Sustainable Agriculture

Just another weblog

1 Comment

Unplug 2014

celebrating life and honoring the interdependency of all things!
2_w338_h303_s1_PL15_PCffffff.jpgUNPLUG 2014 is an invitation to all people to show our commitment to and respect for Mother Earth by challenging unhealthy patterns of consumption and the continued production of poisons that destroy our environment. It is a day to recognize our over-consumption and address our unhealthy lifestyles – a day to challenge ourselves and our communities to make better choices.

UNPLUG was originally introduced by Indigenous Peoples in 1992 in response to the 500 year anniversary of the arrival of Columbus to the Americas. October 13, 1992 was designated as a starting point to look forward to the next 500 years and work to make a sustainable and just world, starting by giving Mother Earth a rest!

October 13th is a day to UNPLUG by turning off the TV, computer, and radio, shut off the taps, and leave the fossil-fuel burning vehicle at home!

The “UNPLUG To Give Mother Earth a Day of Rest” is one element of the Earth Rights Days of Action Campaign. During our collective UNPLUG To Give Mother Earth a Day of Rest, take a walk with friends and family, tell stories, do something artistic, and say a prayer for Mother Earth and our communities. Honor the recognition that all members of our Earth Community have the right to a healthy environment and we have a responsibility to all.

Leave a comment

Happy Holidays and A Short Year in Review

Indigenous Peoples and the WTO
On the Outcome of the World Trade Organization 9th Ministerial Conference
6_w150_h129_s1_PR15_PCffffff.pngStatement by Tom B.K. Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network

Turtle Island – Even though the WTO and its 159 member countries resurrected itself in its first multilateral trade pact in the WTO’s history,I feel it was a desperate fight by rich developed countries such as the United States to revive an economic and trading system that is all about capitalism.
The WTO is all about free trade for the corporations that are destroying our Mother Earth. Click here to read more.

Click here to read all statements from Indigenous Peoples regarding WTO policies and actions.

Tom Goldtooth at Bioneers 2013
Keynote Speaker Articulates Native Vision
4_w183_h111_s1_PR15_PCffffff.jpgTom B.K. Goldtooth, the executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) seemed taken aback when the packed auditorium of 3,000 rose with resounding applause at his keynote’s conclusion last Saturday at the Bioneers National Conference. At the podium, he remained humbled.

That doesn’t surprise Oren Lyons, a Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Seneca Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, and an honorary board member of Bioneers. “I’ve known Tom for a long time,” Lyons said. “He comes from a traditional family.”

Click here to read more and watch a portion of Tom’s presentation.

If you like what you are learning, watching and reading please help us with a donation today!

PowerShift 2013
“Kandi Mossett (@mhawea) gave such an incredibly moving speech …”

Kandi Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara), Native Energy & Climate Campaign Organizer – Kandi was born in North Dakota and grew up in an area known today as the Fort Berthold Reservation.

Behind the backs of the People of California
0_w150_h225_s1_PR15_PCffffff.jpgDespite being awarded, as I speak, for his supposed environmentalism, Governor Brown is moving ahead with a policy that grabs land, clear-cuts forests, destroys biodiversity, abuses Mother Earth, pimps Father Sky and threatens the cultural survival of Indigenous Peoples.

This policy privatizes the air we breathe. Commodifies the clouds. Buy and sells the atmosphere. Corrupts the Sacred. Click here to learn more.

This policy is called carbon trading and REDD. REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. But REDD really means Reaping profits from Evictions, land grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of biodiversity. REDD does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at source. And REDD may result in the biggest land grab of the last 500 years.

The State of California is ALREADY using national forests and tree plantations as supposed sponges for its pollution instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at source. REDD is bad for the climate, bad for the environment, bad for Californians, bad for human rights and bad for the economy.

Please Help Us Continue the Work!
We Need Your Help – Please Consider Making a Donation Today!
Truth is, we can’t continue to assist Indigenous and traditional frontline communities, who are struggling to protect their lands and resources, without your help.

IEN needs support to do everything from keeping the phones and lights on – to making sure that Indigenous Peoples voices are heard by government and world organizations that are deciding our fates without free, prior and informed consultation.

2_w80_h45_s1_PL15_PCffffff.pngPlease consider making a donation today! You can make your tax deductible (for our U.S. supporters) donation by using our secure link at WePay or you can mail a check or money order to:
Polaris Institute USA for IEN
PO Box 106
2235 Lakeshore Road
Essex, NY 12936

IEN Labeled “Radical”
We must be doing something right…
2_w166_h124_s1_PR15_PCffffff.pngThree grassroots organizations—Rising Tide North America, Oil Change International and the Indigenous Environmental Network—were labeled radicals…
The movement has helped delay President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline—designed to funnel Canada’s landlocked oil sands crude to refineries on the Gulf Coast—and has held up another contentious pipeline in Canada, the Northern Gateway to the Pacific Coast.

The Power Point document, titled “Oil Sands Market Campaigns,” was recently made public by WikiLeaks, part of a larger release of hacked files from Stratfo… appears to have been created for Calgary-based petroleum giant Suncor Energy, Canada’s largest oil sands producer. Click here to read more.

Helping IEN with your contributions is the only way we can continue to be “radical” and a force against this destruction fueled by greed!

Regaining Food Sovereignty:
Neyaab Nimamoomin Mewinzha Gaa-inajigeyang
Regaining Food Sovereignty explores the state of food systems in some Northern Minnesota Native communities; examining the relationship between history, health, tradition, culture and food.


By reclaiming and revitalizing knowledge and practices around tradition, local and healthy foods, many communities and Tribal Nations are working toward a new model of community health and well-being for this and future generations. A co-production of Lakeland Public Television & The Indigenous Environmental Network.

Forward on Climate Rally and March
Indigenous Peoples’ Messages Highlighted
On February 17, 2013, an estimated 35,000 people gathered and braved the bitter temperatures, in Washington D.C., to join the Indigenous Environmental Network, the Sierra Club,, HipHop Caucus, and an estimated 160-plus environmental student groups from across Turtle Island, to overwhelmingly voice their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and the expansion of the Canadian Tar Sands. Read more.

The collective message of constructive support for the President was clearly evident in the rally’s title, “Forward on Climate,” which co-opted the president’s 2012 campaign slogan and carried over to the inclusion of messages brought by Indigenous Peoples from both the United States and Canada. Read more.

Leave a comment

LD 718 for GMO Labels in Maine

Maine’s GMO Labeling Law

Maine’s Right to Know GMO Labeling Campaign has been doing great work.

Last week, Maine’s House and Senate passed a law requiring mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Thousands of Mainers helped make LD 718, Maine’s GMO labeling bill, the most talked about issue at the Maine State House this session. Responding to consumers and the public, both the House and Senate voted to pass LD 718. The Maine House of Representatives voted 141– 4 in favor of the bill. The Maine Senate passed the bill with a unanimous vote of 35-0.

Now we are banding together to ask Governor LePage to sign LD 718 into law to label GMO’s.


Leave a comment

FB11-Alumni-IntNews Alumni Newsletter

So glad to see the new work of Ladislao Di Domenica, Sustainable International Agriculture program, Witzenhausen, Germany: “Status Quo of the Women in Aquaculture, Kathar, Nepal” sponsored by DAAD, Georg August University of Göttingen, Germany, and Tribhuvan University Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal.

The project was design to improve rural communities’ health and generate an additional source of income by creating fish pounds and providing fishes and necessary training especially for local women.

More information about the project and experimental outline of the thesis are online:

Travel report from Nepal

Status quo of the “women in aquaculture project”, Kathar, Nepal.

Leave a comment

Toward A Philosophy Of Human Ecological Education

Here are some edited excerpts from my former Professor: John Visvader’s talk: Toward a Philosophy of Human Ecological Education.

Let us refer to this view that human nature is in some important sense open ended, a process view. It means that human nature is not a fixed and static entity, but is subject to a continual process of change and alteration. In terms of the Greek philosophers, this would be a Heraclitian view—Heraclitus is the philosopher who said that everything is subject to change and transformation and that you can’t step into the same river twice. (One of his followers said that you can’t even step into the same river once.) In the same way a static view can be referred to as a Parmenidean view after Parmenides and his disciple Zeno. If you’re thinking about the problem of education, it would seem pretty obvious that the conclusions you came up with would be very different if you held one view than they would be if you held the other. With a static view, your map of reality and human nature will be fairly complete and most of the details will be filled in. It will be relatively easy to plot a clear and definite route from one point to another. You will be able to say, with some degree of certainty, what kinds of skills and personality traits a young person will have to develop in order to traverse the terrain of human possibility.

If, on the other hand, you hold a process view then your map of the human terrain will be essentially incomplete, and you will have to equip young people with quite another set of characteristics. Your map will be similar to those made by the early explorers with only vague representations of major rivers and mountain peaks and large areas marked “terra incognita.” The skills that you teach to a town person will be very different than the skills you teach to an explorer. If someone is going to live in a town all their life you can teach her all the details that will enable her to be a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. An explorer, however, will need to be a Jack or Jill of all trades. Such a person will have to be taught what we may refer to as meta-skills—something is referred to with the prefix meta when it deals with a subject matter from a higher level or from a more general perspective, or when the subject matter becomes self-reflective. An explorer will have to learn to be inventive and innovative, and will have to learn to live off the land—in short, she will have to learn how to learn.

Every educational institution teaches both values and skills. In a closed society these skills and values can be quite specific. There is only one true religion to which all values must be related, there are only three major social classes to which everyone must belong, and there are only a certain number of useful professions which people can enter. Once you have classified a person you have also determined the kind of education that will be appropriate. In an open society you also need to teach various skills and values, but the emphasis will be placed on what I call the “meta-skills” and “meta-values.” In terms of basic educational structures you will not classify people according to type or role but will educate everyone in roughly the same sort of way, hoping to give them the skills and information that will allow them to make intelligent decisions concerning the type of person they want to become and the kind of role they want to play in society. This is where, in John Dewey’s sense, intelligence enters the modern world. You teach young people the meta-skills of problem solving, the ability to teach themselves and the process of making considered and intelligent decisions. You teach them what they need to know about the nature and structure of their world so they can act as free and autonomous agents. …

When we come to the problems of ecological or human ecological education we should remember that one of our chief concerns is to improve human well-being. The science of ecology has shown us that humans and their natural environment form a tightly connected causal community. Ignorance of the nature and extent of this community has caused and will continue to cause many kinds of ecological and human catastrophes. The main purpose of ecological education is to present the information concerning the nature of this community in such a way that people will be able to exercise greater foresight in their behaviors. Changes in behavior require the evolution of different strategies of action and a reassessment and realignment of values. If we are to hold, as I feel we should, both a process view of social change and a belief in an open society, then we cannot approach the problem of values in ecological education as mere indoctrination. There may be experts in ecology, but in the modern world we cannot believe that there are any experts in value. …

If we are to believe that ecology or human ecology changes our map of the world in some very important ways, we will have to conceive of education as something more than leading young people from one state to another—we will have to consider the problem of leading ourselves to another state as well. … What it means to be a human being thus becomes open-ended and the subject of exploration, experimentation and evolution. As we increasingly refashion the world in which we live, we face the prospect of having to continually refashion ourselves as well. With regard to a distant and unknown future, we can only view ourselves as unfinished, in process and in progress.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.