- js reader version
- email this article
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Amy L. Dalton
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 at 3:36 AM
ald - at - riseup dot net
On Tuesday December 11, 2007, I joined in a community effort to welcome and support a coalition of Native American Nations and environmental justice groups in their ongoing effort to defend Arizona's San Francisco Peaks from proposed ski area development.
The coalition had traveled from Arizona in order to be present for a Federal Appeals Court hearing in which developers would challenge a precedent-setting court victory won by the coalition, which halted plans to expand the skiing business by making fake snow out of sewage waste. The group processed from All Saints Church to the courthouse, beating drums and carrying banners with the names of the Nations and pictures of the peaks. They then kept vigil as arguments were heard by 11 judges.
This case is viewed as precedent-setting in the realms of religious freedom and public health, and particularly in establishing an interpretation for the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). As of writing, no decision had been announced.
As a person of faith, what struck me about the gathering is how deeply important the theme of religious freedom was. From some of the press, one could get the sense that the argument was selected pragmatically, but that is not the sense I got at the event. I got the sense that this was part of a very deep moment of decision: to take back the right to define the nature of the sacred.
I got caught shorthanding this message to a passerby, and the press liaison corrected me. "Its not just about a mountain," she said, and went on to explain to the man the many ways the different tribes interact with the peaks and their ecosystems as sacred.
I'm not sure if the passerby was taking it all in, though. "Uh-huh" was about all he said. How do you capture such a call in a soundbite? The organizers tried, and the participants were with them. But i think that witnessing the procession would have been a little like stepping off a NYC subway and finding yourself in the Cascades.... or the Arizona desert.
And historically, most white people who abandoned new york subways for the big sky-west did so with spiritual narratives. Indeed, its these folks and their offspring who have built an entire industry dedicated to creating and perpetuating cathartic experiences in "nature." The snowbowl proposal to expand the skiing industry on the San Francisco peaks is just one example of how our embrace of nature is a death grip.
So it is not enough to say "This is how I Pray" -- as one woman did with a handmade sign. Lots of people do that then grab their snowboards and their REI cards without a second thought. We must also learn how prayers have been said through the ages, and return to a reverence for the wisdom that these practices carry. And we must connect the dots between the desire and need we have for nature, and the destruction we wreck on her. if we were to really look closely at that question, it could re-configure the entire narrative of this nation, and perhaps show us a way out.
I'm grateful for the voices of the indigenous peoples in demanding this attention, now.
Report this post as:
KPFK is in double trouble, credit cards misused, and...
WW Broad & The War On Public Education In LA
KPFK= more. Tired of the turmoil? we are too.
KPFK Work Reductions ....signs of an ending now, so soon ?
kPFK under threatening duress - even to it's long-established staff by new Gen'l Mgr
Secretive Glonvec weapons manufacturer in town
KPFK in MeltDown.NOW.
KPFK RADIO is essential to Pacifica, who also umbrellas KPFA that may be falling away
More Local News...
Propaganda alert: 6 weeks after nuclear deal: "Israel more ready than ever to strike Iran"
Philippines: Bongbong’s whitewashing of Marcos name anathema to 2016 plans
Guatemalan President Resigns: Faces Corruption Charges
Veto-Proof Senate Margin Achieved for Iran Nuclear Deal
La pensée conditionnée
The truth of our time
Ski Safari 2 hack cheats  No Survey [US]
Ski Safari 2 Hack 2015 Android/iOS Triche
Ski Safari 2 Hack Pirater Cheats iOS Android
Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle Hack Tool Online
Kurt cobains half brother hit and the mom of Kurt brown. Saint ram bone
Dollar As World's Reserve Currency Threatened
More Lawless US Sanctions on Russia
New Israeli Police State Measure
Little Bandits Hack iOS Android Cheats
Gaza: A Socioeconomic Dead Zone
Dream ending for circus lions rescued in South America: Huge airlift to take 33 lions home
Crying for the USA disabled groups 2015
fbi/cia dirty business
Puerto Rico’s Religious Leaders Call for Debt Relief and End to Austerity
Venezuela Reveals New Evidence Against Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez
Violence and Instability on Russia's Border
Paraphysique de l'origami
KPFK programmer writes subscribers & updates info:
Maidan 2.0 Eerupting in Ukraine?
Farewell to Homo Oeconomicus
US Presidential Aspirants Irresponsibly Bash Putin
US Presidential Aspirants Resemble an FBI Most Wanted List
More Breaking News...