Listen and learn

Picture found on Pixabay
By: Christian Birkholz

Reading “Voices from the Land” reminded me that there are so many ways in which we take for granted the environment around us. We assume it will always be there and we rarely give it a second chance. One section in the chapter really stood out to me though, the story about the Wy-am tribe and their sacred waterfall. Their lives for generations had revolved around this one waterfall. They not only fished in this specific area but they considered it a sacred voice where divine messages were conveyed to them. Unfortunately on the morning of March 10th, 1957 US Army Corps of Engineers had the steel gates of the Dalles Dam to shut tight which in turn submerged the sacred water and fishing site for the Wy-am tribe. 

This story reminds me about how a great deal of our conversations in class have emphasized the fact that minorities and the most vulnerable people in our population will be the first ones to feel the effects of climate change. The indigenous tribes in the US treat the land with more care and compassion than we have as a whole and they respect the earth in a way that we have yet to learn and put into practice. 

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