This week I’m celebrating the launch of my new book, Fox Doesn’t Wear a Watch: Lessons from Mother Nature’s Classroom. This is the third book published by my company, Anahuy Mentoring, an independent Indigenous press and professional development company. I am honored to feature the beautiful work of Yakama artist Crystal Buck on the cover of Fox Doesn’t Wear a Watch. The cover features Pátu (Mt. Adams), one of our sacred mountains who lovingly watches over us. Crystal’s drawing features the eastern-facing slope of Pátu; this is the perspective of Pátu we see from the valley floor on our reservation and is the site familiar to all of us who’ve grown up there, live, or visit this special place.
I remember as a child the first time I saw blessed Pátu from the west side. I had no idea there were a bunch of people in Western Washington who loved and admired Pátu from this different perspective. Before this, I had a kind of working theory that anywhere I could easily glimpse Pátu was “home.” Could my notion of home be expanded? Later, I heard Auntie stories of picking Wíwnu (huckleberries) in berry fields on the west side. And fishing with relatives in lakes and rivers far beyond, but connected to, our reservation.
I learned, not in school but from relatives, that the whole notion of “reservation” is a foreign idea mapped onto us and our beautiful homelands and waters by people greedy to take them.
Yet, our people continue to honor our traditional teachings of being in good relation with the Land. Pátu was taken from us by the U.S. government and my Yakama Nation leaders successfully fought to restore the sacred eastern slope to our people. Upon this #LandBack victory, which took over 100 years, our reservation’s western boundary was moved.
Anytime you look upon the beautiful perspective of Pátu I know and love best, whether you’re on our reservation or simply holding Fox Doesn’t Wear a Watch in your hands, you too can pause and reflect on the brilliance and wisdom Indigenous peoples and cultures continually demonstrate.
How will you honor Indigenous peoples and lands today?
Dr. Michelle M. Jacob loves sharing her “Auntie” message of bringing more kindness, fierceness, and creativity into our lives. Upcoming opportunities:
Academic Career Trajectory workshop on April 1 at 9am Pacific (Noon Eastern). How will you define and create your academic “home”?
The Auntie Way Writing Retreat (9 weeks of awesome writing support!) Spring sessions begin April 2 at 10am Pacific (1pm Eastern). What message will you share with the world through your writing?