Statement of Acknowledgement and Gratitude
From Former Director and Founder, Angella Gibbons, in 2020
EarthWalk’s mission is to inspire and empower children, families and communities to reconnect with and care for one another and the Earth, through long-term community and nature-based mentoring. We would like to acknowledge and thank the various people, inspirations and teachings that influence EarthWalk. In this effort, we are working to clarify our most deeply held values and why we do this work.
We acknowledge that EarthWalk is a learning and growing organization, open to feedback and evolution. We acknowledge the long history of hardship faced by First Nations Peoples in the ongoing struggles of colonization and resistance.
We acknowledge that, at this time, we are staffed predominantly by people of European descent coming from a place of privilege and opportunity. We also acknowledge that inequities and injustices must be reconciled and healed, and there is much work to be done.
We acknowledge many of our crafts, skills, songs and stories originate from cultures that have lived in close connection to the land for thousands of years. We do our best to share what we have learned in skillful and respectful ways. Through this work we do, in our small way here at EarthWalk Vermont we hope that we can strengthen relationships of healing and reconciliation among people and the land. We work mostly with children; making crafts, such as weaving baskets and carving spoons; learning skills such as fire and shelter to stay warm and dry, sharing and creating songs and stories of hope and healing, and spending quiet time sitting with the forest, all to continually deepen our connection to the land and one another.
We would like to send our deepest thanks to the Land as our greatest teacher and source of inspiration.
We give thanks to the First Nations People in particular to the Abenaki whose land we live and work on, to the peoples living on the west coast, north and south and in between.
We give thanks for the collective knowledge, skills and wisdom passed on to us through teachers of all kinds; mentors, aunts, uncles, grandparents, authors and storytellers, Elders, books, documentaries, oral tradition, as well as the land herself.
We would like to thank the Traditional Elders, local and from around the world, who have spent time with us on the land supporting and guiding EarthWalk.
We give a special thanks to Jon Young, founder of the Wilderness Awareness School and the Regenerative Design Institute, both on the West Coast. Thanks to Jon's vision, there are now over three hundred affiliate schools and programs around the world connecting people of all ages to nature, utilizing common mentoring principles, including EarthWalk Vermont.
And thank you to the children and families who bring vitality to the EarthWalk Vision. Thank you to all of you who make this vision possible; EarthWalk staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, collaborators, donors and community partners.
As we strive to do this work better, we welcome your thoughts and ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.
In peace with much gratitude,
Angella Gibbons, Founder, and Former Staff and Board Member of EarthWalk Vermont