Wilderness Awareness School is no longer selling the Kamana Naturalist Training Program or the Seeing Through Native Eyes audio series. While 8 Shields is the owner of these products, we have been integral in providing student support and selling this program for over two decades. At this point, we have come to realize that although this program holds many great opportunities for important learning, it is no longer a match for our values as it currently stands.
In our evolution as an organization, we have come to understand that even well-meaning language or general references to “native people” in a program authored by the dominant culture living on lands that were stolen from Indigenous people not only doesn’t feel appropriate anymore, but overtly harmful.
This is especially true considering that Wilderness Awareness School, as it currently stands, no longer has active ties to the Indigenous elders who had been involved when Jon Young wrote Kamana so many years ago. We also want to create a more inclusive, accessible culture by seeking a broader diversity of role models.
Through the work we are continuously doing with our Equity Council and the organization as a whole, we cannot, in good conscience, continue to stand behind Kamana. We acknowledge that this program has brought wonderful elements of nature connection to the lives of many students around the world, and Wilderness Awareness School will continue to seek new avenues of this important work as we bring forth our mission in the years to come.