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Category archives for Sacred Natural Sites

Save Our National Monuments

If Ryan Zinke, the secretary of interior, wants to emulate Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy, he should recommend leaving the national monuments as they are.

St Kilda – Life on a Remote Island

St Kilda is a remote island group in the North Atlantic off the coast of Scotland. Having made it to Scotland, and then the Outer Hebrides, it made sense to hop one more island to what was once the very edge of the world.

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”

Resource Extraction and American Indians: The Invisible History of America

The recent American Indian protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota, protesting environmentally irresponsible and culturally damaging resource extraction, encouraged me to reach out to my American Indian friends.  The blood of the Cherokee Nation flows in the veins of my own family members.  I wanted to draw out their stories and to report on…

A Rich Petroglyph Site in Central Asia Offers a Lesson in Human Restlessness—and Patience

The drawings represent—what? A question? A plea? Perhaps a prayer?

The Powerful Voices of Women at Standing Rock

Women—representing many places, ages, tribes, and other identities—are core to the story of Standing Rock. They run kitchens, start schools, organize supplies, provide healing, and offer wisdom. These are their words.

Standing Rock Sioux Invited to Work With Army on Solution for Pipeline Conflict

[The following text is from an official press release by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.] Statement Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline Posted 11/14/2016 Release no. 16-027 Contact Moira Kelley (DOA), 703-614-3992, moira.l.kelley.civ@mail.mil Jessica Kershaw (DOI), interior_press@ios.doi.gov Washington, D.C. – Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed…

Young Micronesians Explore Nan Madol: A New UNESCO World Heritage Site Located In Their Backyard.

Last month, UNESCO officially announced 21 new additions to the World Heritage Sites list. One of these — located on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei — is the ruins of Nan Madol. In celebration of their island treasure being recognized as a World Heritage Site, a group of local Pohnpeian college students took on the responsibility of providing the international community with their own local stories and images of Nan Madol.

In Canada’s Boreal Forest, ‘The Land That Gives Life’ Inspires a Push for Protection

A couple works to win UNESCO recognition to help save the vast wilderness of Pimachiowin Aki and preserve a culture’s link to the Earth  For millennia, the Anishinaabe people of the Poplar River First Nation, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, have called the boreal forest that surrounds and sustains them Pimachiowin Aki: The Land…

Journey Into Te Bangabanga: The Sacred Caves of Banaba Island

The morning was still dark when the young men arrived with their machetes and flashlights. We were on one of the most remote islands in the world, about to venture into an underground network of sacred caves known as te bangabanga. The land below the surface of Banaba, a Pacific island nearly 200 miles from…

Bellringers of the Russian Orthodox Church Toll for Religious Freedom

After 75 years of religious persecution, under the Soviet regime, the Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a renaissance. In belfry towers across Russia, Orthodox bellringers toll their anthems of freedom.  

Wetland Revival: Using impact investment to restore nature

 Conservation interests and agencies gathered along the Murray River in Australia earlier this month to witness the return of water to a wetland system that now rarely receives floodwater from the river, due to construction of large water-storage reservoirs built upstream that capture the river’s flow and sends it to irrigated farms.   With the twist…

Shoreline Creeps Closer To Kiribati’s Sacred Sites

“If, one day, the waves take away these sacred places and they’re gone, we will keep on telling the stories,” explained Takirua Tiare, a traditional storyteller on Kiribati’s Marakei Island. “But I can’t stop that—I don’t hold the answer of the waves.”  As a taani karaki, as the storytellers are known, Tiare, 68, is in charge…

Sailing Halfway Around the World to Find Our Oldest Ancestors

The crew of the voyaging canoe, Hōkūle’a, arrive in Mossel Bay, South Africa, and reflect on the immense significance of this location, as a halfway point of the Worldwide Voyage and as a bridge that connects the genealogy of all people on Earth.

Beyond Japan: Descendants of Atomic Bomb Survivors Convene in Hiroshima

 A participant in the Global Hibakusha Project Workshop watches an example of oral history produced by the Project founder about a previous member. Photo By Ari Beser Hiroshima, Japan—“There was a film about Nagasaki called The Last Atomic Bomb, but in actuality over 2,000 nuclear weapons have been detonated since then,” reveals Bo Jacobs, associate professor…