Great Lakes Regional Council Notes

The following notes were written by Racchimuskillingum regarding the council process discussion at the Midwest Regional Council. They are not "official" minutes, nor was consensus reached (or sought) on the contents, but I think they are a good record of some discussion and ideas which were set forth. I am posting them per Racchi's request.

--posted by Gonzo--

From Great Lakes Regional Council, November 5 & 6, 1994, at Hummingbird's (bless her) in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

To our sisters and brothers, lovers and friends in the Rainbow Family, we send in love our greetings. We've had a fine weekend, eating, playing in the woods, councilling and drumming. We'd like to pass some of it on to you.

Our Midwest family is very concerned about the growing problems in our council process. When councils degenerate into shouting matches---as some of ours do---they produce mostly anger and divisiveness. We offer some practical ideas which we hope will, with mutual respect, make councils easier, happier, and shorter, and produce real consensus---everyone satisfied.

  1. Invite the Spirit(s) to be part of council.
  2. Choose a site available to all, but separate from casual passers-by. A stable and focused group is most effective.
  3. Set aside time for visions and heartsongs. As: Visions on July 6, and decisions on the 7th.
  4. For decisions council, choose one or more facilitators to keep things orderly and on the subject.
  5. Use a clearly defined process and, if needed, a written list of procedures. Get agreement on these at the beginning.
  6. Focus on a single large subject or a short, written list of smaller ones. Other councils are needed for other subjects. The July 7 "Vision Council" should deal only with site selection.
  7. When a person has nothing to say, encourage him/her to wait, listen, and focus, and to experess her/his thoughts clearly later.
  8. Keep council short enough so people who come at the beginning can expect to stay 'til the end.
  9. Formal consensus isn't often necessary. When it is, write the statement beforehand to get it definitely and correctly worded.
  10. Keep complete records, and where appropriate, publish our decisions and other results.
  11. Pass on your council skills to others, so we can all live in love.
We'll see you at home!


Council also consensed to the following calendar for 1995 (some events already decided by other councils):

February 9 - 12: Third annual Winter Regional Love-In Camp-Out, Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness, Michigan (between Ludington and Manistee on the Lake Michigan shoreline). Parking at the end of Nurnberg Road.

June 3 - 4: Yard Sale, hopefully at the usual site in Ann Arbor. This sale helps raise the green energy to keep you all informed, so if youUve got any goodies you can contribute, please feel free to do so at any time.

June 17. Spring Renewal Picnic, Gallup Park, Ann Arbor, 2:00 P.M. - dusk. Reunite the Michigan family after the long winter season, share some food and laughter, coordinate the Turtle Soup/One Mitten Kitchen, and arrange rides and caravans to New Mexico.

July 1 - 7. 24th Annual Gathering of the Rainbow Tribes, New Mexico.

July 22. Chaos in the Arb, Ann Arbor.

August 19. Picnic, Belle Isle, Detroit, 3:00 - Dusk.

August 26 - September 4 (Labor Day). Midwest Regional Gathering, Michigan. Interior Townsite, the site of the 1983 Michigan National Gathering, near Watersmeet in the western Upper Peninsula.

Every Sunday: Vegetarian Potluck and Drum Circle, Earth Community, 19731 Forrer, Detroit, 6:00 to Midnight. Info: Charlie - (810) 548-7235 or Community Hotline - (313) 493-0543

Once a month through March: Pancake breakfast and council, Atwood Community Center, Madison, Wisconsin.

First Sunday of each month beginning in May or June (in good weather): Picnic at the Totem Pole in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Lake Shore at Addison.

Frequently: Picnics and get-togethers, Southern Ohio, various locations.