Wicuhkemtultine Kinship Community and Learning Center
Introduction by Ethan Hughes
My name is Ethan Hughes, and I am a member of the Possibility Alliance.
Our project is helping to raise funds for an amazing project and opportunity that supports Extinction Rebellion’s Fourth Demand:
“We demand a just transition that prioritizes the most vulnerable people and Indigenous sovereignty; establishes reparations and remediation led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, people of color and poor communities for years of environmental injustice…”
Sherri Mitchell, a Penobscot activist, visionary, and author, is teaming up with other Wabanaki women, including Jus Crea Giammarino and Rhonda Decontie, to launch a land-based educational and healing center.
The goal is kinship with all people and all life.
We believe this visionary center is important for many reasons at this time:
It is time to help Wabanaki people regain access and stewardship to the land which has been stolen from them. This is a chance to help return 103 acres to the Wabanaki people, and return it to their deep care and wisdom. Land is the key to the liberation and sovereignty of the Wabanaki.
The living and breathing heart of this project is a land-based community, a community caring for one another and for the land. This life of reciprocity and connection is the antidote to the individualism, loneliness and disconnection plaguing modern society. This land will be a home for these Indigenous women, an off-grid sanctuary to return to after front-line work in Maine and elsewhere in the world. This will be a place for healing, recharging, and inspiration to support these women and their important work. You can help support this full-time healing community.
This land will host an indigenous-led center, teaching kinship with the land and all beings through Indigenous lifeways, permaculture, herbalism, and regenerative agriculture.
This center will continue and expand upon the incredible work already under way: “Healing the Wounds of Turtle Island”, an annual ceremonial gathering of over 1,000 Indigenous and settlers (see healingturtleisland.org), alternative healthcare, and healing the original wound of settler colonialism. (See Sherri Mitchell’s book, Sacred Instructions.)
We all carry a legacy burden of the genocide of Indigenous peoples. This center will be a place where all are welcome to help heal this legacy trauma. It is a place of kinship, a place to build trust, continue working together for ecological healing (addressing the climate crisis), racial justice, and pathways to a healthy culture.
“Healing the Wounds of Turtle Island”, and this center, both work in the gift economy, practicing reciprocity and sharing. This is important work at this time, as it shows alternatives to capitalism, separation, and extraction economies.
Sherri, Jus and Rhonda, and others involved, are creative, beautiful, strong, big-hearted people. To give these Indigenous women a larger platform to do their work is an incredible honor.
We are watching global capitalism fail us at this moment. This center role-models a bioregional, interdependent way forward to help us all re-learn resiliency and connection to the Earth. This center will help us learn how to rely on each other instead of solely on money. This also simultaneously helps heal the loneliness, depression, and anxiety plaguing our culture from being disconnected from each other.
This is a chance to help dismantle the inward and external structures of heteropatriarchy, colonialism, ecocide, and white supremacy, and help move toward true equality, just transitions, female leadership, and Indigenous sovereignty. The time is now.
Thank you for your support!
The 103-Acre Parcel of Land
The 103-acre parcel is on King’s Mountain, between South Orrington and East Bucksport. It is close to Bangor, Penobscot Indian territory, and Nebezun (land under the care of the five tribes of Maine).
The parcel is on the market now, so we want to move quickly and mindfully.
The land is listed for $195,000, and the center is hoping to also have some resources for building infrastructure (green buildings, food forests, small-scale energy production, gravel road access, classroom spaces, etc.).
This brings the total fundraising goal to $300,000. (Going beyond this fundraising goal would be great!) Currently we have raised $70,000.
We hope to reach this goal of $300,000. If it cannot be reached, those involved do not want to take on debt, and will have to find a smaller parcel of land.
How To Donate & Support
If you can pledge any amount, please contact the Possibility Alliance / Ethan Hughes at (207) 338-5719, or…
There will be many avenues for making donations, including through a non-profit for tax deductions and accountability. Please act within the next week if you can contribute.
Also, please contact the Possibility Alliance if you would like to help with the fundraising efforts.
Peace, strength, and courage. Thank you so much from Ethan Hughes and the Possibility Alliance collective.
P.S. If you’re interested in helping to build infrastructure, create restorative agriculture, donate tools or supplies, or serve in other ways, please contact the Possibility Alliance / Ethan Hughes at (207) 338-5719.
Wicuhkemtultine Kinship Community and Learning Center
By Sherri Mitchell
To create an Indigenous led kinship and learning community that allows a small population of key teachers to live collectively, model healthy relationships based on the Wabanaki philosophy of N’dilnabamuk – walking upon the Earth in a way that honors all of our relations: two legged, four legged, winged, crawling, swimming, the plants, trees, waters, stones, soil and the living breath of life, the air, and; to share teachings on Earth-based living, climate change, social justice, and transformational change.
To live according to four basic principles of self-determination: Food Sovereignty; Water Sovereignty; Energy Sovereignty; Educational Sovereignty. This will be achieved by increasing the cultivation of traditional foods, using restorative agriculture and food forestry practices, combined with balanced and respectful sustenance hunting and fishing protocols; securing a community water source sufficient to meet the living and agricultural needs of the community; converting all households and common buildings on the property to a community- based renewable off-grid solar and wind power system.
We also seek to increase traditional plant-based medicinal knowledge and propagation; to establish coordinated networks with other eco-communities and organic farmers across our bio region to create an active sharing economy based on principles of mother love, and; to offer educational programming on sustainable living, climate change, restorative justice and the Indigenous way of life, harmonized and balanced with the rest of creation.
Wicuhkemtultine (pronounced: we juke um toll tena) means “let’s help one another.” It is a philosophy of caring for one another according to traditional Wabanaki kinship principles. It recognizes that we are more resilient and secure when we work together, and that we have greater access to our creative intelligence to solve problems when we collaborate and cooperate with one another. The community will be built around this core philosophy of caring for one another, supporting one another’s desire to live in greater balance with Mother Earth, and uplifting the life-affirming work that each community member is providing to help others move into a more harmonious and balanced way of being.
We are born into a natural gift economy, lovingly practiced by those who Mother us and demonstrated by the original mother, Mother Earth. Wicuhkemtultine Kinship Community will operate according to this same principle. The exchange economy separates us and makes us adversarial, while experiences of mother love and gifting create mutuality and trust. We seek to follow this model as a path toward peace and unity and the expansion of what we call Alabezu, the Indigenous value of enough – it means ensuring that everyone in the community (immediate and extended) has enough to live a dignified life that meets their basic needs. We know that when someone has their basic needs met, they are able to more fully develop the unique gifts that they carry within them, which in turn gifts us all.
Why is this project so important at this time?
“There is a character in Wabanaki mythology named Kiwawk, he is the Cannibal Giant. He sleeps deep in the forest, insulated from the disturbances of the outer world. He remains there, sleeping peacefully, until the cries of the Earth Mother awaken him. The Earth Mother calls out to him in agony when the people of the Earth begin consuming faster than she can produce, and when she is being damaged faster than she can heal. Once awakened, Kiwawk’s job is to lull humanity into a trance like dance of blind consumption and mindless activity. When Kiwawk has us in his thrall, he quickens the pace of our dance until it becomes frenzied, eventually dancing us to our destruction. He does this so that the Earth Mother can begin to heal and renew herself. Our elders tell us that Kiwawk is awake, and that he is dancing humanity toward their own demise. There is only one way for us to put Kiwawk back to sleep, and that is for us to wake up.”
- Excerpt from Sacred Instructions; Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit Based Change, by Sherri Mitchell – Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset
Part of this awakening process is a renewal of our relationship with Mother Earth and our relatives in the natural world. Learning how to live with rather than upon the Earth is an essential life skill. Our traditional Indigenous way of life (skejinawe bamousawakon) teaches us to live in kinship (N’dilnabamuk) with the entire creation. It is this way of life that the prophecies tell us will bring humanity back from the brink of destruction during this critical time of transformation.
The creation of Wicuhkemtultine Kinship Community and Learning Center is a direct response to the guidance passed down to us from our ancestors in our prophecies. As the people of the world begin to wake up and recognize the necessity of changing the way that we live, there will need to be many among us who are willing to teach them. In honor of our ancestors and the prophecies that they carried forward for us all, we are stepping forward to share the knowledge and skills that we have with others who seek a more harmonized, balanced and loving relationship with one another and Mother Earth.
Sherri Mitchell – Penobscot – Indigenous Rights Attorney, author, spiritual teacher/social change organizer (anchor resident).
Jus Crea Giammarino, ND – Penobscot – Naturopathic Doctor/Herbalist/Master Gardiner/teacher (anchor resident).
Laura Weiland – Global Climate Change Organizer/teacher, immediate past Director, Omega Center for Sustainable Living (resident/teacher)
Rhonda Decontie – Penobscot/Algonquin - Clerk of Penobscot Nation Tribal Court, Restorative Justice and Healing to Wellness teacher (resident/teacher)
Miigam’agan (Mi’kmaq) Gkisedtanamook (Wampanoag) (spiritual elders in residence).
Stage One Fund-Raising Goal: $300,000
- Complete purchase of 103-acre parcel of land located in Penobscot County, which abuts an existing wildlife preserve (land specs available on request)
- Complete Permaculture Design Plan (completion goal - June 30, 2020).
Land Cost $199,500 / Design Plan $500 – Total Phase One Costs $200,000
- Construct stable road leading to learning center and residential area (completion goal – August 2020) Cost $10,000-15,000
- Set up shared well and septic suitable for two homes for key anchor/teaching residents (Sherri Mitchell and Dr. Jus Crea Giammarino) and set up well for learning center and ceremonial space (completion goal – September 2020) Estimated Cost $18,500.
- Install Septic System for two anchor homes Cost $14,000. Provide foundational support for two anchor homes Including pad and framing materials Cost $30,000 (all other costs covered by individuals), move first tiny home to property (owned by Laura Weiland).
- Begin medicinal gardens. (completion goal - November 30, 2020)
- Begin construction of 800 sq ft Community Learning Center on the Property. Estimated Structural Framing Cost $25,000
Stage Two Fund Raising Goal: TBD by August 2020
Project Implementation Phase Three:
- Install composting toilet system for learning and ceremonial centers (completion goal – April 2021)
- Begin Educational Programming (opening planned May 2021).
- Implement Restorative Agriculture and Food Forestry Plan (June 30, 2021).
- Complete Phase 1 of Energy Plan (by June 2021) (See Below).
- Build 500 sq ft cabin for elders in residence.
- Implement Phase 2 of Energy Plan (see below)(completion goal November 30, 2021). (All costs TBD)
Project Implementation Phase Four:
- Begin Accepting Applications for two new residents (families) to join the community.
- Initiate mentorship program with three mentees.
- Implement Phase 3 of Energy Plan (see below)(completion goal June 30, 2022). (All costs TBD)
Stage Three Fund Raising Goal: TBD by January 2021
Project Implementation Phase Five:
- Accept Applications for two new residents (families) to join the community.
- Implement Phase 4 of Energy Plan.
- Expand mentorship program to six mentees. Goal of completion: August 2023. (All costs TBD)
Project Implementation Phase Six:
- Build 2nd 500 sq ft elder in-residence cabin.
- Accept applications for two final residents (families). June 2024 (All Costs TBD)
Phase 1 – Complete comprehensive solar farm plan; Complete research report on small wind generators; Begin fund raising.
Phase 2- Purchase and Install First set of solar panels and battery station; Continue fund raising
Phase 3 – Install second set of solar panels; install first wind generator and battery stations; continue fund raising.
Phase 4 – Install third set of solar panels; install second wind generator and battery stations.