That Native Wisdom is directly related to ‘enchantment’ is something I’ve ‘known’ regardless of my ability to explain it. I recall early discussions about the different proposals to “Protect Greater Canyonlands”. On hearing Jonah Yellowman tell stories about the area with such impact and depth, I thought that this is different. Protecting this area is no longer just about scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, and biodiversity, it’s about all that Euro-Americans can learn from Native people about sacred places and indigenous knowledge. “It is time”, I kept hearing over and over, the truth of which grows greater and greater.
The entire environmental community coalesced around the Native Proposal which became Bears Ears National Monument.
I struggle with ‘cultural appropriation’ because I was accused of it while creating a class for college students. Lately, however, I’m more comfortable acknowledging my need to better understand this native knowledge, as it is definitely “enchanted” in the same way that our white patriarchal culture is ‘disenchanted’.
This past Monday was Indigenous People’s Day and like everyone, I saw dozens of references, all of which were important to me. This one stood out. John Trudell says something important that we all need to incorporate….that we all have Native Roots. So many of our current problems result from the fact that those of us in power have cut ourselves off from our roots. Re-connecting to our deepest roots is how to ‘re-enchant’ our lives, and a giant step in human survival.