“The Sitka Tribe of Alaska has come out in favor of a proposal that would convey land around a popular fishing spot to the Sealaska regional Native corporation. The Tribe’s letter of support came as a surprise to the opponents of the measure.”—
Ed Ronco, KCAW
Highlighted In Zacatecas Subsistence Food Production ! http://newish.info/82169-highlighted-in-zacatecas-subsistence-food-production
I almost never post anything original that i wrote or came up with and often don’t really share what i’m working on in real life either. in reality i’m working on mad projects that get seen by one or two others if at all. here’s one piece of a larger project im trying to work on, and trying to work on with other people as well. more on that later. i’m gonna be submitting this to a newsletter my partner is involved in. more on that here
this list could be endless, but i’m trying to stop it at 40 and wanted to get advice on whether or not i’m missing crucial questions. other general feedback is welcome too! please repost/reuse
How familiar are you to the place you call home? Amazingly, so few of us have a strong connection to— or understanding of the land we live on. Many of us simply do not have access to natural or wild spaces nor the time, energy or resources needed to learn about them. Without an ability to know the land, and therefore our bodies, we are at the whim of an unsustainable food, medical and industrial system that has our consumption, dependance and complacency- not our health and well-being as its priority and as its necessity.
If we aren’t even aware of what we’re losing, we’re less likely to be outraged when it’s taken from us- or that we never had it to begin with. We are also less likely to fight to remove barriers to it. Asserting food and bodily autonomy can then be effective in beginning to detach ourselves from unequal cycles of dependance and asserting a more community-based way of providing for our needs. All the while growing ourselves to channel the outrage we feel into moments of opposition & proposition, destruction and creation.
This list is not meant to overwhelm or shame us with how little we know. It is to confront that the fact we don’t and that we don’t largely because those in charge of the framework for our ‘education’ are predominantly less interested in shaping participants in ecosystems than in shaping participants in (capitalist) economies and markets. And if we fail at that, they conclude, we’re more than welcome to ‘participate’ in the underground economy and be funneled into the prison industrial complex. In either ‘option’, we are commodities to them.
For a better, healthier world, we will need people who can participate in ecosystems and communities. capitalism and prisons are antithetical to this; so the intentions of the education system can be seen as having the opposite effect of helping us learn how to survive, sustain, heal, enjoy and improve ourselves
This culture is literaly replacing blackberry, the fruit/plant, with blackberry the phone/company in our dictionaries. So its no surpise that these are hard questions to answer because we’re being desensitized to these basic questions of how to survive in cooperation with our landbase.
This quiz is meant to point us in the right direction towards a better understanding of the land we live on so that we can better relate to it. It’s to present questions, in no order of importance, that should have been asked of us long ago. some questions assume a familiarity with ecology or access to non-urban spaces and will be easier or harder to answer depending on where you live and grew up. Challenge yourself and spend more time in rural areas if you live in a city. Do the opposite if you live in the country. Some questions are specific factual questions and some are to get you thinking more abstractly about your realtionship to land. Do the best you can and take lots of time to find the answers. Sit with this for a while! It would be very surprising for anyone to know all of these answers. I personally do not have answers for many of these questions. But sometimes knowing the question is more important than knowing the answer.
1 Can you trace the water you drink from precipitation to tap?
2 How many days until the moon is full and new?
3 Describe the types of soil around your house/apartment
4 What are the primary subsistence or food cultivation techniques of the cultures who lived/still live in your area before you?
5 Name five edible plants or fungi in your bioregion and their seasons of availability
6 From what directions do winter storms generally come in your region?
7 Where does your garbage go? What is the class/racial makeup of the landfill/incineration sites?
8 Do you have a plan in case of a disaster-natural or otherwise? What survival or wilderness skills do you have?
9 How long is the growing season in your area? What seasonal extension is available?
10 Name five native trees in your area.
11 Name five residents and migratory birds in your area
12 What is the land use history by humans in your bioregion within the past century? What are the effects of colonization on the land?
13 What geological events/processes influenced the land forms of your bioregion?
14 What animal or plant species have become extinct in your bioregion?
15 From where you are reading this, point North
16 Name the first spring wildflowers to bloom in your area.
17 What kind of rocks and minerals are found in your area?
18 Were the stars out last night?
19 How many people live next door to you? What are their names?
20 Is your ‘back to the land’ approach more in line with colonization or decolonization? what does it mean to demand access to stolen land?
21 Are there historical traumas in your family or community with agriculture and rural areas? What are they and how are they overcome?
22 What are some forms of herbal birth contraception and abortion practiced in your family or community? Where can you find these resources if not?
23 What is the largest wilderness area in your bioregion?
24 What are the greatest threats to the integrity of the ecosystems in your bioregion?
25 What are effective, winnable tactics to defend the integrity of those ecosystems and the humans within them?
26 What is the name of the creek or river which defines your watershed?
27 What geographic and/or biotic features define your bioregion?
28 What invasive plants or trees can you name in your bioregion?
29 What particular places have special meaning to you?
30 What factors prevent your access to parks, forests and wild spaces?
31 What is your culture’s historical relation to the land you live on? What role has (forced) migration played in your families history with food cultivation?
32 How does racist policing, street harassment, queer-bashing, homelessness or other oppressions interrupt your ability to be out, mobile, and safe in your neighborhood, in your town or city or in wild places?
33 What organisms (plants, animals, mushrooms) do you see on a daily basis?
34 How do you think a lack of interaction with nature affects your mental health?
35 What are the health needs or concerns in your community? How are people with disabilities supported or marginalized?
36 What ways can locally-sourced food, medicine and community support alleviate those conditions? what other factors are needed?
37 What social or economic factors influence health (or lack thereof) in your community?
38 Who ‘owns’ the land you live on? How does gentrification, suburbanization or resource extraction affect your community and bioregion?
39 How have movements for food justice, environmental justice and social justice ignored, marginalized or dismissed your experience?
40 What, in your community and everyday personal life reinforces your relationship with and understanding of your landbase?
“Things are looking up at Sitka’s Redoubt Lake for fishermen – of both the two-legged and four-legged varieties.”—Raven Radio story on the reopening of the subsistence fishery at Redoubt.
“People who follow rural, agrarian lifestyles generally understand what it means to draw a livelihood directly from the land. By contrast, most city dwellers tend to perceive mountains, forests, prairies, waterways, and wildlife only as a scenic backdrop, a recreational playground, something to be admired as natural artistry, but having little to do with sustaining their own lives. The urban view, in other words, is predominantly aesthetic rather than utilitarian. ”—
Richard Nelson - “Living with Deer in America”
(I think that many people have a romanticized view of nature and this quote encapsulates that)