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United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People's (UNDRIP) quite clearly states pharmaceutical companies and other corporate thieves should get their damn hands off of indigenous property. Flora, fauna, folklore, medicine, methodology etc. Basically, stop being colonising pricks. But... you know how that goes down. Theft, LAWYERS, theft, PATENTS...

We have 'Maori Language Week' here in New Zealand, where TV stations run ads on how it's cool to korero (talk in Maori) and white folk like myself fumble out patronizing nonsense for a week. But before Maori language week, we banned the language. We punished children for using it. Maori welcomed us and we slaughtered and burnt and stole the whole length of the country. Then we got the press in, to paint these 'savages'.

Today, as I try to find the Maori name for many plants, I can't. I will consult with scholars but I'm not holding my breath. As traditional living fell away over much of the country, the lore most likely went with it. In a society of orators, banning the language was an inhuman cruelty. A similar crime today would be to burn all our books and libraries and databases.

Traditional Maori gardeners are better at gardening than all the experts I've seen. They underwent starvation, wars, an ice age, and several significant extinctions of local fauna before they developed a system of earthcare known today as Kaitiakitanga. Maori are tasked by the Gods to be stewards of the Earth. Their systems work in space and time with seasonal rahui (restricted access) and Tapu (ban) on collecting from specific species/areas/seasons. Sustainability was hard won via centuries of hardship. Kaitiakitanga was also formed after centuries of observation.

Permaculture, as in sustainable systems of earthcare, also incorporating spiritual, social and economic aspects of life....  is not new.

Permaculture charges people large sums of money to learn a mish-mash of appropriated (largely) indigenous knowledge.

In science they like to say 'I stand on the shoulders of giants' implying that it is not only our own efforts, but the works of those before us that makes our work so effective. I love this saying, I love to acknowledge the myriad of incredible minds I get to pick through in the literature.

But much of this knowledge attributed to science is misappropriated indigenous knowledge.

Let's not be confused about this. White people largely suck at agriculture.

We in Permaculture also stand on the shoulders of giants. Namely, the Earth's Aboriginal tribes.

Education is the way forward in Permaculture. From a comfy old armchair you may learn of thermal mass and season extension.

Maori learned this living through an ice age.

Be grateful. And never forget our Giants.
 
pollinator
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Bill Mollison himself said there is nothing new in permaculture, and gave loads of credit to indigenous peoples.

 
gardener
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I agree with much of what you're saying Dc.  People living with the earth on a day to day basis for millennia are the real permaculture giants in my mind.

Dc Brown wrote:But much of this knowledge attributed to science is misappropriated indigenous knowledge.

Let's not be confused about this. White people largely suck at agriculture.

We in Permaculture also stand on the shoulders of giants. Namely, the Earth's Aboriginal tribes.


I believe white people would be considered indigenous to some areas.  And in those areas they are probably ok at traditional agriculture.  

If you mean that white people suck at large scale conventional agriculture, I'd propose that anyone doing large scale conventional agriculture sucks, regardless of their color.
 
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Never mind.
 
pollinator
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Dc Brown wrote:

Let's not be confused about this. White people largely suck at agriculture.



You had my sympathies, and then you lost me.  There is no need for racism here.  Were this statement made about any other ethnic group, you would be banned outright.

Permaculture draws wisdom from numerous traditions and cultures.  I would encourage you to consider a more generous attitude.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Agriculture sucks.  In this long lecture, Toby Hemenway explains how and why:

"How Permaculture Can Save Humanity and the Earth, but Not Civilization"  
 
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Mate as a NZer I have to say what you have written is racially offensive.  I am Ngati Kahungunu on one side of my DNA, and also descended from a Treaty of Waitangi signee on the Crown side.  I've got the whakapapa to rely on if I need to, but you know what? It's irrelevant. People are individuals and there is something seriously wrong in any culture that says one set of background DNA creates a better person than others. Yes we might have different skin colour or differing body shapes that might make us perform better in some specific areas (lots of Polynesian DNA in the All Blacks!), but having a spiritual connection to the land is not a racial characteristic, no matter how much some people like to believe it is. The best farmers/gardeners I have ever met have been Maori or Non-Maori, and the worst I have ever met have been Maori or Non-Maori.  Hey guess what, the race bit is not the defining characteristic!

My Maori ancestors arrived here around about 800 years ago from the tropical Pacific, they found a much colder harder land where things did not grow as well. They found a food source in the Moa, which they hunted to extinction. This is NOT good resource management. They also developed a warrior culture based on violent conflict for resources, and a highly tribalised society with some nasty practices such as genocide and slavery when the resources were scarce. Yes we did develop a moderately sustainable kaitiakitanga but this is not unique to Maori, this is about survival. Our cousins over on Rapa Nui are an example of not getting it right. New Zealand is much bigger than Rapa Nui,  and Maori population had only got up to about 120,000 by 1800. Considering how small the population, and how big the country, my ancestors actually had a hugely negative environmental impact with mass deforestation (by fire) and species extinction. And the Kaitiakitanga didn't help much when my people got hold of English muskets and killed almost 20% of our own population.

I use a term I think of as "The gospel according to Hollywood".  One of the characteristics is indigenous people are always enlightened highly spiritual people with firm environmental values and sustainable land use. Think movie "Avatar" as an example. New arrivals are always exploitative, non-sustainable and evil. This historical revisionism so intensely simplistic it should be totally rejected.

The reality is human beings (of any race) have become so incredibly numerous and biologically successful because of our ability and readiness to manipulate our environment to our advantage. All races do this, and all races have people amongst them who are purely exploitative and some who value sustainablity. I suspect everyone reading this site is here because they fit into the later category, yet we achieve our sustainability by manipulating our environment to our advantage. We call it designed ecosystems, or permaculture.

As for the NZ situation, I know some of my people are pushing a Maori Sovereignty agenda based on historical grievances and historical revisionism presenting a sanitised version of traditional ways, but that is not designed to build up the current population of New Zealand. It is only a bad thing, most of us who claim some Maori background also have DNA from all over the world, it's time we stopped the racist drivel and went forward as one people.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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