A GreenSeeds Music blog post by contributor Cass Gregg of the Tsilhqot’in Nation and ED, Erzsi Institorisz
On every continent, you will find Indigenous peoples on the forefront, a barrier between land and consumer interests. They have endured countless hardships due to colonialism. Too often, Indigenous peoples find themselves in a battle to protect their territories from being altered by governments and industry. They have deep respect and connection with nature. The land is a part of them.
What Can We Learn from Aboriginals?
Humans with a colonialist background have tried to treat nature like a machine, looking at free land as something to be urbanized. But the Earth is an organism, not a machine to be controlled. Nature has systems in place that have weaved together over millions of years. It is arrogant to assume a right to alter any of them. Regardless, industry is given the right to extract resources for profit. However, what are the long-term impacts of resource extraction? And what contingency plans are in place for contamination? Aboriginals have the understanding that the land does not need us, rather we need it; therefore, land should be respected and protected.
First Nations Using Clean Energy Alternatives
First Nations people in many areas of North America have embraced clean energy as the alternative to fossil fuels and dirty power sources. In fact, Native Americans have been harnessing the sun’s energy for many years. In the past and the present, Aboriginal people have often been negatively impacted by fossil fuel extraction and energy projects, so it’s only natural that First Nations have wanted to get away from them altogether.
In the US, the Department of Energy announced funding for Native American and Alaskan communities to utilize solar energy. Solar and wind power are more practical in the Native American and Alaskan territories as often they are isolated. There are already several Native American wind and solar companies so this will no doubt help to further their efforts. Some say Native American tribes are the newest force within “big solar.” One can only hope that similar strides are made here in Canada. British Columbian First Nations are not to be left out with First Nations bands like the Tsiel-Waututh Nation and their company TWN Wind Power. They distribute small community wind turbines and are wholly-owned by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. They have even switched their community offices and daycare to solar power!
We can only hope that more people come to embrace these alternatives in the same way that both nations and Aboriginal peoples have before, now, and in the future.
So What is GreenSeeds Music Planning?
We are currently focused on content creation, preparing new bilingual materials to inspire a love of nature that supports the Indigenous values of living in harmony with and protection of the Earth. We seek to soften the message about climate change, acknowledging that:
“We must love nature before we care to protect it.”
We desire to support First Nation efforts in every corner of the globe for they have truly always been on the frontlines protecting their territories, desiring to preserve them for future generations, not for personal gain.
Canada is a unique country in the world for its amount of wild and beautiful land, not to mention fresh water resources. We have been getting to know members of the Tsilhqot’in Nation and Musqueam First Nation.
And, we are taking steps to develop content which educates as to the values of these peoples. We have also been making connections with organizations such as the David Suzuki Foundation, Upgyres, Beyond Boarding and the Jellyfish Project and are FIRED UP! Energized because climate change affects us all. We need more folks on the front lines protecting this planet we call home.
Lastly, we are also excited to share that our very own Director of Marketing, David Acuna and his wife Alana Thorburn-Watt (a contributor @GreenSeedsMusic) are writing the soundtrack for the upcoming film entitled “River of Silence;” a film about the missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. We look forward to seeing the final product and hope that it brings more awareness to women’s issues. Our North American culture is truly enriched by Aboriginals, for this, we salute them.
Happy National Aboriginal Day!