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Cascadian? I thought I was an Oregonian.

Cascadia! It's hip and cool but what does it mean?
If you live in Oregon or Washington you may consider yourself as living in the Northwest or more specifically Oregon or Washington.
The Cascades run from through Oregon, Washington and Canada. Cascadia, used in certain contexts, is quite fashionable among many in the so-called the activist communities. It's like when people call Mt. Hood Wy'East.

1) Is it a way of ignoring the established borders and eliminating the sovereignty of the United States and Canada?

2) Does it marginalize and divide people from all over the Northwest and British Columbia?

3) Is "Cascadia" the start of next region similiar to the movement "State of Jefferson"?

4) Is it a code phrase used to acknowledge that white people stole this region from indigenous people?
Cascadia Rise Up! 04.Nov.2004 21:09

a cascadian

Klahowya ("greetings" in Chinook Jargon the trade
language that once marked an unique aspect of Pacific
NorthWest life and still remains in place names, can
still be found in slang and spoken by the elders in
both the First Nations or Native Americans and the
peoples that have resettled here within the last
hundred years).

Cascadia is geographically the Columbia River
Watershed and the area around the Cascade Range.
Cascadia's farthest extent is from northern California
to the Alaskan Panhandle and from the Pacific to the
Continental Divide. Cascadia Minor tends to be the
states of Northern California, Oregon and Washington
with the province of British Columbia. The Scottish
naturalist David Douglas named the Cascade mountain
range after the powerful waterfalls that carved out
this land and gave it so much biomass.

Cascadia may or may not ever be a nation-state as
others have pushed for, but She is a bioregion. Some
may ask if this idea is another "breakaway" movement..
well that is really up to Cascadians. The term
"Cascadian" can be found back the era of the Civilian
Conservation Corp (CCC) for the art style in the
Pacific NorthWest. This art style of the CCC build
was examplified in monumental structures in the
Cascade Ranges like Timberline Lodge that emphasized
and blended into the natural surroundings. Cascadian
style was characteristically rustic, natural material
and massive with themes being focused on Nature local
or cultural imagery. The movement to form the state
of Jefferson in the mid 20th century may have
contributed to the idea of political separation. The
Jefferson State movement has been consistantly an
movement against domineering urban centers. Oregon
Govenor Tom McCall in the 1970s was so fed up with
southern Californians moving to Oregon and
contributing to suburban sprawl said "Come and visit
us again and again, But for heaven's sake, don't come
here to live." There was even talk of building a wall
on the Oregon-Californian border. In the mid 1970s
Ernest Callenbach envisioned an emergence of
environmental awareness that would lead the Pacific
NorthWest (Northern California, Oregon and Washington)
to form the country of Ecotopia in his utopian novel
of the same name "Ecotopia". The 1990s David McCloskey
formed the Cascadia Institute. McCloskey describes
Cascadia as "a land of falling water". Cascadia today
translated back into Chinook Jargon would be "Tumchuk
Ilahee" (literally "waterfall land").

When one places a map of the Columbia River Watershed
over a map of the territory where Chinook Jargon was
once spoken as the lingua franca there is a
surprisingly strange overlap. Chinook Jargon was not
just a langauge used by Native people, but a was a
merger between all languages spoken in the region.
Today if survives among some of the Native People as
well as in thee place names of the region and in the
slang of the English of the region. Cascadia is not
just a physical place, but is a common reverence to
Nature as well as a merger between the different
cultures that have left their impact on the land. To
top this off the same territory has other bonds that
unite people culturally and economically such as
weather, timber and salmon all these stemming from the
confluence of the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade
Mountains. These two dominant geographical features
play major roles in not just the geology and
biodiversity, but also in the mentality of the people
that call Cascadia home. The mixture of marine,
alpine and even desert climates stirs a profound
reverence towards Mother Nature as well as a dark
humor that many called Northwest Noir. It is a land
where plaid became part of identity as loggers, tree
huggers and Grunge rockers. This is a land where
mythology still continues in both landscape and story.
Where a Sasquatch (Bigfoot) still lurks behind trees
or mountains and where the legend of D.B. Copper is
still a mystery that does not wish to be silenced. A
land where volcanoes are not feared, but revered as
sublime violent acts of Mother Earth. Cascadians are
varied in background and divided thoughts, but yet
hold common beliefs that the forest, mountains and
Pacific is part of their bodies. The pitch of the
fir, cedar and pine is the same substance that runs in
our veins. The moss, soft soil and bark are the skin
to our Mother. The smell of the fallen leaves after
the first frost intoxicates us. Dark grey clouds give
us a motherly comfort. Rain is our brethren in battle
against new comers that wish to steal more of our way
of life or the land we revere.

Historically a nation is a group of people with common
symbolism such as language, culture, religion and etc
that unify them as a group. The group identity called
nationalism emerged out of the Industrial Age as a new
form of political group identity and as a result has
became chauvinistic in many respects to any other form
of group identity. Nationalism with all its chauvinsim
has become yet another stumbling block to finding
harmony between people and Nature. As an emerging
identity "Cascadian" may evolve into a "nation", but
the terms "national" and "nationalism" are limited and
chauvinistic in their regards to the Cascadian love
for diversity. Cascadian identity could be called
regional nationalsim or even eco-nationalism. Yet the
term of "nationalism" has a legacy of hate and
misguided ations. Many of those who look to Nature
have taken to a new approach. This new approach to
identity through diversity in thinking, in human
experience (cultures, histories and commonality) and
ecology is bioregionalism. "Bioregions are geographic
areas having common characteristics of soil,
watershed, climate, native plants and animals ... A
bioregion refers to both the geographical terrain and
a terrain of consciousness -- to a place and the ideas
that have developed about how to live in that place."
Peter Berg. Out of the shared and merging experiences
of the people that have come to be called Cascadian
there is a hope of a new synthesis of thoughts and a
new reverence of Nature that wil be called Cascadia.


funny 21.Nov.2004 21:36

laura

4) Is it a code phrase used to acknowledge that white people stole this region from indigenous people?

yes carl, #4 is correct.