A Community in the Making
ancouver has given birth to an emerging scene of community leaders. We are the voice of a new breed of youth who are choosing to re-inherit the profound indigenous intelligence obscured by the agenda of modernity. In this obscurity, we have undoubtedly struggled – deprived of deep connections with our peers, estranged from nature, our innate gifts and wild genius. We yearn to break the shackles of rationalism and enter the mystery, where these modern dilemmas become a catalyst to developing a living wisdom about ourselves and the world in which we live.
The Right Kind of Trouble
In rediscovering these skills - which were the fabric of indigenous teachings - we seem to be getting a lot more than we bargained for. We are finding out that 'getting out of trouble' actually means getting into the 'right kind of trouble.' This is the trouble of embracing the challenges we face individually and as a species - of our interpersonal relationships, our interactions with the environment, and the values of our modern 'civilized' societies. Getting into the right kind of trouble has re-awakened our hunger for the traditional support structures of strong families, wise Elders, Mentors and Teachers. We know that we require supportive communities and a legitimate discourse with the non-human elements - of Nature, Water, Mineral, Fire and Earth, and that we must first heal the old to make way for the new.
Walking the Talk
In recognition of the need for healing, on May 13, 2011, seven members of this emerging community gathered on a property in Squamish to be buried in the earth overnight. Supported by a 'village' of friends, family and community leaders, the Earth Burial Ritual - a tradition of initiation that has its roots in the indigenous practices of the Dagara tribe of West Africa - was an explicit statement of our desire for a deeper connection and sense of belonging. It was borne from sober recognition that modern culture offers our starving psyches no formal acknowledgement of major life transitions by way of legitimate Rites of Passage Ceremonies. On June 24, 2011, we organized once again to participate in a Water Healing Ritual with the intention of releasing the grief accumulated from years of living without the life skills that ought to have been imparted to us in our youth by those very support structures that have forsaken us. These powerful gatherings have been an attempt to reintroduce indigenous intelligence to a modern world still lost in its own dust.
The End of the Beginning
We learnt finally that modern responses to systemic problems are not going to be discovered in feel-good one-day workshops. Although workshops offer some helpful skills, the reality is that without ruthless honesty about our dis-ease and a sustained commitment to a deep and ongoing process of healing it, everything is just talk. It was from this realization that the idea of the Olduvai Expedition was born.