Chief Oren Lyons said, when speaking about Climate Change at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN Headquarters in 2007:
We’re talking about change. People have to change. Directions have to change. Values have to change. There is no mercy in nature; nature has none. It has only law, only rule. You don’t abide the rule, you suffer the result…it’s what you do, and how you live. Business as usual is over…Value change for survival. You’re either going to change your values, or you’re not going to survive. You’re going to abide that law or suffer the consequences…Business as usual is over. Carbon is over. Oil is over. We better find something else. We better find some equity. We’re not going to have the luxury of spending $200 billion in a war. You’re not going to have the time or the money. because you’re going to be paying for the environment, for damages coming. You want to talk about the economy, you’re going to wreck the economies of the world…Change or else…Tell your leaders to get off their ass, let’s get on with life.”
Chief Lyons is an Associate Professor in the American Studies Program at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy). Chief Lyon has been active in international indigenous rights and sovereignty issues for over three decades at the United Nations and other forums. He is the publisher of “Daybreak”, a national Native American news magazine.