Shasta Bioregional Gathering I (Napa Valley)

“Northern California Big Time”*

September 12-15, 1991 (Thursday thru Sunday )

*The First Bioregional Gathering respectfully borrowed the term ‘Big Time’ in honor of Californian’s First Peoples. The term ‘Big Time’ was and is used by California Native-Americans for large gatherings that evoke the past and explore the present and future.  This is accomplished by talking, listening, learning, demonstrating, telling stories, entertaining, and by celebrating their culture and traditions with all the members of their tribe.


Napa Valley. Enchanted Hills Camp.


Discuss mutual bioregional issues, explore cultural heritage, develop goals for the future and celebrate.  Also, declare what is wanted, and do something cooperatively about it.


Thursday, September12, 1991

  • Arrival and Registration.
  • Agenda Making and the formation of caucuses and watershed councils.

Friday, September 13, 1991

  • Sunrise Ceremony.
  • Opening Ceremony– A purpose of an Opening Ceremony is to make the place sacred and connect everyone to the place.
  • The place and natural systems within the Shasta region (the native plants and animals, climates, soils, landforms, and watersheds) mediate the gathering and are the subject of attention.  What is trying to be accomplished with the gathering is to realize we are part of these natural systems, seek the natural health of this place (restoration and maintenance), and make it a part of our lives. 
  • The goal is to be native to this place, to respect the things that are native to it and to develop social, cultural, educational, artistic, and political [structures] as appropriate tools for that purpose.
  • Watershed Reports– These are roughly 5-10 minute reports on specific, local places in the bioregion from those that live within them.  They contain brief news, activities and information.  They should provide the flavor of the watershed: local conditions, issues, innovative projects, etc.  Use of maps, poetry, slides, music, puppets, other species’ perspectives, movement and playlets to acquaint others with their area.  Also, sharing practical suggestions and how-to information, as well as what has (and hasn’t) worked within the watershed.
  • Workshops, Panels and Presentations.  Introduction to the local ecology of Northern California, and general bioregional issues.
  • Cultural Presentation.
  • Performances.

Saturday, September 14, 1991

  • Sunrise Ceremony.
  • Morning Circle (introduction, announcements, orientation of day’s events).
  • Small Activists Groups.
  • Watershed Reports.
  • Workshop Panels and Presentations.
  • Shasta Bioregional Future.
  • Saturday Night Party.

Sunday, September 15, 1991.

  • Finishing of Shasta Planning.
  • Watershed Reports.
  • Small Group Wrap Up.
  • Cleanup.
  • Closing Ceremony.

Exhibits, demonstrations, crafts, nature walks, music, games.

A typical sample of what those attending a Bioregional Gathering were asked to bring include:

  • Camping- flashlight, sleeping bag/bedding, warm clothes, personal care needs.
  • Anything that might enhance the village atmosphere.
  • Folding table if have display materials, folding chairs for workshops.
  • Watershed Report- try to make it entertaining and informational.
  • Exhibit Materials- articles, brochures, reprints, books, watershed projects, maps, artwork, etc.
  • Musical instruments.
  • Children’s Program supplies- glitter, paste, collage materials, paper, paints, crayons, etc.
  • Attendees were asked to be prepared to sign up for community participation when registering: kitchen duty, cleanup, camp watch, kids program.

Sponsors & Organizing Committee Members:

  • Crofton Diack (Event Coordinator, Planet Drum)
  • Marie Dolcini
  • Freeman House

Outreach & Publicity:
Planet Drum Pulse (Summer, 1991):

Participate in the First Shasta Bioregional Gathering!
Planet Drum Foundation is coordinating the first Shasta Bioregional Gathering, September12-15 in Napa at the Enchanted Hills Camp. You are invited to attend and join urban and rural Californians to discuss Shasta bioregional issues, explore our cultural heritage, develop goals for the future and of course celebrate. If you have a proposal for a presentation or just want to participate in the pursuit of sustainability, community self-determination and regional self-reliance, give us a call and get involved. Help make the SBG your Gathering.
Thank you, Crofton Diack

Benefit for the Shasta Bioregional Gathering:
This was held on Friday, August 23, 1991 at the Canessa Gallery (708 Montgomery St., SF).  Planet Drum Foundation presented Peter Berg telling Eco-road Stories from Australia, Hawaii, Moscow & New York. Judy Goldhaft performed ‘Water Web’ (moving while describing the resource “we love to drink”).  The cost was $5-$25.


For a fuller account of SBG I see:
LINK TO: “RAISE THE STAKES”, No. 20, ‘Anatomy of the Shasta Bioregional Gathering’.


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