“Mish” is the word for “the people” in Lushootseed, a language spoken by the Coast Salish people, native to Ish River country — the bioregion comprising the Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia drainage basin.
The Mish Bioregional Gathering will provide an opportunity for people of this place who are working to transform our ways of life, institutions, and culture to come together to share stories of how we’re doing it, coordinate our work where possible, and plan for the future. It will also give us a chance to learn more about our bioregion and celebrate our connections with our bioregional community.
Many common issues bind the Mish people together: protecting our ancient forest ecosystems, rivers, and inland seas; protecting and respecting the culture of the indigenous inhabitants of this place, as well as the many cultural groups who have settled here in the last two centuries; developing equitable and sustainable economic institutions; bringing our cities into balance with nature; and managing the recent surge of growth and development in our bioregion.
Cornet Bay Environmental
Located in Deception Pass State Park, on Whidbey Island nine miles south of Anacortes on Highway 20, the camp is nestled among evergreen forests. Comet Bay is located on a saltwater inlet with several freshwater lakes nearby. Goose Rock rises 500 feet above the camp, showing evidence of glacial activity. Many trails are available for hikes to other parts of the park and along the beach.
Facilities include a dining hall/kitchen, 16 sleeping cabins, two restrooms, a recreation hall, a campfire circle, and play fields. Participants will share accommodations (bunkbeds) in the cabins overnight.
Program and Schedule
The second annual Mish Bioregional Gathering is the sixth bioregional event to be held in the Pacific Cascadia region in as many years, beginning with a 1985 conference in Bellingham, and including three bioregional congresses of varying geographic scope. The Mish Gathering is less formally structured than past congresses, with an orientation towards information-sharing, networking, cultural sharing, and a celebration of our bioregion and community.
The tentative schedule is as follows:
Saturday: Noon—1:30 pm 1:30—2:30 pm 2:30—4:00 pm
Registration and brown bag lunch Opening Ceremony Bioregional overview and watershed updates
4:00—5:30 pm 6:15—7:30 pm 7:30—???
Issue Discussion Circles (see below) Dinner Cultural Evening — Sharing poems, music, etc.
Sunday: 9:00—10:00 am 10:00—11:30 am 11:30-1:00 pm 2:00—3:30 pm 4:00 pm
Morning Circle Sunday Brunch Issue Discussion Circles (see below) Issue Discussion Circles (see below) Evening Meal/Closing Ceremony
Issue Discussion Circles:
Saturday 4 pm
Protecting Ecosystems: Land, water, fish, and wildlife
Reaching Across Lines of Gender, Race, & Nationality
Local Watershed Organizing
Sunday 11 am
Dealing with Growth & Waste
Human Needs: Food, shelter, education, & work
Building Bioregional Networks
Sunday 2 pm
Continuing the Mish Gatherings: Planning Ahead
Ad hoc circles organized on site
We ask each participant to bring a food donation, so that the amount of food will match up with the amount of people, without doing pre-registration. Some food will be supplied, and meals (except Saturday lunch) will be prepared on site. The following fees cover program, lodging, etc:
Adult —$10 — 20 (sliding scale) plus food donation;
Youth (12-18) — $5 plus food donation;
Children (under 12) — Free
What kind of food should you bring? Planners figured it would more or less balance out if we had people whose last names begin with certain letters bring certain types of foods. Everyone is encouraged to bring organic foods where possible with a minimal amount of packaging. Anyone with a special flair for desserts, or extra harvest bounty from home gardens, should feel free to bring those as well!
A — E: 4 lbs. of vegetables for soup and salad
F — I: 2 loaves of bread
J — M: 1-1/2 of granola and 3 lbs. of fruit
N — S: 2 lbs. of cheese
T — Z: 1 gallon of juice (pref. reusable containers)
What to Bring
Bag lunch for Saturday
Materials for cultural sharing (poems, stories, instruments, etc.)
Ideas and resources for issue circles
Materials for the information display area
Please bring this brochure for schedule information. We will not be handing out separate schedules at gathering.
We are the Mish of lsh River Country. We are a new tribe of dwellers in this land. We are a rainbow tribe — original people, new people, people with roots going back a few generations, red people, white people, black people, yellow people, brown people.
We come together to protect and restore this place, to rebuild community, and to sow the seeds of a new culture — a culture of this place, in this place. We come together in community not only with the many-colored people, but also with the flying people, the swimming people, the four-legged people, the plant people, and the past and future people.
Because we know that as we shape our common destiny, we must consider all our relations.
We are a diverse people.
We are a rainbow tribe, a new tribe. We are the Mish of lsh River Country.
What is bioregionalism?
Bioregionalism embodies heightened awareness of place. As an emerging way of thinking and being in the world, it values the local and regional: we see the revitalization of places, people, and local cultures as the only sure way of healing the planet.
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