ‘Invest in Our planet’. Find out more about how you can take action for Earth on the official Earth Day website.