Narrative Summary (cont.)

Our Communities

Like us as individuals, our communities differ. Some are more urban while most are more rural. Legal rights vary dramatically from full sovereignty to no formal recognition. Some of our communities have an extensive land base, others have parcels of scattered land, while some have little or no land. In no case does the land base of our communities today reflect our historical land base prior to European contact. The places we call home vary from the Aleutian Islands of the Northern Pacific Ocean, to lush temperate rainforests, to the dry, arid lands east of the Cascade Mountains. Some of our communities are not defined by place, but rather by shared traditions or heart to heart connections with others around the globe. For many of us, our communities include the plants and animals with whom we share the land and have intimate relationships, both historically and present day. Many of those relationships, and our communities in general, have been disrupted and are threatened by interrelated factors including, resource exploitation, deterioration of the local landscape from encroaching development, species extinctions and population declines, a rapidly changing climate, and deterioration of our cultural traditions, including the loss of our Native languages and traditional knowledge systems. In the midst of this ecological and cultural crisis, we offer our thoughts on the meaning of the term "sustainability," followed by an expression of our hopeful vision for the future of our communities, as well as some of the actions and strategies needed to achieve our vision.

"Sustainability:" The word and concept