Only one Earth: A Review of ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS
~ Dr. Dawn Karima

Title    Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings

            for a Sustainable Future
Editor    Melissa K. Nelson
Publisher    Simon and Schuster
ISBN    1591439310, 9781591439318
Length    384 pages

Climate Change. Water Protectors. Global Warming. As drastic weather patterns permeate the headlines and impact communities all over the world, ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS is an especially relevant text.

Described as a compilation of "Indigenous Teachings for a sustainable future," Melissa K. Nelson blends a respect for science with estimation for Indigenous insights. Chief Oren Lyons, Winona LaDuke, John Mohawk and John Trudell join a variety of Native voices in this book.  Although Native people may make up a relatively small minority in the United States,Indigenous leaders stand at the forefront of environmental issues.

Protecting biodiversity, practicing stewardship of ecological resources and promoting responsible caretaking of Mother Earth each form the focus of Native environmentalism.  From activism to awareness, every contributor to this text proffers a distinctive approach to dealing with the legal, social, emotional and practical aspects of preventing pollution, preservation, and protection.

Diverse tribes are represented as varying viewpoints. Accounts contain deep perspectives on a dire situation, since nature, water and land comprise powerful tenets of Native life and culture.  Spirituality intertwines with ecology in most Indigenous theology and cosmology. As a result, this book offers an interdisciplinary outlook on the interaction between Creator, Individuals and Cultures.

ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS is a worthwhile read. Even though this book is a 2008 release, the Native leaders' wisdom is timeless.  An excellent and informative way to reflect on environmental challenges and inspire action, this book belongs on library shelves, course syllabi and in discussions of ways to right ecological wrongs.