Skiing, Patagonia, Connor discussed on Out of Bounds Podcast


Then we should be at the center of how that looks moving forward as native people and the reason why is we need to create jobs for ourselves and roles for ourselves within our community and on the land that create economic opportunity moving forward, but also put our people back in those places. Yeah. And so that for me is really how I see it now. And I'm like, dang, look at all this backcountry skiing that happens out here in this empty place. Wouldn't it be amazing if there's a native ski guide here? Who could be the one to take you to go ski these lines? And as backcountry recreation and those things grow, I just think about what my experience of being able to get out there has done for my life and my well-being and I want that for other native folks. Where it's like, okay, we can't undo colonization. We can't undo capitalism overnight and just like, boom, everything's 1491 again. Yeah, right. That's not possible. So it's like, okay, well, if we have to choose a way as native people to make a living for ourselves, shouldn't it be out here in these places that make us feel whole and these places that miss us in the way that they're cared for? And so I really see it as an opportunity moving forward of like, okay, we can all gain something by bringing native people back into these spaces and if I can become a professional skier in the course of 7 years or I have another body who I just wrote an article for Patagonia's cleanest line about who became a ski patrol in the course of like three years. And she's on his homelands. And if those kind of things can happen that quick like a few times, it can probably happen a lot of times. And there's a consistency there. For native people improving our mental health and well-being by being on the land. And if we can, you know, have a place to live in a roof over our head at the same time by doing that. That's a pretty rad way forward. Yeah, I think that's great. It's like, I always wonder what the plan is. How to make these types of things happen, right? Because I talk about a minus at this point. But how do we get to the point where that is the norm, right? Where it's like, because again, back to that argument of, why do we even need to talk about it? Well, the idea is that we get to a point where everybody is like whole essentially, right? Like everybody feels at home. Everybody feels comfortable. And everybody has a place in this industry that we all share. How do you think we get to that point? What are the steps? And again, I don't want to, I hate asking these types of questions to people because I feel like I'm Connor. How do we save the world? You tell me and like everybody's gonna hold this model until the end of time. But like what does it look like? I mean, I think there's a lot of ways it can look and I'm not uncomfortable answering the question because it's like something I obsess about. And so I think, yeah, like moving forward, we have to take some sort of initiative to return stewardship of the land to native people, right? That's a movement that's really popular in native circles right now is what we call land back. But when we talk about land back, like, we don't mean like, okay, it's all ours, only we can be there. And everybody else goes back to wherever they came from. That's not even the way forward that we want. Yeah. I want you as someone who's a second generation immigrant to this country. Like, I want you to be here and ski with me and be on these places and that's what I want as a native person. And so but at the same time, in getting there, like you said, you want everybody to feel whole in that home. And I think that has to start with the people who original home this is. And putting us at the forefront of how these places are taking care of and other in Colorado where the mountains are kind of endless. And the only limiting factor in some ways to getting there is access. And knowing how to sustainably access these places. And if I think there's anyone to ask about how to do that, it's native folks. And so it's like, okay, well, if we need a new ski resort, we need a new model of skiing, maybe that's like guided backcountry skiing or avalanche controlled backcountry skiing, or whatever these things might be. We need to at least be at the center of the conversation of how that happens. And I think at the same time, lands needed to be returned to native people for us to manage for everybody's recreation. And we need to be allowed to profit off that. And there's places where there's already that happening. There's two ski resorts ski Apache and sunrise mountain park resort, whatever it's called down in Arizona and New Mexico, where the tribe owns and runs the ski area, like other tribes my own and run a casino. And to me, that kind of model is the way for. Where it's like, okay, let's give this piece of BLM land, let's say, because PLM is currently run by Deb Howland, who's the secretary of the interior and she's native, right? And so let's give some land back to tribes back to different tribal entities and let them run a new ski resort. A new mountain bike trail system. A new hiking area, a new camping area, whatever this is. And then when we have that land back to take care of it, everybody can recreate there, and the profit that comes from that, the gear shop at the bottom of the hill or the lift ticket or whatever the cost of admission is, that can go to a tribal fund that then exists so that we can proliferate and educate our own people on our own existing land management practices. And so at the same time, this is going to be a climate solution. This can be an access solution. All these different things at once. And so for me, I think that's how it goes. And to create jobs and to better education of our own people on our own practices and culture is really kind of the recipe for me. I think. Yeah, I think that's, I think that sounds great. And I guess I don't understand why there would be a whole lot of resistance, but I imagine you feel and you get a lot of resistance from people on these kind of ideas, right? Like people are like, I don't know. It seems like everybody acts like their stuff is being taken away. For some reason, it seems like the reaction to.

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