Maine Local Living School’s Statement on Cultural Appropriation
Maine Local Living School recognizes that we operate on the unceded lands of the Eastern Abenaki. If you are of Wabanaki descent we welcome you to contact us regarding harvesting medicines, wild food, firewood, basket materials, saplings and deer from this land.
Maine Local Living School practices and shares skills for wise living that originate from all over the world. The Austrian scythe, the Norwegian broad axe, Korean kimchi, Swiss cooperage, the English drawknife, the crooked knife from the Penobscot Nation, among others, and the polyculture of corn, beans, and squash from the Wabanaki Confederacy, among others.
When engaging in skills that were and are practiced by first nations, Maine Local Living School always gives recognition, praise and gratitude for the gifts of traditional ecological knowledge. We strive to recognize particular peoples and at the same time acknowledge that many skills and philosophies span not only first nations but continents.
Ancestral skills are a gift and birthright for all human beings, as we all have ancestors who lived with and from their surroundings. Investing the time and humility to learn and practice these lifeways is the critical work of rebuilding a culture that recognizes the earth as a sacred gift.
Founders Chris and Ashirah Knapp have had many teachers including elders, friends, books, experience and the earth herself. We are also part of a lineage that goes straight to an elder from the Mi’kmaq nation. As a boy, our principal teacher Ray Reitze was apprenticed throughout his childhood to Grandfather Joseph Muse of the Mi’kmaq people. We neither claim to be indigenous ourselves, nor claim any right to the ceremonies and spiritual life of first peoples. We do feel honored to carry on with the skills, stories, and philosophies of earth connection and sharing that have been given to us by our teacher Ray Reitze over the past 25 years.
The people who inhabit and tend a small piece of land we now call Maine Local Living School