seven generations

Cited by permission of the GPNS and relevant to future focus and anticipatory democracy

"The seven generations time horizon has special status in First Nations political philosophy.

Many, in particular the Haudenosaunee? (Iroquois Confederacy), set this time horizon as the default against which any particular decision should ideally be evaluated. Winona LaDuke of the Green Party of the United States proposes a Seventh Generation Amendment to the US Constitution which would require United States Supreme Court enforcement of a similar long term impact standard.

The 7G criteria is not arbitrary but reflects the cognitive core of aboriginal philosophy in general:

Assuming child-bearing at 13-18 years old, average 15 years, as was common in most societies then, seven generations is thus the maximum number of generations one could expect to gather in one place: a newborn, 15 year old, 30 year old, 45 year old, 60 year old, 75 year old, 90 year old, would be the widest range of cognitive capacities and future life expectations. If one allowed for barely-adult youth and extreme-elders, by advancing the ages by about ten years, a 10 year old and a 100 year old could debate literally as representatives of their respective generations, with the longer life expectancy of the young, and greater experience of the old, in balance. Thus it was not an arbitrary religious ideal but a working daily reality of village life that led to the seven generation horizon."