Reindigenation is the process of becoming indigenous, of becoming at one with the landscape. Living within our means is part of it. Increasingly moving towards watershed-based economies, we will better appreciate and steward the land so that we guarantee clean water, fresh air, and nutritious and abundant food. We will accept all species including our fellow humans as precious.
I intend for this site to present and, through others’ help, improve ideas that will restore and create vibrant ecological communities around Santa Cruz County. The evolving result is a reindigenation of people across this landscape.
Restoring and creating vibrant ecological communities requires sound approaches to observing Nature and figuring out what to do with what we come to understand. Up until recently, we knew far too little; now, we know more than we are showing by our actions. We could do better with what we know.
This vision includes engaging socially to create a human community that is resilient enough to provide for future generations. If we do this right, people will stay, be happy, and keep this North Coast bountiful, beautiful, and burgeoning with all goodness for a long, long time.
For people to stay, they will need means. What will an economy look like that both gives to Nature and takes only what she can sustain? Does this start with one person…a group…a society?
Join me in this exploration. I want your help.
Are we at that tipping point? Can human beings live in connection with “place” as poets have expressed. Or our we doomed to follow the golden idol of “the economy” to yet another dead
end of a human civilization? The outlook is not good. I sense the urgency of your quest and your enthusiasm. I don’t know if Margaret Meads observation on a handful of dedicated individuals to affect change was ever tested, but now there is no alternative. Will our community heed your call?
Questions, questions, questions…
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Thanks for the comment! I suspect a dead ends of this iteration of human civilization would not be pretty…I hope we can avoid that! First step, to know more about our place, so that we can love it more deeply. When we cherish place, there will still be economics, perhaps bartering, hand-to-hand, perhaps something more. I appreciate your engagement.
Thirty years ago, this was called bioregionalism, and local scientists and environmentalists, Ray Dasmann and Peter Berg, were at the forefront of its development.
Five hundred years ago, this was the only way of life here on the central coast. Folks lived here for thousands of years without trashing the neighborhood, or the neighbors, human and non. We would do well to learn from them and emulate their lifestyle as best we can.
I’m delighted to read your blog, Gray. It’s long past time we revive awareness of this way of life, the only viable path for the human species.
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Thanks for your insights, Michael! There are more of our ilk out there than meets the eye…
Hi Grey ~
I love the notion of a “community for nature.” Being a part of a place instead of apart from it. For the past 40+ years I have been connected to the importance of living with a place, no on it.
I do think that re-inhabitation is a better choice for describing your goal and the process of learning how to live in place. Reindigenation is a mouthful and I’ll bet it will be misspelled a lot.
The reason I think re-inhabitation is a better description for what we can attain is that no matter what, we are not now, nor will be even 1,000 into the future, able to be like the first peoples who inhabited this place. We have to start from where we are now and find ways to learn about the natural world as it was and can be restored. But we can never remove all concrete and development from this place, nor hope to diminish the human inhabitant numbers to indigenous numbers of say, 1,000 years ago. As you say, we will want to base our economics (a social science).
We can, however, all begin to understand watershed systems, know the plants, the animals, the climate, the interconnected life systems of this place! So I am very glad to see your new blog.
Ma and Pa Nature will respond to the lessons we learn and implement in our community for nature! I look forward to the conversation you have begun.
A voice for bioregional sustainability, education and culture – what re-inhabitation is really all about can be found here http://www.planetdrum.org/ .
Hi Jean! Thanks for joining the conversation. More of us joining the re-indigenation and re-inhabitation movements all the time! All we need is right here.
Hi Grey ~
Good to be “here,” Grey. Thanks for starting the conversation.
By the way, I had an unfinished sentence in my first post but see I can’t edit to correct. So I’ll finish my thought in this reply. As you say, we will want to base our economics (a social science) on watershed thinking and understanding (natural science). Knowing a watershed is integral to knowing the natural limits to its use. Nature doesn’t do economics (that is a human construct). We’d be best to mimic nature, however, and go for a steady-state economy. Steady-state does not mean stagnant as some people think. Natural systems are in a state of dynamic equilibrium, and as such, in constant flux, with all of components adapting to the flux.
Humans can take a lesson from the natural world in this regard and eschew growing economies.
This question is years past this article, but I am wondering what county that highest point is in? Santa Clara or Santa Cruz. I was told many years ago that the highest point in Santa Cruz County is on Summit Drive right of of Empire Grade.
Hi Alexis- good catch! Loma Prieta is just out of the County! Processing correction edits…
I’ve been stomping around Ben Lomond Mountain trying to figure out the highest point and always thought it was either the CAL FIRE site or another point just South- both on the ocean side of Empire. I’m intrigued about a Summit Drive possibility!