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7-Generation Bioregional Earth Summit Feb 8


Finding a Third Way

Registration starts at 8:30 am
Program runs 9:00 am – 4:00 pm EST (Toronto)
in-person (lunch provided) AND livestreamed both morning and afternoon (lunch break 12-1 pm)
Kortright Centre
9550 Pine Valley Drive, Woodbridge

In a time of change and uncertainty, we seek counsel from the Indigenous Peoples who have been on this land for millennia. We want to live in the world of the Eagle and the Condor, and on this day we'll practice for a Bioregional Earth.

In the morning, Indigenous voices from across Turtle Island share the stories of their landscapes – ecology, history, cultural significance, regeneration work. In the afternoon, these Indigenous leaders and elders offer their counsel as we draw on two-eyed seeing, bringing care and integrity in dedication to finding a Third Way forward. What would it mean to literally form a council of Turtle Island for the regeneration of Earth?

"When I stare too long at the world with science eyes, I see an afterimage of traditional knowledge. Might science and traditional knowledge be purple and yellow to one another, might they be goldenrod and asters? We see the world more fully when we use both." Robin Wall Kimmerer

We need the best of Indigenous ways of knowing and knowledge with the best of Western science. As we continue the process of truth and reconciliation, we must recognize that we need to take a step beyond to (re)discover a different way of being on this planet.

Earth is in an unprecedented moment in history – never before have humans affected the entire planet, causing changes that usually happen slowly over thousands of years to happen in decades and trigger various tipping points.

Indigenous peoples warned colonists that going against Natural Law (which starts in your bioregion) is like going against life, toward your own demise. Indigenous Faithkeeper Oren Lyons was involved in the creation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He has said it can be summed up in four words: value change for survival.

"If society judiciously modelled the traditions of the various [Indigenous] nations, the place of women in society would be central, the distribution of goods and power would be egalitarian, the elderly would be respected, honoured and protected as a primary social and cultural resource, and the ideals of physical beauty would be considerably enlarged." Paula Gunn Allen

For Indigenous peoples, everything rests on right relationships within Natural Law – can we go back to the future?

The idea of respect is foundational – not only between people of all ages and backgrounds, but also future generations, other-than-human life, and the Earth itself.

In an article on Relational Systems Thinking, Dr. Dan Longboat explains that "one of the things that's really central in engaging with different perspectives and different knowledge systems, in how they interact, is this idea of sacred space; it is really about ethical space. Within our context of it as Haudenosaunee, whenever individuals or two things come together to make an agreement, whenever they collaborate… then the space in between them is the sacred space; you can kind of think about it in terms of how they are respectful towards one another, how they are caring and compassionate towards each other, how they are empathetic with one another… We are both sailing down the river of life together. And our responsibility is to help one another but more specifically, the river of life is in danger right now and there will be no more river of life. So, it behooves us now to utilize our knowledge together to work to sustain, to perpetuate, to strengthen the river of life. Why? So that all life will continue. And at the end of the day any social innovation or systems stuff should be all about the continuation of life and however we understand it to be – not just human life but all of it, for this generation right to the end of time."

Recommended: Watch the videos Dan Longboat and Joe Brewer in Conversation: Finding a Third Way, Oren Lyons Value Change for Survival, Tkaronto Food Forest with Elder Dr. Duke Redbird, and Towards a More Just Future.


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