She:kon from the ancestral homelands of the Kanien'kehá:ka (People of the Flint)
Universal energies are calling for us to look deeply within ourselves to see, accept, and embody our authenticity as individuals and as a collective. The influx of light frequencies coming from the 11/11 portal, new moon, and solar flares propel us toward liberation as individuals, and therefore as a collective. With the active genocide agendas we see within our lineages and lifetime that aim to separate, assimilate, and ultimately suppress humanity to fear, it can be challenging to see liberating pathways to sovereignty. Within paradigms that no longer serve us, we have doubted our innate powers of liberation.
November 17th, 2023, marks the end of our first year rematriating what was once known as Bohringer’s Berry Farm in Schoharie Valley. Today, we celebrate our first year of actively reconnecting, rematriating, and remembering who we are as Onkwehonwe (Original Beings) throughout our return home process living at Iotsi’tsison (Skywoman’s) Forever Farm. The Waterfall Unity Alliance intends for the work we do to be a liberating pathway back to balanced and harmonious ways of being: true sovereignty.
We recognize that Bohringer’s Berry Farm has served as a central component to the Schoharie Valley Community. Engrained within the DNA of the land in which the farm resides are the memories of the Kanien’kehá:ka (People of the Flint) Turtle Clan Village in which Onkwehonwe (Original Beings) once embodied the original instructions. From the moment Kawenniiosta Jock signed her name to close on the farm, its frequency shifted. From the moment she signed, a great healing process has begun that has opened doorways to deep reconnection for Onkwehonwe.
Kanien’kehá:ka Mother Kawenniiosta Jock (Wolf Clan) and her family have been co-creating and planting the seeds for their people to join them in the return to Ioskóhare. This includes Liv Watyana’li:yo Bigtree (Onyota’a:ka [People of the Standing Stone], Turtle Clan), who joined the Waterfall Unity Alliance team and lives on-site. The rematriation process, including all decision making, manifesting & visioning, has been led by Onkwehonwe women. Primarily, Kawenniiosta & Liv, along with Kanien’kehá:ka Mother Jackie Hall (Wolf Clan). Roger Jock (Kanien’kehá:ka, Bear Clan), member of the Waterfall Unity Alliance Advisory Board, has upheld masculine responsibilities throughout this process as the loving father, grandfather, and brother he is.
Over the course of this past year, Onkwehonwe children, elders, women and men have visited the land, co-creating in different ways. Onkwehonwe men have come to lend a hand in renovating the farmhouse since November, creating a safe space for families to live and visit. Onkwehonwe children, women, and families have placed their hands in the soil, picked berries, and planted seeds that grow beyond the physical. We’ve held ceremonies, a social dance, and cooked meals that have fostered a deep reconnection within ourselves and the land. The more connected we are with creation, the more connected we are within ourselves. The healing within ourselves gets reflected within the land and vice versa. Our connection with creation is a relationship of oneness. We are merely a reflection of all of life.
When the illusions of separation dissolve, we are reminded of the importance of gratitude. Singing the songs of our people, feeling the land as we shuffle & stomp our feet, seeing our hands graze the berry fields, and hearing the laughs of our children are the sensory indicators of our DNA activating. As we return home in the physical, we return home to ourselves. To witness our people come back home has been a fulfillment of dreams deep within the DNA of our lineages.
We have dedicated this past year to allowing the land to rest, as this land has been subject to harsh chemicals and cash cropping for at least 60 years. This rest process has allowed for our people (living onsite and visiting) the grounding space and solitude necessary to align with our authentic healing timelines. As Onkwehonwe, we have committed to transitioning the farm to an organic regenerative agricultural working farm. It is integral to us that all processes and decision making on the farm aligns with the current of all of creation. This past October, we celebrated the first rematriated action toward regenerative agricultural practices when we sprayed organic microbes and biochar on all of our berry fields, sourced from American Indian Microbes & Comache Biochar. Application of conservation practices We look forward to this next year of milestones at Iotsi’tsison Forever Farm, as this is only the beginning.
None of this could be possible without the help of our donors, allies, and supporters. Waterfall Unity Alliance board members Bethany Yarrow (Co-Founder of WUA), Sonya Armlin Roland, and Cathy Berry have shown up as allies through their support in this process as they hold space for the work we do. Sarah Bachinger has officially joined our team and offers her creativity and kindness to spread our message. Ally Adam Taber of A.T.’s Custom Contracting and his crew have been the leading force of the construction and maintenance of the infrastructure here at the farm. Karen Taber worked at the farm stand for our soft opening this year and served as the friendly face all our visitors got to see. Christopher Lindstrom (Advisory Board Member) donated the geodesic dome in which our people were able to have our first social dance. Karenna Gore (Advisory Board Member) donated a yurt that will serve as a womb-space home for an elder and her family to live on-site. Janet Kroboth-Weber & Stephen Kraska of Eco-Acres have supported us in ceremony, along with others. Timothy Houseberg Shikanlla (Knife Warrior) and Dr. Will Spencer of the Indigenous Production Trade Alliance have been the guiding force of the application of conservation practices at the farm. As one of our biggest supporters, Todd Young has offered consistent guidance and assistance. We’ve experienced the joy of working with allied volunteers, including members from Permatours and the Root Community during the Waterfall Unity Festival 2023. Lastly, we’d like to acknowledge Victoria Sweet and the NoVo Foundation for their heart-centered support and kind donations. These are just a handful of the ally support we have received over the course of this first year.
Niawenko:wa (A Grand Thank You) and a waterfall of love to all of our donors, allies, and supporters for your commitment that has contributed harmoniously to carrying us forward each step of the way as we walk this pathway of healing.
Much work remains as we move forward into this timeline. Support is needed. A major piece to walking the path to sovereignty for Kanien’kehá:ka is ensuring the future generations can always consider Iotsi’tsíson Forever Farm to be home. For this to be truth, we still have to raise money to pay off the loans that were deemed necessary to purchase the farm. Within the spirit of new beginnings, we are calling for assistance and support to make this a reality. Along with paying off loans, it is integral that our children and young families have active language and traditional teachings to ensure our way of life is carried onto the future generations. A Kanien’kehá:ka elder is coming to Ioskóhare with her family to take on the responsibility of providing teachings for our children. A Kanien’kehá:ka farm manager is coming from Ganienkeh to be a guiding force ensuring the abundance of this farm remains for future generations. We are in need of funds to maintain a salary for our newest team members. Funds for learning supplies and farm equipment are needed as well, to ensure the responsibilities of this land can be fulfilled.
As we walk into our second year in this ever-evolving vision, we walk with gratitude in our open-hearts, power in our steps, and awareness in our presence with the glow of unconditional love. A waterfall of abundance to all. Niawenko:wa for hearing us, seeing us, and bearing witness to this pathway to sovereignty.
We hope these words inspired you today. As always, the Waterfall Unity Alliance says nia:wen for your support.
Oneh (Until we meet again)