“If you think about it, you will see that it is true.”

An attempt to write about things that are important.


I tease my friends that I’m going to hack a Ph.D. I tease them mostly because I’m jealous, truth be told, but in a good way. I openly acknowledge that I don’t have the guts or the fortitude to attempt what they are doing by taking their education to the next level. Nor do I wish to create more debt in order to gain a credential. All the while, I feel honored to know so many people digging in and creating this level of work in the world.

This last weekend I spent three days on Lummi Nation, participating in the 11th Annual Vine Deloria, Jr Indigenous Studies Symposium. What an honor to hear so many amazing Indigenous philosophers, scholars, activists, and artists. Still trying to process all that was shared. Here are some words that came to me that I think are worth sharing. I’ll come back to them later and build them up in a disciplined, more critical fashion. For the time being, I want to get them into the world. {whatever sample size that turns out to be}

Layered in the land is truth. Bones, blood, sinew, tears – these are seeds of truth living in the soil, on the rocks, in the air and the water. There is an energetic imprint between human beings and land – Robin Wall-Kimmerer points to it – the land remembers you. The land hasn’t forgotten you. The land mourns your absence. Daniel Wildcat spoke about the covenants that Indigenous cultures have with our more-than-human relatives. He also spoke of Cultural Climate Change as being fundamental to making the paradigm shift necessary. We must change our minds, culturally, about climate. Indigenous peoples don’t manage ‘resources’. Instead, there is responsibility to relatives and those relationships.

I treasure what Lee Maracle says about a land ethic from a matriarchal perspective.

“The promise of the spirit-to-spirit relationship with our Mother, the Earth, and the waters is that the plants, animals and all life are here to support us in achieving the good life. All that is required of us is to acknowledge those beings who surrendered their lives to us and to obey the laws we inherited from that which set all life into motion – The Great Mystery.”  –  “Make a Beautiful Way: The Wisdom of Native American Women – Decolonizing Native Women”

One of the other messages that was shared at the symposium centered around returning to natural laws. Tom Goldtooth spoke about the work being done by the Indigenous Environment Network. One of the notes I took had to do with re-examining the language of ‘law of nature = natural law’ in the canon of legislative law. Rachel Snow provided wisdom by speaking about Creator’s law is immutable. She advised us to put our hand to moving this to the forefront if we are serious about making a change in our current environmental challenges.

This is probably enough for tonight and there is so much more to process and expand upon. Another day. I am learning how to be a ‘competent human being’, following Dr. Henrietta Mann’s exhortation.

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Twylia (the 'i' is silent)

~ I am Anishinaabe-kwe with Scottish heritage and Sami DNA. I speak on the behalf of no one but myself. My ancestors inform and guide me. My voice is but one of many who are calling for change. We have much work to do to create a good space for the real human beings who are waiting to be born.

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