What is Resilience?
Written by Nyché Tyme Andrew
- the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
- the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
In the study of environmental science, there are patterns that emerge in nature for ecosystems that undergo any kind of event. The term “resilience” is used to describe an ecosystem’s ability to maintain and repair itself after severe damage from a catastrophic event. In the new circumstances, post-catastrophic event, the ecosystem works to build anew. A forest that suffered devastation from a wildfire uses the ashes to enrich the soil and grow a forest in the new condition, bountiful in life just as before. Moss grows over new mounds of hills formed by the fire, trees sprout up again slowly but surely, animals return and feed off of what the forest can provide. The ecosystem is resilient for surviving.
Indigenous people who suffer from the fatal policies and actions of a colonizing government use the strength from their ancestors and family, the love for their land and people to rebuild their community, bountiful in life just as before. We as a people are part of the force of nature, following the pattern of a resilient ecosystem. It is in our nature to be resilient. Our catastrophic event(s) have already happened with the ashes of blood from the ancestors who braved the forest fire as best they could. We, the following generations and the generations yet-to-be, grow our moss over the land ceased, sprout our trees by taking care of one another, and return to our ancestral lands to thrive on what it provides. We are resilient for surviving.
- Indigeneity; toughness.