Saturday, April 27, 2013

We Carry On

With Paul de Armond's passing one week ago, colleagues and friends of his have inquired, what now? In short, we carry on--recruiting, training and nurturing researchers, analysts and activists in defending democracy. When Paul retired as Public Good Project research director in 2007 due to declining health, we began looking at how to mentor a new generation in the skills we knew they would need to carry on as we ourselves did fewer investigations and more teaching. Since Paul retired, he remained an advisor, and indeed three of our most noteworthy interventions and consults -- two in California and one in Washington -- happened since then.

As Paul's partner at Public Good Project for the last eighteen years, I know he would have been very pleased with the kind and thoughtful remarks of his peers and colleagues on his untimely passing, but I also know the last thing he would have wanted is for those of us who remain to discontinue doing what needs to be done, just because he is no longer with us. Continuity and mentoring were, and are, top priorities for us, and passing on the lessons we've learned are part of why we maintain archives of our special reports.

While we are not often in the news, we advise thought leaders in media and academia on a daily basis. In fact, in the last few months, we have been busier than ever.

Since 1996, we have shared research on the anti-Indian movement with the Center for World
Indigenous Studies, and since January 2012, we have had a working relationship with Intercontinental Cry (IC) magazine, exposing threats to the world indigenous peoples movement. Published in Canada, IC is the leading indigenous peoples magazine in the world. And, like Public Good Project, it is all volunteer run, which means we don't kowtow to foundations or corporate sponsors like many do. As the banner at IC notes, we are independent, uncompromising and authentic.

Most recently, Public Good and IC published an exclusive news article on the national offensive to
terminate tribal sovereignty, launched at a regional conference in Bellingham WA on April 6. Our forthcoming ebook Communications in Conflict -- a collaboration with IC and Wrong Kind of Green -- focuses on networks and netwar, and includes lessons learned by Public Good operatives and colleagues over the last two decades.

The collaborating and mentoring Paul initiated in 1994 now extends throughout Canada and the US, with occasional consults in bodies like the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations.
While we still do original research and analysis, we no longer conduct field investigations, but someday that could change. For now, we mentor and consult, and adapt to social circumstances as needed. After all, that's what networks and netwar are all about.

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