I’ve been really enjoying the Season of Creation this year. It is so important to have times when we focus on certain things – like the centrality and sacredness of the natural world, and how we can be in better relationship with the rest of Creation.
However, it is easy to think about the environment, and even pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss as a standalone issue. Like most things, when you start pulling on one string, you find out that things are not always as simple as they might seem. Everything is connected.
This upcoming Friday, September 30th, is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (before, Orange Shirt Day). It is a day to remember the children who never returned home, as well as the survivors of Residential “Schools.”
It is meaningful to me that this day falls within the Season of Creation because truth, reconciliation, and supporting Indigenous Rights are some of the most important and impactful ways that we can respond to the environmental disaster(s) of our time.
Why? For one, while Indigenous peoples around the world make up only 5% of the world’s population, steward only 20% of the Earth’s territory, their lands contain 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity. Read more here. Isn’t that amazing? The care of Indigenous peoples – peoples who have a unique history and relationship to a particular land – have measurable, positive impacts on the environment.
The more we support and give decision making power back to Indigenous Nations, who have lived and cared for this place for millennia, the more the philosophy by which our lands are managed will be more holistic, balanced and respectful, rather than exploitative.
So, on the 30th, I will wear orange, I will pray for forgiveness for the past and ongoing legacy of colonialism, I will educate myself, I will attend a public event, and I will re-commit myself to supporting Indigenous Rights where I live as part of my engagement in the Season of Creation.
I invite you to join me, to be(come) good stewards of God’s good earth.
Thanks be to God!