Good Essay About The Effects Of Natives’ Rights And The Removal Thereof

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Nature, America, People, Respect, Humanity, History, Environment, Human

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/10/01

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When humanity puts itself higher than the rest of nature, the environment suffers tremendously. This is one principle that the Natives of Wyam understood. It is the principle which maintained the balance between humanity’s needs and nature’s requirements during the ancient times – the balance which the modern American civilization has destroyed.
At present there are pressing concerns or problems about the destruction of the environment. These problems lead many to devise ways so that the damages to the environment can be repaired, and the pending risks mitigated. Such ways include soil, air, and water treatment; genetic engineering; and other more technologically sophisticated procedures. Sadly, nature continues to become degenerate, the said ways seem inappropriate or even incorrect that the projected goals are not met. Looking back at the ancient people of Wyam’s ways, one can come to the knowledge of the long lasting sustainable solution to the environmental, political, and social problems that we are currently facing. Such reference to the ancient ways will also give us an insight about the role and relationship of humanity to nature.
Analyzing Elizabeth Woody’s “Seven Hands Seven Hearts” one cannot agree more with the idea that when man fails to pay respect to nature, then both will suffer bitter consequences. The entire United States, not just Columbia was a pristine paradise before the first American’s migrated from Europe into ancient America, in search of a place to freely practice their religion, and they were successful. Nevertheless, this aim would also have a detrimental effect to the Native Americans, such as the people of Wyam. Accordingly, Woody emphasized that the people of Wyam treated nature, particularly the water bodies where they fish for salmon as sacred, and they based their nature from the rules of nature. One of these rules is to take that which is only needed without excess, and to partake of this nature’s blessings with thanks giving and respect (Woody). In other words, the rights of Wyam people were not rights that were dictated by the whims of men, they were dictated by nature.
The young American civilization, however, pays no or at least not as high a respect to nature. They value industrialization. The waters used for fishing by the natives were turned into damns to produce electricity. The rights of the native people from fishing from their original territories were undermined. The healthy fishing sites soon became drowned as waters collect in damns. Some areas dried up while some become flooded. Nature was utterly changed. As this happened the spawning areas for salmon were destroyed, the number of catch decreased, the Native Americans suffered (Woody).
What drove the non-Native Americans to do such things to nature? Perhaps, partially it is their love for industrialization. It should be noted that the damn at Wyam was built during the age of industrialization in the US (Woody), or it could be more subtle than that. The non-Native Americans or the European Americans were Christians. They brought with them the teaching that “man” is not part of nature; man was in fact created above all the creations that he is to govern it and use it as needed (Williams 64). Perhaps, it is this ideology which makes the European Americans as well as the present civilizations deviant to nature’s laws. We do not respect nature as the ancient did. We are so self-important; we do not care about the needs of nature but solely our own satisfactions.
What should the sustainable solution to our environmental, social, and political problems, therefore? It is to acknowledge that we and nature are not separated; that we are one. When we destroy nature, we only destroy ourselves. Nevertheless, it is not to be construed that we should not long for the progression of civilization. We can and we must improve our technologies, but as we stride to do so, we must always put nature’s welfare in sight. There no loss in going a little slower in humanity’s stride for technological and even industrial progression. We have to make sure that our nature’s welfare is put first even if it means prolonging the realization of our collective dreams. We must perceive nature as our equal and not as something that we have an authority upon. This is the gist of Elizabeth Woody’s poems in “The Luminaries of the Humble,” entitled, “Wish-xam” (Woody 99). Indeed, we must, as human family, develop that kind of humility that the Native people of Wyam had in order for us to respect nature and live in harmony with it.
In conclusion, humanity is not separate from nature but a part of it. Once this principle is acknowledged and lived by the majority, we will be like the native people of Wyam. They were able to rip the best blessings that nature could give to them. This change in perspective will not be too easy however. Just like David Sohappy – a leader of the Wyam people – we must be willing to dedicate our time, energy, and our entire self for the change to occur (Woody).

Works Cited

Woody, Elizabeth. Seven Hands Seven Hearts. Portland, Oregon: The Eight Mountain Press. 1994. Print.
Woody, Elizabeth. The Luminaries of the Humble. Tucson, London: The University of Arizona Press. n.d. Print.
Williams, John Alexander. West Virginia: A History for Beginners (Charleston, WV: Appalachian Editions, 1993), 64.

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