NEFOC Network Monthly Co-Coordinator Update: June + July
Happy August dear Farmily!
NEFOC, it’s been a real hot summer. Lots to cry about, and lots to cheer. We hope you are all well and rocking through the season in whatever ways nourish your soul. We wish to share some updates on our work for the organisation, for the movement, and some information about our upcoming gathering
We are excited to share in celebrating the fruits of our collective labor with a gathering focused on rest, community care, a celebration of the beautiful foods and medicines we grow, and an update from the Co-Coordinators on progress related to the NEFOC Land Trust and our upcoming Board of Directors elections! Come relax, rejuvenate with a foot bath or refreshing tea at a community care station, enjoy the harvest, and weave new relationships with other network members into a strong, resilient BIPOC land-loving web!
Food, medicines, community, swimming in the pond, making new friends, hugging old friends, resistance through reclamation... what else do we need?
Date: Saturday, August 17, 2019
Location: Soul Fire Farm, 1972 Hwy 2, Petersburg NY, 12138
If you’re interested in Volunteering, we need help with set up, clean up, childcare, Community care tent healing work, Elder assistance, and places for out of town folks to sleep. Here’s a link to the signup sheet for volunteers. Please contact Stephanie if you’d like to connect about this. firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE REGISTER BY AUGUST 10th!
Members of the Interim Council has been meeting twice a week working through conflicts and conceptual knots to smooth out lucidity in our articles of incorporation and bylaws. We’re incorporating in Massachusetts and just recently, a conversation was had with the Harvard Transactional Law Clinic (the attorneys who will be representing our nonprofit) in which we received an updated timeline for incorporation. If all goes without a hitch, we could be able to attain 501(c)3 status sometime between Feb and July 2020. Most exciting!
As we have grown in the role, we have come to better understand what the organisational needs have been and will be, and we are taking the time between now and December to ensure that we develop a robust sustainability plan. We have been slowly cultivating our volunteer intake protocol and look forward to coordinating and inviting folks to be involved on that front sometime in September, after we welcome our new board of directors (more to come on our elections process for the NEFOC Land Trust Board soon!)
Stephanie attended First Light Gathering - Stephanie was invited to attend the First Light Learning Journey Gathering at the foot of Katahdin in Wabanaki Confederacy/Abenaki territory in early June. First Light is an ongoing collaborative effort, begun in 2017, between Maine conservation organizations and Wabanaki Tribes to expand Wabanaki access and stewardship of land. Their long work is reciprocity: they seek Wabanaki prosperity through access and stewardship of land and they seek to create a stronger conservation movement that includes and reflects indigenous expertise and perspective. Through expanding Wabanaki stewardship of land, they hope to contribute toward growing the conditions for an on-going prosperity of Wabanaki language, culture and economy. We will all benefit from this, and it all begins with the land. Attending First Light gave us the gift of meeting Chuck Sams, who facilitated a detailed history of Indigenous land theft and anti-Indigenous legislation; Ramona Peters, the Executive Director of Native Land Conservancy; and taught us invaluable lessons in what meaningful, appropriate, co-creative engagement with Indigenous communities looks like.
Stephanie and Çaca had the opportunity to exchange thoughts and concerns on the Conservation Panel at International Herb Symposium early in June. We mention this happening here because we witnessed the revealing of complications in the larger movement towards and for conservation. It was a learning experience in which your co-coordinators delivered a couple of solid arguments for the decommercialization of medicinal plants, and the return of stewardship to those who will do the job right!
We wish to share that we’ve been neck deep in grant writing, and have established relationships and official applications with the Noyes Foundation, the Merck Family Fund, the Pisces Foundation, and collaboration on a USDA 2501 grant. We are very fortunate to be able to do this work, as the writing of these applications has helped us to hone funders sensitivities to the uncompromising strength of our demands for better in this world. Have foc heard of the Pisces Foundation??
We were asked to develop a workshop and submit for Resource Generation’s annual conference Making Money Make Change conference, which is organised for “millenials with inherited wealth.” We did develop and submitted and received approval for the workshop entitled 5 Solutions for land-based wealth redistribution. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts on this workshop Çaca is collecting community expressions on the 5 solutions: land trusts, cultural respect easements, reparations, rematriation, and personhood at email@example.com
With much love, and lots of solidarity,
Your humble-as-ever Land Trust Co-Coordinators,
Çaca & Steph