The leopard frogs we yelled at each other, pointing out their location to my cousins ​​and me. Walking carefully on tiptoe around the philonotis marchica moss, being careful not to scare the frogs out of their hiding places or create waves to disturb the smallmouth bass fry who have found refuge under the petals of the white water liliesI am beginning to recognize that we exist in a living organism that breathes, not just a dead rock that floats in an abyss.

Taking the lessons that I learned in Wiikwemkoong as a child and applying them to my daily life as an adult has changed my perspective and allowed me to see the world from a different perspective.

Now that I live in a city, I can still enjoy what our surroundings have to offer. Taking my daily walk in the afternoon, I can look at my neighbor yellow birch in awe as the leaves dance in the wind and seemingly sparkle in the sunlight. I can close my eyes and have a mental conversation with the leaves as they whisper in response, both acknowledging the other’s presence.

A leopard frog sitting in the Wiikwemkoong mudflats. Photo by Ashley Stefureak

Interacting with the marshes in Wiikwemkoong, random Island In a sea of ​​islands in Georgian Bay, I recognized the complexities of our environment and how each species plays a vital role in its ecosystem. The Anishinaabe culture uses the Seven teachings of the grandfather as guiding principles of how we should treat our community and our environment, including humility, generosity and respect. We need to change the colonial mentality of “how can it be used or sold” and allow our environment to recover and flourish alongside us.

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Botanical and Potawatomi Member of the nation Robin Wall Kimmerer raises the notion of how the world, like us, is alive and has spirit. Kimmerer refrains from using the word “that” when referring to other species because it takes away meaning from the being and allows us to see it as an inanimate object, rather than as a living being.

“They have been on Earth much longer than us and have had time to figure things out. They live both above and below ground, bonding Heavenly world to the earth. Plants know how to produce food and medicine from light and water, and then they give them away, ”says Kimmerer in his book, Braided Sweetgrass.

To respect and connect with the world we live in, Kimmerer emphasizes that we are a unique citizen of species democracy.

We need to increase public desire to learn more about the land around us, as more people could sympathize with the flora and fauna at risk from the ongoing climate crisis and environmental catastrophes if they paid more attention. It is much easier to relate to an individual, and leopard frogs, water lilies, and Earth are individuals, when you know who they are.

This notion can begin with the recognition of the different species of plants and animals, understanding that each and every one of the plants and animals plays a role within their ecosystem, continuing the circle of interconnection.

Opinion: “We need to increase the public desire to learn more about the land around us, as more people might sympathize with the flora and fauna at risk from the current climate crisis and environmental catastrophes,” writes @AStefureak.

There is a new understanding and respect for the species that I encounter in my daily life, as I know their names or recognize that they have a name. Along with a name, I acknowledge that these species play different roles, supporting their environment and other species. The yellow birch that I find every afternoon is home to countless different species, from mammals and birds to insects and mosses.

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The yellow birch performs its role of providing food and shelter for these species, and it still provides us with oxygen and helps regulate temperatures. The yellow birch is not “just a tree”, but a life full of generosity, and it is a life that will be around 150 years beyond mine.

Traditional indigenous teachings demonstrate that you must respect the land and all it has to offer, getting only what is needed when it is needed, treating the land with love, respect and generosity. If we all change our perspective and start treating other species like the living things that they are and only take what is needed, we would not only help to recover our environment, but we would learn more about the species around us.

Reference-www.nationalobserver.com

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