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April 9, 2019 | by  | in One Ocean |
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One Ocean

If I could, I would say to them:

To the large corporations with destructive practices. I see you making money. I see you depleting resources. I see you infecting our common home. My ancestors chose to live in harmony with the land, using only what was needed; moving from space to space to allow for the process of regrowth, healing, and regeneration—for animals and all other forms of nature. If that’s not the OG reduce, reuse, recycle, what is? Our home in all its abundance is a gift, and was honoured by Pacific people in the actions of preservation and stewardship. Today in one-sided environmental campaigns such as the zero-waste movement, people of the land—from the Americas to Oceania—are often forgotten in conversation. Besides being ignored for the safeguarding habits that have established the foundations of guardianship, our Pacific neighbours are amongst those currently fighting for the survival of their livelihood and their homes—in some cases, entire islands. History books illustrate industrial-focussed fellas as “saviours” of the uncivilised, dominating their “primitive” ways with paternalistic advice. Advice that has often benefitted everyone but our Pacific nations. Why do you continue to contribute? Don’t touch what you can’t afford. You need to stop stealing what you want from our common home. It’s not like we can afford to manufacture, produce, or escape to another one when everything we need is gone.

Because I can, I say to you:

Usooooo. We need to change the narrative. We need to change our attitude. We wake up and we consume. We support massive corporations with systems that are literally killing us slowly and are detrimental—for their workers, for the environment, and for us. Do we have to continue this way of living? Just because these same fellas touched what wasn’t theirs—in more ways than amassing land—doesn’t mean we can’t change the wasteful, selfish and monopolising habits that unfortunately were passed from generation to generation, from colonisation to gentrification, to us. What do you think will happen? Don’t sleep on our great-great grandparents, the O.G environmentalists.

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this