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CELEBRATE EARTH month

earth day is APRIL 22, 2023

Every year, Earth Day is celebrated to raise awareness about sustainability and the treatment of our planet; allowing individuals, communities and entire governments to come together and take action to protect the environment. This year, we are honoring Chief Seattle, an influential environmentalist whose had a significant impact on the preservation of the Earth. 

 

It is our belief that everyone should be conscious of their actions and treat the Earth with the utmost care, so that future generations can live and thrive in a healthy environment.

WHAT IS EARTH DAY AND WHY DO WE CELEBRATE IT?

Earth Day is an annual celebration that honors the achievements of the environmental movement and raises awareness of the need to protect Earths natural resources for future generations.

WHY PROTECTING THE EARTH IS IMPORTANT

Protecting our environment is the foundation for sustaining our planet, community and economy. Our environment supports and houses our ecosystems, allowing them to grow and thrive. If we fail to protect our environment, we will put the lives of humans, animals, plants and more at risk.

To Honor Chief Seattle, Care for the Earth and All Its Creatures

Written by Leonard Forsman

Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Council.

We are approaching an Earth Day like no other, as dangers posed by environmental emergencies have never been clearer. Opportunities to address these multiple crises have never been more available than they are today.

I am from Suquamish, dxwsəq’wəb, the Place of the Clear Salt Water — a place where, too often, sewage and oil spills from other parts of Puget Sound have washed up on our shores.

We have lived here for thousands of years, relying on salmon, shellfish and other traditional foods to support our way of life. Now our foods are scarce as climate change heats the water, spawning habitat is destroyed or made inaccessible to returning salmon, and toxins make shellfish unharvestable.

The 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott, signed by our ancestral leader Chief Seattle, established the Port Madison Indian Reservation (where
we continue to reside today) and guaranteed our right to fish and hunt in our “usual and accustomed” areas. 

Despite the promises made in the treaties, federal land policies resulted in the loss of most of our lands. Our grandparents were forcibly taken as children to residential schools, where they were punished for practicing our culture and speaking our language. And pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing diminished our traditional foods and assaulted our ways of life.

Chief Seattle showed in his famous speech that he understood we faced the possibility of an end to our peoples and ways of life — and that non-Natives could suffer a similar fate: “A few more moons, a few more winters, and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain. … Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come. … We may be brothers after all. We will see.”

The threats are real. Global warming is causing more frequent droughts, wildfires and storms that endanger the web of life. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the waters are becoming warmer and more acidic, threatening the ecological web that supports salmon, orca, and our ways of life as Native peoples. Rising sea level and coastal erosion force coastal tribes to relocate. As conditions in other regions worsen, we can expect more people to move here, creating more impacts from desperate climate refugees.

We, the seventh generation since Chief Seattle, survived great transitions thanks to the foresight and sacrifices of our ancestral leaders. Our resilience has lessons that others could learn from. Among them is the principle of making decisions based on caring for the Earth and its residents, including marine creatures, animals, plants and ourselves.

This principle is a direct challenge to the short-term thinking of today’s world.

Acting on behalf of seven generations means we invest now in cleaning up Puget Sound and restoring salmon habitat, while protecting the endangered southern resident killer whales. It means rebuilding obsolete sewer infrastructure so spills don’t contaminate our waters and marine life, and it requires that we replace or remove culverts that block fertile salmon spawning streams. It means breaching the Lower Snake River dams that will otherwise condemn to extinction salmon species that have, since time immemorial, fought their way through thousands of miles of ocean and river systems to faithfully return to spawn.

And protecting seven generations means confronting the climate crisis, which threatens us all. This means a commitment to act in the fierce urgency of now, as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said.

As the people living seven generations after Chief Seattle, let our generation make good use of the gifts we have inherited from our ancestors to assure future generations will also have the gift of life to pass along to their children. ◈

How do we continue to honor Chief Seattle?

Today, we can honor Chief Seattle by promoting and practicing environmental conservation and sustainability. This includes taking actions to reduce our carbon footprint, preserving natural habitats, supporting clean energy initiatives, and minimizing waste.

This Earth Day we want to remember Chief Seattle and his contributions he made to sustainability and being conscious of the future of our planet. Join us today as we invest in our planet.

EARTH MONTH 2023

"INVEST IN OUR PLANET"

build our only home

As citizens, we have the power and duty to make our voices heard. What each of us does, and how we do it, has a massive ripple effect on our ecosystems, as well as the pace of corporate and government action. Gen Z provides inspiration, with 45% having stopped buying from brands with poor ethical and sustainability practices. Through civic actions and our day-to-day life choices, we have the power to lobby for and support the businesses who actively choose eco-friendly practices and climate-friendly investments. There is no time more vital than the present to take action and
INVEST IN OUR PLANET!

we can invest in our planeT

TOGETHER

On Earth Day you can…

  • push for climate literacy

  • plant a tree

  • support sustainable fashion

  • help reduce plastic pollution

  • attend a clean-up

  • send a letter to congress

earthday.org

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