[Full Interview] Rewilding - with Derek Gow

Season 1, Ep. 0

With his hilariously sharp-witted, no-nonsense approach and radiating descriptions of nature’s landscapes, Derek Gow is a force to contend with.

He’s been one of the most vocal actors in the reintroduction of missing keystone species in England such as the beaver, the water vole and the white stork, butting heads with obnoxious lobbyists and government officials. He is currently rewilding his 300-acre farm on the Devon/Cornwall border where the Eurasian lynx, wild boar and harvest mice make home.

Our conversation ranges from the obstacles that prevent society in re-introducing critical species, all the way to Elizabethan fat bishops and voles that Gorgonzola river banks for other species to thrive. What is the mindset that sees all of land as "mine"? When were wolves seen as Gods, and what would it have been like to be a medieval traveller coming across one of these creatures “sodden like a Michelin man on a country path”? What barbarities have we committed against other species, and why should you think twice when buying herds of prehistoric Heck cattle?

Yep, this is a fun and brilliant one. (Listener tip: Derek packs more into a sentence that I could hope to do in a lifetime. Play at 1.5x at your own peril!)

Episode Website Link:

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Look out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes.

Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd

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5. The Indigenous View: Protocols, Ceremony and Totem Poles

Season 1, Ep. 5
With Tyson Yunkaporta & Joe Martin (Tutakwisnapšiƛ). Today we’re joined by two master indigenous scholars and artists, who will be laying down clues from their ancestral cultures on how to interpret and read the laws of the land. Our first conversation is what he likes to call a yarn, with Tyson Yunkporta, Aboriginal scholar, founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab at Deakin University in Melbourne, and member of the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland, Australia. Tyson is the author of the book Sand Talk which was wildly successful, and I reckon part of its popularity is the way that Tyson is able to pack in such punchy wisdom along with his sharp-witted, trickster humor. We discuss how their lab collects data and knowledge through a very special indigenous sense-making protocol, and then applies it to issues like economic reform, broken landscapes, cyber safety and neuroscience. We delve into the importance of engaging with place, why a real ceremony is not all fun and games, and how the west can quit longing and start acting in rediscovering its own indigeneity.  We’ll then visit wisdom holder and elder Joe Martin, who will be speaking to us from British Columbia. Joe is a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and is a master canoe and totem pole carver, with over seventy canoes having been whittled and chiselled away by his hands. Just earlier this July, he and his community raised a new totem pole in ceremony at the ancient village of Opitsaht which depicts his family’s teachings of natural law. I’ve uploaded videos of the totem poles in the show notes, where you can see how each pole carries millennia old myths, stories and teachings about the human relationship with forces like the bear, wolf, raven, sun, moon and stars.  I hope that both of these conversations will entice you to uncover and excavate your own family lineage, all the brimming folk tales and myths and lifeworlds held by your people and the land where your blood and cosmologies sprouted from. Episode Website Link:  Show Links: Deakin University Indigenous Knowledges Systems LabSand Talk bookIndigenous AI LabThe Other Others podcastFilm: The Canoe MakerBook: Making a Chaputs, The Teachings and Responsibilities of a Canoe MakerBC Achievement Award, Joe MartinJoe’s Facebook page Look out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes. Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd & The Rising by Tryad CCPL