ON THE BOOKSHELF…..SEVENTH GENERATION EARTH ETHICS (NATIVE VOICES OF WISCONSIN)
ON THE BOOKSHELF…..SEVENTH GENERATION EARTH ETHICS
(NATIVE VOICES OF WISCONSIN) by Patty Loew
Foreword by Winona LaDuke
Patty Loew, PhD. Is an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe and a recipient of the Outstanding Service Award of the Great Lakes Intertribal Council.
She is a professor in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and affiliated faculty with the American Indian Studies Program.
She is the author of the bestseller Indian Nations of Wisconsin.
For twenty years she hosted statewide news and public affairs programs for Wisconsin Public Television.
I had the privilege of celebrating Earth Day 2015 by hearing Patty Loew talk about her book at the Marathon County Public Library.
The Seventh Generation philosophy in this book reminds us to consider how our actions affect seven generations in the future—some 240 years.
Included in the book are Native biographies, one from each of the twelve Indian nations of Wisconsin. James Schlender (Lac Courte Oreille Ojibwe) protected the treaty rights of Native Americans to hunt and fish. Truman Lowe (Ho-Chunk) is an artist who illustrates Indian culture.
Dorothy “Dot” Davids (Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians) is an educator. Walt Bresette (Red Cliff Ojibwe) was an antimine activist.
Joe Rose (Bad River Ojibwe) is an elder, environmentalist, scholar and professor emeritus of Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin. Joe Rose directed native American Studies at Northland for 38 years. In 2012 and 2013 Joe Rose worked in opposition to the mine in Penokee Hills.
Joe Rose made his famous remark “We’re not going to let it (the mine) happen. The Ojibwe tradition is to look seven generations ahead. We ask ourselves what we’re leaving for the unborn. Will there be any pristine wilderness left?”
His words encouraged many people. Paul DeMain (journalist and Ojibwe tribal member) said “Lac Courte Oreilles felt that this was going to be their contribution because Bad River took the battering in the legislative agenda and fought legitimately and bravely and lost that battle because they were out-moneyed—huge amounts of money, millions of dollars against Joe Rose getting up and saying it’s not gonna happen.”
The mining office was closed in Hurley, Wisconsin earlier this year.
Powers Bluff County Park in Wood County is a favorite place of mine, especially in spring time when all the flowers are in bloom. Skunk Hill (also known as Powers Bluff) was a place with rare medicinal plants. The deep maple shade acted as a canopy which created lush spring bloom. Skunk Hill also contains Indian graves and dance rings. Over the years, Native Americans have protected the canopy of trees from being cut down.
What impressed me most about this book is the tireless work of Native Americans over the years to protect Wisconsin rivers, air and land. I remember the fishing struggles in Lac du Flambeau, the mining attempts in Crandon, and the mining efforts in Penokee Hills. I am deeply grateful to the Native Americans in our state for their actions and their philosophy to live for the next 7 generations.
The book offers encouragement at a time when the proposed state budget of Wisconsin is making more cuts to programs that protect our people and our environment. Protecting Wisconsin resources and people for the next 7 generations requires an ongoing struggle. Let the fascinating people in this book show you how it is done.