Monday, August 2, 2010

The Quivira Coalition’s 9th Annual Conference The Carbon Ranch: Using Food and Stewardship to Build Soil and Fight Climate Change

The Quivira Coalition's 9th Annual Conference The Carbon Ranch: Using Food and Stewardship to Build Soil and Fight Climate Change 
November 10-12, 2010: 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
During the three-day conference, you will hear from a variety of "carbon pioneers." The first day includes an all-day symposium titled Improving the Carbon Cycle on Your Land. The next two days will be devoted to plenary speakers who will address the essential elements of a carbon ranch, including practices that enrich soil carbon, strategies for monitoring carbon accrual, the role of grassfed food, watershed restoration and global case studies. Online registration begins July 1, 2010!  For more information click here.

Monday, May 31, 2010

International Indigenous Women’s Forum

The International Indigenous Women's Forum is a network of Indigenous women leaders from Asia, Africa, and the Americas working to increase their participation and visibility in the international arena, and build capacity, and the Indigenous Women's Fund is the "economic and philanthropic arm".  Catalyzed by a UN conference, we're struck by what they are supporting:

"traditional indigenous economy base on the principles of reciprocity, solidarity and complementarity."
"indigenous community economic models for a "health living" seeking development that allows you to maintain your identity."

Exactly.  We couldn't have said it better.

In their "intercultural" approach to philanthropy, the Fund seeks to"
• Address issues of inequity;
• Base its work on traditional Indigenous values of reciprocity and complementarity and "unity in diversity";
• Facilitate and promote equal exchanges between donors and grantees, and between the Global North and South and within;
• Build partnerships of mutual interests and reciprocity between donor or social change supporters and grantees

Best wishes to you mothers and elders in pursuing this work.

IFIP 2009 and Related Quotes

International Funders of Indigenous People 2009 sessions covered climate change, the need for adaptation, food security, Indigenous rights, sovereignty, and self-determination.  It gave, in their words, "a rare opportunity to learn about the interconnectedness of Indigenous peoples and their environment, and their commitment to protecting the world for future generations."

Some select quotes:

"We hope to live for centuries in a healthy environment. . . Wearing a smile and holding our hearts in our hands, we need to reconstruct this generation that is in darkness, because tomorrow it will be too late." - Anank Nunkai of the Ecuadorian Amazon, traditional healer and former Indigenous Permaculture

"No one has the right to genetically modify our Cosmogenealogy,""These foods are not just foods … they are our relatives", Winona LaDuke said.  She stressed the importance of the 're-localization of community'

"Even if we have never seen each other, Native people understand one other,"  Aaju Peter of Iqaluit.

Simon Ortiz said that Earth Mother really needs our help, that Indigenous people can play a major role in regenerating the world

"While we have a great deal to learn from you about technology in terms of saving the earth, what you need to learn from us is the spiritual technology of saving the earth.", Colombian shaman Don Luciano Mutumbajoy (at the 2001 Environmental Grantmakers Association Retreat)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Local Food Roundup

Of the many interesting articles there are on community food systems, this "From Blight to a Tasty Bite, Growing Food to Root a Neighborhood" article on Oakland is worth a look.  And for a current Native perspective, listen in on Friday, May 14, 2010 to Food: From Farm to School on Native America Calling

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Traditional Land Management: Clash of Science and Fire In Venezuela’s Savanna

Modern science is struggling to understand the benefits of the traditional land management practices of the Pemón.  Certainly, it's possible that living off the land locally using habitat burns could create unintended consequences in times of drought.  However, one needs to look at the real problem -- how lands and peoples around them have dramatically changed through disrespect for the land and its natural cycles.  And one needs to respect their long-term success in surviving in that place, and, rather than change the way native peoples live, work to restore the resilience of surrounding lands.

The other problem you will see in the article is the struggle with a non-issue: whether or not native land management alters the ecosystem.  When you see humans as separate from nature, then you can indeed engage in these discussions of whether or not the landscape is native.  When you see the integration of all things living, then it doesn't matter.  People are part of the landscape, flowing and evolving together.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Indigenous Andeans Living Off the Land:

As part of the Cochabamba Conference:

"Honor and respect water as a sacred and life-giving gift from the Creator of Life. Water, the first living spirit on Earth.
. . . When water is threatened, all living things are threatened."
  -- Statement, Hopi Hisot Navoti Gathering

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tohono O’odham: Walking Path to Better Health

Terrol Dew Johnson, is the co-founder of Tohono O'odham Community Action – a nonprofit grass-roots organization that supports traditional farming, healthy foods and tribal culture.  In 1996, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – an epidemic among tribal members.   This article describes a 3000 mile healing walk on which he embarked. 

Last week, the National Diabetes Education Program noted that "16 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 20 and older have diagnosed diabetes, compared to a national average of seven percent.".  

People of all races, take care of yourself!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Seed Saving and School Gardens

Seed saving is one topic that gets short shrift, in our consumerist surroundings where seeds are readily available to purchase.  We miss the reverence for life in saving seeds in knowing that they will return life in the following or near future years.   So we're happy to see that "OAEC's School Garden Program announces the release of "A Handful of Seeds"- a new publication on seed saving and seed study for educators." to help support community resilience and bring children into the effort.

The guide is available at their website, and "inside you will find lessons linked to California Educational Standards, practical information on seed saving in the school garden and seed history and lore."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Water Cycles and CA Water Conservation Act of 2009

California law is directing us toward respect for the earth, and understanding of our water cycle.  Much of the state south of Sacramento and Santa Cruz is technically desert, and in that area, we must respect those natural water limits, while working to enhance our ability to retain, cleanse, and use the ambient rainwater and runoff that runs through our area(s)

For example:

Senate Bill x7-7 enacted in 2009 (Chapter 4, Statutes of 2009 Seventh Extraordinary Session) requires the state to achieve a 20% reduction in urban per capita water use by December 31, 2020. The law establishes that the measure of increased efficiency is on a per capita basis. The law also requires the state to make incremental progress towards this goal by reducing per capita water use by at least 10% on or before December 31, 2015." (18 March 2010)


Friday, March 5, 2010

Food Aid <--> Local Agriculture

"Food aid has hurt local agriculture" - former USDA sec Ann Veneman on KQED's Forum today. Time to restore and reclaim those traditional farming practices . . .

The program showed the bipartisan nature of international food/health issue. Although a Bush appointee, virtually everything she mentioned were things all people could agree on. And, given the polarized conversation that passes for politics, she most certainly did not sound Republican.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Multimedia: Advancing the Cause of Justice

Tomorrow (or today, depending on your time zone) the National Congress of American Indians will deliver the State of the Nations address to highlight the collective successes and challenges of communities across the land.

And Native America Calling has had several good call topics recently, on indigenous advocates for climate change actionindigenous beliefs and rights among world religions,  women entrepreneurs on the reservation, and even safe places for Native youth from our friends at Native Movement

And for real motivation to keep working on all these community struggles, try the music of Blackfire

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rebuilding Haiti from the Roots Up

Check this Living On Earth podcast about Haiti and environmental regeneration.  We have seen a lot of aid that has been hindered to getting to people.  We think our real task is to build capacity and infrastructure, share information and low-impact technology, to help empower Haitians to help themselves. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Traditional Knowledge and Appropriate Technology Roundup

You can listen to Luis Macas Ambuludi, discussing Latin American indigenous issues here .  This podcast is provided by Seventh Generation, among many others in their Native Pulse media offerings .

And check out the Appropedia for an array of information on low-footprint, high impact technologies. 

NTEC sums up why traditional knowledge and appropriate technology is important in our current reality: 
    "[For Natives] culture, history, identity, spirituality and governance are inextricably intertwined with their lands, waters and living beings to whom they are related and with whom they maintain right relationships. Climate change is affecting ecosystems, the distribution of culturally-important species, and the scarcity of water.  . . .  Maintaining and using traditional knowledge is essential for successful tribal adaptation to climate change. Traditional knowledge is linked to ecosystems and central to their identity and existence. It must be used on a basis of equal standing with science in alleviating adverse climate impacts on tribal trust resources."