November is Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, and provides us with abundant opportunities to celebrate, honor, learn and (of course) be thankful. Before diving into the rich history (though even the history of the month itself is a fascinating read-click here to see how the boy scouts contributed to its establishment), it’s worth noting that this is very much a living legacy.

Having spent my childhood in Canada’s Pacific Northwest, my landscape was as likely to include a totem pole as a tree. The artistry of the figures made me curious about the legends that went along with them, inspiring both my imagination and my sense of interconnectedness with nature.

This relationship to the land is often described as stewardship, a concept it shares with organic agriculture, and one that has always made sense to me. Describing a relationship of care and management, of responsibility and sustainability, stewardship is in effect the natural reciprocity of a give and take system.

In a year that has been full of discussion on the state of the environment and our place in it, this legacy of stewardship is once again on the rise., with Native American and First Nation’s people at the forefront on the issues that effect us all- water, soil, and air.

Here are just a few examples of causes to celebrate this month:

The Indian Nations Conservation Alliance

Indigenous Environmental Network

Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE)

The Great Lakes Commons

As well as the Intertribal Buffalo Council, a group near and dear to colleague Dave Carter’s heart. (And mine, for that matter; America without Buffalo feels somehow incomplete).

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