The 7th Generation Principle

Interview with Rose O'Leary

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Video transcript: "The 7th Generation principle is often attributed to many different North American indigenous peoples. However, I think you will find some version of it, if you ask or if you communicate with different indigenous nations on Turtle Island, you can find the instantiation of the 7th Generation principle amongst many, if not most or all, peoples on Turtle Island. So, the 7th Generation principle is just that anytime that someone makes a decision, they should think about its impact seven generations into the future. And make that decision mindfully and with care and responsibility for the health and welfare of the seven generations into the future.

The 7th Generation principle also can be applied more broadly and often is. For instance, as a Wazhazhe or Osage person, as a child I was taught that whenever you are harvesting plants or animals, but particularly plants, you should always leave seven plants for every one that you pick, and that's to make sure that the plants also have regeneration capacities for their seven generations into the future. So in that way, we're not just thinking about the human seven generations into the future, we're also thinking about all of life on this Earth and its seven generations into the future; in recognition that we need balance in order for all of us to survive."

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Related tags: Indigenous Knowledge, Story, Tactic, Care,