Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Berrycamp and Vision Quest

Getting back into camp over a month ago, I came back fresh and with still lots to learn. We spent time at the Ft. Hall Pow Wow setting up early with our unique set up. Finisia set up the two tarps up into a crazy lean to, that kept the shade on us all day and didn't get blown down by the wind that blew over three porta-potties. We had dug camus root at the last largest camus field near Fairfield, Idaho, mile 130 on highway 20. The owner of the property had been put on the spot and now people are free to go there and dig up the camus, providing they replant it where it will grow.

The camus need water, but the owner of the property had built a drainage pipe to take out the water out of the land to dry it up for growing hay for his cattle. So the Camus plants days are numbered. Finisia figures another 3-4 years at most for their still being alive. This is cultural genocide to let these plants die as well as an ecological disaster.

The camus root are edible, and have been a native food for thousands of years, and they are getting wiped out in the last 150 years of European occupation. It isn't people from European dissent that are the problem, it is the behavior and cultural mindsets that has destroyed what was a viable hoop. It just happens to wear a European pale face to it now.

The hoops in the East have been wiped out, and here in the West, Oregon, some of Washington, Idaho, Nevada and some of California, still have some viability, but only if people act to protect it. A lot of me hopes that it isn't true about the East, but I'm here in the West where I can take action.

Well, Coyote camp took these roots in big bagfuls to show the Native peoples at the pow wow, and many copies of the map on how to get to the prairie. This hopefully inspired more natives to take action to save their cultural inheritance. I acquired the Native name of Terrible while I was there. I was left with a lot of respect for Finisia's long association and intelligent interactions with the Native people.

Leaving there we headed up to healing country of the Berries. Berry camp is located up around McCall, Idaho, and it changes every year depending on where the berries are to be found. The sweetness of the berries is accented by a wonderful family that holds space up here that Finisia has known since the adults were children. There is one new beautiful baby in camp that has been the bright moments of everyday when at the spread. I made a great new friendship with a dog and new people to respect and aspire to their confidences.

Here is where some rubber needed to hit the road. I became acutely aware of my civilized behaviors that have become a danger to the camp. Not physically, but spiritually. Coming out of civ, I came with my clipped wings, and ways to survive in a backwards society where what is sacred is a shamed, and what is held up and honored as holy is put in the biggest building (the church)and only one person has association with the holy, which even in their bibles, it is not supposed to happen. Of course money coming from killing life is also honored and sacred, and the image that has stuck with me came from David Suzuki the Canadian geneticist, who took a walk with an accountant, the accountant had an outburst and pointed towards a green evergreen tree, stating that it wasn't worth anything until it was chopped down and processed into something people could use. I don't see why he couldn't see that we were already using the tree, since it produces so much O2, which none of us can live without.

What I mean is I've got to claim my own relationship to mother earth and father sky. I've got to reclaim my birthright to be a sacred being along with the sacred forest, sacred animals and plants that the whole complex creation that was the garden of Eden, that we are all inheritors of, but have been trained, mind-f*cked into believing this world is of the devil, along with all our natural desires, urges.
Like being in camp; digging, building fires, cooking and eating wild plants, singing and dancing, having heart felt discussions about what mattered have been part of what I'm reclaiming as natural urges.

A big part of my set of backward lies is my victimization patterns. Having been put into counseling really early, I found lots of excuses and stories to explain away things that I just needed to change. Sure, I've been hurt bad by other human beings, but nothing compares to the violence I have perpetuated against the Earth and her still faithful children, that have been slaughtered in our name to provide money, in a backwards economy that says we have to destroy mother earth in the name of "resources". I have killed many children in my purchases of a home, heat, light, food that has been grown elsewhere. The list can go on quite long. So, when I got into this helplessness, fearful or weakness posture, that is a violence to my group.

This is what I have to overcome before I come back into camp. My group needs my brain to work, and it just doesn't work in fear. Tall order, but I have to do it.
I think I can, if I think about the divinity we are all supposed to inherit. If I can't get on board with the miraculous creation, I can just die in this murderous way culture I am jettisoning.

There will undoubtedly be more insight when I come back into camp, since this is a vision quest. I may just need to be more aware of my conditioning so I can know when to isolate myself and take care of it. Meanwhile I'm headed out on the road today to see what will come of my life and self image and esteem.

I sure would like to see some comments so I can know there is life out there of some sort. I'm creating a lot here inside of me in this effort.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shop and Compare-A Month Out

I've been out of camp for a month and even while I was at Naraya (June 10-15th) I wasn't digging too many roots, though we did find some onions, lilies and camus to transplant, I was aching to get back to the hoop. Alas, I needed to still tie up loose ends in Seattle and see family and friends so they won't worry about what I'm up to. This took me from Oregon, up to Seattle, down to New Mexico, up to Colorado, to Nebraska and now I'm in Salt Lake City for the last visit and it's been more than a month. I miss my crew.

The time in Seattle was short and tidy, getting out fast and onto Martin Prechtel's Bolad's Kitchen, not a school, or a workshop, but some kind of learning is going on there. Ten of us familiar with the Biscuit root were at this gathering and it was good to see them. I felt confirmed in my work, in that I was doing what needed doing. I may not have an indigenous soul yet or even a hope for one, given my cultural upbringing that destroys spirit as well as the Earth. I still feel good doing this work, even though I won't see much of the fruit of my labors.

Being in the place where life gives abundantly and I can give of myself simple cultivation action as I gather what generations before me have planted for their children, these same children who were forced into Empire thinking through BIA boarding schools, outright slavery and torture, and in this generation are struggling to reclaim any and all surviving cultural and language. The Shoshone, Wasco and Paiute have not forgotten this knowledge of the plants, we are here mostly to help out and keep some of the knowledge in a living way to strengthen their hand and assist in keeping it vital. I am rewarded pretty quickly with just being in relationship directly with a land that misses human beings and in relationship to basic needs without a lot of abstraction. I feel my spiritual life flourishing as I am not abstracting spirit into some symbol or altar, spirit is just HERE. And I can be present to spirit directly, at at least I feel like it, which is a joy in either case.

So, why don't more people come out to paradise? Some of my thoughts are:
1. No exposure to Nature
2. Great economic attachments (economics are backwards to me - leaving all of nature as extraneous in its formulations)
3. Psychological barriers to becoming wild. A great deal of our conditioning is to keep us all from running away from slavery or speaking out our truths in the face of authority/ies. I was reading Malidoma Some's book "Of Water and Spirit" where he describes his early experience in the French Boarding schools -- The conditioning he got(what we all got earlier before we even went to school) namely, the ability to not care what happened to another child, to be in competition, to tell on each other, to look solely to authority for answers to our questions, and the isolation that we are so accustomed to.
I am mostly interested in this this issue #3, coming from a life full of wake up knocks, that some would call PTSD, but I call having to change my identity, take on new information that didn't jive with my more innocent and hopeful ideas about the world and to find my way to forgiveness. Most importantly, I have tried to do this re-wilding once before and failed miserably because I didn't understand the difficulties. I can see that the Native view and our view are in opposition in a general overall kind of way and ALL OF US have come from Indigenous tribes and none of us gave it up willingly. Our place in Empire was at a great cost that we didn't want to pay - but it happened anyway. What we have now is our state of needing recovery of our senses, as in David Abram's book "Spell Of The Sensuous". Reading Martin Prechtel's books also point the way for me towards what I am doing presently. His work has given me the courage to see and to take the steps for me to step out into this great experiment of life, leaving behind civilization as my main source of value to embracing the health of the Great Basin as my Mother, as I am fed by her and learn about living from her. I believe a lot of what I am following are actually in line with European spiritual teachings - that we all have looked at but not completely embraced. Peace Pilgrim was one of my teachers that I felt taught these truths clearly and I find no conflict with her teachings and what I am doing now. (
This perception of the wild, is in opposition to what 'normal' is and so I walk a thin line on this journey. John Trudell(see below) talks about our culture mining our psyches in that our natural way of being in power as humans is instead been sucked out of us and we are left with our doubts, insecurities and fear, without clear coherent thinking in our analysis. So I am curious about getting my psyche off the grid and finding what it there without the fear of losing any of the things society has given me.

What will I be able to bring back to you dear reader and hopefully commentators is experiences and thoughts about life on the Great Basin Hoop that we can all digest and find some kind of guidance for the big world path. Over and over I am told that people can't do this cause there are too many of us.

Not all of us can go and hunt wild foods, which is true, but one person can and I will. There must be a thing or two to learn this way and I can't think of a better way to spend my life.


One of the objectives of this technologic, civilized perceptional reality has got to do
with erasing the memories of the human beings. We have a common collective experience. We are all the descendants of tribes. Back in the time of the original dream we were all tribes, and we were all the earths' children. We all knew that the earth was our mother.

And that we were all part of a spiritual reality, because we had being. We understood that there was a spiritual reality and we were physical in a spiritual reality. We being who we are today, however we landed in this reality, whoever we are today, we carry the genetic experience of our lineage from the very beginning. It's encoded in the DNA, it's like genetic memory. It's something about the experience of the journey we have it in us. But somewhere within our genetic memory, somewhere hidden in there, we all come from a people; each of us comes from a people that knew they lived in a spiritual reality. And because we lived in a spiritual reality every one of our ancestral peoples understood we have a responsibility. We were responsible for the past, the future and for the present.

We understood that all things had being. So we knew who we were, we understood what we were saying and we knew where we were: we knew our purpose. And this reality lives in our genetic memory. As human beings, whoever we are, whatever individuals we are know. That experience is there now. It's that ninety percent of our brains that they say we can't use. So they're using it.
- John Trudell

Thursday, June 4, 2009

After Almost Three Months of Rewilding

June 4th has come upon me as the time I make my way back to the big city of She's Addled. I have been part of a process of rewilding that has been increadible in so many ways. I began with the conviction that I owed these people; the Shoshone, Paiute, Wasco, Apache, Ute and others I do not know the names of. Their lack of presence in our present day life is a testiment to our failed ability to listen to what is alive. Life means water for one thing, and for us humans, fire for another and the main thing: food. How this process worked for me, I will try to explain my steps so maybe one could follow some of the ideas, and test it out themselves.

We live in a time of food anxieties of all kinds; this disease, that disease, from what we are eating, what we won't eat, as well as confusion to what we are hungry for. I know now where to find food, and water. I see the way water flows, wind flows, and sun flows, and how that interrelates to where the plants grow, where there might be a spring, where to face my tent, all these things have added to my comfort as well as my increased awareness of what each plant I have interacted with basically needs to prosper. When these plants prosper, so do the local animals;antelope, mountain goat, jackrabbit, ant colonies, butterflies, horny toad as well as the human being who as planted back many plants and know where they are. I have learned all these things because of the Wasco Tribe sharing these things with a stick indian. This is someone who walks the "Hoop" while the Native American appears to 'asimilate'. These ways of walking on Mother Earth if Native people shared it with others of the last generation, they would have been dangerously threatened by the Americans of that time. What we are doing with pulling for wildflowers right now, planting back and reseeding as well as gathering the roots, used to be illegal. So, a lot of this knowledge has been kept secret for a long time.

Anyway, it is still dangerous to be of this caliber of courage, to walk this walk in the wilderness and let the city blocks of all kinds start to fade in importance, all the rules, that don't really make sense, but add so much fear and anxiety to life. Like that whole racist, classist, gender oppressive system that underlies so much in a people' only space, these blocks start to fade as another perspective takes hold. The perspective of one who is absolutely dependent on the Earth in a daily kind of way, and is not at a distance from what is actually supporting all life and spirit here, the natural spontaneous condition of wilderness. Everything we do as 'people' is entirely too much work, really!! Why do we want to haul so much water? Why not plant food and wonderful things like fruit trees where the water naturally holds the right conditions for them, like along Creek banks. Does the distance make us more superior? Is it the slave/master struggle we live in where we don't want to lift too much of a finger, and we can get a machine to do it? I don't think

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nevada BLM spring conditions

The visit to Six mile spring on March 10th showed us new to the hoop what cattle ranching did you the land as well as the lack of protection to the springs in general. All around the hillsides we saw burn areas, right at the keylines as brown gray areas.


Hello, Welcome to Biscuit Root, where Finisia Medrano and the people of Coyote Camp are posting our efforts to educate people about the Great Basin Hoops and the lifeways that were practiced there for 60,000 years. Coyote Camp is the name of the ongoing groups of people who have shared in this journey of rewilding both themselves as well as the Hoop.

We will be sharing our videos as we make them.Right now, Tranny camp, the most recent of camps formed, has just made it into Las Vegas where we are posting to you our recent efforts to educate the Moapa Paiute Cultural Committee about the Biscuit Roots, a central food that grows wild in the desert and their recent education inthe Clover Mountains.