This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

The ‘great turning’

Thank you for your coverage of the water protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota (“Supporters Witness a Victory at Standing Rock,” Dec. 19). People are coming together around the world to peacefully resist the destruction of land, water, air and sacred sites. This particular gathering is a historic movement for civil rights, human rights and justice. Those who have been made last among us — the indigenous peoples who have endured near extinction, genocide and occupation by European-Americans — are offering an olive branch, demonstrating radical forgiveness and generosity, offering a vision of humanity’s correct place within the interdependent web of relationship.

My prayer is that we accept this invaluable gift and join the “great turning” that is required to preserve a livable planet. This is missing in the two stories in the Dec. 19 issue. Iris de Léon-Hartshorn was quoted: “The Doctrine of Discovery is . . . destroying life for native people. If we’re smart, we’d see how we’ll eventually destroy ourselves if we don’t pay attention to the things they’re calling out about the environment.” Let’s open our eyes to the urgent reality that both modern scientists and indigenous wisdom clearly communicate: The Doctrine of Discovery, greed, unlimited growth and separation is destroying life on Earth for all of us. If we’re to survive, we must radically change our way of life without delay, because the window of opportunity is almost closed. Fortunately, the way forward is well lit by cultures that have lived for millennia in balance with the rest of creation.

Charlotte Shristi
Harrisonburg, Va.

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