Hello friends and welcome to another season of Camas,
This issue we’re more excited than usual because it’s our 25th anniversary! Our first issue, printed in Winter 1992-93, was an inspired 24-page black and white, photocopied and stapled publication. The editorial team chose the moniker Camas after the camas lily, which was harvested by the Salish during a time of celebration. It’s been published every year since and is always a celebratory event.
In 25 years, a lot has changed and yet there are oh-so-many moments that feel very much the same. Twenty-five years ago, Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida. This year, Irma has already made landfall, and forecasters are predicting the most active hurricane season since 2010. Twenty-five years ago, a nation divided watched rioters set fire to Los Angeles in response to acquittal of the officers who assaulted Rodney King. This year has seen a president use stronger rhetoric to condemn those who kneel during the national anthem than those who rallied around racist and antisemitic ideologies in Charlottesville. Twenty-five years ago, Mae Jemison made history by becoming the first African American woman to enter space when the Space Shuttle Endeavor launched. This year, the world’s largest march, the Women’s March, was held around the world on January 21 to advocate for women’s rights in response to the inauguration of Pres. Donald Trump. We’ve come a long way, but in so many ways, it feels like we have a long way to go.
We’ve left this issue of Camas themeless so those who want to submit can write/reflect/create/act on any subject that strikes a cord. We want a moment for us to celebrate where we’ve been and also where we might be headed. As always, Camas aims to cultivate a community of writers and artists dedicated to land health and cultural resilience in the American West. We mean for this philosophy to be broadly interpreted though, so please surprise us with your submissions.
Thanks, as always, for your readership, and to submit: