Thoughts from Bruce, Area Director for the Montana communities:
“The addition of ecological justice to JVC Northwest’s mission statement sparked a dialogue amongst my friends and family as to the importance of addressing ecological issues in a world of so much human suffering. Although not a brand new topic to JVC Northwest, today I would like to voice my most recent thoughts in hope of continuing a thoughtful discussion.
I was in Ashland, Montana engaged in a social analysis with the JV community. We were attempting to determine the root causes for a health condition a young woman in history was experiencing. We could not find a single root cause. Instead, there was an interdependent web of economic, political, cultural, and social causes. The most unexpected of which was the extermination of the plains buffalo, an ecological event in itself, and yet one with profound social implications both then and today. The theory we explored was how this political decision and ecological event was partially responsible for a dramatic shift in the diet and lifestyle of Plains Tribes.
What I took away from that conversation was a reminder that the human world and the natural world cannot be separated. To do so is to create a false dichotomy – one that would lead to half solutions and new problems.
As an update to this historic occurrence, I am happy to report that the Assiniboine and White Clay tribes reintroduced the buffalo to their reservation more than thirty years ago.
To a healthy earth!”