Brian “BB” Melendez, is a Northern / Southern Paiute – Western Shoshone: Community Leader; American Indian Spirituality Scholar; and Practitioner of Great Basin Indigenous Custom(s) and Culture(s); CEO / Problem Solver of Lucentree, LLC; Creator of Mahkwuhoo (Guided-Meditation); and Host of the Coffee with an Indian, Podcast.
I don’t know what the hell you use your Wi-Fi for? But you might want to start using the internet-machine for stockpiling gardening (if not, survival) techniques. You can start by learning how to implement community gardens; the many advantages of permaculture; soil amending; seed storage and plant startups; in addition to that, rain collection. If you’re a Tribe, and you got the land, and your Agriculture budget isn’t larger than your Recreation budget, you need to catch up to 2019. Limiting our carbon footprint is a start, but that’s only the beginning. If you’re a Native that doesn’t know how to grow anything but debt, find some down ass agricultural homies, and launch the greatest agrarian movement your Reservation has ever seen. Plant those seeds!
If you want to know how to live with the Earth, take a page from the Indigenous — we’ve been kicking serious dust since day one. The struggle for balance, ain’t nothin new to us, that’s why were so Goddamn magical. Our spiritual belief systems are fairly pragmatic (and that’s a great thing in my honest opinion) and directly connected to the land. Which means, our philosophies are easy to grasp without having to culturally appropriate our sh*t, and then pawning off that watery mess, as a traditional teaching. If by chance you’re catching what I’m laying down…you might want to start reading up on some homeopathic remedies, the benefits of herbal teas and tinctures, water filtration systems, and traditional medicines. Anything organic is always the best. Don’t waste any time finding your own balance: get close to the Earth, get close to people who know how to live off the grid, and get some useful skills. For real, start meditating, and find your own way back to the land.
By Being a Good Relative
As a tribal person, I’ve been living with extend families in a communal sense most of my life, and besides the extreme lack of privacy, there are some great benefits. The possible paradigm shift of loving the people in our lives, is going to be a magnificent investment in our own survival. Making time to work as a collective is an amazing skill to have. If you’re not a team player, I’d start working on that right away. The other thing I’d probably start doing right away, is having a heartfelt conversation with your Ancestors. Although that may be a strange option for some of you, others may look at this act, as a no-brainer. When sh*t hits the fan, being kind and considerate is going to get you farther than you might think. And if you can see the value in being a good relative to all of those around you, your relationships with the Ancestors, and with nature, it will be that much easier. Think about it.
Collective Forward Thinking
The most responsible thing any of us can do, in regard to the current climate catastrophe, is to do your own objective research (even on things you dread the most). Right now, more than ever science, from all around the world, is our friend. If you have the resources, start dumping funds into non-profits that are on the front line of protecting nature, and those providing housing and food for the poor. We need to get these magnificent people who are attempting to help, adequate resources. Strongly consider supporting industries around the World, who are actively engaged in leaving this place better than when they found it. Make your votes, actions, and intentions count, and what better way to do that than with your dollar. We’ve all been witness to unconscionable greed, and that sh*t doesn’t help any of us. We can start by challenging old motifs, especially the institutional thinking. When we can cognitively see all types of distractions that keep us subjugated and weak, we can rebuild. Regardless of whatever we decide to do, we must first be prepared to challenge our greatest adversaries: ourselves.
In case you weren’t aware, Tribal governments often have more flexibility to create innovative (and experimental) programs than any other governments, period. That’s because what happens on the Reservation, occurs in a microcosm, and thus can occur rather quickly. Which for the more progressive Tribal leaders, this is an intrinsic super power. In the most simplistic way to look at Tribal governance; sometimes, there is no red-tape that says we can do sh*t, but sometimes, it doesn’t really say we can’t either. Think about that. Obviously, things have to be legal, and obviously kosher to the land but outside of that, it’s an open playing field of opportunities. Whereby, Tribal communities are only limited by their own visions. This will come in extremely helpful in the probable future, when it comes to growing food, collecting able bodies, and the flood of green economics. For real, the rest of the World hasn’t even begun to see us flex.
When it comes to solidifying resources for our families, that’s inevitably going to require us to expand our existing communities. Which will innately force us to review naturalization or our populations, as it pertains to Tribal citizenship, from an entirely revolutionary lens. I’ve said this hundreds of times, the most under-utilized human power we all have, is the power to make a relative. Our Tribes are going to have to become more inclusive, and even more diverse. I know some cats out there will completely disagree with me on that, and I don’t give a sh*t. If our biodiversity, and economic diversity, isn’t on point, were all screwed anyway. If you’re a Tribal leader, start pushing back on the States for your aboriginal hunting, fishing, and gathering rights. Make sure that you are fighting for all-inclusive access to your sacred sites. Make sure that you are protecting all of your boundaries, especially the air space above your heads, and the water beneath your feet. Oh, one more thing; The Motherf*****g Paris Agreement. Tribes needs to start sending Resolutions, for their participation, into the United Nations, and join the global fight!
Access to Large Land Bases
If you have even one acre, utilize that soil for something useful to humanity. Can you say, food sovereignty? Wrap your brains around this sh*t: we should be using Tribal lands for the largest scale clean energy projects in human history: Solar, Geothermal and Wind. It’s not about the money anymore, it’s about the survival of the planet. We have to think bigger. We have a massive job ahead of us as stewards of the land, starting with the reforestation of natural resources. We need to be planting trees in places we never had trees before. In addition to that, we need to retrofit our infrastructures and total operations to reduce harmful emissions, by switching to clean energy. We need to start large scale recycling programs, and compost programs, with all of our neighboring communities. Let’s create green campuses, where we can do sh*t others only ever talk about. We can use our land bases, as incubator space for eco-progressive solutions. We really don’t have time to drag our feet or convince small thinkers about our future. Because whatever science can’t fix: will require all of us (relatives from every nation, belief, and understanding), to sing, dance, and pray like never before.