Resilient Villages – A rough blueprint

Over at the Republic of Lakotah website, there’s a brief outline of a strategy for developing an independent network of largely self sufficient villages.

1. Joining the Republic of Lakotah isn’t about having American Indian blood, it’s about wanting freedom AND making the sacrifices necessary to live free.
2. Everyone is invited to participate in developing our first “Lakotah Republic Villages.” As Russell sees these, they would be villages of 10-30 families that would share a kitchen/dining area, a car or two, solar and wind power. Each family could put up whatever sort of housing suited their needs. Children could be community schooled. Each village could have it’s own garden and solar-powered green houses. People could raise chickens, turkeys or whatever.
3. The land here is beautiful and very inexpensive. Good well water is easy to get.
4. If these villages are well-designed, nobody will be “roughing it,” life can be a paradise without the rat race of modern America.
5. Eventually, when the ROL is fully realized, ANYBODY can renounce their US Citizenship and get an ROL passport.
6. It’s not complicated, it just takes like-minded people planning well, pooling their resources and TAKING THE BIG LEAP!

What’s described above is a Resilient Community.

This conceptual model creates a set of new services that allow the smallest viable subset of social systems, the community (however you define it), to enjoy the fruits of globalization without being completely vulnerable to its excesses. These services are configured to provide the ability to survive an extended disconnection from the global grid in the following areas (an incomplete list):
Energy.
Food.
Security (both active and passive).
Communications.
Transportation.

Such communities are probably closer to the true nature of a traditional Indian Village than anything that exists in our communities today. There are two villages that I am aware of that are just a few steps from attaining this simply by being who they are:

Taos Pueblo


Taos Pueblo is a centuries old pueblo village in northern New Mexico. It is the oldest currently occupied structure in North America.

Taos Pueblo:

  • Has its own water supply, a river which bisects the village complete with a hand dug irrigation system that is reliant only on gravity.
  • Is surrounded by fertile farm land, which has been under cultivation for thousands of years.
  • The farm land is surrounded by wilderness, which has provided the people of Taos with a sustainable harvest of firewood, building material, and wild game for thousands of years.
  • Has its own transportation infrastructure. Essentially, it is built in a traditional urban format: narrow streets and small homes built side by side right up against the street. In the event of rising fuel prices the people of Taos could easily move back into their traditional homes and be within walking distance of all the food, water, fuel (the forest) and shelter they needed to survive. The furthest field from the village is perhaps 2 miles away, with wilderness and wild game just beyond that
  • Has an intact clan structure, which is fully capable of mediating disputes, organizing ceremonies, and even organizing defense.

What is Taos missing that it could easily provide for itself?

  • Electricity – Each home could easily be powered by a small solar panel. Taos is sunny year round. With high efficiency appliances and a slight adjustment in lifestyle, solar power could keep traditional homes well lit and even run a few small appliances.
  • Plumbing – traditional urban living is miserable without adequate plumbing, particularly without a sanitary way to dispose of human waste. Composting toilets, however, have reached a point where they are clean and largely odorless with the additional advantage of not needing to rely on a complex municipal sewage system.
  • Communication – satellite internet is getting cheaper every day. With a small laptop powered by a solar panel and VOIP, you could make phone calls across the world without being “plugged in” to anything.

There are some additional features which could make life more comfortable and make the community more prosperous. The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low Overhead Manifesto explains how decentralized manufacturing could be profitable, and bring us many of the goods and services that make modern life so pleasant. Paved streets would go a long way toward making life comfortable in such a village. Instead of black top pavement, I envision something that would retain the character of the centuries old village, like this street, in the ancient capital of the Inca:

Klukwan


Klukwan is a Tlingit village on the banks of the Chilkat River in the Tlingit Nation (southeast Alaska.) Klukwan has:

  • It’s own water supply, a few steps from the front door of anyone living in the village.
  • It’s own food supply. I’ve witnessed drift netting in the Chilkat River. During certain times of the year a small family could easily be fed by a couple fishermen operating a 16 foot skiff with a small nylon fishing net.
  • An intact clan system, capable of mediating disputes, organizing ceremonies and organizing defense, if need be.

What is Klukwan missing that it could easily provide for itself?

  • Electricity – currently the village runs on diesel. Last I checked (when gas prices were still pretty low) electricity in the village costed about $.54 per kilowatt hour, five times the national average. A few water wheels on the torrential, high volume Chilkat River along with some energy efficient appliances and adjustments to lifestyle should do the trick.
  • Communication – satellite internet is getting cheaper every day. With a small laptop powered by a water wheel and VOIP, you could make phone calls across the world without being “plugged in” to anything.
  • Transportation – urban infill would go a long way in Klukwan. There are certainly enough calories and energy potential in the village to increase its population. Such a population should be easily serviced by a few higher capacity vehicles running between the village and the nearby town of Haines, especially if the village produced most of what it needed to sustain itself anyway.

And much like Taos Pueblo, decentralized manufacturing could be employed to provide jobs and goods and services.

These are the nuts and bolts of how we become truly independent tribal nations; beholden to no one, reliant on no one but ourselves, and free.

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About Vince

I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
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6 Responses to Resilient Villages – A rough blueprint

  1. Pingback: Resilient Villages – A rough blueprint | Lingit Latseen

  2. Pingback: Attack the System » Blog Archive » Resilient Villages – A rough blueprint

  3. Pingback: The Future of Native Lands and Economy; Let’s make life easier for ourselves and be our own boss | American Indian/Alaska Native – Attack The System

  4. Tanya says:

    Hi Vince! Could you tell me daily ration of Indians in the reservation (in the US). I mean what they eat from day to day. And is it food supplied by government?

    • Vince says:

      Dear Tanya,

      On the reservations we are regularly fed kool-aid and peanuts by the government. The kool-aid we get for free, but the peanuts we have to dance for. Thanks for your comments.

      -Vince

      • Tanya says:

        )) I get you. I’m asking coz i gonna donate some money to one Indian Reservation every month, after reading their state of affairs. I would like to volunteer there but i live in Russia. And wanna say that we think alike. Big hug.)

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