An Indigenous Strategy for Human Sustainability
The Haudenosaunee consist of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora Nations. The Haudenosaunee Nations and its people have a unique spiritual, cultural, and historic relationship with the land, which is embodied in Gayananshogowa, the Great Law of Peace. This relationship goes far beyond federal and state legal concepts of ownership, possession, or other legal rights. The Haudenosaunee people are one with the land and all that depends on the land, and consider themselves apart of it. It is the duty of the Nations’ leaders to work for a healing of the land, to protect it, and to pass it on to future generations.
Clean and abundant water is now the highest priority for human survival. The natural world is the distributor of water, according to the great systems that control our earth and its climate. It belongs to no one person, corporation, or nation. Privatization and pollution of water are fundamental violations of our human rights, and the rights of the natural world. The balance of life is predicated on sharing the Earth’s natural resources.
The Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force believes that the process of hydraulic-fracturing will devastate the natural environment over a large area and for many generations into the future. We also understand that even though the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is able to justify moving forward with this process based on a presumption of the soundness of its written policy, by requiring permits for certain activities and providing regulatory disincentives for violations to its permitting requirements, there will be unintended consequences that DEC cannot prevent.
The Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force has not been able to create a scenario by which the economic and energy benefits of hydraulic-fracturing will outweigh its known dangers and risks. DEC is one entity delegated the authority to protect our Earth and waters against contamination caused by hydraulic-fracturing by refusing to allow our Earth and its waters to be exploited in this way. We ask that the DEC partner with us to find other energy sources that do not destroy our grandchildren’s ability to live long and healthy lives.
Our ancestors treated the ground springs of oil as a valuable and sacred medicine for thousands of years before they were exhausted by American industry in less than a century. We are taught to have a special respect for those rare and powerful elements of Mother Earth provided by our Creator for this reason. The careful acquisition, thanksgiving, and circumspect use of the Natural World to sustain human life is the natural law for all humans, not just the Haudenosaunee.
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