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02-05-21 Without Reservation: Randy Kritkausky

We are but a few generations removed from millennia spent living in intimate contact with the natural world and in close commune with ancestral spirits. Who we are and who we think we are is rooted in historical connections with those who came before us and in our relationships with the land and the sentient natural world. When we wander too far from our roots, our ancestors and kin in the natural world call us home, sometimes with gentle whispers and sometimes in loud voices sounding alarms.

Randy Kritkausky’s family tree includes Potawatomi ancestors and a French Canadian voyageur, or fur trader. These human ancestral roots, along with those of trees in the Vermont forest where he lives, have been the source of an awakening that compelled the author to listen to the beckonings of kin such as Coy-Wolf, in ways that a university education did not prepare him for. His family legacy includes both sides of the clash of civilizations that occurred when Europeans colonized the western hemisphere and created cultural conflicts that endure to this day. Living with this dual legacy has enabled the author to explore bridges between two distinct world views, and to suggest ways that we may navigate challenges of the 21st century [such as climate change and COVID]. While an enrolled Potawatomi tribal member, he lives off reservation and has spent his life in mainstream society as do millions of other tribally enrolled Native Americans.

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