GRATITUDE AND CARE FOR LINEAGE

Gratitude

We begin with deep thanks to the first people of what settler culture calls Sonoma County. For thousands of years before colonization, southern Pomo people lived in the territory where we now work and reside. Members of the Pomo, Coast Miwok, Onatsatis and other local nations reside here today. This land is their land, still. We hope for reconciliation and repair of the damage done by colonization and the attempted-genocide that allowed for the establishment of these United States. 

Passing on the teaching we have been given is a great RESPONSIBILITY

Care for Lineage

We offer great thanks to the dozens of mentors, teachers, allies, and elders who have directly shaped Weaving Earth over the years. We are forever indebted to all you have generously offered to our evolution through your work in the world. We are grateful to have joined you in the dreaming and are doing our best to carry the vision forward with respect, authenticity, and integrity.

Passing on the teachings we have been given is a great responsibility. Some of what we have received comes from people who have been systematically oppressed (past and present) through colonization, white supremacy and cis-heteropatriarchy.

We strive to: 

Build our relationship to our respective lineages and ancestries to learn what values and traditions from our family lines embody and uphold interrelationship, and also how our ancestral storylines include colonization, enslavement, and the diminishment of other cultures. We support our program participants in doing the same.
Maintain current relationships with our teachers to the fullest extent possible for clarity on the permissions and sanctioning for sharing their teachings.
Where permission is explicit, share teachings with utmost care for lineage and teacher (i.e., always naming our teachers, their lineage, etc.)
Ensure that the people we’re passing these teachings onto are learning and incorporating the lessons in a way that avoids using them in exploitative and mis-appropriative ways, to the best of our ability.
Recognize that past-and-present oppression doesn’t define oppressed people or their future. Work for a future in which oppression no longer exists.

Where permission is explicit, share teachings with utmost care for lineage and teacher (i.e., always naming our teachers, their lineage, etc.)

CULTURAL APPRECIATION, APPROPRIATION, AND MISAPPROPRIATION

The following writing outlines how we approach issues of Cultural Appropriation.

The exchange between cultures has been happening for thousands of years and is not problematic in and of itself. Discerning the difference between healthy exchange and misappropriation rests in understanding historical and present-day power dynamics and how new cultural practices are adopted. Far too often, members of dominant groups take cultural elements from oppressed groups without consent, understanding of the cultural element, or regard for the harm such actions cause—this theft perpetuates the oppression and reaffirms mistrust.

Our current working definitions, co-created with J. Miakoda Taylor of Fierce Allies, are:

Cultural Appreciation

The adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture with consent.

Cultural Appropriation

The adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture without consent

Cultural Misappropriation

The adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture that results in commodification, desecration, misrepresentation, and/or disrespect of the practice and its culture of origins.

A NOTE ON CONSENT

We acknowledge that:

Consent from one person does not imply consent by all members of that person’s culture;
Power dynamics must be checked to see how (not if) they are influencing the willingness to ask for consent, give & receive consent, and/or any assumptions made about consent given;
Consent isn’t the final step—a commitment to continual discernment and utmost care for the shared teachings is imperative.

Discerning the difference between healthy exchange and misappropriation rests in understanding historical and present-day power dynamics...

A special thank you

What follows is a list of individuals who have had a significant influence on the work and direction of Weaving Earth. This list is by no means comprehensive as we have been profoundly impacted and influenced by myriad teachers, family members, past and current participants, and perhaps most notably, the natural world. We give deep thanks and respect to all our teachers — we wouldn’t be where we are without you, and we pray that we honor you through the work we do.

We give special thanks to these teachers/elders/guides who have offered their gifts to the world, and to us, in such beautiful and generous ways:

“Twig” Anthony Wheeler
Beau Shipman
David Yearsley
Gigi Coyle
Ilarion Merculieff
James Shipman
James Stark
Jeanette Acosta
Joanna Macy
 
Jon Young
Joseph Lazenka
Lisa Doron
Mark Morey
Martin Shaw
Matt Kolan
Miakoda Taylor
Ned Conwell
Nicole Young
Orland Bishop
 
Paul Raphael
Penny Livingston
Redbird Willie
Robin DiAngelo
Ruby Head
Sahar Muhsin-Laufman
Sobonfu Somé
TwoTrees
Win Phelps

Website Credits

Photography

Most of the photographs that appear on this site were taken by Jenny Erbes, a 3-year graduate of the WE Immersion. Jenny is a skilled naturalist, an aspiring filmmaker, a phenomenal photographer and a devoted protector of the endangered snowy plover. You can see more of her work HERE.

Illustrations

The kingfisher illustration featured on our About Us page was drawn by Lara Birchler, who is currently completing her 3rd year of the WE Immersion, in addition to guiding backpacking trips for WE. More of her artwork is available at www.larabirchler.com.

Web Design

Our website was redesigned in 2019 by the capable folks at Montaia. Big thanks to their creative input and vision.