There are many motivations behind what we do at Plenty Canada. Some of these are driven by the urgent need to preserve biodiversity. Our plant and animal relatives have as much right to live and thrive as we do. The current rates of biodiversity loss exceed the historical past by several orders of magnitude. This must not continue. We are also driven by matters of equity and justice, particularly those involving Indigenous peoples. Health, education, language retention, these are all subjects that are critically important to us as evidenced by the projects we undertake. And we try our level best to embrace and advance our motivations within a social and institutional culture that nurtures and supports the growth and development of youth, of our precious resource, our current and future generations.
I’ll soon be seventy-four years old. At this age I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things. None of us are as perfect as we’d like to be, and I’m certainly no exception. But one of the attributes I and others have tried hard to imbed within our organization is the concept of respect, based upon longstanding ethical standards and intergenerational principles of affirmation, cooperation, and partnership. During our regular organizational meetings, when I look at our staff, contractors, advisors, and volunteers, I mostly see people who are young enough to be my children or grandchildren. I make this observation not to diminish their standing or stature in any way, but to the contrary, to marvel at their capacity, their intelligence and energy, their embrace of decency, their support of each other, and their clear thinking about the challenges that lie ahead.
As a modest not-for-profit charitable organization in its 46th year, Plenty Canada has experienced both highs and lows and witnessed hundreds of remarkable people, from all over the world, come through its doors. I’m struck by the commonalities shared among members of the human race. Within the “zone of consciousness” that our organization operates, I’ve come to realize how much community-based peoples seek the same things in their lives, not just for themselves, but for the environment that supports them and for making decisions that achieve sustainable development goals for their children and future generations.
So, it often seems discordant that while our circle possesses a firm intellectual and evidence-based comprehension of causes and solutions to certain problems, and a value system that contains empathy, many others in the world do not. Power seeking, self-aggrandizement, greed, these are not the values we embrace or in any way honour. For us moving forward and for the world to move beyond its current spate of existential threats, we need to evolve a global culture that places an emphasis on taking care of each other and the environment.
We are but one humble organization that partners with other like-minded organizations to conduct works we believe correspond to these values. In this regard, I encourage you to read the articles in this newsletter and to peruse our archives found on Plenty Canada website’s News and Blog page. And I thank you for your interest and support of our work.
Chi Miigwech. Niá:wen. Merci. Thank you.