News From Native California Volume 31, Issue 3 - Page 28

As for Tribal Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Ron sum marizes his perspective this way: “Tribal Traditional Ecological Knowledge is based on four factors: philosophy, practice, spirituality, and knowledge. Are you in the know? How do you know without scientific evidence or data? For the Native American, to know is not to believe it is so. There is no the- ory. There is no science report, no scientific study, and no sci- entific data. But then again, to be in the know, one is repeat- ing hundreds, if not thousands, of years of information passed down many, many generations.… “Our knowledge is based on philosophy, a philosophy that says we are at one with Mother Earth and Creator. Our phi- losophy dictates our practice. Our gathering philosophy is our ecological policy. Gather what you need, leave some for the next gatherer, leave some for the animals, leave some for seed, leave some for the bush itself—no one wants to be left naked. It does not matter whether you are gathering acorns, berries, sticks, or roots, the philosophy is taught, learned, and understood by all, because if you live off the land, this is what is called sustainability. “Spirituality is not third in order, but is integrated throughout philosophy and practice. The Native Ameri- can does not just pray for their food. They pray for the spirit of the animal they are going to kill. They pray that the ani- mal will offer itself, which it does. They make offerings, give prayer, and sing songs when they come upon an ancient site. Why? Because the Old Ones, an Aborigine term not just for our ancestors but for those who have been here since time began, are still there listening. They can see you, hear you, and you need to be able to see them and hear them. We make offerings to clear our way, to clear our mind, and to clear our heart. We talk to the rocks when we enter their domain, give thanks to the plants and trees for their offer- ings of sustenance and medicine. When you acknowledge the keepers of the land, spirits of the land, the elements, the forest and the Old Ones, they will in turn communicate with you. “With knowledge comes responsibility. Responsibility to use your gifts, to share your knowledge and to keep the tradition alive!” Over the years, Ron has been recognized multiple times for his educational, tribal, and community service work. In 2002, he was entered into the Clovis Citizen’s Hall of Fame, followed in 2006 by his selection as the California State 26 ▼ N E WS F ROM N AT IVE C AL IFO RNIA American Indian Education Center’s Educator of the Year. That same year, he was named in Who’s Who Among Amer- ican Teachers. In 2013, Ron was honored by the California governor’s office for his work creating partnerships between state agencies and tribes. Also in 2013, he was honored for his Tribal Water Summit work. Looking ahead, Ron offers his advice to youth: “Make your own decisions about what you want to do, an ݡɔ)ԁ݅ЁѼх䁍ѕѼѡ͔eЁ)ɅeԁݥЁԁ܁ݡɔԁ݅ЁѼ)׊eɔѼЁѡɔt)QɔЁÍձɔ́ձɅٽٕ̰)Ёѡݥɕͽɍ̸)ȁеє9ѥٔÝ٥ɽՍ)I͍ɥ́Ѽ٥̸)ȁє٥I͍ͥqݡ9ѥٔ)͔ɔѼ͡Ʌ܁ЁѡݕȁɔtЁ)ѡ5͕մѡɥ]ӊé ɹ ѥ)ՕᡥѥѼܹعɜ̽͡ѕѡݥ)ɽɕѽɥձɅɹ)ȁ٥I͡ɥ5ͽ́ѽɥ́́)܁ ɹ9ѥٔɥ䁕ٕЁЁU ɭ)͕ܹՉ݅э`A TIéЁѡ)ɕ͕хѥ́Ѐԁ́Ѐȸ)Q́ѡɕ%1Qɔչѥ1ͽ)=ȁ1ɥձմѼܹͽͽɱɜ)ȁɔɵѥЁѡQɥ]ѕȁMյЁͼ)ѕՉѥ́ͥѥ̰Ѽܹ݅ѕȹؼ)AɽɅ̽ ɹ]ѕȵA]ѕȵAAѥѥ)Qɥ]ѕȵMյиQѕȁՑ́ѡɕͥѥ)ɥѕI胊q ձɅ ɸtq ɹݸѼѡYt)qQɥQɅѥ-ݱt́ݕ́ݸ)ѥQɥ]ѕȁMյЁѽɥ̰ͤ)ѥ̰ɥ́ѥѱqQɥ]ѕȁMѽɥ̻t)ḾݕIèȁɕЁЁѥٔ́ɕͽɍ)ɥѕȁѡMɄ9ѥɕи!́ɕѱɥѥ)ЁձɅ