Divesting ourselves from spiritual tourism

Re a workshop that has started popping up in my fb feed, about how to build a “fair, reciprocity-based” business of sharing indigenous plant traditions (looks like they are mainly talking about from indigenous Central & South American peoples, but could equally apply to indigenous Asian, African, Australian cultures).

My take, it’s still rooted in colonizer mindset.

Compensating indigenous peoples for their knowledge is a step up from the exploitation that we’ve all too often been doing.

That said, if more of us Euro-Americans would reconnect with our own ancestral roots, which included strong herbal & healing traditions too, we would not feel such a compulsion to go casting about into other cultures that seem “cool and exotic” to us.

Or, we could look to the plants and traditions of the bioregions where we live (with the permission of the indigenous peoples there, and always compensating & crediting the indigenous peoples).

We need to stop engaging in gringo shaman-tourism syndrome.

Tip: Do a search for permaculture guilds, bioregional groups, native plant societies in your local area. The movements aren’t monolithic but you’re sure to connect with at least some people who are on a decolonization-minded path.

(Added later in response to a comment):

To be clear: Of course I am totally on board with us learning from indigenous peoples even if it’s not our own ancestral tradition (provided we are compensating the people generously, according to their definition of generous & appropriate). And, supporting indigenous businesses.

What I disagree with is if we Anglo-Europeans are having our own businesses that are based on indigenous wisdom.

I may have to make a few tries at expressing what I mean, as this isn’t a topic that has come on my radar til recently & I’m still new at speaking up. This is my best effort for now.