The theme of the upcoming 37th annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures, taking place on November 4th, is “Choosing the Path that is Green”, a reference to the prophecy of the Anishinaabe peoples. Winona LaDuke, who is a member of the Anishinaabe is this years keynote speaker. La Duke is an activist, community economist and author and her work has always been in alignment with the work of the Schumacher Center and of Greenhorns. She has been a persistent advocate for community land stewardship, local food sovereignty and sustainable resource use. She has a unique ability to communicate the stories, ideas and wisdom of the Anishinaabe people in ways that are both timely and relevant.
“Hunger and poverty are perpetuated by undemocratic systems of power. Now, this great new resource lifts the veil hiding the history of dispossession and unequal land access in the US.” – Frances Moore Lappé
Land access is the primary barrier for young farmers today. Ensuring access for young farmers who are passionate about the production of healthy food that helps rather than harms the planet is critical in order to address and resolve the injustices in the food system that are at the root of so many of the problems in society.
The authors of this new book Justine M. Williams and Eric Holt-Giménez begins with the history of colonialism in the southwestern US. It includes information from the important leaders within the food system With prefaces from leaders in the food justice and family farming movements, the book opens with a look at the legacies of white-settler colonialism in the southwestern United State which can be largely characterised by widespread enclosure – and often subsequent depletion – of the rural commons through a process of privatization, that has endured until today. The history of this agricultural system is marred by racism, industrialization and destruction of ecosystems, and has concentrated much of the prosperity to be found in the food system in the hands of the few and powerful.
This book recognises what we have known for a long time: In order to move forward and achieve an equitable, sovereign and sustainable agricultural system for all, all of the players in the food movement must come together to demand land justice.
You can buy the book HERE.
We have recently discovered fourthland, a collaborative art and performance community in the UK which first emerged in 2008. It’s hard to do justice to fourthland and the work that they do in words. They create and explore objects, land, people and myths in interlinked creative and unconventional social and artistic ecosystems. The work that they do is concerned with feminine principles and alternative societies these principles permeate everything that they do.
This latest episode of Our Land takes place at the intersection of farming, faith, and political activism. Take a walk with us through farms formed by the Catholic Workers Association. “A friend calls it practicing for when peace breaks out, because, really, if we were to live in a world filled with peace, we wouldn’t be able to live with the resource extraction that’s happening.”
See the (dare we say charming?) sisters at Sinsinawa Mound in Wisconsin who are sharing land parcels– “we hold the land in common”– with young farmers to grow food for their community.
And be ready to get your goosebumps on and go forth into the world inspired.
Caitlyn Huss, 25, a manager of a vegan hostel in Los Angeles, was closing up late one night last month when the tent flap opened and someone dropped off a deer that had just been killed by a car.
“We knew we had to find an elder from the sacred fire to come and bless it, then find someone who could skin it for us,” she recalled. “It was crazy.”
Social Ecosystems for
Local Stewardship & Planetary Survival
A Friday evening public talk and Saturday one-day workshop
With David Bollier and Dave Jacke
Montague Common Hall (“Grange”), 34 Main St., Montague, MA 01351
Friday, January 20, 2017, 7-9 PM, $10 @ door or in advance.
Saturday, Jan 21, 2017, 8:30-5, $85-125, includes Friday evening and a soup lunch. Preregistration required.
Geographer Robert Szucs created this color-coded map to show which rivers and tributaries feed the water basins of the United States. That big pink one in the middle? That’s the Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippi, the basin the water protectors at Standing Rock are working so hard to keep safe.
We can do this
For the love of all things good! Can we talk about something other than Donald Trump already? Thanks to Global Research for publishing this informative piece:
“The first point is actually very simple: Native Americans standing up for themselves is not polarizing. In an age of institutionalized media divisiveness and hyper-partisanship, the story of Native Americans in North Dakota fighting for land and water rights just doesn’t fit the script of deep, societal divides plaguing the nation’s law and order, nor does it fit in with the left-right paradigm. People from both sides of the political spectrum pretty much agree that Native Americans have been screwed by the U.S. government and resource-snatching corporations long enough. Considering this sentiment, there’s really no exploitable controversy on this issue from the mainstream media perspective, which inherently drives topical, superficial news narratives.”
The indigenous peoples and activists at Standing Rock are facing militarized police and a impenetrable silence in the mainstream media as they work to protect the indigenous rights granted by treaty and our collective water commons.
The camp still needs supplies, donations, and volunteers. If you haven’t donated yet, this is a good time. If you have already donated, consider doing so again. All the necessary info can be found here.
OUR LAND 2: Tracing the Acequia Commons
A Symposium about land transition, continuity, and commons.
NOVEMBER 9-17th 2016
Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico
Films. Talks. Exhibit. Acequia Walk.
Can our regions shift towards food sovereignty?
Can our agrarian systems become more harmonious with their wild habitat?
Can we maintain our traditional commons?
The complete program, speakers bios, schedule and locations are all on the website www.agrariantrust.org/2016symposium (or scroll down to see the full schedule of events)
You can learn about the work of the speakers at the event’s facebook page, where we’ve posted videos, articles, and links.
Speakers include: Mary Wood, Ruth Breach, Rick Prelinger, Kim Stringfellow, Sylvia Rodriguez, Allyson Siwik, Tezozomoc, Eric Holt-Gimenez, Miguel Santiestevan, Devon Pina, Stanley Crawford, and Alex Pino.
Artists include: Sharon Steward, Kim Stringfellow, Emily Volger, Ildi Carlise-Cummings, Kaitlin Bryson, Nancy Dewhurst, Erin Fussell, Bill Gilbert, Andrea Gohl, Ryan Henel, Catherine Harris, Jeanette Hart-Mann, Cecilia McKinnon, Sarah Molina, Hollis Moore, Hamshya Rajkumar, Kacie Smith, Molly Zimmer, Rachel Zollinger, and more!
OUR LAND 2 has a focus on the lessons of the acequia irrigation commons, a 400 year old system that supports dryland agriculture.
The activists currently protecting the water commons, their indigenous heritage, and our planet against institutionalized corporate greed. We stand with them. See Thursday’s post for more background on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the protest again it and for ways you can help, and, at the very least, sign the petition here.
Despite the resounding silence on the matter in mass media, the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline continues at Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Hundreds of protesters, many of them Native Americans and very notably including members of the Souix Nation whose tribal water rights are threatened by the pipeline, are camped out at the Sacred Stones Camp in North Dakota. (Their website, by the way, is wonderfully rich in resources, well-designed, and easy to navigate.)
For those of you who like to receive your news audibly, this week’s CounterSpin gives a concise run-down of the protest and then features an incredible interview with Native activist and organizer, Kandi Mosset. Mosset provides a rich historical context of the tribes who live and lived along the Missouri River and compelling arguments for why we collectively need to come together to see “the false power associated with money” and protect the water, the animals, and the people who rely on it.
These activists are on the frontlines of climate justice and put themselves on the line to protect our water commons. They ask that if you can join them at the camp, do. If you cannot go, donate to their legal defense fund. If you ain’t got the money, consider sending some supplies. They’re asking for everything from folding tables to herbal teas, and there’s a lot on the list that might be gathering dust on a shelf in the back of a barn somewhere.