“Our life, tradition and culture are very much dependent on nature and its habitats, and we are determined to protect them. We don’t want our folklore [with] names of so many wild species of birds, plants, animals, and wild flowers to become meaningless to our future generations.”
Nagaland, a far north state of India, is home to the Angami tribe. Although hunting was once their important source of livelihood, and had been their practice for hundreds of years, some 20 years ago they gave up this culturally-entrenched practice. Although their muzzle-loading guns and traps were weapons requiring skill and courage, and were passed down through the generations as a sacred practice, they understood that by giving them up they could create a more stable ecosystem for future generations.
|76-year-old former hunter|
Not only was it their tradition; they killed animals for their own sustenance. The tragopan, a grey pheasant, especially valued for its meat, became endangered. In 1993, when they discovered its future was threatened, some tribespeople started a campaign to stop hunting altogether. Yielding to pressure, the village council decided to cordon off a 20-square-mile area now closed to hunting, which became known as the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary in 1998. Some tribal members, like Chaiyievi Zhiinyii, (see above) a skilled hunter all his life, was able to give it up when he was 59 years of age, with years of successful hunting still left to him.
The depth of their tribe’s sacrifice might be akin to people in the U.S. giving up their cars. In 2011 I did just that. Now I get around on foot, by public transportation, and when the occasion requires it, either because of time constraints or the remote location of my destination, I take a cab. I admit to the sometime inconvenience of my choice (I am now 86) but I remind myself that I made my decision because life on Mother Earth is endangered and it needs all of our attention now. And I’ve reduced my transportation costs to 33% of what they were when I maintained a car.
The Angami tribe is also known for relinquishing logging, jungle burning and the kinds of operations exploiting natural resources and the surrounding forests. Their ecological awareness is reflected in their practice of avoiding the use of pesticides and fertilizers on their exquisitely terraced farm lands, bringing them higher yields.
What is remarkable about the Angami, who still keep the heads of hunted animals inside their homes, is that theirs is no simple sacrifice. It contradicts everything they have known for centuries about living in their world, a knowledge that has come down with them through many generations, whereas for us, the car only became an addiction some time after 1906.
What fossil-fuel-powered, water-guzzling conveniences are we prepared to sacrifice to prolong life on Mother Earth?
In a mere three weeks, a new GoFundMe effort raises over $80,000 for DACA renewals.
Responding to deportation policy, Californians open their homes to asylum seekers.
Kaepernick signed a multi-year deal with Nike as a part of their 30th anniversary celebration of the “Just Do It” campaign with the slogan: “Believe in something, even if it costs you everything.”
Nike’s sale skyrockets 31%
San Francisco guerilla gardeners are turning ornamental trees into free fruit producing surprises.
The Mexican town of Cheran, Michoacan, reverted to an indigenous form of government and kicked out the cops and politicians. Seven years later they experience the lowest crime rates in Mexico.
Pima, Arizona, the largest border county, cancels federal grant requiring collaboration with border patrol.
Atlanta mayor signs order ending relationship with ICE saying “We will no longer be complicit.”
Healthcare advocate block Chicago streets demanding care.
Supported by ILO Convention, 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples and the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, indigenous demonstrators gathered to protest the San Francisco Global Climate Action Summit.
Prison Strike ends on the anniversary of Attica Prison Massacre.
Protesters disrupt Gov. Jerry Brown’s San Francisco Summit pointing up his hypocrisy supporting more drilling and fracking and corporate casrbon trading.
Unionized judges and public defenders demand due process for immigrants.
Governor Brown of California signs bill mandating 100% renewables by 2045 into law.
China and California announce plan to collaborate to combat climate change.
The new Spider Solar Project puts the University of Richmond, VA., on a fast track for carbon neutrality.
San Francisco holds the largest climate march in keeping with 748 other climate events around the globe.
In a stunning victory for First Nations, Canada halts Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.
State and local officials announce a $119.5 million settlement of Aliso Canyon in SoCal with SoCalGas, which bears responsibility for a massive gas blowout that is still making people sick.
A legal challenge halts construction of Bayou Bridge Pipeline.
New York divests its pension funds from fossil fuels. Mayor de Blasio calls for unity at the S.F. Climate Summit.
Wood Mackensie Power & Renewables announces despite tariffs, solar contracts exploded in 2018.
Oxnard, California’s existing gas-fired plants have proposed to shut down decades before their expected retirement.
The California Public Utilities Commission pressed Pacific Gas & Electric to replace three gas-fired plants with energy storage, paving the way for the retirement of the large Metcalf Energy Center in San Jose, and the Feather River Energy and Yuba City Energy Centers in Yuba City.
Federal judge extends an injunction blocking a planned grizzly bear hunt in and around Yellowstone.
Jadav Payeng nurtures 1,360 acres of forest in what was once barren landscape, planting one tree per day for forty years.
Representative Pramila Japayal launches Medicare for All PAC.
New NPR/Marist poll shows support for Congressional Republicans collapsing in the Midwest.
Booker releases ‘committee confidential’ Kavanaugh e-mail, risking suspension from the Senate.
Over two hundred national security veterans demand investigation into release of CIA operative’s file.
Ayanna Pressley defeats Rep. Mike Capuano, positioning her to become the first Massachusetts woman of color in Congress.
Following a huge Democratic turnout, Progressives John Liu, Jessica Ramos, Zellnor Myrie, Robert Jackson, and Alessandra Biaggi lead in the New York primaries.
Oakland Police consider less intrusive policy in an effort to reduce warrantless searches.
A student loan lawsuit brought by 19 states defeats Betsy DeVos.
Sanders calls for the establishment of a new international Left.
L.A. is the first city in the nation to put establishing a public bank on the ballot.
Oakland takes a step closer to establishing a public bank with unanimous committee vote.
Research funders from 11 European countries announce plan to make scientific work free to read by 2020.
San Diego school cafeteria worker feeds homeless seven nights a week.
Bezos pledges $2 billion fund to homeless and pre-schools.
Environmental group pledges $60 million to green candidates.
A group of philanthropic organizations commits up to $459 million in support of land-based solutions to climate change in forest restoration and in recognition of indigenous peoples’ and traditional communities’ collective land rights and resource management through 2022.
Indian Supreme Court rules the criminalization of gay sex unconstitutional.