I was inspired by this quote, especially the part I set in boldface. It’s taken from a report in Cultural Survival magazine (December 2014) about the People’s Climate March in Manhattan, September 21, 2014. I wish I had been there.
My ancestors once controlled this very land we step upon. At this moment, we are basically in mid-town Manhattan, next to the Mahicantuck, the river that flows both ways, and this is our ancestral land where we would come to hunt, to fish, and to gather in the spring. Right now we are asking the world and all of North and South America to band together and stop the fracking, stop the destruction of the water, and begin the healing of the earth. Without the air, obviously, without water, we cannot survive. We have reached a critical point in this time in our world history and we need to understand that, lay away the avarice and greed, and work together to prevent further damage to our planet.
. . .
We’re the Ramapo Lenape, we’re the Munsee people. We are the keepers of the Ramapo Pass, an instrumental redoubt leading into the rear of the New England colonies, which we allowed control of by the American Rebels. We showed them where the iron deposits were. Without our ancestors allowing George Washington to use the Ramapo Pass, there would not have been the same outcome to the American Revolution. [But] we have not yet to this moment been afforded the dignity of human beings. To this moment, this federal government has refused to acknowledge the very people that made this union possible. And today is the day they need to listen, both for the Earth and for the Ramapo Munsee people, the Lenape people.
—Chief Dwayne Perry, Lenape