Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gold 1000

Gold 1000 had a lot of picture perfect memories for being together only for a month. Each person selected for the team was motivated and willing to do whatever it took to get things done for the project. Fears were casted aside as we harnessed up to climb the roof. Frustrations were hidden when we didn't have the correct power tools to build garden boxes. But Gold 1000 never gave up and was rewarded in the end. Here is the celebration video I put together to show our time at Eagle Lake and in South East Portland...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guidance from our Ancestors

I stand for: honesty, equality, open mindedness, kindness, non judgmental, compassion, treating people how you want to be treated, and helping those in need. These are traditional values that I stand for and I am passionate about racial differences and equality for all. Native American blood runs through my body as my great, great grandmother, Julia Lashua, was full blooded Nashuway Indian from Ashby Massachusetts. As I have never heard the stories of her time near the Nashua River through her voice, I understand the importance of preserving stories and oral tradition as cultural legends that will be passed down through the generations of curious minds. Having recently lost a family member, her words are what keep my genealogical  traditions timeless. As I reminisce about my grandmothers through time, I realize the source of where I have learned the most about team work and the dynamics of a group of people from different walks of life. My outstretched calloused hands are reaching to support my team members when they are in need, just as the most important women in my life held my hands when I asked for balance in reaching my goals and creating a safe environment for myself and those in our communities.

I wanted to help enhance the healthy lifestyle of the Native American community, learn about the grass roots effort and permaculture gardening while making conscience decisions on how to help the environment at Wisdom Of The Elders in Portland, OR.

Wisdom of the Elders started in the early 1990's to preserve spoken word stories of Native Americans and later posted documentaries on an internet radio website. They now have an internet television show as well.

However, Wisdom of the Elders' community gardens have been an on-going work in progress. It started with a vision, continued with a plan set to paper but lacked the man power to actually transform the chaotic backyard into a beautifully landscaped oasis. With the help of Gold 1000, piles of scrap wood, brush, debris, mountains of dirt and invasive species were removed and replaced with native garden beds, a mound garden, Three Sisters gardens of corn, beans and squash, a manicured Berry Trail and native plants for the community to come and enjoy.

We used hand tools and power tools to learn how to build garden boxes, landscaped trails through a residential back yard and how to tend to backyard burn piles. We hosted and attended open houses, open to the community of Portland to show off the hard work accomplished.

Gold 1000 arrived with open minds and the ability to adapt to new living circumstances and during the time spent with the Native American community the team was exposed to spiritual thanks, the protection of the nature around them and even attended a monthly sweat lodge with community members to cleanse and to ask for guidance from their ancestors.

It is therapeutic to give life and to maintain growth by planting and harvesting in a space that a city usually lacks. Given the space for all ages and capabilities to be able to come together as a nationality who accepts all and join in gardening is strengthening the growth all personalities of a community.