SPLAB Board Member Jason Wirth and I had the good fortune to interview Wedlidi Speck about an indigenous perspective regarding the subject of Cascadian Zen. An anthology with the same name is being assembled for publication in Fall 2022. From the interview introduction:
What is the nature of the bioregion known as Cascadia? How is this insight expressed by the people who live, work, practice, and play here? Is there a connection between Zen practice, broadly construed, and the Cascadia bioregion? If so, what is an indigenous perspective to the effort to foster one’s own inner life?
If you ask Wedlidi Speck, he might talk about indigenous “relational practice” — a term used by some Indigenous people to describe a preferred way to live, work and play in the world. It’s rooted to place and pre-dates bioregionalism by about 4,000 years. Wedlidi is an aboriginal therapist, a member of the Namgis First Nation of Alert Bay. He is a hereditary Head Chief of the G’ixsam Clan of the Kwakiutl proper. Self-described as a bi-cultural First Nations man caught in the web of contemporary times, Wedlidi is committed to helping the aboriginal and non-aboriginal community build relationships, safe communities and cross cultural tolerance.