Open Collective
Open Collective
2022 - Kool looK - 2023
Published on December 22, 2022 by Jonathon Freeman

The year 2022 has been one of transition for the Native Roots Network crew.  Shortly after finishing the “Wayken-pana Elpom” - "Welcome to Elpom" -mural in June, we began the transition to Open Collective Foundation from our former fiscal sponsor. Keeping it light in action this year, we focused our attention to planning and relationship building. We helped support a small delegation of runners from our community to travel to support our friends on Moku ‘o Keawe ( Hāwai’i Island) in their culturally-based relay run around the island, connecting and mobilizing Native Hawaiian communities.

As the waves of the COVID pandemic have decreased we have still struggled to find ways to get together consistently and safely. The disruptive nature of always having to find spaces that can accommodate the health needs of our members while dealing with outdoor weather conditions or securing safe indoor spaces, present a new sort of challenge when trying to build cohesion and continuity. And, oh man, aren’t we all done with Zooming…. 

We are learning how to reweave the fabric of our community movement(s). Bringing folks together was hard before, but we are navigating a different set of conditions today which brings new hurdles. We are figuring out the “Goldilocks” space of meeting enough and long enough, but not meeting too much or too long. We're learning ways to build new forms of consensus and progress, even when members have to step in and step back out due to their other responsibilities or current-day challenges. We re-started our weekly running and walking group as a noncommittal way that folks can come together, when it fits their schedule, and participate with just a focus on the relationships and a little exercise vs. always organizing. We're taking time to reconnect, remember why we like each other so much and find some joy in present moments. We're looking forward to more “low-tasks” opportunities to come together where we can just be in community and plant flowers in some of the social gaps that emerged through the isolation and fragmentation of the past couple years.

We're excited about the upcoming year. We continue to learn from many orgs, and we are building and deepening connections with some of them around the country. We’ve been organizing and incubating our local Solidarity Economy hub and plan to continue that work. We are facilitators and early adopters in the development of a real estate cooperative, Shasta Public Real Estate Cooperative (Shasta PREC). Yes, our name is based on EB PREC as we are finding utility in breadcrumbs that fit our region. We are a collaboration of individuals and partner organizations looking to launch in the spring, and we are also practicing how to be a democratic and collaborative community.  Additionally, we are building plans to work with local organizations to support the use of Traditional Ecological Knowledge to restore lands and traditional food sources through an indigenous lens. We see this as the beginning of our “Hands on the Land” effort to engage youth and others in land-based cultural and community revitalization, catastrophic wildfire prevention, and community building. There are a couple of ceremonial runs in the works to that we may join to help raise awareness and mobilize people in efforts to protect sacred sites and water.  And we are in initial development of an arts-based venture to explore how we may use the materials from the land, where possible, and build opportunities for culturally-based and meaningful livings that respect a non-extractive, livable and healthy way of being.

We are at various stages with these things, and we’re learning to weave and flow as time and circumstances allow. We’ll likely need to triage at times, but there’s good stuff ahead! We’re ready to rock and roll.