During our Online Family Wilderness Skills & Storytelling event in May, special guest speaker Tom Brown Jr. announced a nature writing contest for the kids. The top three story submissions would receive prizes including an autographed copy of his book, a patch, and even a coyote skull and coyote teeth from Tom's private collection!
Here is a look back at Tom's challenge to the youth during his May 17th online appearance. (Scroll down to see the winners and their winning story submissions.)
The response was incredible! We received stories from children all over the world. Their hard work and creativity made selecting the winners a challenge for our team. Tom announced the winners in a special live event on Father's Day, 6/21/2020. Here is the excerpt from that broadcast.
Follow the links below to review the winning stories.
Congratulations to the winners, and to everyone who participated!
To our friends, families, and community:
At this historical moment of societal change, 4EEE stands in solidarity with the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in support of removing the long-rooted systems of structural racism and barriers preventing access to the peace and solace of the natural world. A critical part of this is our connection to the people around us, that forms a sense of belonging, trust, and community. From this fertile ground the seeds of social change can grow. Without Racial Equity, without Social Justice, there is no soil to grow from and the connection to Nature is lost. Far too long continues the mistreatment of Black, Indigenous, People of Color. Enough is enough.
Our mission at 4 Elements Earth Education is to guide youth and families toward a pure connection to the Earth through direct experiences in Nature. Our educational foundation is based on Indigenous teachings to give our youth a connection to the land through Earth-Skills, a mixture of Wilderness Survival Skills, Tracking, Storytelling, and Cross-Cultural Teachings. We give thanks to the Tracker School and the passing down of these skills from Stalking Wolf and his Southern Lipan Apache Coyote Clan. From its establishment, our organization has worked to make our programming available and relevant for all young people, as we believe the freedom and respect we all seek can be found in the arms of our Earth Mother. Through this process, we constantly support de-colonized thinking, truthful History, and the building of one-on-one relationships, both among people and directly with the Land.
What we are doing to support BIPOC communities:
4E has evolved out of our relations with the Siakumne Tribe for the past 10 years on Pata Panaka Village. We have a goal to achieve over 50% Native leadership (currently 40%), and having 20% of programs serve Native youth.
Here are two Organizations that we recommend that are led by Black Educators in the Nature Connection Field.
Prayers to the BIPOC families for their loss of loves ones. May we all work toward a better world, a world free of racism, for our children, grandchildren and the next 7 generations.
Rick Berry and the 4E Team