Aboriginal Oregon: Beginning My Exploration

A little down time is reminding me to have more intentional down time. During these moments it seems consciousness takes the various threads drifting around the brain, reorganizes things and floats previously unrecognized concepts to the surface.  It’s especially exciting when the concepts and ideas reveal their value – unforeseen, begging for integration.

Many hours laying in bed – arm elevated to alleviate the pulsing sensations in my fingers. I found myself leaning toward Prime instead of YouTube where I spend a lot of my TV time these days. What will the recommendation algorithms serve up? The last few days have recommended a degree of paranormal suggestions and Native American themes. Let’s go with that.

I especially like this collaborative approach. When I imagine gatherings of many kinds – couldn’t this be a template for interactivity? For me Bunky Echo-Hawk resonates. I dig his vibe and do want that signature Pendleton blanket. Let’s Talk About Pendleton? (comment section is pretty good here)

Several weeks ago I reached out to the Siletz Tribe for demographic information that would supplement a request for technical assistance to the EPA/FEMA. The result was a conversation that sparked new threads in my mind. Each year our Lincoln County Gov. has a joint meeting with CTSI. On our end we’ve noted this meeting as hallmark of our great relationship. Yet, this is essentially it. Our coordinated effort to understand the aboriginal people of Oregon is… one meeting year – for one hour. Might we strive for something more?

A theme continues to emerge for me:  I know very little about the indigenous culture of Lincoln County and Oregon. Interestingly, I probably know more than many others – still not nearly enough that is meaningful at the moment. I’ve let my mind wander intentionally and unintentionally this weekend.  I’m not at all sure I would qualify “letting the Amazon recommendation engine” guide my inquiry into a subject as “intentional”.

I’ve searched Amazon, IG, YT, Google, etc. for: #oregonnative, #nativeamericanoregon, #oreognindigienous, #aboriginaloregon, etc. These searches have produced some new connections. Yet, surprisingly few. Not that the search engines of our major social media applications tell the whole story… But, they do tell a story.

The Siletz Healthy Traditions project seeks to improve the health of Siletz Tribal Members through educational activities which promote the use of traditional foods through hunting, gathering, gardening, cooking, food preservation. Details at CTSI Health Traditions.

I’m beginning to see the architecture of new inquiry and knowledge that might emerge. Insert thought bubble here: Native Digital Land, Oregon Native American Chamber, Bunky Echo-Hawk, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Native Appropriations… Just a few links here. I have work to do. The post-its are accumulating.

While watching the Mystery of the Chaco Canyon – I took a break and had a more revelations. This sophistication and intuition: “As you walk through any of these sites you are in the midst of a thought process that works simultaneously with the aesthetic, scientific, pragmatic, the mystical in planning the use of space.” And, we are struggling with Short Term Rentals! Might we leverage lunar and solar patterns?! No, really. What can we learn from our aboriginal history? It is concerning how much trouble I sense we are in, currently. Climate change, spiritual disassociation. One of my IG searches for #oregonnative was absolutely not aboriginal content. And, hey… I am drawn to #vanlife. But, jeez.

Also, discovered this weekend: Native Digital Land. “Native Land Digital creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together.”

“Because of the complexities of history, the kind of mapping we undertake is an important exercise, insofar as it brings an awareness of the real lived history of Indigenous peoples and nations in a long era of colonialism.”

“Thus, while we make a strong effort to teach about colonialism and to bring forth Indigenous narratives, we also strive to integrate what is sometimes called an “Indigenous way of knowing” when it comes to the importance and sacredness of land in our daily lives. We hope to inspire people to gain a better understanding of themselves, their ancestors, and the world they live in, so that we can all move forward into a better future.”

I have a lot to assimilate. No doubt. I would like to see some intentional conversations that really tap the status. If we are going to find some harmony moving forward it might serve us greatly to understand how aboriginal technology is wisdom that has been lost. And where are/how are we really in a community relationship with our local tribe? More to come…

Are YOU? Self-Awareness in a Hiring Interview

I have some cohorts who throw around the term “self-awareness” a bit. Whether one or not is self-aware can be a bit tricky. I do think it takes some deliberate personal reflective systems to capture and replay ones activity. Journaling is certainly a tool to capture and review what “went down” the hours (preferably) or days before – reflecting on those actions and evaluating if one was above or below the line. Asking for honest feedback (free of retaliation), 360 reviewing, and simply meditation can provide one the data to “see” when we’ve falling short of needed maturity.

Why is it important?

Good leadership requires accountability. The effort to make sure one is free of delusion. Preventing gas lighting. Being honest with oneself: being realistic. No one person has all the answers. No-one.

I sense that those of us who had alcoholic parents, for example (just one scenario) may have had to do a little dance to keep peace in the household. Instead of freedom to be who we “were” we may have had to pivot – as children must – to please their ill tempered parents. These childhood survival techniques may have carried their way into our adult relationships and behaviors contributing to the current status of our personality. Our childhoods selves are potentially hijacking our current person that our professional selves would be better served by.

From the Conscious Leadership Group:

Hiring people who are conscious — people who are aware of the impact they are having on the rest of the team and choose to respond creatively to challenges instead of blindly thrashing around in their own drama and blame.

It’s not enough to have talented people — all of their competitors have that. Many talented—and even well-meaning—people can create a lot of drama in a culture if they lack self-awareness, which can translate into significant cultural, productivity, and bottom-line costs.

Conscious employees are less likely to cause drama, and more likely to shift out of it when it happens. They’re able to relate from trust versus fear, which results in more energy, connection, and innovation.

Read all about it… implement the questions.

I recently had a situation at work where I “sensed” I was ignoring the expertise of my cohorts when they deserved to be validated and heard. Caught in the middle of two polarized opinions about a policy decision I took the path of least resistance. I deferred to the person in power. My intuition was pinging in the background. Denial of ones feelings is sometimes the easier path. True balance sometimes requires more meetings, analysis and negotiation so that all are heard.

I deferred to the “manger” who had their own valid reasons to reject the expertise of subordinate staff because it was easier in the moment, for me.

This is the risk of power. When one has it – it can be used to shape the trajectory in ignorance and brevity. Even days later – I credit “self awareness” for the big reveal – that I (at least) must revisit the decision tree and be sure that our organization’s balance may (or may not) be restored. There is more work to be done. And life is… work in progress.