That was Gavin Harmacy joining us in Calgary, Alberta on Blackfoot Land and the various tribes are listed in the show notes which you can review right now in your podcast app as you’re listening.
Tim, I have a naughty thing to tell you about. Do you want to hear it?
Ok, so it’s really not naughty, but I learned something this week that made me blush and I want to tell you about it.
Do you know who Jolie Varela is?
She’s the main brain behind the Instagram account which I love, @indigenouswomenhike. This week she posted about a performative allyship. Did you see that or do you have any guess at what that could be about?
It was about this new trend we’re seeing with people posting and adding land designations.
Before I go to deep into this, something that you probably know about me because we’ve been married for so, so so long, is that I automatically assume that everything anyone says that is even mildly critical is directed toward me. I’m also more likely to feel this way when I don’t have expertise on a given subject. So when I saw what she wrote, I blushed and felt embarrassed and concerned that maybe we’re not getting it right.
The thing that grabbed me by the stomach was when Jolie posted this past week, was when she pointed out that the Native Land App is not a reliable source and omits many tribes who have historically occupied the land. This, to me, is the exact opposite intent of what I am trying to achieve, which is a reversal of ongoing erasure.
Know better do better. Right?
So Tim, what do you know about this? What’s your understanding of what land designation is ?
Why do you think it’s important?
Why do you think it’s important in the context of Boldly Went?
[Listen to the episode to hear Steve's witty responses.]
I think land designation is really important. Until I really challenged myself to research whose indigenous land I might be occupying, I really didn’t have a clue. I have to be honest, it didn't often occur to me that I might be occupying unceded land, and when it did, I didn't really think about the significance of that very much. I know I'm not alone in these feelings. Of course there are many, many reasons for this ignorance around land history, most are very ugly reasons and are wrapped up in colonial and settler and cultural erasure. That's a topic for another time.
The point is that this is an area that I know relatively little about and am opening myself and Boldly Went up to criticism as I start awkwardly wading through this learning process. My hope by bringing it up here is that I can share with our fans what I learn, and as a result, there will be a greater awareness about the lands that we occupy.
It’s not our intent to be performative at Boldly Went, it’s our intent to learn and be informative. I want our listeners to know that.
Many folks have been using the Native Lands app and website; I have been referencing it for land designations at Boldly Went.
I think this is important, and I’m glad Jolie brought it to our attention. I want listeners to follow Jolie’s advice and do these things when researching land designations:
Do a Google search to identify tribes and land designations
Start making it your personal habit to research the history of the land that you’ll be visiting on your adventures. It will make your adventures that much more meaningful when you do.
This brings me to our next storyteller today from Bend Boldly Went taking place on the land of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. As the name suggests, this is ancestral land of several different tribes. I'll share a personal story after this next story.
Here is Peter Fox with his story about why this license plate had such an important meaning to him.
[You have to listen to hear Peter's account.