We’re all in this together, including the old ones, such as my older brother here.
Loon, Gardom Lake (Shuswap)
And those ancient travellers from India, who liked the look of things and blended in, such as my elder sister below:
Ern, Coyote Point (Syilx)
But let us be clear. This zone of energy stretching from Alaska to California to Yellowstone, dancing with the coast of the North American Pluton, old buried continents, seas of basalt and submerged seafloor faults …
Mount Hood, Wishram (and others)
… is not a “country” and is not “Oregon”, “California”, “Washington,” “Idaho”, “Wyoming,” “British Columbia,” or “Alaska,” and certainly not “Canada” or “The United States,” although the stories of the people…
… living within its plumes and flows …
Watchman at Central (Similkameen)
… is heavily influenced by the histories of those social constructs, whether these people are humans or not, and even if they are the grass people, and perhaps especially if they are that, who have given themselves to wind and fire and sun.
It is impractical, however, to make “Canada” or “The United States” go away, at least in the short term, partly because they won’t and they are armed to the teeth, partly because histories are deeply embedded in both scars on the land and in the familiar pathways of human social structures, and partly because for all their faults those structures (Canada, the United States, Mexico and such other collectives) do provide protection from human violence from beyond our energy zone. What’s more, many parts of the histories of those structures are honourable and supportive, even though many are not.
American Settler Camp, Walla Walla Valley
Sometimes, they are even both at once.
Alfalfa Seed Farm, Back of Touchet, Walla Walla Valley
The great Cayuse chief Peo-peo-mox-mox was cynically murdered here to plant this land in American crops, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a French Canadian in sight. They were cleared out as well.
The question, however, is how do we reclaim our land without losing the protective space we need to flourish in an ever-more-violent world? There are a few possibilities:
First, let us speak as people of this flow, which means to speak first-and-foremost as people who live in an energy flow, not those who live in nations or their administrative states, regions or provinces.
Gardom Lake (Shuswap)
Those other structures will look after themselves. We do not have to do their work for them all the time. The energy they meet, of which we are voices, need to speak as well.
This energy needs to speak (Priest Valley, Looking into the Monashees, Syilx Illahie).
In this spirit, let us also understand that the flow, manifested as water, is also the flow manifested as grass…
Upper Central (Similkameen)
… and as water and stone …
… and as fire …
Olalla (Keremeous River Valley, the old Lake Penticton Outflow into the Similkameen)
… and as coastal cedars in the rain forest.
Ozette Marsh (Makah)
To be of this flow, we must see these as all manifestations of the same energy, and we must understand ourselves as this energy as well.
Lake Lenore Rock Shelter Site, Grand Coulee (Sinkiuse/Syilx)
We must speak from the place at which the grassland field above is the rainforest on the Hoh River, and the river itself.
Stream in the Hoh (Hoh)
That is the first principle of reclaiming our land. Anything else is a temporary occupation.
Meadow Creek (Lawyer’s Camp, Nimiipu’u)
And no longer occupied.
Downtown Lowden (Cayuse/Walla Walla/Touchet)
More principles to come (including what to do with de-occupied land.)