Nonviolence not only offers us tools for protecting the environment, but environmental degradation is itself a form of violence, and care for our common home is an integral element of Gospel nonviolence. In this webinar, Dan Moriarty of the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns is joined by Bolivian theologian Tania Avila Meneses to explore some of the theological roots of this perspective, including those drawn from indigenous cosmovisions. Tania also co-authored this article, Indigenous Wisdom, for the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns' "One Amazon, Many Voices" series in anticipation of the Synod of the Amazon.
Watch the webinar here
Approaching the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and the myth of the "first" dinner with native peoples providing the potluck, we might pause to think about those people who lived, literally everywhere on the continent before settlers arrived. Let's sit with this thought about the land we have lived on and who lived there before us.
The Native Land Digital website is an amazing mapping project and so much more. While you can explore the maps for a long while, it does not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations, it is a work in progress. It's beauty is that the maps and interpretation grows in accuracy and detail with the involvement of native peoples and communities collaborating with GPS and mapping professionals and anthropologists and native historians. Further, it is beautiful as a learning experience to be shared with friends and family in discussion.
Native Land Digital is a Canadian not-for-profit organization, incorporated in December 2018. Native Land Digital is Indigenous led, with an Indigenous Executive Director and Board of Directors who oversee and direct the organization. The maps are most developed for the Americas, Australasia and parts of North Asia.
The mission of the project is to create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations, through educational resources such as the map and Territory Acknowledgement Guide. They want to go beyond old ways of talking about Indigenous people and to develop a platform where Indigenous communities can represent themselves and their histories on their own terms. In doing so, Native Land Digital creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together.
1. Spend time with the map first Expect an amazing "rabbit hole" of learning!
2. Learn about why it matters and how it works on their website.
3. Go back to map and imagine with new eyes.
That wonderful Aboriginal woman Miriam Rose Ungenmerr reminds us of something truly important. She speaks of “a special quality of my people”- It is perhaps the greatest gift we can give to our fellow Australians. In our language this quality is called dadirri. It is inner, deep listening and quiet, still awareness. This is the gift Australia is thirsting for. It’s something like what you call contemplation.
Read the entire homily here
In mid-February 50,000 people from all over the country gathered in Washington DC to challenge our government to halt the building of the Tar Sands Pipeline. This monumental structure is conceived to stretch the length of the country and through part of Canada, harming the environment in many ways, disrupting communities of people and wildlife, threatening ecosystems and water sources. One participant was pleased to see a young couple with their baby in a stroller, and stopped to thank them for being there. They answered: “Our baby made us come.”
Yes, we must turn our ears to the cries of the children of our planet. If we cannot choose a healthy environment for ourselves, choose instead for the most vulnerable among us who will live with the ramifications of our choices for the next 80 years.
Take a few minutes to listen to the voice of 10-year old Ta’Kaiya Blaney, from the Sliammon Nation, who lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia. In this original song she begs all of us to help protect her native coastline from the oil spills like the Exxon Valdez spill that still lies a few inches under the surface of the water 22 years later.
More from Ta'Kaiya on the song, Shallow Waters