Working Together Respectfully Means Not Making Assumptions

Our beautiful planet needs each and every one of us to step up and work together to stop the damage and clean up the mess.  As Shoshone spiritual Leader Corbin Harney used to say every day, we only have One Water, One Air and One Earth. Working together in any new relationship requires a lot of listening and being observant. Overcoming generations of prejudice and misinformation is even harder. Everyone has assumptions based on information from many sources, and often the most important thing we can do to learn about each other is to forget what we think we already know. When in doubt, whether about facts or protocols, it is always best to admit your ignorance and ask. 

We have included here a selection of articles and official statements from First Nations peoples speaking for themselves on these important issues of cross-cultural communication and environmental justice.

We appreciate submissions to expand this section to include articles by representatives of many cultures. We hope that you find the following articles useful. 

Communicating Across Cultures, Steve Newcomb, Director of the Indigenous Law Institute,  in Eugene, OR. Reprinted from Earth Island Journal, Litha 1996, and On Indian Land, Fall 1996.

First Nations Protocol, by Kakwirakeron and Dave Good. An excerpt from "front lines", published by the First Nations Environmental Network, and reproduced in On Indian Land, Fall 1996.

Indian Values, Attitudes and Behaviors, and Educational Considerations, by Joann Sebastian Morris.

Principles of Environmental Justice, The First People of Color Leadership Summit, October 24-27, 1991, Washington D.C.

Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing, Jemez, Mexico: "Working Group Meeting on Globalization & Trade", December 6-8, 1996, published by the South West Organizing Project, April, 1997.

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Co-Intelligence Institute, Communication and more.

 Consensus Decision Making Process 

 Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution 

 Making Nonviolence Work, by Starhawk 

 Peace & Conflict Studies, Norway, 2 yr program in English 

 Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam 'Oasis of Peace' in Hebrew and Arabic, a cooperatively owned and governed village, with only bilingual education in Israel 

 The Nonviolence Web    

 Northampton Bill of Rights - Our constitutional right to communicate 

 Randy Schutt- 30 Downloads on Nonviolent Action & Cooperative Decision Making 

 Resolve-  Environmental and Public Policy Dispute Resolution

Earth-Tones- Only long-distance phone company giving 100% of profits to environmental causes