Our Responsibility to the Seventh Generation
Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development
"We cannot simply think of our survival; each new generation is responsible to ensure the survival of the seventh generation. The prophecy given to us, tells us that what we do today will affect the seventh generation and because of this we must bear in mind our responsibility to them today and always."
Our Responsibility to the Seventh Generation was published by IISD in 1992. The report highlighted the value of Indigenous knowledge and contributions to sustainable development. It draws largely on North American experience, plus contributions from Indigenous peoples in Mexico and India. Use the navigation buttons on the left to access a selection of Northern Plains and other Indigenous perspectives, together with the six recommendations under Call for Action.
The Seventh Generation is chosen by native people because it is that generation which is beyond our direct contact; more than, say, 120 years into the future. This perspective is valuable when thinking about questions of sustainability.
Since 1992, the authors of Seventh Generation, and others working on indigenous issues, have developed new approaches to reclaiming and building on the strengths of indigenous communities around the world. We have listed a sample of these initiatives under New Approaches. The section includes the Healing Circle -- an innovative teaching aid on aboriginal issues. We also cover new efforts in aboriginal entrepreneurship and online communities, and current work by IISD with aboriginal communities in Manitoba and the north.
Our Responsibility to the Seventh Generation was prepared by Linda Clarkson, Vern Morrissette and Gabriel Régallet. Larry Morrissette provided advice on the Internet version of Seventh Generation, and contributed the Healing Circle. Artwork on this site was created by David Blacksmith. Web site references were compiled with the assistance of Anne Kendrick.