Acknowledgment, Action, and Reparations
As outdoor educators, we recognize that many of the systems within which our work is nested are built on stolen land, stolen lives and stolen labor of Black people, Indigenous people, Latinx people, Asian people, and other people of color. We are committed to the work of repair.
This page is a work in progress.
We recognize that:
- The long and painful history of colonialism and white supremacy that enabled this theft and genocide has forcibly excluded people from accessing the lands they once loved and tended to;
- This same history has given white people far more privilege in accessing nature, including access to nature-based education opportunities, like Primitive Pursuits, that now seek to rekindle lost human-nature relationships;
- The work we do has, in specific ways, been enabled by the theft of Indigenous lands and cultural lifeways.
We understand that we have a choice to either propagate oppressive attitudes and behaviors or to ally ourselves with the priorities of people who are most impacted by them. There is no neutral path. We also understand that white people must educate themselves, and continue to disrupt the ideology of patriarchal, white supremacist values in order to be whole and capable partners in this effort. We are committed to the work of collective liberation.
We are taking steps forward with open hearts and minds, knowing that we will learn from our missteps, and knowing we are not alone in this work:
As a step toward honoring the truth and achieving healing and reconciliation, our organization commits to open our events and gatherings by acknowledging the traditional Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫʼ (Cayuga Nation) lands on which we stand. We affirm that “such statements become truly meaningful when coupled with authentic relationships and sustained commitment. We, therefore, commit to moving beyond words into programs and actions that fully embody a commitment to Indigenous rights and cultural equity.” #HonorNativeLand – usdac.us/nativeland
Within our training and programming, we are developing culturally informed practices to better recognize materials and technologies that represent Indigenous lifeways while seeking Indigenous perspectives in how to attribute these lifeways and Indigenous origins. We humbly apologize for times when current or past staff members have unintentionally misrepresented Indigenous people and cultural lifeways in attempts to (and from a place of deep longing) develop a connection with the Earth.
We are seeking relations within our local communities to support BIPOC empowerment and liberation efforts. We are also joining with other nature educators around the country working to build an alliance with and for these efforts as members of the Nature Connection Network.
Reparation Offering & Feedback:
In service of these efforts toward cultural repair, we are actively reallocating resources within our organization to support: Providing free nature access to descendants of people whose land, labor and culture have been stolen in order for us to be here today, learning how to repair the harm that continues as a result of this theft, and preventing more harm by working to disrupt the ways in which it continues.
If you or someone you know is interested in receiving such reparations instead of paying tuition to our programs, please reach out with this form or by calling our office.
If you are interested in hearing about current initiatives, have feedback, or if you would like to work on this with us, please get in touch, we would love to connect with you.