Protect Our Salish Sea Native-led Action at Localize This! Action Camp 2014

The reckless and rapid expansion of fossil fuel transport through the Pacific Northwest poses an unprecedented threat to this natural treasure and the safety of our communities. Water is Sacred. Protect our Salish Sea.

Natives and non-natives are uniting to meet this threat with beautiful resistance…

To roll back these perilous misdeeds we need a vibrant movement that stirs our hearts, stokes our spirits, compels us to take meaningful action to protect what we love and reminds us of our responsibility to fight for the world our children deserve.

An immensely important aspect of the work is to honor, highlight, and support the leadership exemplified by those who have been careful stewards to this beautiful land for centuries before the exploitation and extraction of it ensued.

Backbone strategically designed our 6th annual Localize This! action camp to practice and model the good approach to alliance building that Backbone Campaign and our collaborators have been engaged in. At this year’s Localize This! we went to school on how to be good allies with Natives.

The passionate activists who attend camp gift us with making their vocation the pursuit of the societal transformation we long for. We can’t also ask them to bear all the cost of producing camp. If you want the people fighting for your values to have the tools and tactics they need, then pitch in today to help us cover the costs of the northwest’s artful activism action camp.

Practicing good allyship with Natives at Localize This! 2014 Action Camp:
We invited our friend and Idle No More WA organizer Sweetwater Nannauck, a wonderful bridge-builder among Natives and non-natives, to facilitate and organize a Native Day at camp. In addition to the usual phenomenal workshops provided at camp, participants took part in workshops on Anti-Oppression, Historical Trauma Healing, Spiritual Activism, How To Work Well With Natives, Ritual and Ceremony and more.

Together we sought to better understand the experience and culture of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest and begin healing some of our shared historical trauma and feelings of guilt and grief.

The camp concluded with the camp participants and community members supporting a Native-led action in a spirit of service and solidarity. The action and focus of camp provided an immensely meaningful experience that many have longed for.

The “Protect Our Salish Sea final action included:

  • A beautiful traditional ‘Paddle to Seattle’ Native Canoe landing lead by Mike Evans of the Snohomish Tribe and supported by a flotilla of kayaks practicing the proper protocol.
  • A traditional welcoming and protocol by Ken Workman of the Duwamish Tribe
  • Inspiring rally with Native speakers from WA to British Columbia including Laverne Lane of the Lummi Nation.
  • Tribal Bear Dance
  • Traditional Native Flute playing by Paul Che oke ten Wagner
  • Our community engagement artful activists worked hand-in-hand with Sweetwater and talented Native artist Odin Lonning to create the beautiful banners you see in the video, and t-shirts and hand flags emblazoned with traditional native iconography and cedar bracelets to serve as gifts, part of the traditional native practice of gift-giving.
  • A Water Blessing Ceremony at the shore.
  • A immensely moving chant an procession to the active railroad train tracks where the BNSF train stopped for our symbolic blockade of the tracks.

Help us carry this work forward and ensure we can continue to make Localize This! a unique resource to our movement by Contributing Today!

Water is Sacred. Protect our Salish Sea.

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