Anthony Fleg


I am excited to see the ideas and insights from Indigenous leaders that fill this edition of Green Fire Times. As a coordinator for the Native Health Initiative, I want to reflect on a few things I have learned from the people and organizations working with us:

  • One of the most fundamental ways that we show love in this world is by protecting the only true asset that we will give to future generations: Mother Earth.
  • Indigenous communities are not focused on tomorrow or 2014 and do not run from one election to the next. Instead, there is the Seven Generations perspective, looking forward to how our actions today reflect what is best for the seventh generation to come. What will our Earth be for our great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren? That perspective makes us think deeply and clearly when we are deciding whether to mine sacred sites for uranium, destroy rich ecosystems for oil, water our golf courses and lawns while fields that could be growing local food go dry.
  • Youth are today’s future, not tomorrow’s. We had the pleasure of supporting a group of local youth called the Walatowa Green Stars. These young people from Jémez Pueblo started a recycling program from the ground up, representing the potential of our youth to create change. We often underestimate the insight and abilities of youth to lead, paying lip service to the phrase “youth are the future.” Well, the future is now, and all of us need to find young people in our programs and communities to learn and then lead alongside us!
  • Let us grow our movement based on what we believe in, not based on the injustices we are trying to overcome. With NHI, we are very intentional in this realm, feeling that once we succumb to “fight the system,” “fight the man,” “fight the oil companies,” etc., we become a victim ourselves, on the road to burnout and depletion. Instead, let us grow a green movement based on the values that guide us—love for Mother Earth, Father Sky and everything in between… respect for all living beings, an understanding that no monetary value can be given to water, air and other gifts from Creator. Let us grow a movement that is loving and replenishing to us as we work to heal the Earth.

Anthony Fleg is a family physician with the Albuquerque, NM-based Native Health Initiative.




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