|Tide pool full of life.|
My mentor, friend and teacher, Steve Pavlik, would impose the question to his higher classes dealing in Native Environmental Science, “When going into the lab of Western Science do you leave your Native beliefs behind as you put on your lab coat?” I have had to think long and hard on this topic and have looked at it in many lights and angels to come to a conclusion as to what my thoughts are on the subject.
First and foremost, being Native American all life is sacred even a single celled organism, such as the algae that I am studying. One would say that most people view life as sacred and go on from there. But thinking about the whole idea, I realized that I am expressing dominion over these algae and I have taken away their right to live free. In the book “The Legal Universe” by Vine Deloria Jr. and David Wilkins, they express the idea that all living things have a right to live. I believe all living things have the same rights that man has and if we should use them for our benefit then we should be grateful and express our gratitude by respecting them.
|Shannon Point Marine Center|
Secondly, the obstacle that has held me back from expressing myself on this topic was a mystery until I realized it was my intention. I grow food and I have the daunting task of pulling weeds, a living plant that I have to kill to allow for a better out come for my garden. I know my intention for pulling weeds. But to grow algae with the intention of destroying them for data I struggle with. But it is data the governments of the worlds want to show proof that we are the cause to the change in our environment. Not being as simple as just looking at the impact we are having with the pollution we are creating and the effects. Give them data and let them see what the numbers mean and maybe we can find a solution before it is too late.
I am grateful for having to work with Dr. Jude Apple on my experiment, he also sees the senseless use of destroying life but he has told me that, it is for the greater good that we have to sacrifice a few to safe many . When looking from this point of view I can appreciate his perspective. We are dealing with the base of the food web for all living things on the planet. Whatever we are doing to effect them now and in the future will have a residue effect on us and everything else living.
I am at peace with what I am doing and I do have a lot of respect and gratitude for the algae I am working with. And for the people I work with in this western lab, because they also respect life and try not to destroy it as much as possible. Their intentions are noble and the work being done is for the greater good of all living things.
Off to the lab.