Oren Lyons: the River of Life and “sustainable development”

“Even though you and I are in different boats, you in your boat and we in our canoe, we share the same River of Life.  What befalls me, befalls you.  And downstream, downstream in this River of Life, our children will pay for our selfishness, for our greed, and for our lack of vision.

Five hundred years ago, you came to our pristine lands of great forests, rolling plains, crystal-clear lakes and streams and rivers.  And we have suffered in your quest for God, for Glory, for Gold.  But we have survived.  Can we survive another five hundred years of “sustainable development”.  I don’t think so.  Not with today’s definitions of “sustainable”.  I don’t think so.”

Excerpted from Oren Lyon’s essay Keepers of Life as published in Moral Ground—Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, edited by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson.  Lyons is the Faith Keeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee.


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