As an American, I think indigenous identity is something diasporaed Europeans are still getting a handle on, and it seems to help to communicate with our still-rooted relations on the peninsula and islands even if we haven’t managed to travel there in person. Having had the good fortune to do so, though, I find it comforting to know that there is a place where we, too, have long histories, cultures, and tangible evidence that our pre-industrial ancestors developed an appreciation for the sacred comparable to the indigenous of this continent where we are still getting a feel for things.
This morning I looked at old photos of Penzance where we stayed for a week seven years ago, recalling our ensuite accommodation above the Dock Inn pub where we spent evenings with our Cornish hosts listening to local musicians play around the fireplace overlooking the harbor, and read about the Barbary pirates who once raided this remote outpost that provided Gilbert and Sullivan with a theme for one of their plays. And I remembered sailing on Mount’s Bay on a fine summer day with a crew of sailors from the inn that we suspected were perhaps descendants of pirates, smugglers, and creative salvagers, but were now content to entertain tourists with local tales and standing stones in pastures nearby.
In times of social upheaval, it is good to know there is a place where you still belong.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here