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Monday, January 4, 2016

Minutes from the council over Thanksgiving holiday weekend

These are the minutes I have received from what was once upon a time called Thanksgiving Council and which folks at this year's council renamed to Fall Counsel.  While the minutes included people's names, I have only include initials.  If you want the full names, please email me privately.


After a few weeks of heave-ho communications to-&-fro, this
is the awaited Report on the Thanksgiving/Fall Counsel at Flashback
Farm... yup, that's what they call it.
Many Thanks to our hosts, who kindly opened their homestead in the
upper Hudson Valley to family travelers over that weekend, and to
NERF wizards who handled preparations, brought in needed gear and
wonderful food.  It was good to see all the old friends and great
folks who attended.

    First -- a crusty rapporteur wrote up a colorful account of
their Friday arrival and the course of the Saturday council:  "One
man's report and random thoughts".
    Then -- a trusty scribe submitted the Consensi as-recorded,
so that these statements would be more accurate and explicit:
"Another report".

    []]  Together these were posted to the 'nerflings' email list
& website, and went out on a few channels.  For brevity and at the
authors' request, they are presented via this direct link:

       Soon after, I offered a few friendly amendments... one
powerful, heartfelt segment of Saturday's discussion deserved further
explanation.  This revision was suggested:

A consensus was proposed supporting the release of Leonard Peltier,
AIM activist falsely imprisoned for 40 years.  Lakota & Rainbow
friends held a prayer circle for clemency in front of the White House
on Thanksgiving Day... we shared solidarity, but a `formal consensus`
was improper, with legitimate concerns over using councils for
political speech in the name of 'Rainbow', exclusive of other beliefs
or purposes in gathering -- and a current controversy in Pine Ridge,
with loose talk of a "Rainbow-Lakota Alliance" agitating tribal
leaders, best to defuse and not make statements that might seem

The feather passed, and the next person asked for a silent prayer
that "Leonard Peltier should walk free"... a long, long, moment
passed with the circle in silence, longer than any consensus by
silence that I remember -- and 24 individuals expressed support for
the release of Leonard Peltier by signing a paper that was passed

       Here is the scribe's "exact wording of the consenses reached"
-- except for the last one, which was also slightly revised for
precision and clarity, as-shown:

   * Consensus #1:  Fall Counsel of 2015 consenses to try to meet as a family
    to keep the ball rolling, sometime over the winter.
   * Consensus #2:  Spring Counsel will be the weekend of June 10, 2016
    at a place to be announced.
   * Consensus #3:  Fall Counsel of 2015 consenses that we love ice cream!
   * Consensus #4:  This circle is referred to as our Fall Counsel.
   * Consensus #5:  (( See below, as Amended* ))

    []]  The proposed amendments added the saga of the intriguing
Sunday discourse, which was not covered in the prior reports.  They
were circulated by email among council attendees and interested
nerflings, and subsequently posted with the other info for

    The deliberations that day were creative and significant...
this further account is presented here, with the modified 'UnBank'
consensus and clarifying comments as proposed:

     Discussions on forming a 'banking council' were left unfinished
Saturday evening... that topic was picked up when council resumed
late Sunday morning.  Folks shared accounts of how it worked in the
old days, and also the problems that arose -- especially when permit
enforcement got intense and perceived 'leaders' were targeted.  Last
year a bank was set up but the names were withheld from Facebook &
other public channels; this stirred up a big squawk about handling
funds in secrecy, but then no money came in anyway.

     A few people expressed continuing fears about putting their names
out -- but it was noted that in any call for public contributions,
willing donors must know where the money is going, and who is
personally accountable for getting it there.  We acknowledged the
importance of supporting costs of scouting & gathering prep, and the
need to work out open and reliable ways to handle funds.  A stalwart
sister amplified this point and spoke eloquently on the need to stand
up in our own names, and the power of courage in doing so.

     A seasoned brother used the feather to facilitate a consensus,
then properly stand aside.  Discussions came to focus on proposed
language that made these responsibilities most clear, and three
people experienced in water, medical, and supply efforts stepped up
as volunteers to take them on.  We then agreed that a banking
'council' per se was problematic and unneeded -- that was the
breakthrough.  A simplified statement was proposed, and there was
consensus as the feather passed fully around the circle in silence. "

   * Consensus #5 (*Amended):  Fall Counsel 2015 declines to form an
interim 'bank council' for the 2016 Gathering; we encourage broader
discussion and innovation.  In the interest of transparency, these
individuals have volunteered to publicly receive donations for
scouting and specific gathering needs, and will provide followup
         o  Jxxx Hxxx- Team H2O (water and water supplies)
         o  Rxxx Zxxx- Main Supply
         o  Jxxx Lxxxx - CALM
Individuals scouting are encouraged to make themselves available to
receive donations as well.
__ . __ . __ . __ . __ . __ . __

    *Proponent's Notes:
       I served as the facilitator for this consensus, mindful of the
full discourse that went into it, and how it will be widely reported
and understood... I offer these inputs in that spirit, to finish the
job. (_sca_)

   i)  Narrow changes in the wording are suggested, for clarity:  The
original proposal (breaking from tradition) was expressly about not
forming a banking "council", so that term is restored, and this was
the first sentence.  Reference to "scouting and" other needs is more
accurate... there was no intention to exclude scouting from bank
support, only to make it more flexible.  Most important, the posted
Reports excluded the names of the Volunteers -- but the defining
point was that they WOULD be made public.  There is no "transparency"
if they are concealed, so they are included as stated in open council.

   ii)  It was discussed and agreed that the volunteers should be able
to receive checks & digital donations, and will set up a personal
bank account & secure on-line channels to do so -- with contact info
and instructions to be publicized later in accord.  Some of this
language was included in a prior draft, but left out of the recorded
consensus, assumed to be adequately implied.

   iii)  It's fitting to call it Fall 'Counsel' -- the scribe's term
in accord with the Ozark consensus years ago, properly connoting a
bunch of people talking (not a vested ruling body).  It is most
significant that this consensus divests Rainbow of a "banking
council" per se, the old fictional tag suggesting a legally embodied
'Group' -- and affirms that individual Volunteers can stand up and
serve responsibly in their own names, without fear.  This approach
aligns with the real nature of the gatherings, as public assemblies
based on personal standing and voluntary participation.


        3 contributors in cahoots,
            in order of appearance:  Qxxx, Fxxx, Sxxx a.


  1. Does this decision affect the way Magic Hat collections will be made at Gatherings in the future?

    1. I can't imagine it impacts Magic Hat on the land -- only money gathering ahead of time. There had been a habit to have a bank formed for any donations that came in between T-Council and Spring Council.

  2. some people are scared of their own shadows ....how pitiful

  3. thank you brothers and sisters for your diligent efforts in facilitating for the tribe. Bear, Great Lakes Rainbow Tribe.


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