Honor the Earth this Earth Day 2024

honor the earth

Around the world, there will be celebrations of Earth Day later this month, and here on Cape Cod, a new event established by the Native Land Conservancy (NLC) and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Natural Resources Department will invite the public to learn about the importance of the day from an Indigenous perspective.
The Honor the Earth Fair will be held on Saturday, April 20 from 11 am to 4 pm at the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Community Center at 483 Great Neck Road South, in Mashpee.

 Honor the Earth from an Indigenous Perspective

honor the earth “As people of the land who are sustained by the land, we treat our natural resources as more than just resources,” says Mashpee Wampanoag citizen, Jason Steiding, Director of the tribe’s Natural Resources Department where the mission is to protect the natural environment that has ensured the survival and well-being of the tribe for thousands of years. “We treat our land with the utmost respect as we would treat any of our relatives that care for us.”

At NLC the philosophy is the same. “This is our ancestral homeland,” said Paula Peters who is the Communications and Programs Director for the NLC, “We are the land, and the land is us.”

The Mashpee-based non-profit established in 2012 is the first Indigenous-led land conservation organization east of the Mississippi where the mission is to rescue, restore, and protect land, and foster healthy natural environments to provide safe spaces for people to reconnect with nature. “All of the exhibitors we have invited share this passion in some way,” she said Paula Peters who is also a citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

Something for Everyone at the Honor the Earth Fair

The event is free and open to the public. There will be exhibits and activities for all ages to demonstrate the best practices to honor the earth and  live in balance with nature featuring land conservation and preservation and efforts to promote a healthy environment.

honor the earth 2There will also be Native craft vendors and cultural demonstrations including brain tanning of animal skins and a performance by the Neesh La Singers and Dancers of traditional songs and dances. Children’s activities will include a planting table where they will have an opportunity to decorate a container and plant seeds to grow in their own garden.

The Honor the Earth Fair will also feature the Taste of the Earth cooking contest that honors the earth by recognizing a food philosophy that emphasizes respect for life while nourishing the body, mind, and soul by connecting with nature through plant-based food. The CAI-sponsored contest will be hosted by Elspeth Hay of the Local Food Report and invites cooks of all skill levels to enter a plant-based dish. The contest will be judged by attendees of the fair who purchase a $20 ticket to sample all the entries and cast votes for their favorites. To enter the contest, visit bit.ly/WCAI.

“I think there will be something for everyone at this fair,” Peters said.

While the Honor the Earth Fair begins at 11, there will be a nature walk through the pine barrens, wetlands, and cedar swamps that surround the Mashpee Wampanoag Reservation guided by Earl “Chiefie” Mills, Jr. beginning at 10 am.

The tour will feature the diverse characteristics of the land in its natural state as well as how the land has been impacted as a result of man’s influence. Space is limited. To register for the walk, go to bit.ly/ChiefieNatureWalk.

Other Events at the Native Land Conservancy

Visit NativeLandConservancy.org to learn more about the fair and other upcoming events.  On May 3rd the NLC will host “Nurturing Outdoor Spaces with Indigenous Plantings” to welcome the planting season. On June 8th, NLC will celebrate World Oceans Day with NLC and a presentation by Community Scientist and Ocean Steward, Dr. Andrea Bogomolni, “Honor the Ocean,” in the NLC community room, 2B Center Street in Mashpee




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