With the Land

May be an image of monument and nature
Desert Landscape, Public Domain

A quote from Randy Woodley:

“The very land itself meant something quite different to the newcomer than it did to the host people. Something was missing. The difficulty, as the Natives saw it, was with the settlers themselves and their failure to tread lightly, with humility and respect, on the land. The settlers wanted to live on the land, but the host people lived with the land. Living on the land means objectifying the land and natural resources and being shortsighted concerning the future. Living with the land means respecting the natural balance.

“To Indigenous peoples, the problems of a Western worldview are obvious. The way of life demonstrated by Western peoples leads to alienation from the Earth, from others, and from all of creation. This lifestyle creates a false bubble called ‘Western civilization,; which people in the West think will protect them from future calamity. This false hope is detached from all experience and reality.

“The problem is that the Western system itself is what brings the calamity. There is little doubt that much of what we are experiencing today as so-called natural disasters have their origin in human carelessness.

“How do we avoid the impending disaster brought on by a settler lifestyle of living on the land and against nature? The answer is simple: we learn to live with nature.

— Randy Woodley, Cherokee Descendant,
“Becoming Rooted: One Hundred Days of Reconnecting with Sacred Earth” (Broadleaf Books: 2022), 101–102.

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