Chinese reconciliation-5

Chinese Reconciliation Park — Commencement Bay — Salish Sea

Chinese reconciliation-5

Chinese reconciliation-1 Chinese reconciliation-2 Chinese reconciliation-3 Chinese reconciliation-4



Wandering along Commencement Bay searching for bathing beaches we came upon this monument to healing and reconciliation… bringing to light a pogram against Chinese workers led by the Mayor of Tacoma in the 1880’s… Realized unfinished work needed to be done in the 1990’s… Beautiful Monument to the Work of truth telling & healing supported by Fushou, Tacoma’s sister City in China.

Falling Leaf

Hide or Seek

life bee comes
a wall pressing
nothing seen or felt

( . )

hardness and unwelcoming obstacle
dying quiet visionless despair

(100,000 images a day, a river dam a minute, 12,000 mile an hour spinning)

hearts longing for

(addictions advertised deathly choice)

will spilled onto floors
flowing through cracks
into soil

(25 million song sound track – unpayed & creditless)

silently weeping
seeds to bloom
barren lands

(proudly announcing anthropocentric  6th extinctional geometric progressivisms)

dying heart now
soil to another’s roots
cannibalized tail eating serpent
arising rain forested inoculations

(walking barefoot with the wind)

listen as grandchildren cry
for a worthy ancestor
as the masked survive
lingering in crumbs
of deadly colonial legacies…

(70,000,000,000 industrial chemical supplemented breast milk beginners)

dropped out onto roads of migration
hungry and forlorn
wilds’ end
will not

(existence owns itself)

ready or not

(dusk to dawn to dusk to dawn to…)

we come


Oregon Indian Land Cessions according to the US Federal Government - Map 1

Mapping Stolen Lands of Illahee : “Modern” Colonial Oregon and Visioning toward Truth & her Reconciliations

1852 map of oregon territory indian country

This is a very primitive map of the colonial minds perception of Indian Country in the Oregon Territory of 1852 (60 years into the arrival of the first English speakers – over 70 years into a series of pandemic colonial introduced diseases ) – A projection onto a cosmopolitan peoples who at the time lived in porous seasonal village rounds which were usually multi lingual, multi ethnic, multi spiritual autonomous communities with often frequent kinship and trade alliances / visitations extending from the Arctic to Patagonia – not to mention active long standing Pacific Rim alliances…. At the time this map represents, the USA Colonial mind had recently ceded land north of the 48th parallel to Britain (1846) and seized land below the Oregon border – Alta California was ceded by Mexico in settling the Mexican-American War (1848).

Oregon Indian Land Cessions according to the US Federal Government - Map 1

Charles C. Royce compiled The Schedule of Indian Land Cessions and 67 maps outlining those land cessions as the second part of the two-part Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1896-1897. Part two was also printed as House Document No. 736 of the U.S. Serial Set, 56th Congress, 1st Session. This is a world view as seen by the mind of land speculators and the colonial institutions which attempt to legitimize and normalize genocidal colonial activity with a sense of order. The National Park Service, it seems, curates this information and makes it available to relevant government agencies as needed.

Oregon Indian Land Cessions according to the US Feds - Map 2

The indigenous survivors of the genocide against native First Nations of the colonial Territory and subsequent State of Oregon have been dispersed into federally recognized nations whose reservations are now in Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, California, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming and Oklahoma. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs are unique in having peer to peer status with the federal government – a status which may be invoked in the current 2014-2024 Columbia River Treaty process with Canada, the USA and 25 recognized Columbia River Watershed First Nations. Current recognized federal status nations are coded by map zone number in the pdf file linked to below.

Been doing a lot of research and thinking about the origins of Land Title in Cascadia – here is some of what comes up in Illahee – known to contemporary English speaking colonial settlers – as Oregon these days…

Lands ceded in Oregon by Tribes pdf -

The link above is a pdf file that if opened next to these maps connects the mapped zones to the currently recognized tribes  the US Federal government claims ceded territory .

Included in the federal governments recognized nations: Cayuse, Nez Perce, Paiute, Shoshone, Umatilla, Walla Walla, Calapooia, Confederated Bands of Willamette Valley , Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw, Coast Tribes of Oregon, Coquille, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederated Tribes of Siletz, Confederated Tribes of Middle Oregon, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Klamath, Modoc, Snake, Yahooskin Band, Chasta, Scoton, Woll pah pe, Rogue River.  This is an incredibly abbreviated and often misrepresentation of a much more deeply nuanced reality that exists of ethnicity and identity in Indian Country. Our apologies.  We will give this attention in really trying to represent this story. For example, the Klickitat peoples occupied much of the lower Willamette Valley after the epidemics of the 1830’s and are not represented in this federal list.  The Chinook people (many officially a “terminated” people) and many other nations are grouped in the Confederations – as are the Wyam people of Celilo or Cascades and Wascopum of Hood River and the Dalles areas and the Clackamas who occupied what is now east Portland, Milwaukee and Oregon City.
It is important to note that many peoples holding aboriginal title were not represented in treaty negotiations and some have even maintained occupation of aboriginal sites and continue to hold presence with these places to this day. The right to traditional hunting, fishing and gathering places, ceremonial and burial places was never ceded in the minds and hearts of first people. The right to an indigenous diet is fundamental to existence and it’s ongoing denial is ongoing physical genocide.Many in the native food sovereignty movement are working to reverse this. For some of these people the federally recognized tribes have become obstacles as revealed in the historic David Sohappy civil disobedience against the Yakama Nation.  The intransient  legacies of white supremacist  “manifest destiny” folk colonialism which empowered the imperial imagination of the small group of property owning white males, that operated the USA as their enterprise, at the time of most of these cessions, remains a largely unreconciled history and socio/political institutional force on the landscape.
It is also important to note that the rights of colonial state citizens arise from First Nations. Even the US Supreme Court has stated in it’s rulings that despite colonial arrogance to the contrary, it is first people’s who legally have elder rights – as has recently been ruled with the Klamath Nations water rights – hopefully leading to Klamath River Dam removals – and that these rights are primary.  All peoples in this landscape are treaty peoples and there has been active repression of the nature and responsibility of all peoples as treaty citizens. We need treaty history, rights and responsibility education in our schools. The rights of nature herself – typically recognized in traditional indigenous law – such as the supervision of protocols in the salmon harvest – requiring ceremony and subsistence supersede commerce – were never ceded and remain informally articulated in ways that currently are violated by trespasses on the fundamentals of life processes -through colonial commerce and property so called “rights”. Colonial constitutions must be revised to recognize indigenous law and rights of nature if we are to make illegal these ongoing trespasses against the fundamental ecological and community processes of life.
In just attempting  to comprehend the repressed story lines of land title in Western Oregon… Western Oregon First Nations originally assertively negotiated treaties that left them on their historic ancestral lands (occupied over the last 14,000 + years)… with access to traditional harvest sites (though these had been largely over hunted or cattle compromised by the time Oregon officially became a US Territory) intending to share their historic homelands…  and then vigilante militias started a mass murder campaign… and the treaties were never ratified   … and on a forced second round of treaty negotiations the tribes agreed to go onto reservations in hopes of a federal military defense from the folk colonialism profiteering driven massacres…  the newspapers of the time discussed the militia murder campaigns as early war profiteering speculation schemes based on false lies about Indian integrity… Congress paid these murderous militias (after the fact – but the first such payment set off an exponential increase in vigilante militia massacres) for their “work”, making the murderers wealthy…  once on reservations little or no food was supplied (unfunded congressional mandates and corruption) and the death rates were so high people were starving (double digit initial annual death rates) and had to leave in hopes of survival food (and traditional hunting / gathering sites were never ceded in the minds of first peoples despite federal interpretations to the contrary)… where they were being murdered openly…  gold was found and the reservations were unilaterally shrunken before eventually being completely terminated in the 1950’s  (tiny reinstatements began in 1977) … homesteaders would routinely claim land with Indians on site or where seasonal historic use  (fish drying sites, camas meadows etc) was obvious…  and there are several documented cases of massacres committed by claimants.  In the courts of the time surviving witness Indians were not legally allowed to testify – only children of white men could…  and so could not defend themselves in the courts… and the murderers successfully received their claims…
Western Oregon is about 19 million acres… by 1856 all but 1,440,000 acres were forcibly ceded – reduced unilaterally to 293,000 by 1875 – 80,000 by 1910 and to 0 by 1956. Many of the first peoples never signed onto the treaty process – and by international law retain their aboriginal title to much of the Columbia and Willamette… and Oregon…and so there are Shadow Tribes still among us here… The price paid to some Indians as “just compensation” (as little as $145  after “fee” takeaways) for the 1957 flooding of the Celilo fishery would not even pay for a whole chinook salmon today – let alone compensate for destruction of a primary source of regional culture and economy of the last 14,000 + years. Ancient ceremonial songs sung to this day recall the time of the Great Missoula floods that occurred that long ago.
There has never been a truth and reconciliation process for one of the most murderous colonial land grabbing campaigns in the history of the United States in what lives on as the colonial State of Oregon… What would it look like to have a transparent open truth and reconciliation process? What would it take to be ready – without it being another layer of colonial violence?  Who could hold such a space for all of us? How might land titles be corrected without inducing unnecessary trauma? This is traumatic history still actively repressed… what parts of this story did you learn in school? The University of Oregon just initiated an undergraduate Native American Studies minor this year 2013/14 – revealing an ongoing underfunding of scholarship to study these histories and their living legacies!…  and similar processes are being repeated on all of us by the energy, military, education, media  and gmo corporations …through legalizing ecocide & purchasing privileged access to “governance” and court room lawyers (corporate law $3000 an hour billing rates). Exploring these histories disables me at times… but how long do we keep pretending it isn’t real? Or buying into the “I didn’t do it” inheritances of a white supremacist imposed genocidal “manifest destiny” process – remember only the sons of white men could claim title or inherit title to land (in the first half of the states history)… Isn’t all US recognized land title delegitimized by this history?
As people  born into this landscape, or migrated into this landscape with these unreconciled inheritances,  how do we make peace with this?…  We have to face it… And we have to make right the inheritances of genocide. Where are examples of people who have done this work (Twisp)? Our destinies are fused together yet the dishonesty and violence is perpetuated by silence. We have to discover and face the inner states that drove ancestors to participate with these choices and to believe in delusional “manifest destiny” racial constructs… and we need to heal in the light of love and conscious understanding. We need to commit to the care of all life and end the legitimacy of such violence that exists in the forms of the colonial/corporate state. This is work that will leave us uncomfortable and unresolved along the way. It will also recover our humanity. We do this or we pass it on to our children and grandchildren and it only gets more difficult.
Unconscious repressed intergenerational trauma is the most stubborn in being repeated. Somehow we need to learn how to do this work together. There are songs we have yet to sing together. Beautiful healing songs.  Among the most sacred of traditional native gatherings in this landscape – are and continue to be – the work of healing ancestral wounds – the singing and dancing and giveaways of the winter ceremonials. Our ancestors left unfinished work for us. Perhaps there are healing seeds waiting to be revealed by the spiritual elders of the landscape – once enough of us are ready to face this together.  Each people in the landscape carry wounds they must face.  Who are our people and how are we taking responsibility for our wounds – as victims, as perpetrators and as both – for among all peoples betrayal has been internal as well as between peoples. There are poverties of soul that led to these violations – and they return inviting us to realign in new ways.  In listening to one another we may find seeds of renewal and vision for a healing path. Our hearts are bigger than all these wounds.  Indian grandmothers and grandfathers that have prayed on me have taught me that much. Our hearts are bigger than all this.
As a current resident of the Willamette Valley, Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary, who is doing work on the African American – Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, which is also a part of the American landscape has asked – How are the children?
What are we passing forward to the children? They teach us – with their trust – to grow into the magnitude of their trust.  How will we do the work? How have we begun? I feel the pain… and know we will grow stronger in learning how to do this together. Again…
How are the children? What are we passing forward to the children?
Strength to the Starfish

Starfish & …

Strength to the Starfish

As you may know – these starfish are endemic to our part of the world – and are facing a devastating wasting syndrome that is not yet understood. There is an immediate risk of extinction! These were on the north Oregon coast recently – May they stay strong!

Ecola Light
Nootka Rose & Honey Bee 2

Nootka Rose ~ Anticipation * Connection * Release

Nootka rose







Nootka Rose & Honey Bee 2







Memories of bliss with the wafting fragrance of rose washing over the whole Mountain in spring breezes. Alive again today.

At the top of Kahboo Hill  – where Vi Hilbert, Taqʷšəblu, helped give a Lushootseed name back to Mt. Entrance’s approach on Orcas Island – while we lived in a yurt on the Mt.

Gratitudes for the gifts of the rose – and the help the rose gives to clear trauma and bring our spirits back to their sweet selves.

Stories of rose tea made from the whole plant used to wash and bless home and person.

A living peace between the siblings day and night.

Project 562 jpegs-22

Project 562 ~ Opening Night at the Tacoma Art Museum ~ May 17, 2014

Project 562 – Opening Night at Tacoma Art Museum – May 17, 2014

The work of Project 562 – featuring the photographic journey of Matika Wilbur and her project team on the first leg of photographing the recognized tribal nations of the USA is amazing and inspiring.  Here are some pics from the opening – style inspired by Matika’s work but nothing like what she is doing. Please check out the show in Tacoma – which includes audio and video together with several genres of photography. And thanks for such a beautiful evening with amazingly positive sharing featuring those in Indian country who can inspire us all.

Project 562 jpegs-1

Medicine Singing and Filming in the Gallery Space

Project 562 jpegs-2

Admiring the Artist

Project 562 jpegs-3

Orca Spirit in the House

Project 562 jpegs-4

Gifting Cedar

Project 562 jpegs-6

Puyallup Canoe Family anticipating Singing

Project 562 jpegs-5


Project 562 jpegs-7

Puyallup Canoe Family

Project 562 jpegs-8

Connie McCloud Blessing the Work and sharing Ancient Stories of the Land

Project 562 jpegs-9

Sky and Talon Duncan – Three Affiliated Tribes of Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations and San Carlos Apache tribe World Champion Hoop Dancers – Introduced by their mom.

Project 562 jpegs-10


Project 562 jpegs-11


Project 562 jpegs-12


Project 562 jpegs-13


Project 562 jpegs-14


Project 562 jpegs-15


Project 562 jpegs-16


Project 562 jpegs-17


Project 562 jpegs-18


Project 562 jpegs-19

Kenrick Escalanti and Willie White ~ Kwatsan/Kumeyaay – Sharing stories of the stuggles on the border with ill placed wind mills and singing Ur’av (lightening) songs

Project 562 jpegs-20

Tony, Anthony Thosh and Amson Collin – Salt River Pima-Maricopa – Songs from Onk Akimel O’Odham – got the house dancing

Project 562 jpegs-21

Matika Wilbur and Family

Project 562 jpegs-22

Matika Wilbur

Project 562 jpegs-23

Matika Wilbur – sharing the laugh which will ring around the world!

Project 562 jpegs-24

Matika Wilbur and Family

Project 562 jpegs-25

B. Yellowtail – Crow & Northern Cheyenne Fashion Designer

Project 562 jpegs-26

Dierdre Peaches at work filming

Project 562 jpegs-27

Closing by Stephanie Stebich – Director of Tacoma Art Museum  with Matika Wilbur, Marlon Footracer & Bethany Yellowtail

Project 562 – Matika Wilbur Blog

Celilo Falls - Wyam - Photo from the archives of the Oregon Historical Society

Celilo Falls Restoration – Why we cannot be silent in the face of an ongoing genocide!

Restoration of Celilo

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ – Sean Cruz, Treothe Bullock and Aurolyn Stwyer stand where Celilo Falls used to be before The Dalles Dam was completed in 1957.

Celilo Falls are intact beneath Lake Celilo.  They were flooded primarily to enable barge traffic – which is a Tidewater Barge monopoly completely subsidized by taxpayers – and which has already built alternatives on the rail lines and freeway. Celilo Falls can be restored without removing the Dalles Dam (though that would be better) and the Dam would still be able to provide electricity. As the central ecological / cultural / spiritual center of our region for the last 14,000 years this flooding is not a historical act of genocide – each day it remains flooded it is an ongoing act of genocide here in Cascadia. A select group of military / government leaders have the power to reverse this ongoing violation of the Columbia,its First Nations, and all living on Earth. The heads of the Dept. of Interior, the Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, The Army Corp of Engineers and President Obama could all make that call.  We the People simply need to demand an end to this ongoing violation of the integrity of our region.
Friends of Celilo advocates for the repair of the violation of First Nation treaty protections of Celilo Falls as a historical cultural / fishing / ceremonial grounds and the rerouting of the rail lines and freeway which run through the longest continuously inhabited village site in North America. As aware citizens we cannot stand silent as an ongoing genocide continues. Restoration of the falls is not simply a return of falling water.  Water has historically been experienced as Medicine.  The late Chief Howard Jim  – Celilo Village Chief – implored with me, when asked about restoration of the falls that the first law of the people has always been baptism of newborns in the Big River.  With the leaks at Hanford, the high amounts of chemical pollution from agriculture and industry – it has become unsafe in this last generation to practice the first law of the land. Tears are still flowing from this ongoing tragedy. Chief Howard Jim clarified that restoration of the water is what is most important.
The restoration of Celilo Falls includes a commitment to stopping the pollution of the sacred waters of the Cascadian Bioregion and an end to the living river being held as a militarized industrialized road – at the cost of a living river. Water in its role as essential to all life must be recognized as a sacred trust – rather than as a commodity to be abused and poisoned. Justinian Trust law – which understands that there are some parts of the world – so essential to life that they cannot be owned – such as water and air – is a part of our Common Law inheritance and has been forgotten too long – at a  too high cost to future generations. We have an obligation to restore Living Ecosystems and Human Communities as primary to life and legally restrain the rights of commerce and property and their ongoing trespasses.  The Rights of Nature ordinances (written into law in Community Rights ordinances in over 165 US communities),  Rights of Nature Constitutional amendments of Bolivia and Ecuador, the proposed Cascadian People’s Water Trust,  and the International Convention on the Rights of Mother Earth are all leading legal examples of how we can do this.
Restoration of Celilo falls also means restoring the possibility of a return of healthy Salmon to all of their traditional spawning grounds in the Columbia River system. There is a brand new CRITFC led coalition of the 25 First Nations in the Columbia Plateau and Canadian Okanagan. Together with engineers and fish biologists this coalition has committed to this restoration as a part of the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty – in the 2014 – 2024 window, which begins in September. It is now widely understood by scientists that the economic / ecological / environmental / cultural costs of most dams built on rivers have been higher than their benefits.  This is the time to take down some of the over 70,000 dams built on American rivers. Currently, though salmon has been the indigenous staple food of the region since time immemorial, it is deadly to eat as a staple food.  Since the advent of industrialism background mercury rates in the environment have risen 1 1/2 to 3% a year and have accumulated in salmon – primarily because of coal transport along the river and coal burning – and its deposits in rain.  Indian communities continuing to eat Salmon as a staple food are suffering high rates of birth defects and cancers directly related to these mercury loads.  This is an ongoing physical genocide when the Treaty Law protected indigenous foods are poisoned to this degree. Coal transport and burning must be stopped.
Celilo Falls is one of the majestic wonders of the planet. It’s return represents a healing of the heart of a land and the peoples of the land. The peoples at Celilo Village have kept faith and fed the people each spring at the First Salmon feast – for 58 years since the falls have been flooded – just as they have done since time immemorial .  Many have distrust of anyone messing with the river in any way – thinking it better to let Great Spirit remove the dams in time.  We believe there are just a handful of humans who keep this heart of the Big River – Celilo Falls – flooded.  We believe when enough of us realize this is ongoing genocidal violence – subsidized by our tax dollars – and that a healing opening is possible in the restoration of the waters of the Columbia and Celilo Falls – the waters of Wyam will flow freely again. May we all – like the salmon – push up against the obstacles in the river – that life may be renewed.
Celilo Falls - Wyam - Photo from the archives of the Oregon Historical Society

Celilo Falls – Wyam – Photo from the archives of the Oregon Historical Society