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Pushing New York State to Restore Justice for Native Americans

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SYRACUSE, NY – Environmental groups in New York are teaming up to blend indigenous knowledge of the land with Western scientific knowledge to strengthen local conservation practices and restore justice to Native American communities.

The Nature Conservancy donated $ 800,000 to support his four-year project with the Center for Indigenous Peoples and the Environment at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Neil Patterson Jr., deputy director of the center and citizen of the Tuscarora Nation, said Indigenous peoples’ approach to the environment has been rejected by some Western scientists. It is optimistic that this is now being recognized in local conservation efforts that will also help tackle the climate emergency.

“It’s truly amazing that society as a whole examines the care and kind of reciprocal responsibilities that Indigenous peoples have with the natural world,” he said, “and finds that there are answers there. to our current situation. “

A 2019 UN report found that lands managed by indigenous peoples decline less rapidly than other lands, due to their stewardship practices. He said at least 25% of the world’s land is owned, managed, used or occupied by indigenous peoples, including around 35% of natural areas that are officially protected.

Peg Olsen, director of The Nature Conservancy in New York City, said an essential part of the collaboration is getting Indigenous peoples’ input on where they want the pilot to begin, as well as a new framing conservation reserves.

“A partnership with the Center for Indigenous Peoples and the Environment and Indigenous Communities is a path towards restoring Indigenous peoples’ commitment to these native lands,” she said. “So what we envision with this ‘re-story-ation’ project is to create a new narrative around these lands.”

She said this could include anything from renaming reservations with Indigenous languages, to territorial recognitions, to educational material depicting Indigenous history and values.

Patterson said he is grateful to allies who are ready to recognize the effects of colonization on Indigenous peoples, and looks forward to seeing what follows in this state of recovery.

“People often talk about reconciliation, certainly in Canada and in other parts of the world,” he said. “Certainly for the Haudenosaunee people, we are simply interested in determining our own future and coexisting together on this planet with the settler society.”

Source: New York News Connection