5 June 2020
(updated August 10 2020)
Dear Guides and Guides in Training:
We are in difficult times; perhaps times of unprecedented opportunity and challenge. A global conversation is exploring ways to heal racial divides and injustice. We are having that conversation within ANFT also.
The mission statement of ANFT is to“Nurture heart-centered relationships between all peoples and the More-Than-Human world of nature.” Our core strategy is to teach and promote the Way of the Guide, a specific pedagogy that aims to support each person on their journey to full embodiment of their inborn potential. This method is inherently one that is deeply respectful of diversity. In our work we continual encounter the effects of various types of colonization, recognizing how these effects are alive in our own minds. Part of our work as guides and as trainers of guides is to call upon the forest to help us recognize and heal the impacts of colonized minds. In practical terms this means learning to treat everyone with dignity, kindness, and fairness.
Our mission is also environmental. We think that helping each person fully discover and embody their unique personhood will inevitably restore and heal relationships between humans and the more than human world. We recognize that our mission is compromised by the systems that maintain white bodied supremacy and deny access to the most basic of human necessities including access to and comfort in nature to huge segments of our population based solely on the color of their skin. We also recognize that these systems are inextricably linked to the same systems that have degraded and destroyed our forests and ecosystems worldwide. We condemn these systems and the violence and brutality they have and continue to perpetuate against people of color, indigenous people and against the earth. Every human being needs nature for health and healing and we believe the earth needs every human being for its health too.
May the forests continue to heal us and the planet.
The ANFT Staff