YAY!! I have a good news story!
My Sacred Question
With all the political uncertainty and strife and the mounting grief and overwhelm I often feel with the climate crisis, I am constantly holding one of my sacred questions in my heart. This question is a prayer and wondering of how I can best be of service in protecting our trees, restoring our lands and contributing to a culture/consciousness of deep connection and love for our beloved Earth and all living beings. I feel this question daily, and when I go out in nature, I let my question go and see what comes to me. I also listen to my heart and pay attention to what shows up in my world and my inspirations/opportunities for action.
Snoqualmie Tribe’s Ancestral Lands Movement
This past summer my husband forwarded me a news article about our local Snoqualmie Tribe, the original caretakers of the lands we also call our home. It was about the Tribe’s newly launched Ancestral Lands Movement. This movement aims to spread awareness of how they have lived in the southern Salish Sea region since time immemorial, share the significance of these lands, and provide information and inspiration for people to join the Tribe in respecting, restoring and protecting these beautiful lands. The article highlights how the Mayor of Sammamish, Karen Moran signed a Proclamation in allyship and support of this movement, how the city of North Bend was considering doing so and how the city of Snoqualmie’s mayor, Matt Larson rejected supporting the movement over concerns it could be used as legal leverage against future city developments or projects. (These are all cities/towns in traditional Snoqualmie land).
Larson said, “I’m fully aware Tribes have lived on these lands long before Europeans, but our concern is that what looks like a respectful and innocuous gesture would be used as another tool in courts in the future to legally complicate the local jurisdictions’ ability to complete projects.” To me this mindset stems from the destructive roots of colonialism and patriarchy. It is unfortunate that this mayor completely missed this invitation for a collaborative move forward for the health and healing of our lands with our original caretakers. And instead, he projected fear that’s rooted in our western culture’s own sickness of putting “progress and growth” above all else.
Jaime Martin, a spokesperson for the Tribe responded saying: “The Ancestral Lands Movement is seeking to educate the public about the Snoqualmie Tribe’s connection to the land as we have a vested interest in our own ancestral lands. We want to make sure all visitors have the knowledge they need to respectfully recreate our ancestral lands. We have lived here since time immemorial, and we will continue to steward these lands for generations to come.”
In reading this article, I thought, “Wow, how wonderful it would be for our town, Carnation, to sign a proclamation as well. This is so important!”
A Doorway from the Snoqualmie Peoples
Since moving here to Carnation in the Tolt and Snoqualmie River valley, home to the Snoqualmie peoples, I have continually been impressed by their presence, wisdom, collaboration and leadership in efforts to restore and rejuvenate these beautiful lands.
Two years ago I shared my blog, I Am Earth ~ The Doorway of Grief – a piece about the immense grief and resulting transformation I experienced when a pristine forest just over a mile from my home was clear cut and chopped to the ground. One of the doorways of my grief was to start planting trees. I and my family began volunteering regularly with the Snoqualmie Tribe in their bi-monthly tree planting and restoration events throughout the valley. This action has been a healing salve on my heart and soul, as when a forest is cut down, I realized that I too am cut. A part of the wildness/wilderness within me is also lost. These restoration events feel like one of the most important things I can be doing in actively envisioning and co-creating the once-again thriving planet I desire.
As the Tribe’s presence, actions, leadership and wisdom roots in this land had given me a potent and powerful doorway not so long ago, when I heard of their launch of this Ancestral Lands Movement, I was 125% in. What better way can I support the lands, waters, forests and mountains I have come to love so much than to stand in solidarity for protecting, respecting, and restoring these sacred lands with their original caretakers?!
I then had an idea. Contact the mayor of Carnation and ask her to have Carnation, now my home town, sign a proclamation in support of this Ancestral Lands Movement, just as Mayor Karen Moran in Sammamish had. While it still took a few months for me to bring this idea into fruition, 3 weeks ago I looked up our mayor’s contact info and wrote her a letter.
I told her about the Ancestral Lands Movement and asked her if she would sign the proclamation for Carnation. I urged her support as it would be a wonderful way to be in allyship with our native tribe, and to protect the lands we all love so much and are blessed to call our home for our current and future generations.
The Good News
What happened next is the Good News I desire to share. In an era with both much darkness and light, and with great political strife, I don’t always know how much of a difference my phone calls and letters make. But they do. They matter. We matter. Each of us can and does make a difference.
That day I received a response from our mayor, Kim Lisk. She hadn’t heard of the Tribe’s movement and was grateful to hear of it. She said she certainly supported it and would bring it to the attention of the City Manager. She agreed that it was a great opportunity and that the tribe would greatly appreciate it.
Two weeks later, one of my dear friends in town told me that the Ancestral Lands Movement was on the agenda for that week’s City Council Meeting! And that night, shortly after the meeting completed, Mayor Kim Lisk emailed me letting me know that the Snoqualmie Tribe had come to give a presentation about their Ancestral Lands Movement to the City Council and that they all voted yes to sign a Proclamation in support and allyship of this movement!
Just like that it was done!! She thanked me for bringing this to her attention…. and now our town joins in a deeper collaborative, healing and restorative relationship with our Tribe and these most beautiful Lands!!
I am sooooo excited!!! And I desired to share this as just one example that no matter how small or insignificant we may sometimes feel our voice, inspiration or presence is — do not ever doubt it.
We all Matter.
And, what is the Heart of all Matter?
Our most Beloved Earth.
Thank you for who you are, for your sacred heart inspirations and for your part in co-creating the health and beauty of our Beloved Planet for many generations to come.
Learn more about the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Ancestral Lands Movement.
You can also sign the pledge to help protect, respect and restore the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Ancestral Lands.