In partnership with Down To Earth Film
Indigenous leader Nowaten (“He who listens”), renowned for his profound insights in the ‘Down To Earth’ film, shares his timeless wisdom about the true essence of happiness.
What we can learn from indigenous peoples about happiness
What is it that would make us happy? Is it what we own? Is it something that we see? What is more important? Anything that we own is going to wear out. Our houses, our vehicles, everything. Memories are the only thing that will last a lifetime. So those are the most important things, the beauty, that’s something that won’t wear out. — Nowaten, Native American Elder.
Indigenous peoples have held on to a connection that most of us have lost
Nowaten was one of the Keepers of the Earth: People who have held on to a connection that most of us have lost—
“I remember things in my childhood days. To me what became great, teachings from my dad and my mother. Simple little things like, learning to live with the seasons, and what those seasons produce… Sometimes there’s an abundance with the seasons, and other times not.
“I can remember picking berries with my mom and she would never completely strip those plants or bushes from berries. She used to always leave some there. She told me one time, there’s other things use and depend on this for their livelihood, we are not the only ones. Other things wants to live also, the same way that we do, whether they’re birds or animals or little bugs, insects.
“You simply learn to live with what is provided, knowing that there will be better times, and living within that framework is a simple life of taking only what you need.”
— Nowaten, Native American Elder.
Nowaten is one of the Earth Keepers in the wonderful documentary DOWN to EARTH, which is now available to watch online for free, with a Pay-As-You-Like option.
What we can learn from indigenous people’s about connectedness?
“I’m concerned about all human life. I find it sad for humans for not knowing who they really are. That’s why I call it the illusion. This is the changing of times. It has been said that the people will start to arise and go against all the things that have been said and done, and starting that change.” — Nowaten, Keeper of the Earth:
Meeting Nowaten was the beginning of one family’s amazing journey that they documented in the award winning film DOWN to EARTH. In a quiet voice, he had this to say:
“We had a beautiful way, at one time. How we viewed the world, and all of the creation within. Because, you know, that we talk about creation. What is it we all like about creation? Because we are all things of creation, as humans. Somewhere along the way, I think the original teachings got lost among all people.
“All the people in the world are steadily taking, and taking and taking and put nothing back, draining mother earth of everything she has to offer even more than it has already been done. We are slowly destroying ourselves. That’s why it’s got to change.
“We’re all the same basically whether we’re plants or animals or what. Only difference is you know… We look different. Some fly, some crawl…but we can never say that we are the only ones… That we should be concerned about.
“It’s going to do no good to hope that it’s going to automatically change. Because it’s not going to change until that thought pattern has changed. And that has to come from the people themselves.
“It’s up to the people all over the world, the common people of the world, to bring about a change. It’s not the leadership.
“I think that is what’s happening now. Slowly. If it catches on one place, it’s going to catch on other places.
“There’s a love that goes with being human and caring about other people we only have to feel that, to have that thought in your head and your mind of caring about others… That’s enough.
“That’s our potential, whether we know it or not, we have that ability to help others without ever knowing who they are. That is what has to be brought out among human beings.”
How do you think we can reconnect with nature and ourselves?
Watch the movie DOWN to EARTH to find out more about the Earth Keepers and how we can all work towards a better future.
DOWN to EARTH is a mirror to humanity, a poignant and timely reflection on our ‘civilised’ world. The film invites us to see the world through the eyes of the Earth Keepers. It takes us on an inner journey, re-connecting us with the source and the mutual path we are walking. Having lived under the radar of our modern society for centuries, the Earth Keepers see that now is the time to step forward and share their insights with those who are ready to listen. DOWN to EARTH is both a wake up call and a resurgence of hope for our world to come.
Nowaten recalls his childhood: “Sometimes there’s an abundance with the seasons, and other times not. You simply learn to live with what is provided, knowing that there will be better times.” Source: Instagram/DownToEarth
Indigenous Peoples and climate change
According to UNESCO, indigenous peoples live in all regions of the world and own, occupy or use some 22% of global land area. Numbering at least 370-500 million, indigenous peoples represent the greater part of the world’s cultural diversity, and have created and speak the major share of the world’s almost 7000 languages.
Many indigenous peoples continue to be confronted with marginalisation, extreme poverty and other human rights violations. Through partnerships with indigenous peoples, UNESCO seeks to support them in addressing the multiple challenges they face, while acknowledging their significant role in sustaining the diversity of the world’s cultural and biological landscape.
UNESCO places the needs of indigenous peoples amongst its priority areas for response. For more information on indigenous peoples, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Climate change disproportionately impacts indigenous people around the world, especially in terms of their health, environments, and communities.
Indigenous people found in Africa, the Arctic, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Latin America, North America and the Pacific have strategies and traditional knowledge to adapt to climate change. These knowledge systems can be beneficial for their own adaptation to climate change as well as applicable to non-indigenous people.
The majority of the world’s biological, ecological, and cultural diversity is located within Indigenous territories.
Keepers of the Earth These Wisdom keepers are a message in the way they live their lives. Unaffected by man-made laws, man-made religion or the distorting layers of the ego, they share a clear and transcendent vision on life on planet Earth. They are referred in their communities as medicine people, wisdom keepers, shamans, healers or spiritual leaders. The term ‘Earth Keepers’ was chosen as we felt it was the right way to describe them in DOWN to EARTH. Through their connection they can access much more information, reclaiming for themselves and assist others in reclaiming what has been abandoned in other realities. Source: DownToEarthFilm
For an inspiring deep dive into how Ecuador’s grassroots movement achieved a monumental victory in halting Amazon oil drilling, don’t miss the full story in our detailed BrightVibes article.
This article was first published on BrightVibes on November 12 2020.
Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: A Call For Action to Build Resilience Post-COVID
From the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 to extreme weather events like the wildfires in Australia and the Amazon, 2020 severely tests the resilience of Indigenous Peoples across the globe. Resilience to future shocks can only be achieved by putting people, in particular Indigenous Peoples, at the core of long-term COVID recovery strategies. Learn more.