As many of us prepare smaller meals and fire up our video chats for virtual celebrations, we invite you to center your Thanksgiving celebration on honoring and amplifying Native stories, seeking truth about our history, and acknowledging Indigenous presence and wisdom. Below are a few "Tending Nature" episodes and articles we recommend to help us unfold and re-establish respect and reciprocity among each other and with the world that surrounds us.
Young Indigenous Climate Activists Fighting for Our Collective Future
Cody, Xiye, Naelyn, Ruth and Autumn. If those aren’t names you recognize just yet, read our profiles below to learn how these young climate activists are working hard to advocate for your right to water, land, renewable energy and more, to build an inclusive climate agenda for the world at large.
- Cody Two Bears: The Force Behind the 300-kilowatt Solar Farm on Standing Rock
- Xiye Bastida: Making Room for Climate Activists of All Backgrounds
- Naelyn Pike: Apache Fighter and Sacred Site Protector
- Ruth Miller: Alaska Native Approaches Climate Crisis with Radical Compassion
- Autumn Peltier: ‘Water Warrior’ for Marginalized Communities
The Wiyot tribe in Humboldt County fought a long and hard battle to regain ownership of their traditional ceremonial grounds — and won, making it the first time a municipality returned land to a Native tribe. More recently, the tribe rallied the community to oppose a massive wind project on their ancestral lands, and ultimately defeated it. Watch "Guarding Ancestral Grounds with the Wiyot."
While California’s desert is often perceived as a playground, or a wasteland, Native Peoples have long lived in the desert and understood its fragility and gifts. The Native American Land Conservancy works to acquire, preserve and protect Native American sacred lands in the Mojave Desert through protective land management, educational programs and scientific study. Watch "Preserving the Desert with the NALC."
For the Yocha Dehe people, who have lived in California’s Capay Valley for more than 15,000 years, local food production and deep knowledge of plant diversity sustained them for millennia. Using olives, a fruit of Spanish colonization, the Yocha Dehe people are combining ecological knowledge with modern science to rethink community-centered agri-business using sustainability practices centered on their ecological wisdom. Watch "Reclaiming Agriculture with the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation."
It is important to recognize that the roots of permaculture, a term coined in the 1970s, lie firmly and deeply in the ancient, fertile, organic soil of Indigenous science of cultivating a reciprocal, regenerative relationship with the Earth, in which the human acknowledges her innate connection to Earth. Read "The Indigenous Science of Permaculture."
Top Image: A group at the Cultural Conservancy removes dried grain corn from the cob to preserve the seeds in their seed library. | Still from the "Cultivating Native Foodways with the Cultural Conservancy" episode of "Tending Nature."