"Life is a living, moving force at every moment.
We would not have that change - but to live happily, we must change.
We cannot allow ourselves to crystallize until we are inflexible.
There is too much to shatter if we do not bend.
To enjoy the present moment is to have the innate knowledge that the next one and the next can be even better."
- Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Today is Indigenous People's Day
Before determining to seek out Indigenous Peoples' perspectives over the past year, I had unconsciously begun to assume that "Native Americans" were a thing of the past. Living in northeast Ohio as a white person, this is not hard to do.
I quickly learned otherwise.
Some of the greatest emerging leaders of our time come from Indigenous heritage. Speaking out with wise, beautiful, passionate, sometimes angry and always convicting words, these varied voices give us a window into how we can move our culture forward from exploitation to harmony.
To my white friends: we need to pay attention. We need to listen. We need to be open to changing how we live and how we think about our world.
Why? Because the risks of maintaining the status quo are dangerous, destructive, and do not leave our beloved world a place we would wish for our children to inherit.
Today is the perfect day to find, follow, and learn from someone with Indigenous heritage. Here are a few of my favorites that I've found over the last year:
- Robin Wall Kimmerer, Citizen Potawatomi Nation and author of Braiding Sweetgrass
- Joyce Sequichie Hifler, Cherokee and author of Feast of Days
- Sherri Mitchell, Penobscot and author of Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Led Change
- Tiokasin Ghoshorse, Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota and founder of First Voices Radio
- Jaylyn Gough, Navajo and founder of Native Womens Wilderness (@nativewomenswilderness on Instagram)
- Autumn Peltier, Wikwemikong native and clean water advocate
Remember, "life is a living, moving force at every moment."
Embrace it, because sometimes living thoughtfully clean is messy but that's okay. It's how we grow.