Another community-type environmental issue or science issue is on the reservation particularly, is education of our youth in environmental sciences. And so, starting them young – we do a lot of outreach here – we work with Science Nights at the elementary schools, and we try to take out field trips with some of the other tribal schools and so forth – Travis has helped out with all of those events. And we try to bring a research conference here and so forth. And so we try to get as much media as we can at those events, but we just never know who to contact.
I think it’s critical that our students understand more about environmental science, whether that’s hydrology, forestry, physics, chemistry, whatever it is, and we’re continually striving – because of the socioeconomics on the reservation – to get the word out and sometimes it conflicts with cultural values. So that’s another kind of barrier that we have to deal with. And there are some stigmas that are in the community that we’re always trying to battle about science and traditional values. And so how the media portrays those is always different and varying and can have huge consequences.
Antony (Tony) Berthelote
with Travis Beauvais
Maybe just better news coverage or more, but whether it’s tsunami’s or earthquakes, typhoons, the big hurricanes on the East Coast lately, yeah it’s – it makes us wonder if it’s – what’s going on – whether it’s just a natural process or – or as its’ been said among our people about – well not just the Salish people, which I’m a part of – Salish and Pend d’Oreilles, but – it being said that the human beings would bring this world to the brink of – the finality or whatever you want to call it – but that the Mother Earth would take back over, and it was – I think I read it someplace – it said it would be like a dog trying to shake off the ticks on its back. Shaking itself. And Mother Earth would be doing that through the natural phenomena, such as weather fluctuations, typhoons, earthquakes, floods, drought. It’s just the Earth trying to cleanse itself of all of the hurt being done to it – done to her. I mean that’s the prophecies that we’ve heard all across this country – North America, South America, Central America – we’ve been told these things before white man even set foot on this side of the world. We knew those things – we know those things, and we’re told to look for these certain signs that show where we’re at in this – in this moment in time. And some of these signs shows that we’re – we’re – it’s happening. It was said before that – there was a certain time when the human beings could turn it around with – with minimal catastrophes. But, that time has passed cuz the humans didn’t pay attention. There were people trying to warn the world to pay attention! Look what’s happening! Turn it around – we got to turn it around, but nobody – nobody listened. Nobody listens to Indian people. Not – we can’t even get into the United Nations to talk without the United States government vetoing it. So that time came and passed, but now it’s said that we can only cushion the effect thru prayer – thru proper actions – that it’s – the Earth is going to cleanse itself, and it’s going to happen thru these natural forces in life.
Roy Big Crane
I think the most important – when I go beyond this community – I think the most important environmental news we’re hearing now is about the realities of fracking and the realities of fracking vis-a-vis water supply. I think that’s the most important environmental issue we’re hearing about now, and that’s followed really closely with the tar sands issues. But again they’re water issue. They’re both – at some very profound level water issues, and I think water in the west is something that we really need to be attentive to.
I mean I read a lot of different things and different articles that come forward that people post on Facebook – a lot of the people that I know are very concerned environmentalists, and so they’re like my clipping service – I use Facebook that way.
[Interviewer: So articles about these issues?]
About these issues that they post because then I don’t have to be quite – do quite so much research. One of the benefits to me of Facebook is that. Because the things I’m interested in and concerned about, I’m friends with people that are very involved and I don’t have time to kind of do all that research. So if somebody I respect is posting something, then I’ll take the time to go in and read it. And I actually get most of my news that way.
Media here in our part of the world is, well, we don’t have that much media. We have a couple of local newspapers and they cover mainly community events and things like that. They don’t talk about environmental issues.
I like to think that I try to stay informed, so that’s – I’m sure my husband probably thinks I’m some sort of kook because I read as much as I can about it. And he may want to watch football, and I may want to see a program about – on public television. But nevertheless, I don’t care what year you are, try to be informed. That’s my thought. Ok? We’ve got a wonderful, wonderful country and we need to take care of it. And here again, we might not all agree on every issue, but if we come together and discuss, and try to reach some medium, we’re going to be a better place, better citizens and better caretakers. And that’s what we’re here for. That’s what we’re here for – we’re caretakers. And my mom used to be one of the best shingle packers you ever saw.
Bonnie Easterly Huber
It’s decreased. [Water contamination from mining] was covered when things were going on and everyone’s forgotten about it. However, we still deal with the impacts of it every day.
I see that we’re covered a lot when it affects other people, and by other I mean non-Natives that are in our surrounding areas. Then it’s deemed important. But when it’s just us it may be covered but it’s quickly forgotten about and [the reporting doesn’t have] as wide of a range.