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Cries from Our Forests — Listening to Mindahi Bastida

“Mother Earth is speaking. Mother Earth is crying, but it’s still with lots of love towards us. We’ve got to listen. It’s not just about willingness, not anymore. It’s about responsibility.”

Mindahi Bastida is a member of the Otomi-Toltec Nation of Mexico. He’s the director of the Original Nations Program at The Fountain and he serves as the General Coordinator of the Otomi-Hñahñu Regional Council in Mexico, a caretaker of the philosophy and traditions of the Otomi people. He has been an Otomi Ritual Ceremony Officer since 1988. He is also the President of the Mexico Council of Sustainable Development and a member of the steering committee of the Indigenous Peoples’ Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative, and he has served as a delegate to several commissions and summits on indigenous rights and the environment.

Born in Tultepec, Mexico, Mindahi holds a doctorate of rural development from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana and has written extensively on the relationship between the State and Indigenous Peoples, intercultural education, collective intellectual property rights and associated traditional knowledge, among other topics.

Image from Mindahi’s Facebook page.

Recently, at CP26 in Glasgow, UK, Mindahi was invited to speak at the Real World Leaders on Climate session organized by Lily Cole, Flourishing Diversity and Goals House.

In response to Farhana Yamin’s question: “What is the one thing you want to see the COP do?”, Mindahi had this to say:

“What is happening to us? What is happening to human beings? Are we the only ones who have intelligence? Don’t we remember that we are just humans? We are not the peak of the creation. We are just another species.

We are living through very critical times because we have misbehaved… The time is now to behave. If we want to really respect life, we have to acknowledge the spirit of other beings, the spirit of the mountain, the spirit of the river, the spirit of the sea, the spirit of other sky and the spirit of the world, Mother Earth.

We have to go from the I to the We. From the Me to the We. It is the time. And that is the reason we are here.

We are not just praying for, caring for, the 80% of that bio-diversity. It’s not just bio-diversity. It’s bio-cultural heritage, bio-cultural diversity. Because we don’t distinguish between nature and culture.

Water is not a resource. Water is a sacred element. The air is a sacred element, the earth also, and the wind and the fire. We need clean energies. For that we need clean ideas.”

Follow Mindahi on Facebook.

Mindahi is also featured on the podcast by Lily Cole titled: New Year Ancient Wisdom: Indigenous Listening. Are we commodifying the sacred? Feat. indigenous leaders, activists, a Lord and a Prince.

Main image by Goals House.

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