2022 honor tax commitment22 Jan 2022
this blog post comes out of a coaching session with melissa alcala. thank you, melissaaaaaaa!
as a part of my coach training in the 9-month cohort program of coaching for healing, justice, and liberation, we talk a lot about resource interdependence and also about decolonization. we talk at length about how the present of not-so-united states (NSUS) exists as an aftereffect of attempted (and ongoing) indigenous genocide (among other things, like chattel slavery).
unless you are on living ancestral lands that you belong to, you are implicated in this attempted genocide.
which means i am implicated.
for years now, but especially over the last year, i’ve been thinking about what that implication implies. what does that implication mean for me? and should i do, if anything, about it? how do i take responsibility for something i did not choose or cause but could have a role in tending to?
here is where right relationship comes in.
reading braiding sweetgrass and decolonizing wealth transformed my thoughts about money and economy. i think my thinking at that point was already pretty radical so those next two transformations were like woah. without getting into all the details, i can summarize the two shifts like this:
- from braiding sweetgrass: gift economies work because gifts are a relational bond (where as consumer economies work because resources are exchanged in a transaction. and, in their purest form, a transaction that has as little relationship as possible. consumer economies hold an assumption that the cleaner the transaction, the more effective the system).
- from decolonizing wealth (my notes here): resource wants to flow. when something has been keeping resources from moving, eventually that block will be removed. it can happen by choice or, if left long enough, it will happen by force.
so! what does all this mean?
it means i am stepping into an individual honor tax for indigenous communities on the land i live on. in search of right relationship, my commitment:
i will give at least 1% of all of the money i make in 2022 to indigenous-led organizing, healing, or culture work (i recognize those are constructed/false distinctions but they are helpful for me for now). i will write this commitment into all of my contracts. i will calculate this number by 31 jan 2023 and commit to moving the money by 23 feb 2023.
some beliefs/things i know about this already:
- this is a first step.
- i believe that individual action and thinking is the beginning and not the end of change work.
- i do not believe this single commitment will change the whole world… at least not on its own.
- i do believe that this commitment, along with practice and thinking from others, can change the whole world.
- i do believe that this single commitment can change someone’s world. i believe the money itself can do that as can this thinking and writing.
- i believe this will not be simple. questions are arising already. the biggest so far: how will i choose where to give? i have not yet figured this out but i have begun.
- i will stay open to loving critique and conversation from and with other people on their own journeys towards right relationship with the indigenous
- i believe this commitment could be part of and will not be the entirety of what healing and restoration is possible between descendants of enslaved people and indigenous people on this land known to many (but not all) as turtle island. i believe that healing will be interconnected and mutual.
questions, comments, concerns are all welcome.
24 feb 2023 update
i landed on donating to native land conservancy. my contribution was $1,498.57 and i donated this morning. i’m a day late!
words / writing / post-processing
535w / 20min / 5min