By Duane “Chili” Yazzie
The creation stories tell that five-fingered humankind is of the Earth. We were formed of the substance of Earth, we come from the Earth, we came out of the Earth.
In the three echelons of our reality, we are composite of three aspects; our soul, our spirit is of the Creator, our bodies are of the Earth, the harvest of the combining of the Earth and the spirit is, we the individual. The Creator is of and unto to himself, he manifests his essence as he wills, he is singular and all encompassing. The Creator is the core substance of all there is, he inhabits the vast expanse of his creation, his spirit embodies all and thus permeates through the Earth. The Earth is of the physical and the spirit while we, the child are of the three constituents.
The Earth was created of purity with a perfect equilibrium balancing the ecosystems of all life; the life of water, the plant life, the winged life, the ground-connected life of animals, reptiles, insects, microbial life and we, the human life. All the living depend on our Earth for sustenance and all substance which enables our livelihood and empowers our pitiful lives. We are pitiful, as we remain perpetually at the mercy of our Earth Mother and our Creator.
As our bodies are originated of her, we properly regard her as our Earth Mother. Her life is our life. We are born of her, we belong to her and she belongs to us as a mother and child belong to each other. We cannot own her. In the foundational Indigenous understanding there is no concept of ownership of land, water or the air. It is as ludicrous as saying one can own the fire. Only the Creator can own his creation.
The Earth, the land was purposed for the sustaining of earthly life in all respects, so long as there is a mutual sustaining. All life of Earth except for humankind have maintained the sustaining which decrees an honoring, a respecting, a loving expression to the Earth. All non-human life in their spheres of full reality maintain that sustaining, a reciprocal caring for each other in a process of natural awareness.
The great fallacy of the perspective of purpose proclaimed by western thought has discounted, disrespected the natural awareness, this has largely disturbed the natural order that held the equilibrium and the healthy continuance of the ecosystems of Earth. The children of Earth of good hearts world understand the mass disruption of the equilibrium; we feel the struggles of our Earth Mother. We mourn the desecration and decimation of the life of all our relations of the ecosystems.
The unbalancing of the equilibrium is measured by the melting glaciers, the rising oceans, the wild fire devastation, the increasing big winds of tornados and hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, deathly droughts, the polluted air, declining water and food supply. The seeming inevitable demise of the life of Earth is calculated with the eradication of the wondrous, beautiful life of species and the ecosystems, this course of a continued decimation of the systems of life will inevitably engulf humankind.
The cause of destruction of the life of Earth is greed. The destroyers are the energy industries with their insatiable appetites, the disrespecting arrogant multinational corporations and their complicit partner governments of the world. Ultimately they will answer for their greed and their destruction of the Creator’s magnificent creation of life of our Earth Mother.
--Duane “Chili” Yazzie is Diné elder and Tribal leader.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Gill.