As the current wave of Indigenous struggle continues to build, many non-native people are challenging themselves to think seriously about the history of colonialism on Turtle Island. Because colonization played out differently across the continent, it’s important for settlers who want to engage in anti-colonial or Indigenous solidarity struggles to become rooted in the land where they live, to really know the land.
When we set out to know the land though, we find this knowledge often jealously guarded and mediated by so-called experts. The study of ecology in this society is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a deeply colonial and oppressive practice that has and continues to serve the interests of the powerful, usually at the expense of Indigenous communities. We call this dominator ecology.
For the past three years, the Knowing the Land is Resistance crew has been building up a fierce rejection of dominator ecology and have been developing some starting points for an anarchist ecology. This workshop with start with a discussion of how dominator ecology plays out in our lives and in our communities. From there, we will offer what we’ve learned about building an ecological practice rooted rooted in careful listening and observation, trusting the authority of our own experiences, active engagement in defense of the land, and participation in anti-colonial struggles.
These ideas are far from new – we owe all credit for them to Indigenous Peoples around the world who continue to embody a radically different relationship to the land than the one we’ve inherited from this culture. We are also inspired by scientists who valued the land more than their careers, the more socially-conscious elements of the nature connection movement, and all the lovely people we’ve gone on walks with during the thirty or so workshops KLR has done throughout Southern Ontario. We would probably also be inspired by your voice too, so if you love the land come out to this workshop and help us all vision ways to collectively deepen our connection.
We will be debuting this workshop at the Kitchener-Waterloo Anarchist Bookfair on February 16th, at 4:30 pm. We are also arranging other workshop dates in Hamilton and Guelph — check back here for details over the next month! In contrast to our past workshops, which have been outdoors and focused on activities, Towards an Anarchist Ecology is indoors and discussion focused. Each workshop will be about 1.5-2 hours long.
If you’d like to bring Towards an Anarchist Ecology to your community, or if you have any thoughts on what an anti-colonial, anti-authoritarian ecological practice can look like, write to us at knowingtheland (at) gmail.com