lessons from Native American History, Hemp and the Future
It's Indigenous People's Day, so let's take a look at what their history and culture can teach us going forward .
The Indian tribes of the continent have a long and storied history of mutual respect and treatment of the Earth. They have never made a habit of treating the Environment like an unlimited source of materials and profits, only taking what was needed and giving back whenever possible. The polar opposite of the way that people think in the Industrial age.
Hemp, Connecting the Past & Future
There is no better crop that can connect the past and the future the way that Hemp can! Throughout recorded history, Hemp has been cultivated by mankind for everything from clothing to medicines. It has even been an indispensable part of American history. The Founding Fathers grew it upon their plantations and it was the law in a great amount of Colonial America for farmers to grow it on their land.
Native American Tribes knew all too well the value of growing the Hemp plant. The Cherokee people referred to it as Gatunati. Their legends say it was seeded upon this world alongside humanity by the "star people." The legends emphasize the importance of the plant and how it is intertwined with the survival of the species.
Whether ancient aliens brought people and/or Hemp to this world is up for you to decide whether to believe. What is for sure is that the Hemp plant was completely vital to the survival and prosperity of these civilizations.
Hemp is a plant of enormous potential. It has been said that Hemp can be used to make or as an ingredient in some 50,000+ products. The Indian tribes that dotted the land for Centuries used it in many different ways. Some of these were the more traditional "industrial" uses for the plant. They used the plants fibers to produce clothing, cordage, and paper. While the seeds of the plant were used in many foods and as flours. They used the "whole pant" wherever they could.
Some tribes even realized the healing and spiritual power of the Cannabis plant. Check out this short video by Civilized.life about it:
Lessons for the Future and Mistakes of the Past
But what can looking back upon "primitive" history teach us about the future. ell, in a nutshell, the age of industrialization has changed our attitudes about the planet. Look around today. Oil and gas companies continue to pump fossil fuels from wells and pump them into markets daily, as if those wells will never run dry. They even actively seek to open up new areas of "exploration" to prolong the oil addiction. Trying desperately to stave off the inevitable withdrawal and preserve profits.
Take a look even, at many people's (generally older generations) attitudes towards consumption and waste. Over the last century, people have grown accustomed to a certain standard of living. This way of life includes just throwing broken things away and replacing them, because it's cheaper and easier than repairing them. It also seems to include a gluttonous consumption of single-use plastics that clog up our landfills and ruin our oceans, not to mention will still be around when our Great, Great, Great x ? Grandchildren will be alive.
Perhaps the most ominous and consequential habit has been the near constant pumping of Greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere since the end of the Second World War. Not just with our obsession with gas-driven cars, but with our unquenchable thirst for newer faster and cheaper commercial goods. The desire for the energy to run our homes and businesses. Our seeming indifference to mowing down acres of forests in order to satisfy basic needs that can otherwise be made with other materials.
Yes, plastic is cheaper when produced with petroleum, because we have been making it for so long in the same way that it has become more economical to keep doing the (obvious) wrong thing as far as the environment is concerned, than to invest the time, effort and money into making bio-plastics or other sustainable technologies. It is mind-boggling to the outsider that humans continue sucking oil from holes in the earth to power cars, factories, etc. when there are several perfectly sustainable and less harmful alternatives.
Perhaps what humanity requires is a change of thinking. A belief that we are in a symbiotic relationship with our planet, not the parasitic one which we have forged in the last century or so. Hopefully that change can come in time, as part of a collective "awakening" and realization, and not in response to some dire or cataclysmic event!
Here is an uncredited quote which recently appeared on our Social Media feed that is appropriate:
That is what the Native American's of old can teach us that can help to pave a better path into the future. That we live in concert with our planet, and depend upon each other. It's not an us versus it situation. Well, not yet anyways. If there's one thing we can be certain of, nature will act to correct its imbalances. We just need to pump the brakes before we become one of the out of balance conditions that need corrected.
If watching the news about fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. should prove one thing. Nature is relentless, and will win any fight between us and her, so perhaps now is the time to take this environmental crisis seriously, even if our "leaders" will not, and adopt some of the attitudes of the Indigenous People's of old! As well as some of their farming habits for Hemp, and carry both with us into a brighter future!