﷯Bozho! Nyawenha skanoh! Chwent Awskenehe! Shekon Sewakwekon! We send greetings in languages spoken across the territories we call home and that we share with the other members of Maple Nation, beings who are in need of our voices. Indigenous women carry special gifts and responsibilities for care for Mother Earth and all over the world we see a turning toward womens' ways of knowing to guide us in these uncertain times of accelerating climate change. Our traditional ecological knowledge and environmental philosophies are a source of wisdom that we bring on behalf of our human communities, plant and animal relatives and the wellbeing of Mother Earth. How can we use these gifts to contribute to both resistance and resilience in the face of powerful forces that are pushing the climate to move the range of trees? What are the teachings we possess and how shall we use them? Where do we find courage and wisdom to do the work of 7th fire people? How shall we proceed? It is the right time to address these questions through gatherings of indigenous women of the northeast. Wabanaki, Abnaki, Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, Shinnecock- we all have different traditions, languages and cultures, but we all share in holding responsibility for the Maple Nation forest in which we live, our medicines, fish, wildlife, our sacred rivers, lakes and shorelines. Maples are regarded as a leader among trees for many Native people and ecologically they are a keystone species for a whole web of relationships and symbolic of our region. We also know that this entire web is threatened by climate change.
© Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2017