by Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
As American Indians, we are taught to preserve Mother Earth for the next seven generations. These are not mere trite words that allow us to say one thing, and then do another. We must walk the talk.
Since the first Earth Day, celebrated April 22, 1970, there has been much focus on the environment. Some environmental terminologies now common to all Americans today were unique to scientists forty-one years ago. These terms include, global warming, green house effect and climate control. All of these terms are important to the preservation of Mother Earth.
Sadly, American Indians are subject to the ill-effects decades of corporate disruption of Mother Earth. For instance, in a report released by the Defenders of the Black Hills called, “Report on Water Tests for Radioactive Contamination,” show laboratory analysis of radioactive contaminants on Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Lower Brule Indian Reservation and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
These radiation levels are the result of some 200 abandoned uranium mines. The runoff gets into South Dakota streams. These levels radiation that show up in drinking water on Indian reservations ultimately contribute to potential for increased cancer in American Indians.
Sadly, the large corporations have high-paid lobbyists working the halls of Congress seeking less environmental oversight and control.
As we celebrate Earth Day today, we should take time to assess how we are doing within our own circle when it comes to preserving Mother Earth.
This may be as simple as ensuring we are using the right light bulbs or petitioning Congress to have corporations that have left behind contaminants to clean up the mess they left behind on Mother Earth.
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