Harmony With Nature - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1918131

Harmony With Nature

We want to thank you for bringing front and center the travails of our Shinnecock neighbors [“The Rising Tide: Climate Change Threatens Shinnecock Territory Homes,” Residence, March 31]. Your publication of Cailin Riley’s empathic and detailed reporting brings a greater awareness to our community of what we are facing in terms of climate change.

The suffering of the Shinnecock is greater and more imminent because of how our society has functioned since first contact — and still functions today. These are people whose land was stolen, whose way of life was all but destroyed and who were pushed “out onto the neck” — a wetland peninsula that is “the canary in the coal mine” for sea rise due to climate change.

How we deal with this situation is a marker of who we are as human beings and how we care for people who have been treated unfairly and cruelly for 400 years.

Let’s all take a look at what we can do here. The Shinnecock have been very slowly, acre by acre, starting to get tiny pieces of their land back so that they can honor and protect “Mother Earth” — and save all of us from the ravages of man-made climate change. Let’s please help them help us. We need their ways of knowing how to live in harmony with nature, rather than trying to dominate our natural surroundings and their inhabitants.

Thank you, Ms. Riley, for leading us in the right direction and telling us why we need to go there.

Heidi and Tom Oleszczuk

Sag Harbor