The Circle of Life and The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society
“What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast also happens to man. All things are connected.” – Chief Seattle, Duwamish Tribe. 1855.
The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS) and its many members are dedicated to being ongoing keepers of the circle. The society was begun in recognition of the importance and respect accorded to fish and wildlife resources by all native American peoples and of the need for a national organization to aid in the development and protection of all these resources. SCI Foundation chooses to focus on conservation success stories such as the NAFWS and their continuing effort to encourage tribes to manage their own fish and wildlife resources. Concordantly, SCI Foundation will be attending the 36th NAFWS National Conference in Warwick, Rhode Island between May 8th and May 10th, 2018.
(Photo courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau)
573 federally-recognized tribes cover the United States from coast-to-coast, many of whom manage some of the most pristine wildlife habitat on the continent. As different tribes experience conservation success in one area or region, the NAFWS ensures communication networks for the exchange of information and management remain open. Successful communication has been key to the success enjoyed by so many tribes, wildlife, and above all the Native youth. Youth programs are equally as valuable to the NAFWS as there can be no long-term conservation success without actively engaging Native youth across the nation.
(Photos courtesy of “Keepers of the Circle: Part 2.” Native American Fish and Wildlife Society.)
The NAFWS Summer Youth Practicum keeps young people engaged in wildlife conservation while fostering personal growth and leadership. Field experience, leadership, and wildlife management classes provided by federal and state wildlife agencies along with Native role models/professionals and tribal elders teach respect for all the creatures around them while teaching young people more about themselves. Outdoor education reengages American Indian youth not only with the wildlife and wild places, it serves to revitalize traditional knowledge and identity. It is the very essence of how Native cultures are preserved and kept intact.
[vimeo 177128999 w=640 h=480]
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/177128999″>Circle of Life</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user55004375″>Ronald D Rodgers</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
As former U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colorado) stated, “Nearly all of America tends to look toward American Indians when they talk about conservation and preserving the environment. The traditional cultural involvement of American Indians is really the soul of what the NAFWS is all about.” Being a good steward of the land and sustainable-use means doing more than just recognizing the need mankind has on the natural world, it means being a keeper of the circle. SCI Foundation applauds the NAFWS for standing up to reaffirm and protect American Indian hunting, fishing, and gathering rights while providing for the conservation, prudent management, enhancement, orderly development, and use of natural resources.
View the, “Keepers of the Circle” promotional video released to help the NAFWS in their outreach efforts below:
[vimeo 177135855 w=640 h=480]
[vimeo 177136572 w=640 h=480]
For more information on SCI Foundation go to our First For Wildlife blog, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, or visit our website at www.safariclubfoundation.org.
Safari Club International Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that funds and directs worldwide programs dedicated to wildlife conservation and outdoor education. Any contribution may be tax deductible under Internal Revenue Code section 170(c) as a charitable contribution to the extent permitted by law. Tax deductible amount of gift is reduced by the Fair market Value of any goods, services, or advantages that a sponsor receives for the donation. EIN #86-0292099.