Environment takes on many meanings for individuals and it often depends on the mood or where the person is that you are asking. I tried to ask a few people and their answers were usually simple because they stated that environment to them meant, “it is life,” or “it’s their home.”
When I asked a few people what environment means to them. I was intrigued by the answers I received because environment encompasses so much and no one really wanted to go into depth about how they see environment. Some people even wanted me to distinguish what I meant-did I mean nature, or did I mean environment as in work or home environment.
I think environment is what you make of it. It can be while you are out walking and going about your day-to-day tasks, or it can be the environment that you create yourself inside your home, work or who or where you hang out. Environment to me as a First Nations woman encompasses many things. It entails learning about the land around me, recognizing that as a person who inhabits this land, I need to respect all life that surrounds me, and also on an emotional level, be cognizant of the energy that I put out there, whether that is in my personal environment, such as who and what I surround myself with or appreciating the littlest thing in nature.
Chief Oren Lyons states in an article “Listening to Natural Law”, “What happens to you and what happens to the earth happens to us as well,” (22)) and I find that really resonates with me because it speaks to the truth and teachings of our people. We can choose to take care of our environments, or we can choose to ignore it, either way, Mother Earth responds and it is up to us as individuals to make a difference while we walk this earth.
Lyons, Chief Oren "Listening to Natural Law" in Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future, edited by Melissa K. Nelson, pp.22-26. 2008 Inner Tradition.