By Richard Jehn, Journey Chronicler
After an early morning event in Sandpoint, Idaho, we motored to Missoula, Montana for a ceremony at the Salvation Army Church on Russell, hosted by Faith and Climate Action Montana. John Lund of the Emmaus Campus Ministry introduced the event, and Betsy Quamman of Faith and Climate Action spoke powerful words. She reminded us that “[Our activism] is a gift that calls us into compassion.”
Fred Lane and Jewell Praying Wolf James had powerful words for our mission, with the ever-present key objective that we ensure all future human generations are able to continue living in harmony with Mother Earth, something we have become so disconnected from doing in the past two hundred years with the intense advent of industrialization and the gluttonous use of fossil fuels that our ability to rediscover this capability in ourselves may be eternally in question. The speaking event ended with a short presentation from Dr. George Price, a Wampanaog Tribe member who now resides with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe north of Missoula.
We shared a fabulous meal of cole slaw, roasted beets and carrots, roasted potatoes, and braised bison. I lucked out by finding an empty chair next to Dr. Price. I was interested in talking with him about his comments respecting the advent of dominator culture about 5,000-7,000 years ago on the planet. We had a gentle discussion, with promises to get in touch and stay in touch on important topics.
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal members sang songs of blessing and prayer to send with the totem on its long journey to Manitoba, Canada.
I spoke to Kathy Julius after the event. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe. When I asked her what she wanted for her children who played nearby, “I just want them to be happy.”