“Age-old wisdom for the new economy”

Sarah: When you look ahead at the coming months, perhaps years, of economic downturn, what do you see coming, and what does indigenous experience teach us about what we should be doing?
Rebecca: I’ve gotta say, it’s about time the bubbles burst. I don’t want to see anybody without a home or a job, but Wall Street had to come to reality sooner or later. I just wish they were taking the brunt of it instead of Main Street.

President Obama assumes that through more spending we can stimulate the financial sector. But why would we want to save something that had no productivity for human life? Until we move away from that paradigm, I don’t hold out too much optimism for the next months, or the next years, or even the next seven generations.

What indigenous experience tells us is that an economy is about fairness and equity. It should be for the well-being of your people and the sacredness of creation. You take care of your place because it provides for you. And the place provides for you because you’re protecting it. We have to begin to rethink our economic system so that it’s accountable for our place.

Sarah: So what is an economy for?

Rebecca: The economy used to be about livelihoods and the provision of a household, but we’ve lost that purpose. We have created an economic system with a goal of material wealth, rather than human development.


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