Friday, February 01, 2008

A Recommendation From a Reader

From time to time, we get requests from readers for recommendations on outdoor schools that are either run by indigenous people or are respectful of them. A year and a half ago, we received one such recommendation from a reader who preferred to remain anonymous. The link for Nuuhchimi Wiinuu Cultural Tours is also on our blogroll.

How to go about finding good instruction on living respectfully with your landbase/bioregion is a perennial question. A lot of people work through a patchwork process until they reach a critical mass of understanding. Your city's urban garden program can show you how to grow a tomato between the concrete, local indigenous activists can awaken you to the realities of the Anglo-occupation they face - and struggle against daily, a hiking club can teach you map and compass and link you up with other outdoor types, volunteering at an animal rescue ranch/farm can teach you compassion and support for non-human ways, midwives can teach you medicine, herbologists can lead you to plants, a running club will introduce you to the miracle of your body moving in rhythm with the ground, and the land herself - if you will take the time to approach her respectfully and with sincere interest - will provide you a homeschooling like no other.

The key is to hang in there and don't give up if one approach doesn't have everything you are looking for. An investment of time will lead to rootedness in your local landbase. While you are busy learning, volunteering, or just being - the land is working on you, slowly weaving her spirit into your soul. Often the best approach is just to ask - what does my landbase need? How can I support First Nations' peoples in their struggle for sovereignty?

And yes, reputable outdoor schools and intentional communities in your area can show you basic primitive skills or back-to-the-land techniques. Just be sure to do your homework by visiting with them or asking around about their reputation. The point is relationships, and the sooner you get to making some, the better.

Lastly, don't overlook your friends and family. They know you like no one else, and might be able to point you in a direction best suited for your own personality and temperment.

Readers who have further suggestions are welcome to contribute their ideas and experiences.

The reason I'm writing to you is to let you know about David and Anna Bosum. They're native Canadians who run cultural trips from their village of Oujé-Bougoumou, Quebec. Maybe you could put a link to them, or mention them on your blog? People who want to learn about the bush might be interested in learning from folks who were born in, and have spent their lives in the bush.
Here is the link to David and Anna Bosum's site.


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