So much gratitude for this learning opportunity and the energy to share. Narrative of place, connection to food, producing it, and enhancing vibrant community through shared abundance- these are foundational principals held at EEC Forest Stewardship. In taking the time to listen- the voices of soil, water, air, and light give and give and give- freely. The cost is cooperation, giving a little back, sometimes a lot, then taking more. So much rings true in this impactful share by Jon Shellenberger, of his ancestral connection to place and people. He offers much in this teaching of lineage and the attempted colonial deconstruction of tribal identity. So much good knowledge of land and food- the deepest survival in us all if we are connected to place in such a way. In this hour long lecture at Washington State University in a geology classroom, a fellow academic, who is also deeply connected to place and treaty rights, explains how these legal constraints make or break his ability to access food his family has been cultivating relationship with in place for thousands of years.
Why a geology classroom? Jon explains with delicate truth how colonial reinterpretation of value in land, dividing it into squares for resource based extraction and the parallels with treatment of the people living there in deep relationship with a complex living system they participated in as part of, and relied on to survive. He walks through land management to benefit resources for human use, management systems implemented by tribes long before colonial “discovery”. Shellenberger weaves the imagery of his ancestry and the connected bands of people throughout what is The Colombia Valley today. These images of the land and its caretakers, people living in a connective community, rather than an individualistic mindset cultivated in western consumerism culture for commercial earnings.
Opening up to this lesson, and others like it, helps broaden understanding of place and people. Thank you all for taking the time with these words and Jon’s offer on the human perspective.