The Great Law

This past week I watched the Sundance Channel’s broadcast of the documentary “Waterlife.” Waterlife examines how 21st Century society affects the creatures that call the waters of the Great Lakes home. Before watching this movie, I never knew that it takes water 350 years to travel from Lake Superior to the St. Lawrence River. 350 years! Neither the U.S. nor Canada were formed as nations when the water that now flows past Quebec City up to the Gulf of St. Lawrence began its journey at the edge of Lake Superior. That fact just amazes me.

I had also never heard of the Great Law. The Great Law, originated by the Iroquois Confederacy, holds that humans must live and work sustainably in such a matter as to beneficially impact seven generations into the future. With the Great Law in mind, we as a whole haven’t been good stewards of the Great Lakes, until recently, have we? The water that began its journey in Lake Superior a couple hundred years ago and just reaching me now on the shores of Lake Ontario has quite a story to tell. I wish more people would take the time to watch “Waterlife”; perhaps then awareness of and concern for the health of this precious fresh water resource would grow.

Of course, the Great Law applies to every aspect of our lives, to how we preserve all our resources for future generations. Can’t we stop being so selfish and myopic? Conservation and sustainability are important keys to a healthy planet and the future of the human race. If we use everything up now, what will we leave behind for the survival of our children and grandchildren?

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1 Response to The Great Law

  1. DM says:

    I come from the Great Lakes area – Lake Erie, so I loved this article. Only Native Americans would have realized the importance to 7 generations. Great blog, Elizabeth.

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