On Saturday March 12th the sky above the Okanagan valley drizzled water. Meanwhile, the FEELed Lab convened a gathering with the intent to set to simmer conversations of caring for and with the Land that makes possible all that we do and are here. This event was orchestrated by Pamela, Jasmine, and Grouse Barnes, syilx knowledge keepers and elders of Westbank First Nation.
Thankfully, there was also fire.
With Pam we listened for the differences between a Land acknowledgement and a territorial welcoming. Those who are not indigenous to this place have a responsibility to acknowledged this territory as sustaining and being sustained by the syilx peoples. It is the syilx people who are in a position to welcome those of us from elsewhere. Pam pronounced a beautiful and cautionary welcome.
With Jasmine we walked slowly and learned of plants and their offerings. She spoke of how the plants work and live together, when they thrive, and the conditions of scarcity in which some find themselves.
Grouse spoke of the calendar. Moons and months as indicated by happenings on the Land: when this blooms, when that is harvested, when it’s time for rest and recuperation. Events are linked through encounter and deep knowledge of place and practice.
Together we entwined.
Thank you Pam, Grouse, and Jasmine for making this gathering possible. May the conversations continue.