Stan Rushworth WE ARE THE MIDDLE OF FOREVER: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth

In 2019, we interviewed Dahr Jamail when his book, THE END OF ICE: BEARING WITNESS AND FINDING MEANING IN THE PATH OF CLIMATE DISRUPTION, was published by The New Press. In addition to interviewing scientists from around the world, he consulted with Indigenous people as well, investigating some of the cultural and spiritual dimensions of the climate crisis.

After THE END OF ICE came out, he joined with writer and teacher, Stan Rushworth, in interviewing 11 Native women and 9 men from different generations and walks of life to solicit their perspectives. This collaboration has resulted in the book, WE ARE THE MIDDLE OF FOREVER: INDIGENOUS VOICES FROM TURTLE ISLAND ON THE CHANGING EARTH, also published by The New Press.

Stan Rushworth was a full time, tenured professor at Cabrillo College from 1992 til 2008, where he taught Native American Literature and Critical Thinking. He continued teaching and developing Native classes there until 2022. He is the author of three earlier books, GOING TO WATER: THE JOURNAL OF BEGINNING RAIN; SAM WOODS: AMERICAN HEALING; and DIASPORA’S CHILDREN.

Stan and Dahr told their interviewees: “Our focus is the disruption of Earth; how did we get here? how do we move on in the right way? What’s in the way of that? And no matter the outcome, how do we carry ourselves?”

We spoke with Stan Rushworth on August 3, 2022 via Skype.

Links to articles and videos pertinent to this interview:

WE ARE THE MIDDLE OF FOREVER” is from a poem by John Trudell, The Cleansing (from his first album, Tribal Voice).

The Cleansing (Red Earth Song) – John Trudell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rYxUjedmNM

We Are Shapes of the Earth (John Trudell) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK6tP23oCes&list=PLOnzFQVEgXSRNdJSYF4KWAJm_nnzsX-dW&index=3

From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers’ Warning – Kogi Message to Humanity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRgTtrQOiR0

HOPI PROPHECY – Thomas Banyacya – Two Paths: Destruction or Survival https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UkHwjz4i1k&t=0s

Fawn Sharp: Quinault Indian Nation – President of The National Congress Of American Indians (NCAI) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUBaGfzjcg8

Climate Disruption Presentation – Gregg Castro & Dahr Jamail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oAkR3-H_YI

Ilarion Merculieff – The Womb at the Center of the Universe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rycqVPANBKQ

Lyla June Johnston on Forgiveness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnBWEBt7nk0

SHANNON RIVERS ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM THROUGH AN INDIGENOUS LENS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imLGYFWL4zQ

Melissa Nelson – Revitalizing Indigeneity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwsg_tRiBjo

Indigenous Insights & Decolonization with Kanyon Sayers Roods https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAKCZ5mdJBk

Corrina Gould You Are Not In California https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip6OgBsl7mc

Natalie Diaz: Post Colonial Love Poem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm6poGV9H_Q

Natalie Diaz: Manhattan is a Lenape Word https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEGxc9ZeCPk

A Just Transition to an Equitable Future – Melina Laboucan-Massimo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3WF_AgnnCM

Power to the People – Melina Laboucan-Massimo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QriDgfmyqqA

Native Land in Native Hands: Why the Land Back Movement Makes Economic Sense https://greenamerica.org/divided-we-fall/native-land-native-hands-why-land-back-movement-makes-economic-sense

‘A stepping stone’: Indigenous-led initiative at MSU helps bolster native food sovereignty https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/agriculture/a-stepping-stone-indigenous-led-initiative-at-msu-helps-bolster-native-food-sovereignty/article_291fdf99-feb8-549c-a30c-0ab9a5d96e2f.html

Tim Giago, Native American Newspaperman, Is Dead at 88 https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/28/us/tim-giago-dead.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Obituaries

James Lovelock, Whose Gaia Theory Saw the Earth as Alive, Dies at 103 https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/27/climate/james-lovelock-dead.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Obituaries

James Lovelock talks about his Gaia hypothesis and climate change in 2014 interview – video https://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2022/jul/27/james-lovelock-talks-about-his-gaia-hypothesis-and-climate-change-in-2014-interview-video

State of Alaska Recognizes 229 Tribes in Historic Bill https://indiancountrytoday.com/news/state-of-alaska-recognizes-tribes-with-historic-bill

‘We’re dwindling like the salmon’: the Indigenous nations fighting for water rights https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/26/california-indigenous-water-rights-bay-delta