2020 Maine Herbal Gathering

Dear herbal community,

As the gathering evolves, we (the MHG volunteers) are actively working to center decolonization throughout our media and events, and have decided not to create a digital event this year, but to instead use a more accessible platform and put together an art-based herbal zine. Our efforts will be focused on sending submission invitations to organizations and individuals throughout the QTBIPOC community, and anyone with a deep connection to the Maine herbal community and the plants here are encouraged to contribute.

In this time of tremendous censorship and polarized beliefs, we feel it is important to sustain a space that supports active conversations within the herbal community, as it provides a way to unlearn harm and open a path to re-learning a way to work with plants, cultivate our inner knowing and ability to navigate how to decolonize holistic healing. Therefore, we wish to keep the gathering going and because the gathering is run by volunteers alone and has a high overhead (with no profit margins), we do need to raise money in order to do so. We feel this zine is a way to do that, while also focusing our intentions on holding space for the herbal community to continue to grow out of white supremacy culture, confront fragility, and cultivate resiliency around having these dialogues.

We have been discussing a variety of ways to better center anti-racism and decolonization, and our current action items are as follows:

  • Use MHG platforms to fundraise for BIPOC-led herbal initiatives and BIPOC land reparations.
  • Better promote anti-racism trainings for white herbalists.
  • Continue to prioritize Wabanaki teachers / speakers at MHG.
  • Continue to use our MHG fundraiser to fundraise for scholarships so that BIPOC participants can attend free of charge and Indigenous community members continue to attend for free.

Potential future ideas:

  • Creating racial affinity spaces at MHG for deeper group healing.
  • Prioritizing MHG sessions that are about dismantling white supremacy culture.
  • Requiring mini-training / pre-work for all MHG teachers in anti-racism and decolonization.

We welcome further suggestions on specific initiatives that we can support fundraising for and additions to our action items are welcome and appreciated too.

We are grateful to be in conversation with you.

Sincerely,

MHG Volunteer Organizers