This collection of essays explores the Indigenous plant and animal life that color the Pacific Northwest's once-bountiful habitats and reconsiders what it means to be stewards of this land. In her debut work, Josephine Woolington sheds light upon the diverse species slowly disappearing from the PNW's land, seas, and skies to reveal that our impact on the earth is deeper and far more subtle than we ever imagined. Through interviews with local educators, Indigenous peoples, and government specialists, we are invited to de-center our human perspective in favor of a more organic approach. From gray whales to the Western bumblebee; from the Hoh Rainforest to the Cascades National Park; from the Alaska yellow cedar to the camas, these anecdotes re-imagine what it means to live mindfully among a colorful region of spoils. By bridging the gaps between our entrenched colonial histories and Indigenous perspectives with gentle reverence, Woolington winds back the clock to review the events that have endangered Pacific Northwest wildlife, and imagine how these effects might be undone. Only in understanding the Pacific Northwest's rich history can a society-further removed from the land in which it benefits from and the peoples this land belongs to-learn to live intentionally and harmoniously among nature. This collection of stories knits together both Western and Native perspectives to show us how we all may benefit from a changed approach to land management.
Josephine Woolington is a writer, musician, and educator. She previously worked at several newspapers in Oregon, where her work was read by both regional and national audiences via The Associated Press. During her time at The Register-Guard in Eugene, she received an award for best education coverage from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In addition to journalism, she's a musician and music educator. She's toured nationally and internationally with different artists, and she writes, records, and performs her own music as well. She earned two bachelor's degrees from the University of Oregon in journalism and political science and received the school's highest award for excellence in journalism. Her artistic, mindful perspective and curiosity about all living things guide her creative endeavors. She lives in her hometown of Portland with her love and their fur child, Gladys the cat.