Diné earthly perspectives

April 23, 2007

Letter to the Editor:

The traditional Navajo's perspective [is that] traditional Navajos are not separate from nature, even in nature, on earth (sacred mountains), and in universe. We come from nature, one among millions of species. Our responsibility is to understand this relationship to the rest of the species in nature. We have responsibility to stop polluting nature.

Pollution causes global warming, which causes an increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures due to an increase in the greenhouse effect. Please do not destroy the complex ecological community and its environment[al] functioning as a unit in Mother Nature; it keeps us alive today and in the future generation. This cycle of matter and energy that includes all living things and connects them to the non-living is our Mother Earth, Mother Nature, and Father Universe [who give us the blessing of] life.

We traditional Navajos celebrate Earth Day when we pray in our traditional ceremony. We thank nature, earth (sacred mountains), and universe for fresh air, water, fire, food, education, material things, and the healthy life it gives us. We believe the earth (sacred mountains), nature, and universe is our Creator.

We, traditional Navajos show distinctive combination of physical and behavioral characteristics. We walk upright on two feet differently, use our hands extensively for grasping and manipulating objects, live in complex cultural, traditional social groupings and Navajo western fashion and use many kinds of tools to pollute. Most distinctive of all, we are capable of learning abstract theories, and complex ideas, and have developed a complex form of symbolic communication called Navajo cultural, traditional language, which non-traditional Navajos do not want to learn because they think it is an outdated language.

We traditional, and non-traditional Navajos are human, who honor, respect and cherish earth (sacred mountains), nature, and universe; we celebrate Earth Day anytime. We honor, respect, cherish, and pray to Mother Earth (sacred mountains), Mother Nature, and Father Universe, which is our Creator (Sa'ah Naaghei Bik'eh Hozhoon-electromagnetic energy).

Almost all creatures, even the simplest, are capable [to] some degree of learning, and of some form of communication with other members of their species in nature. If we pollute the [San] Francisco Peaks, we harm all the species in nature. Pollution is a very small part of the global warming.

Please keep the earth (sacred mountain San Francisco Peaks), nature, and universe clean by helping to reduce global warning. During the earth day celebration, and everyday, inform everyone that if we do not try to control global warming, we will destroy ourselves and other species.

In particular, our distinctive mental qualities, our behavioral flexibility and our capacity for learning, abstraction, and use of symbols in thought and communication with others, and making sense of the terrors and mysteries of traditional Navajo life includes an enormous range of practices, ancient Navajo culture, modern western culture, spiritual beliefs, and traditional Navajo cultural, traditional values.

What distinguishes our Navajo species then is not the possession of ancient Navajo culture of nature, earth (sacred mountains), and universe but the capacity to evolve a great number of different cultures. We thank the people of different cultures, who celebrated the Earth Day on April 21.

The traditional Navajos in a spiritual sense, as part of nature, we, traditional Navajos are dependent on the rest of Mother Nature, Mother Earth (sacred mountains), and Father Universe, We traditional Navajos along with every other form of life, are part of a single ecosystem, a cycle of matter and energy that includes all living things and connects (clan system relationship) them to the non-living. All organisms depend on energy, derived ultimately from the huge atomic furnace (electromagnetic energy) that we call the Father Sun, and on matter, derived ultimately from the Mother Earth (sacred mountains), Mother Nature, and Father Universe.

To survive, each Navajo, each human, and each species must find, and hold on to, a place within the ecosystem, a way of obtaining the matter and energy it needs in the face of competition from each Navajo, each human, and other species. We traditional Navajos believe in the physical, universal nature of spiritual Mother Earth is our life.

Edward Johnson Little Sr.

Old Sheep Herder

Tuba City


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