We support efforts to honor and celebrate all beings everywhere, which we believe is a deeper stance than being against something. We join the coalition in the effort to build an awareness that is inclusive, sustainable, just and, most importantly, pays homage to the First People of this land. We seek to exist here in a way that is consistent with the traditional ways of the only culture that has existed here sustainably, that of tribes like the Duwamish, Puyallup, Musqueam Muckleshoot and others, whom we have honored at our poetry festivals. We hope to learn how to be here like those many cultures that have loved this land and lived here for thousands of years.
Taking our cue from these peoples and, as they did, from the land, and seeking to replicate these very intricate systems that sustain life and are under attack, we believe Cascadia is about the diverse people that live here now and the people that have lived here since the beginning. Cascadia was named for the way water flows down from the very mountains, which would get the name “Cascades.” That same water which falls from the sky on so many days here and supports rainforests in the vast wilderness that still exists here, and its diversities in plant, animal, and human cultures.
We understand the history of this bioregion, specifically the fact that Oregon is the only state in the U.S. that had a constitution stating residency was exclusively for white people. We reject that notion again, and we reject any efforts to connect the Cascadia movement to violence and separatism. Today we are specifically responding in opposition to movements that promote white supremacy in the name of Cascadia. It is not enough to say that we do not discriminate, but that through our proactive efforts we invite and stage events that include all people, while attempting to honor the early indigenous inhabitants of this bioregion. We are about coalition building between all peoples and we are about investigating Cascadian culture as it is now and as it develops in the future.
The SPLAB Board of Directors July 1, 2017