This is something new — a non-Covid moment opportunity! I don’t do this very often but I am inviting you to join a ZOOM conversation on Monday morning at 8:55 a.m. PDT.
Every week or so, I moderate a small group of thoughtful people as we have a conversation on some matter or other of national, provincial or personal interest. Recently it has come to our attention that the U.S.A. federal government is considering turning over the management of their national parks to Aboriginal interests. The idea is that these Aboriginal groups could then develop businesses (including eco-tourism) at the edges of these Parks to the benefit of both their own peoples and the visiting tourists. That got us thinking that such a move might be an excellent avenue towards constructive reconciliation as well as fostering significant economic development within our Aboriginal Nations and communities (better than casinos). It has already been successfully attempted in the Haida Gwai but that is about it. Since there is talk of developing a National Park in the South Okanagan/Similkameen it seems this could be a useful conversation to have now – for one thing, might get us thinking beyond Covid-19.
However the conversation would only have validity if we were to hear from at least one thoughtful though energetic Aboriginal leader. Luckily we have just such a person in the desert – Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band. We asked him if he would be interested in the conversation. He wasn’t sure it would be useful because there already have been a hundred meetings about the Park and there’ll likely be another hundred before a decision is made. Besides, because he is such a proactive, economic development-focused leader, he is really busy.
NEVERTHELESS, he has agreed to join the conversation for at least fifteen minutes (maybe twenty if he finds it intriguing) on Monday morning. And I thought that you, being interested enough to read my various musings and reflections, might be interested in joining in (already a colleague interested in parks and a participant in earlier times in the Salmonid Enhancement Program has indicated a desire to join in). If nothing else you could listen/watch the conversation and then engage with the group following the time with Chief Louie or request a follow-up moment at a future ZOOM conversation to continue with your questioning and/or reflections.
So, here’s the thing… let me know of your interest by sending me an e-mail to email@example.com and I will confirm your invite on Monday morning before the actual session starts at 8:55 a.m. PDT. The rules will be simple, the core group will lead off the conversation with some questions for the Chief. After he has been heard, we will then move forward depending on how he wishes to participate, and we may well then expand the conversation (especially if he decides to depart as originally planned) to include all who wish to throw some ideas into the conversation… it could be an interesting moment OR it might not. If the latter appears to be happening, as moderator, trust me I will spare the agony and will conclude the session!!