There is a Cree Indian proverb that says: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.”

These words are the essence of educator, ecopsychologist and political philosopher Glenn Aparicio Parry’s beautifully written new book, Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again (SelectBooks), the second of a three-part series (Original Thinking was the first). But it is the Native American influence on the founding of the United States that is its foundational theme. 

America, Parry hopes, is creating a new melting pot. E pluribus unum — and this time, no one will be left out. And that includes the natural world. “We could be at a turning point where previously repressed voices begin to speak out and move American society toward a greater balance. We are all in this together,” says Parry, who had this in mind when writing the book. He realized that “some original thinking about American politics was necessary at this time because of the dysfunctional state of American politics today.  We are approaching a near Civil War atmosphere,” he says.

EXAMINING CURRENT POLITICAL LANDSCAPES

In this brilliant work, the author takes a hard look at the confusion and anarchy of the current American political landscape, a divided nation, the Trump administration, the birth of the modern Democratic and Republican parties and the historical influences on the politics of gender and race relations and the environment.

Parry puts forth intelligent concepts on how the founding vision of the United States was inspired by Native American cultures and how remarkably resilient they have been. Further, Parry traces the influence of Native America not only on the founding fathers but on the “founding mothers” of the nineteenth-century women’s movement — as well as the nineteenth-century abolitionist and modern ecological movements. 

Native America has inspired what Parry sees as the sacred purpose of the nation: bringing all the world’s peoples together on one soil in a harmonious cultural mosaic of unity in diversity. In Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again, he is referring both to the nation and the place, the land of our ancestors. “Nothing is more important to me than protecting the environment, having peace between nations and for America to be a beacon of hope for those in need,” says Parry.

A CALL TO REIGNITE AMERICA’S PURPOSE

With the upcoming 2020 presidential election, a nation still at odds with the uncertainty of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 100,000 Americans, life as we know it has been turned upside down, never to be the same again. In the past, a national crisis like September 11 brought out the best in people and seemed to unite a country. And yet, in 2020, it seems incredible that instead of coming together in the spirit of unity, it is a country more divided now than at any time in its history. “This crisis is being viewed through a highly partisan lens. The need for reconciliation and healing is urgent,” says Parry. It’s a need that’s become amplified by Black Lives Matter protests surrounding the deaths of George Floyd and others, as well as the continued fight for LGBTQ rights.

As he writes in the book’s preface, “I yearned to find out more about how Native America may have influenced the founding of this nation and if it is still affecting us now. I felt a calling to reignite the sacred flame of America’s purpose — and to bring understanding and healing between diverse peoples.”

Original Politics is a must-read for anyone concerned about democracy, the future of this country, equal rights and the environment. This book should be on the curriculum in every college in America.

For more on Glenn Aparicio Parry, visit his BookTrib author profile page.

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Glenn Aparicio Parry, Ph.D., also given the name Kizhe Naabe (Ojibwe for “Kind-Hearted Man”), is a Nautilus award-winning author, educator, speaker, entrepreneur and visionary whose lifelong passion is to reform thinking and education into a coherent, cohesive whole. The founder and past president of the SEED Institute, Parry is currently the president of the think tank Circle for Original Thinking. He has appeared in several documentary films, including Journey to Turtle Island by Spanish filmmaker Miryam Servet, and SEEDing Change: A Retrospective of the Language of Spirit Dialogues, directed by Joyce Anastasia and produced by the Foundation for Global Humanity. An avid outdoorsman, he now makes his home in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, NM, with his wife Tomoko, dog Sunrise and cat Haru.