The morning's chores were basic with writing our journals, preparing
meals then preparing ourselves to visit the Indian reservation on
the Island Prairies. It was quite an experience to learn about Casino,
Indian history and culture and about the sterling, unfailing, determined
and fearless effort of a sovereign-minority voice, wellknown for
fighting environmental issues all over the country.
For me , this was an experience extra-ordinaire , sitting and interacting
with an elder of the reservation and learning that the speaker Joseph
Campbell , an Indian has roots in Scotland (similar to my roots
) and that we belonged to a set of rulers , in fact the migration
of the Campbells were initiated by assasination attempts to rid
the soil of possible heirs. So there was a migration to other places.
I can relate to colonialism in Jamaica where plantation owners can
be linked to offsprings in the hills of the parishes like Saint
Ann where I grew up.
Joe Campbell sits on many committees of environmental and cultural
significance and has been lobbying on the side of cultural issues
and against ecologically destructive iniatives including the siting
of nuclear plants on or near the reservations and places to dispose
of their wastes. He is a naturalist, a medicine man, an international
speaker, an elder in the reservation and a tour guide among other
We returned to the boat docked at Red Wing, did some work at the
library including sending e-mails and calling relatives on the phone
before watching a video on nuclear plants then retiring for the
May 7, 2002
My first day on the boat actually came at the end of a period of
visiting schools, cultural centers and dialoguing with persons from
the twin cities. The previledge of viewing the May-day celebrations
on Sunday gives me an insight into issues global, local, cultural
and definitely environmental.
visited the Eagle Center and within a few minutes were taken through
historical, cultural, economic and environmental perspectives surrounding
the existence and attempts to preserve the eagle and it's habitat.
We then visited the blufflands where Dave the Naturalist gave quite
a comprehensive coverage of Geological and historical significance,
taking us through the ages as it were, before we explored one of
the bluffs on the goat prairie. This was a fascinating experience
up and down the slopes of almost 75 degrees. Once back on the boat,
reflections and interactions ran at maximum with the small group
of international participants that leaves me no alternative but
to think of ways I can convince others back in Jamaica to log on
to this program and to forge an ecological exchange that will benefit
student participants and others they share their information with.
Since our planned visit to see Mike Davis who is working on a program
to reintroduce a species of mussels on the river, did not materialize,
we viewed a cassette produced on the program before retiring for
the night .