Monday, January 19, 2009

Without Us

Many mistakes i have made... still do. But i realize now that breathing is a gift that can be shared, nurtured and grown. Enjoying to do so, means i still have the strength to give something back to Earth before i surrender my body to her as final offering.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

OyateUnderground New Year’s Message to The Lakota People and The World

OyateUnderground New Year’s Message to The Lakota People and The World from wanbli wiwohkpe on Vimeo.

Raw Footage: An Interview With The OyateUnderground from wanbli wiwohkpe on Vimeo.

Watch the rest of OyateUnderground's Videos

Wild versus Wall

Actions that are affecting the lower end of our bioregion, our grand river . . .

In the Borderlands-Wildlife and the Border Wall

Wildlife and the Border Wall - This is a video about the wildlife, landscapes and people of the borderlands of the United States and Mexico. It is part of a project I am working on with the International League of Conservation Photographers to highlight the ecological and human impacts of the border wall the United States is currently building along our southern border.
For more information please go to
Wild versus Wall

This film details the unique and diverse natural areas along the southern borders of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and explains how they have been and will be affected by current and planned federal border policy and infrastructure, as well as the danger to our rights and safety imposed by sweeping new powers granted to the Department of Homeland Security. A DVD with the long and short version can be purchased. Go to for more info.

Border Wall = Environmental Disaster

I find this as one of the most important wildlife issues of the decade. Actually I find this as important as the drilling in ANWR or the eco mess created at Yucca Mountain. It is a very ignorant mentaliity to think that a 700 mile steel concrete wall will have no impact on the ecosystem or endangered wildlife. The Bush Administration has waivered over 30 environemtal laws to construct the wall. Thats right, the governemnt is violating laws to supposively enforce one. Most undocumented workers come into this country through temporary visas and over stay their visit. This wall will do nothing except bring more migrant deaths to people stranded in the desert, waste hundreds of billions of tax payer money, destroy eco-systems, deplete wildlife and most likely bring animal extinction. It is clear that as long as Mexican and Central American people are living in poverty, that the American economy is in need of low cost labor, and that laws continue to be restrictive then illegal immigration will be inevitable. The 20 billion dollars that the U.S. has spent on militarizing the border in the past decade has had no appreciable effect on immigration levels, but it has caused thousands of deaths and untold human suffering. That's 20 billion dollars that could have been spent on education, foster care, healthcare, alternative energy, or any other productive cause. From a conservative point of view, building a fence and trying to prevent immigration is the last thing from being a fiscal conservative. The cost of building and maintaining a double set of steel fences along 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border as much as $49 billion over the expected 25-year life span of the fence, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. Even if the fence is built it won't do a thing to solve the problems leading to illegal immigration along the southern border. If people are in need they will find a way to cross the border. History has proven that with the Berlin wall, Korea, and other instances in the past. Not only is this kind of policy expensive with regards to money but it has also cost thousands of innocent lives. According to Princeton University Professor, Philippe Legrain, "More than ten times as many migrants are recorded as having died on the U.S. border with Mexico over the past ten years than were killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall during its twenty-eight year existence -- and many believe the true number of deaths along the US -- Mexican border is much higher than the official figures". The number of innocent people dying will only rise as long as the American government continues to build this New Berlin Wall along the Southern border. America is allegedly trying to spread democracy and freedom to other parts of the world, yet, liberty in its very own country is diminishing. How can one call a country, with a wall along its border, a free nation? I believe most of the national enivronmental groups are avoiding this issue because they don't want to lose membership or donations by touching the issue of immigration. A true enivronmentalist would stand up against this attrocity being comitted towards animal life. I think its about high time that Earth First or even the ELF come down to the southern border.

Some interviews by Steev Hise. Other footage is from an episode of Democracy Now, congressional hearings, and the documentary "Earthlings".

Language of the land

I was searching for examples and models of Indigenous Leadership when I came across this page <>from Yes! Magazine that links to several from the magazine. I found one article to really stand out and speak to a discussion that was going on at the bioregional animism tribe @ <> that addresses the topic of actually being the land.

In Jeanette Armstrong's article, "I Stand With You Against the Disorder" <> she talks about the rootlessness of our modern culture. I was particularly struck by this part,

Language of the land
The Okanagan word for “our place on the land” and “our language” is the same. We think of our language as the language of the land. The way we survived is to speak the language that the land offered us as its teachings. To know all the plants, animals, seasons, and geography is to construct language for them.

We also refer to the land and our bodies with the same root syllable. The soil, the water, the air, and all the other life forms contributed parts to be our flesh. We are our land/place. Not to know and to celebrate this is to be without language and without land. It is to be displaced.

As Okanagan, our most essential responsibility is to bond our whole individual and communal selves to the land. Many of our ceremonies have been constructed for this. We join with the larger self and with the land, and rejoice in all that we are.

The discord that we see around us, to my view from inside my Okanagan community, is at a level that is not endurable. A suicidal coldness is seeping into and permeating all levels of interaction. I am not implying that we no longer suffer for each other but rather that such suffering is felt deeply and continuously and cannot be withstood, so feeling must be shut off.

I think of the Okanagan word used by my father to describe this condition, and I understand it bet-ter. An interpretation in English might be “people without hearts.”
Okanagans say that “heart” is where community and land come into our beings and become part of us because they are as essential to our survival as our own skin.
When the phrase “people without hearts” is used, it refers to collective disharmony and alienation from land. It refers to those who are blind to self-destruction, whose emotion is narrowly focused on their individual sense of well-being without regard to the well-being of others in the collective.

The results of this dispassion are now being displayed as nation-states continuously reconfigure economic boundaries into a world economic disorder to cater to big business. This is causing a tidal flow of refugees from environmental and social disasters, compounded by disease and famine as people are displaced in the expanding worldwide chaos. War itself becomes continuous as dispossession, privatization of lands, and exploitation of resources and a cheap labor force become the mission of “peace-keeping.” The goal of finding new markets is the justification for the westernization of “undeveloped” cultures.

Indigenous people, not long removed from our cooperative self-sustaining lifestyles on our lands, do not survive well in this atmosphere of aggression and dispassion. I know that we experience it as a destructive force, because I personally experience it so. Without being whole in our community, on our land, with the protection it has as a reservation, I could not survive.
Check out the rest of the article here . . .

Friday, January 09, 2009

Bioregional Animism Upper Rio Grande/Santa Fe River

This blog has been co-opted to the service of a local Bioregional Animism Blog of the Upper Rio Grande in general and the Santa Fe River Valley in particular. From this post on we are switching over to the above focus.

If you are interested in contributing to this project, please let us know and you can be added to the blog as a contributor.

What the heck is Bioregional Animism?

Bioregional animism is by definition relating to the land/bioregion as the source of ones religion and culture. It is a form of Personalism where other than human persons, including the whole bioregion itself, are related to and communicated with as persons, not as if they were persons but as persons. Animism does not personify other than human persons, animals forces of nature, plants, the land and sky, it gives up human dominion over the designation of who and what a person is. Bioregional Animism does not treat animals, plants, forces of nature, or the land and sky as tools, or symbols, for humans to use but instead views these other than human persons as just that… persons who can be communicated with, who relationships and partnerships and allegiances can be formed with for living in mutually beneficial and reciprocal ways; In both the physical and spiritual world. Bioregional Animism sees that ones larger self is the eco-region one lives within and that animist spiritual practice, cosmology, ontology, culture, and life practices are all expression of that larger ecological and transpersonal self. In a way Bioregional Animism is a response to the need for the rediscovery and rebirth or earth embracing traditions, and attempts to embody the ideal slogan of thinking globally but acting locally. Many people are drawn to shamanism in an attempt to find this way of relating to self and earth just to find that there is no shamanism in reality, shamans are healers and spiritual leaders designated by an animist tradition or culture, in other words all shamans of the world are animists not shamanists. Bioregional Animism attempts to assist others in discovering the spiritual tradition which is an expression of the land under their feet and the sky over their head which fills their lungs and moves through their heart. Bioregional Animism attempts to show us that the spirit of the shaman as well as the animist is derived from and is an expression of the bioregion, of the land itself and forms from deeply intimate relationships with the life and spirit of those around us. Bioregional Animism works with a base inspiration from the work of Graham Harvey’s New Animism As well as with modern concepts of bioregionalism by such authors on the subject as Kirkpatrick Sales, Please read His book Dwellers in the Land: A Bioregional Vision. As well as Harvey’s revolutionary work on new animism titled, Animism: Respecting the Living World.

Stay tuned to this blog or/and visit these links to find out more in a hurry!

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