Friday, April 6, 2012

Back on Keweenaw Bay

One of the first things I noticed pulling into the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College's parking lot was what a beautiful view there was to be had, overlooking the Bay. And what a beautiful college! It was my first time to KBOCC and I truly enjoyed it.

I was honored to be a part of Jessica Koski's class - she's definitely someone who's been in the trenches herself as well as having done a great deal of study on Indigenous environmental movements and philosophies. In fact, she'd just come in from a meeting in Denver on mining where one part of the program, on acid mine drainage, included Rio Tinto and other mining corporations discussing how much of a problem acid mine drainage is. As part of this, Rio Tinto also described how the "Eagle" Mine is mining sulfide rock that is particularly reactive. Right from the horse's mouth. Why don't they include that in all their U.P. PR? Haha. As if.

The discussion that took place in Jessica's class, though, throughout the 7th Fire presentation last night was not only interesting, not only inspiring, but also...healing. Healing in the sense that most of the time we're all out here flapping in the breeze, doing the best we can against the gale. But every once in a while you run into those who understand and are doing the same thing.

In fact, the trip over from Marquette County had been hard for us and left a hole in the soul as, traveling along M23, pine after pine after pine was very obviously dying or already dead. These were pines that not so long ago, when I made that same trek fairly regularly, were doing fine. Besides, going through Negaunee and Ispheming is always a downer - each time I wonder how people can voluntarily live in places riddled underground by mines, whose waters have been poisoned, and whose very skyline is shaped by the massive tailings mountain of the area mines.

At any rate, the class was wonderful and the discussion a much needed one for me personally as it was a re-grounding.

Plus, the return trip's sky marvels were so dazzlingly gorgeous it blotted out nearly everything else along the roadway: a (almost completely) full moon was rising in the blue turning pink turning lavendar sky while the blazing red sun set in the west. This lasted throughout almost the entire return trip. We even caught a fantastic view of Grandmother Moon rising huge and white in the blue sky over a small lake with the trees reflecting in its stillness and a pair of ducks swimming by. Absolutely stunning.

So, a big chi-miigwech to Jessica, her students, and the very land over that way!!! It gives me strength to be reminded that there are folks like you out there.

No comments:

Post a Comment