You must first work with the Spiritual matters to support all your other concerns. That is the way to sustainability. ~ Grandfather Fire
Sustainability to most people means maintaining their current lifestyle. It’s a “recycling word” within the system in which one lives. To us, this is a small perspective. We embody the relationship and reciprocity and make decisions today that include and will affect the generations to come.
For example, when we go mushroom hunting for Morels in the springtime, we don’t pick the first or second mushroom; we look around and see if there are more. We always leave mushrooms to propagate for the next year. We give an offering to them, with a sense of reverence for what nature has provided and for what we are doing. Everything is connected, profoundly so, far beyond what most of us understand.
The fundamental underlying meaning of sustainability considers the whole, the connectedness of everything that exists and how we relate to that everything. We are remembering and learning how to live this way.
The elders say that traditionally we used to teach how to live. Now we teach how to make a living. We’ve reversed the paradigms for what is called a real human being, the conduct being a real human being, and behavior, and thoughts. Today, instead of the heart telling the mind what to do, the mind is telling the heart what to do, and so that paradigm is reversed. When you reverse it, we profoundly disconnect. When we disconnect we create disconnected things. This term sustainability from my perspective is one such term. ~Larry Merculief, from an article by David E. Hall on Native Perspectives on Sustainability©