Revol-Oceanary Road 2015

Hailey getting settled to hit the road!
This blog comes from Niaz Dorry, NAMA’s Coordinator Director. Her dog helped.

It’s time to hit the Revol-Oceanary Road again, this time
with my dog Hailey. It turns out that I’ve been on a work-related summer road
trip for over 20 years. It all began in 1991 when I headed to Chester, WV. That
trip lasted two years as I ended up staying there to work with the community to
WTI, the world’s largest toxic waste incinerator. In the years that
followed, my summer pilgrimages timed with the
Indigenous Environmental Network’s annual Protecting Mother Earth Gatherings.
Those Gatherings haven’t happened in some years, but there hasn’t been a
shortage of destinations to serve as my own personal vision quest,
allowing me to really think about why I do what I do, and the people and
ecosystems that are in the middle of it all.

Unlike last year’s cross-country train trip, this year’s
trip will be regional and it will start at the first ever
Vermont JerkFest in
Killington. That’s right… a Jamaican style festival right in the middle of
Vermont! And if that isn’t revol-oceanary enough for you, we’ll celebrate food
from the ocean with a Seafood Throwdown. But just as importantly, we get to feeling
irie with the reggae ambassadors, Third World!
From the JerkFest, I’ll be heading to Northampton,
Massachusetts where I’ve been invited to speak at the
Center for Popular Economics’ annual summer institute focused on “Confronting Capitalism and Climate Crisis.”
How’s that for a revol-oceanary event!
The rest of the trip will take Hailey and me to Maine where
lots of revol-oceanary work around fisheries and marine conservation has been
going on for decades. And it continues today.
On Sunday, August 9th is the inauguration of the
Passamaquoddy tribal leaders. I’m honored to be invited by my friend Vera
Francis, the newly elected Vice Chief, to attend the inauguration. Vera has
been on the front lines of the Passamaquoddy’s work to protect their right to
fish, food sovereignty, and sovereignty
Over the past few years as the glass eel fishery has become
valuable to non-

Elvers – AKA Glass Eels

tribal people, the tribe has seen major encroachment onto its
fishing grounds. As the tribe stepped up its protection of the glass eels, Maine’s
Governor LePage has retaliated heavily, including rescinding a 4-year-old
executive order that said the tribes would be consulted on state decisions that
affect native people and suspending truth and reconciliation
commission aimed at uncovering and
acknowledging the truth about what happened to Wabanaki children and families
involved with the Maine child welfare system, heal and learn from the truth,
and work for the best welfare system for the children.

LePage has also ordered fishing gear to be confiscated, and
has made decisions that seem to be specifically targeting the Passamaquoddy
fishers. Vera’s fishing gear has been
confiscated as she’s been
fighting for sustenance level fishing for glass eels.

Vera Francis, in red, outside Maine State House in May when the three Nations withdrew.

This spring, the Passamaquoddy took a revol-oceanary step to
protect their sovereignty when they withdrew from the Maine State Legislature
along with the Penobscot and Micmac. This is a
brave step,
and one I hope we are brave enough to take when those in power abuse their
authority for the benefit of a few.
It’s worth noting that when I started working on fisheries
issues in 1994, Maine became an important training ground for me. People like
Robin Alden, Ted Hoskins, Jen and Rick Bubar, Will Hopkins, Brent Oliver, Ted
Ames, Paul Molyneaux, the late Bill Crowe, the late Pat Percy, and of course NAMA’s
first director Craig Pendleton and so many others were there early on as really
important teachers.

I’m certain this trip will deliver when it comes to lessons
and inspirations. Stay tuned for stories of inspiration from along the
Revol-Oceanary Road 2015.