Endangered species

Birds Lost. Plants in Crisis. Help.

Scientific American reports that with the shift of animal habitat due to climate change, 60% of plants are stranded without the ability to move, because they rely on animals to move their seeds. Here’s the article:  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/plants-are-stuck-as-seed-eating-animals-decline/ Here’s their image from it:

An American Robin forages for berries from a winterberry holly. Credit: David Stephenson/ZUMAPRESS.com/Alamy Live News

As Scientific American says…

“The study’s really exciting,” says Alexa Fredston, a quantitative ecologist at Rutgers University, who was not involved with the new research. She adds that it is surprising “how substantially plants have already lost their ability to track climate change.” That also underscores how deeply intertwined biodiversity loss is with the climate crisis now facing the planet.

So, compare that to 10,000+ years of knowledge in this valley, in the words of the Okanagan Indian Band, a northern community of the syilx-okanagan people:

The word “Syilx” takes its meaning from several different images. The root word “Yil” refers to the action of taking any kind of many-stranded fiber, like hemp, and rolling it and twisting it together to make one unit, or one rope. It is a process of making many into one. “Yil” is a root word which forms the basis of many of our words for leadership positions, as well. Syilx contains a command for every individual to continuously bind and unify with the rest. This command goes beyond only humans and encompasses all stands of life that make up our land. The word Syilx contains the image of rolling or unifying into one, as well as the individual command which is indicated by the “x” at the end of the word which indicates that it is a command directed at the individual level. The command is for every individual to be part of that stranded unified group, and to continue that twisting and unification on a continuous basis. It is an important concept which underlies our consideration of the meanings of aboriginal title and rights.

Do you see that? As people of this land, we have the responsibility to unify all creatures of this land into one woven body, which means that if the birds and animals have been forced off, not only is it our ethical imperative to recreate and preserve the conditions they need, but to do the work that the plants need in order to survive. We have to be the birds and other animals supporting the plants until the birds and animals can come back. This principle includes supporting the syilx in the same way that the syilx are working so hard to bring the salmon home after nearly a century of absence.

Nk’mp Sockeye at sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ 

If we don’t do this, the land won’t support us. Perhaps this 5-year-old post of mine still makes it clear:

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