cultural diversity

From Reliable Prosperity:

A world rich with cultural diversity honors the unique qualities and contributions of many cultures. Different religions, ethnicities, languages, and cultural traditions create a human tapestry that greatly contributes to society. Honoring this diversity, turning it to advantage, is a fundamental aspect of social equity.

Ask yourself what specific communities or populations know about certain mountains, or wetlands, or farming a special crop, or wildcraft harvesting a rare medicinal plant. You will learn that a specific soil in just the right climate will grow certain plants well. People co-evolve with place similar to the way plants and animals co-evolved with their ecosystems. cultural diversity respects local knowledge and the role each culture has to play in creating reliable prosperity.

The Columbia River tribes tend the salmon runs and with a salmon feast as the fish return. In honoring the life of the salmon, and the flesh they feed to people and dozens of other species, they honor the exquisite poetry of living systems in our bioregion. Mennonite farmers have their own way of honoring the land, and so do practitioners of ecological forestry falling in love with the interconnectedness of life in the forest.

Cultures can grow and diversify in a place within a few decades if they are attentive. Media tied to a sense of place provide a twenty-first century fire circle, allowing hundreds of local communities a chance to witness and share their unique relationships to their beloved rivers, forests, and mountains.

In time, people grow into the contours of their place. People living in place have always acknowledged the practical skills of those who knew how to sew fishing nets, prepare an herbal poultice, or track animals. One role of cultural diversity in reliable prosperity is to learn how to live well in place by putting the stories, songs, dances, and special knowledge of many cultures to appropriate use.

(read more at Reliable Prosperity)