Why Preserving Cultural and Language Diversity is Vital to Protecting Biodiversity: An Interview with Galina Angarova

March 23, 2020



“The traditional knowledge about biodiversity protection exists in Native languages. If we lose those Native languages, the knowledge will disappear with them.”
 

This is a conversation on Green Dreamer with Kamea Chayne, a podcast and multimedia journal illuminating our paths towards ecological balance, intersectional sustainability, and true abundance and wellness for all. This preview has been edited for clarity. Subscribe to Green Dreamer Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app to stay informed and updated on our latest episodes.

Featured music of the month: Mining for Steal by Fuchsia


Galina Angarova is a longtime advocate for Indigenous Peoples' rights and the Executive Director of Cultural Survival (in English: @CSORG; en Espanol: @CSORG72), which is a nonprofit organization that fights for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures, and political resilience.

In this podcast episode, Galina sheds light on how the diversity of cultures and languages impact biodiversity; what the sacred feminine is and what it means to rebalance the feminine and the masculine for a more just and harmonious world; and more.

To start, get a glimpse below into the conversation between Galina and Green Dreamer Podcast's host, Kamea Chayne.

 

On the value of having a relationship with nature:

"The simplification of wealth has led to the belief that money is the only solution, but there are multiple solutions to holding our space on this planet and being in a relationship and in equilibrium with it. [We value] having a multitude of relationships. 

That's why when we pray, we pray for all of our connections and relations in the world. We pray not only with human beings but with the natural world. We do not objectify nature—animals, stones, birds, and rivers are our participants in this life, and they have an indirect relationship with us."

 


On the impacts of climate change on Indigenous communities:

"Because the Indigenous Peoples live on the land, they feel the impact first. They feel the droughts, typhoons, cyclones, the receding ice, the loss of water, the hail, the snow, and other changing weather patterns that people have never experienced before.

I'm from Siberia and I know that climate change has impacted my communities through weather patterns. It could be -41 one day and then it could go down to -15 the other day during the winter season. It's become very unpredictable, which affects the growing season and the animals.

So the entire system is just collapsing and it's happening all over the world."

 

On how cultural and language diversity relates to biological diversity:

"Language diversity is extremely important in biodiversity protection because those terms exist in native languages. The traditional knowledge about biodiversity protection exists in native languages. If we lose those native languages, the knowledge will disappear with them."

 

Final words of wisdom:

“Take care of yourself. Listen to your body and your heart. As people, we tend to live in our heads, but it's important to drop from your head to your heart and lead with your heart—that's where the miracles happen.”