What King is describing is a loss of identity and the longing to create another one in its place. In this context, history accumulates as an enemy, and as it amasses it wipes out the potential of oral traditions, of song, of teachings that are language and culture, an emotional belief that is tied to the land, not removed from it, and not speculating across it.
After a century of intrusion and coercion, congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act in the spring of 1851. The main purpose of the act was to renew or enhance funding for Native peoples and communities, but it contained a rider that formally ended what is known as the treaty period of Federal Indian policy: no longer would Indian tribes be treated as independent nations. Rather, Native people would be treated as individuals, and they would henceforth be considered “wards” of the state. This policy was amended in 1871, by a bill that committed tribes to cessions, as policy made it significantly easier for the federal government to relocate nations from their lands.
The reasons for reconciliation are manifold. We are no longer designing for others—the client, the municipality or the consumer. We cannot rely on engineering details and outdated procedures. Rather, we are designing for a healthy and equitable future, for the planet. Design is framed as a process by which humans transform the land, extract materials and negotiate the elements and the forces of nature. In this frame, human drama is often the “hook” of narrative. But there are three kinds of stories in any narrative: Humans against one another, humans against themselves and more importantly: humans against nature. Examples of the first two abound, but fewer examples exist of the third type prompting restless questions: How is the land transformed by design? What existed prior to the design? When does a site become a landscape? Here is a story of retreat, to add to other stories one thread on top of another, as the ash of trees fall and become ground, bones of free roaming creatures are buried for ages, and pipes, flagpoles and plastic are the next to be buried.
Storytelling holds intelligence for landscape studies. The power of Indigenous storytelling is found in the co-mingling of theoretical and practical knowledge that begins with an intimate connection to place. For many Indigenous groups, history is maintained by the stories, legends, songs, and memories created in speciﬁc landscapes. Consider William Least-Heat Moon’s response when asked: where is your nation? "My nation is the grass and rocks and the four-leggeds and the six-leggeds and the belly wrigglers and the swimmers and the winds and all things that grow and don’t grow. How big is it? My nation is where I am and my people where they are and the grandfathers and all the grandmothers and all the stories told, and it is all the songs, and it is our dancing.” Lived experience sets history in motion. This is a way of thinking about the past that is not intended as cultural appropriation, the making and remaking of worlds is a present-tense story.
A rupture twenty-five kilometers deep beneath the Nazca plate, produced the earthquake, triggering a tsunami that traveled along the fault at tectonic junctions. The magnitudinous waves spread beneath the coast until making landfall along the shores between Constitución and Concepción. Magnitude is relative power, and its measurement takes into account the energy released at the source. By comparison, intensity is the strength of the shaking produced by the magnitude.