What Native Americans Can Teach Us About Sustainability
What Native Americans Can Teach Us About Sustainability by: Susan Patterson – Off the Grid News
We know that the earth and all of creation came into being by God as designer and creator. God put in place a number of finely tuned systems, cycles and physical parameters that sustain life.
Adam and Eve were given instructions to work the garden and take care of it. Adam was a caretaker of creation, not a conqueror. Throughout the Bible we see God demonstrating to His people that the land belongs to Him, not us, and we are merely aliens here and His tenants (Leviticus 25:23). God instructed man not to overuse the land and to allow it to lie fallow every seven years. So, from this and many other biblical examples, it is clear that God expected humans to sustainably manage the resources He provides. We are to leave an inheritance for our children’s children (Proverbs 13:22).
While Christians should in no way abandon the mandates given to us in the Bible, there is much to learn about caring for the land from those who don’t necessarily believe the same as we do — specifically the Native American people.
Europeans who arrived in America must have thought that the fertile, well-managed land just happened to be. They knew that native people existed but did not give credit to their skills or knowledge. Because of this, they missed the opportunity to learn about a highly complex and sustainable form of earth management. In fact, this form of land management was one of the most sophisticated that has ever existed.
The lands that our forefathers first put their eyes on was not “untouched” or “wild” as some have recorded, but rather the result of a broad range of indigenous, land management techniques. Today, these techniques are being rediscovered amongst sustainable agriculture activists who are seeking to bring back to life that which has been buried by industrialization, commercialization and a general disrespect for the earth.