We have so much to learn from each other. And from the indigenous people who are the world’s best protectors of the earth, the Maori have been fighting to change the way that the New Zealand government sees nature. Like most countries, nature is seen as legal property to be used for profit. For the Maori the mountains and the rivers are their ancestors.
In the last few years, several Maori iwi (or tribes) have won legal recognition for their territories as spiritual, hollistic entities that are not property.
For the Tuhoe, the Te Urewera settlement is a two generation plan for sovereignty where the mountian guides their way of life. The Whanganui iwi have recognized legal personhood for their spiritual ancestor, the Whanganui River, which includes many cities along its path from the mountians to the sea. River guardians will work with local governments to change the way decisions are made based on the well being of the entire river. Movement Rights brought a delegation to learn from the Maori people and to listen to what the earth is telling us.
This video documents what they had to say.