Knowledge Transfer

Interview with Rose O'Leary

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Video transcript: "I see Standing Rock as a turning point, however, it's really also important to remember that many indigenous people of Turtle Island don't perceive time as linear, rather they perceive time as circular and fluid. And so, it's been pointed out by many people that indigenous resistance to colonialism has been going on since 1492, since the point of contact.

One of the analogies that I like is that it's like an ocean with many waves, and so some of those waves are a bit larger, maybe more apparent to more people. And I think Standing Rock was one of those big waves that was harder for non-indigenous people to ignore. But it's also important to remember that it's sort of the culmination of this continuing resistance that has been going on for hundreds of years. But I also think that we have come to a point in time where indigenous people, particularly of Turtle Island, are very concerned for the future generations, not just of our communities, but of all communities - human and non-human - because the planet is at a point where we are losing. We're losing peoples - and by peoples I mean plant peoples, animal peoples, insect peoples, as well as human peoples - by the minute.

This is very concerning to many, many indigenous people, because in our cosmologies, and in our histories, and in our ways of life that we're taught from the time that we're born, we're taught that everything has purpose and everything has a reason, even if it may not be readily apparent to us. Whenever the Earth starts to go out of balance or whenever a species disappears, its seen as a warning sign, that those things may then happen to us. And I think that indigenous people have been aware of this looming crisis of disastrous climate change for quite some time and have become more and more willing to share traditional knowledges, to share traditional prayers, to share traditional ways of being with the rest of the world. And when I say traditional, I don't mean to necessarily place it in the past, but indigenous ways of knowing have often been protected from those who might seek to use them for gain, or to use them in the wrong way. I think we have kind of reached a breaking point where we've realized that we want to and we need the world to listen and to learn different ways to be in the world."

Other interviews with Rose O'Leary

Related tags: Story, Indigenous Knowledge, Interdependence, Climate Change, Commons,