Half-Earth at its core is about the relationship between people and nature. We proceed in awareness that social and environmental inequities and violence against Black and Brown people and their communities hold strong implications for what we do and how we do it. I want to acknowledge specifically the relationship of Indigenous people with their ancestral lands, the exemplary tenor of that relationship and Half-Earth’s imperative to attend to that relationship with intention. The Half-Earth Project honors the wisdom of the traditional owners of the lands and waters we aim to protect and their ancient ways of seeing and experiencing nature. In the spirit of the oral tradition of the Blackfoot, we aim to honor “the flash of the firefly in the night, the breath of the buffalo in the wintertime, and the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” We aim to restore and protect life. We thank our Indigenous communities for their historic stewardship of life, their critical role in reaffirming and repairing our relationship with it and their present and future partnership. Seek out the Indigenous history of the place where you live at native-land.ca/.
Paula Ehrlich, President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and Lead of the Half-Earth Project