It means that we can’t speak either. This is called “balanced management.” It is a great silencing of what, in British Columbian culture is called “pre-modern thinking.” By that is meant thinking that does not flow through the agencies of government and the roles they assign to “citizens.” It is not accepted in British Columbian universities, government policy, or British Columbian publishing. That’s one reason why a group of Indigenous educators and allies have published some songs for people in healing within the river’s flood channel itself.
I am working at rebuilding human relationships to the earth, growing the global from the local and developing new environmental technologies out of close observation of the land. The land is the watershed and run of the Okanagan River in the North American West, and the Chilcotin and Columbia volcanic plateaus and basins that surround it. It is the goal of this blog to build the future now and to do it through attention to art, earth, science and beauty, so that there is, actually, a future for our children and a path for them to feel out their way to the earth should they ever find themselves in the dark. The project will lead to two book manuscripts in the summer of 2013, one on the salmon of the Okanagan River, the last major run on the Columbia system, and the other on the connection between the Manhattan Project and the political and industrial face of Eastern Washington and Southern British Columbia. They will do so within the broader context of land-based technologies, in forms that are simultaneously art and science. In this land without borders, there is no international line at the 49th parallel, cutting our country in two, and no imagined wall between settler and indigenous cultures. We are all walking together. We are all the land speaking.