Defending Mother Earth
By: Jace Weaver
“Defending Mother Earth brings together important Native voices to address urgent issues of environmental devastation as they affect the indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. The essays document a range of ecological disasters, including the devastating effects of mining, water pollution, nuclear power facilities, and toxic waste dumps. In an expression of "environmental racism", such hazards are commonly located on or near Indian lands. Many of the authors included in Defending Mother Earth are engaged in struggles to resist these dangers. As their essays consistently demonstrate, these struggles are intimately tied to the assertion of Indian sovereignty and the affirmation of Native culture: the Earth is, indeed, Mother to these nations. In his concluding theological reflection, George Tinker argues that the affirmation of Indian spiritual values, especially the attitude toward the Earth, may hold out a key to the survival of the planet and all its peoples. Contributors included representative voices from the Oglala Lakota, Shawnee/Sac, Fox, Muscogee, Seminole, Cherokee, Gwich'in, Standing Rock Sioux, Cree, Blood, Osage, and Seneca. Defending Mother Earth is a very valuable addition to the growing body of discussion on the pressing needs for conservation and the wise stewardship of a living resource -- and the home of all life as we know it.” --Midwest Book Review
“This anthology of 11 essays is the result of an unusual conference of Native North American environmental activists held at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver in March 1995. It stands in stark contrast to other such collections, because it includes among its writers none of the more well-known non-Native American environmentalists. As such, it provides an enormously fascinating examination of the present environmental crisis from both academic and administrative perspectives from within the Native American community. Introduced by Russell Means, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, and edited by attorney Jace Weaver, this collection includes contributions from Margaret Sam-Cromarty, who fought the disastrous James Bay project in Canada; Phyllis Young, who fought the ESTI Coal Slurry Pipeline; and, Justine Smith, who opposes Exxon's massive Mole Lake project in Wisconsin. These authors write not only with passion but also with scholarly acumen and logic. This is an important and eloquent work that few books on ecology can match.”-Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Publishers WeeklyDefending Mother Earth brings together important Native voices to address urgent issues of environmental devastation affecting indigenous peoples through the Americas. These essays documents range of problems, including the devastating effects of mining, nuclear power facilities, toxic waste dumps, and water pollution.
As the contributors demonstrate, the struggles to stop these threats are intimately tied to the assertion of American Indian sovereignty and the affirmation of Native culture: the Earth is, indeed, Mother to all these nations. In his concluding reflection, George Tinker argues that the affirmation of Indian spiritual values, especially the attitude toward the Earth, may hold out a key to the survival of the planet, and all its peoples.
Contributors include: Russell Means (Oglala Lakota), Donald Fixico (Shawnee/Sac and Fox/Muscogee/Seminole), Grace Thorpe (Sac and Fox), Justine Smith (Cherokee), Norma Kassi (Gwich'in), Phyllis Young (Standing Rock Sioux), Margaret Sam-Cromarty (Cree), Jace Weaver (Cherokee), Andrea Smith (Cherokee), Duane Good Striker (Blood), George Tinker (Osage/Cherokee), Thom White Wolf Fassett (Seneca).
Editor Jace Weaver, an attorney and theologian, direct the Institute of Native American Studies at the University of Georgia. His books include Other Words: American Indian Literature, Law, and Culture and The Red Atlantic: American Indigenes and the Making of the Modern World 1000-1927.