Kawashaway Community Circle Notes


Hinckley Circle
Tobie's Restaurant

Circle Date March 7, 2003

Present: Teddy Bear, Braeburn Blue, Randy, Xeno, Stuart, Tanya, Waterlily, Two Bears, White Ash, Bearberry, Plucky, Miracle, H, TwoTurtles, Will, Beebalm, Rocky, Poilu, Gary, Pollen, and Oni

[This was a handout at the Hinckley Circle ~ it is a rough draft effort to name specific responsibilities needing coverage to keep things functioning smoothly]

BOD (Board of Directors)

Possible breakdown of tasks.

1. Call schedule and facilitate KASA business meetings.

2. Secretary, take notes at meetings, refine meeting notes and
type up minutes for distribution.
Keep a file with meeting notes.

3. Keeper of the lists. Data base of members, and way those
members wish to be notified of happenings.
Send minutes out to interested faeries.

4. Treasurer, Keep financial records, issue reports, pay bills as
directed by Board of Directors.

5. E Coordinator, Web site, E discussions Moderator

6. Co coordinates Maintenance items at KASA,

7. Co coordinates Maintenance items at KASA,

8. Archivist / herstorian

9. Contact person for outside groups who want to visit KASA,
see to land and time being good for particular groups needs.

11. Wood supply coordinator

12. Go between BOD and Urban Faes (Twin Cities Faeries)

Note: Where words can be attributed to a specific person they are. Each paragraph is a separate voice.

H opened the circle with a proposed agenda saying that:

This circle was called because a feeling that there was a need for new blood, a need to move forward, and bring folks together.

H passed out a list of tasks for the governance of Kawashaway (see last page of these notes). He suggested that Kawashaway bylaws need to be adhered to but now aren't: e.g. committed stewards, minutes of meetings, regular meetings.

Braeburn asked for some clarification about why the word "crisis" is being used to describe the current situation. H responded saying that he wasn't sure that was the right word, but said the situation is not good. He said that there's a disconnect between the discussions at last summer's Great Circle and all the great things we want to do. The reality, he said, is that few people show up to the meetings to take care of the nitty-gritty. One of the conversations that was planned for the February Great Circle (which didn't happen) was whether Kawashaway Sanctuary - the organization - should be focused on maintaining the land itself or on building the wider Northwoods faerie community (including the maintenance of Kawashaway).

Is tonight about governance? or about being in community together? What do we want to focus on tonight - seems unclear.

Governance vs. the "3 of us doing it"

Rocky: One of the big disconnects for me is that I don't know the vision of the community for the sanctuary. We are often asked to make decisions without all the information we need, the input from all in the community. So….what is the vision? For the current level of participation? What do we want the sanctuary to be for?

Maybe there could be a better plan of action of what we want the sanctuary to be for. The past goals have been accomplished - the sanctuary exists and is paid for, etc. Yet what is missing is a group vision.

Beebalm: Clearly the by-laws are about the land and the community.

Will: I disagree with that. I don't think the by-laws address development of the wider community. This is an unresolved issue: whether or not Kawashaway is responsible for Northwoods Radical Fae events. I came tonight because I want to be a part of keeping Kawashaway together, but not necessarily to organize Northwood faerie events in the city. However, if there is a group that wants to do both (Kawashaway and community events) that is great, but I don't want to be committed to both.

Land vs. community - Is it the job of the stewards to maintain the community events? Building community away from land is important.

Is there a way for the governance that we envision to be able to do both - for example, I don't see a place for me "just managing the land", however, I do see myself contributing to "Urban Phase" - community building outside of the Kawashaway governance.

Will: I would like to see decentralization, not centralization.

It sounds like maybe we need a transitional group - getting the feedback, pulling together and deciding the roles of the board of directors.

The bylaws say that if you show up to a meeting, you are the board. The stewards have power of veto, but otherwise those attending a meeting can make decisions. So…what is the purpose of having a transitional group if it is to just create a new group, when no one comes to meetings now. The way stuff happens, is you come into a circle - there seems to be no commitment to coming together in circle.

What are we doing here?

Setting a solid agenda.

Tonight the size of the group indicates that we should be making decisions.

There aren't any certain decisions that need to be made tonight - rather, what is needed is a discussion of a group vision. We have been doing things by default, but this isn't what people want.

Back to the issue of governance of the land and creating/governing community.
Maybe we need to decide or discuss the options for governance.

It seems that what we need is that we need people to make a commitment to the group - either as stewards, or to the organizational structure.

The governance group should focus on the land as well as the events in town, community.

What is the reason more don't commit to being a steward?

A great misunderstanding of being a steward - there isn't a great list of requirements - just showing up to one meeting a year. The only thing that is different of being a steward is veto power - to block a decision.

Beebalm: I suggest that stewardship not be about having responsibility but being responsive to community.

Will: The critical question isn't what's been expected of a steward, but rather what do we want stewardship or governance to be.

Communication is one of the big issues to iron out.

Stuart: I'm a steward.

Rocky: We need to know who is in the group, so that when a decision must be made, we know who to call. Another element is how do we train ourselves to respond to meeting calls. I would like us to get in the habit of RSVPing, and letting each other know what we think, like… should we make a decision, etc.

I've heard that there are concerns about liability. Could someone explain this?

Answer: If someone sued the Sanctuary our first line of defense would be our insurance policy (up to a million dollars). After that they could go after the assets of the organization (our money, the land itself). After that they could go after the individual board members. Individual BOD members are indemnified from personal responsibility if they have been making careful decisions. But if we are not in compliance with our own by-laws then we'd probably be held liable. We've investigated directors' insurance.

The talisman was passed around so that each person could say if they are steward, and what their concerns or interests are.

H (y): I'm a steward, will continue to be steward.

Rocky (y): I'm a steward, will continue to be steward.

Teddy Bear (y): I want to be a steward.

Braeburn (y): I'm a steward.

Randy: I appreciate the meeting being here in Hinckley, I'm committed to the land, anyway, I suggest that there be a return to what was done in the early days: as many steward meetings as possible were held on the land. The land tells us what to do. I would love to see that happen again. I'm not ready to be a steward, but am committed to the land.

Will (y?): I want to be a steward. Like Teddy, I notice that, Like Teddy, I said I want to be one. My hesitation is that I still need to know some things before I can say I'm in. Like I said before, I'm more drawn to being in an organization that is focused on the land, not on community in the city (a personal choice). Also, I want to be part of a group that explores ways of being in community, an active group that figures things out. I'm not invested in one particular way of doing it, but our process must be intentional.

Xeno (y): I'll be a steward as long as I don't have to do anything. I've thought of myself as a friend of steward, so I might as well be a steward - so I'll go for it.

Gary: I'm going to claim newcomer status.

Stuart (y): I'm a steward - I want to be involved in the call, I want to help do more cooking at the gathering. The process of being a steward overwhelms me, but if it is task oriented, I'm good at that. I can make meetings, I can help with the gathering and make decisions about the land.

Beebalm (y): I'm a steward and will remain a steward until I'm no longer physically possible (moving to Europe later this summer). I'm open to a loving community - get to be completely congruent. I want to be steward of a place that is that for everybody. That is the most important thing for me.

Pollen (y): I'm a steward. In getting ready for the meeting, I had to deal with baggage of understanding the word steward. I'm not interested in making decisions about the land. I'm interested in listening to what the land has to say. I'm interested in helping the community plug into what the land has to say. I'm not interested in participating in Urban Phase. Getting back to communication - I have issues of attending meetings, plugging into email, etc. but regardless …

Tanya: I want to but right now I can't. I'm helping another group get off the ground, Mike is dying, caregiving 3 days a week.

Waterlily (y): I have secretly been keeping track of the number of people committing: I've lost count, which is a good sign. But I want to nominate myself, I have the time, the energy, the mouth to help out, to circle, anything that is needed. I'm in.

Two Bears (y): Oh all right. I fully intend to continue doing all the work that I've been doing - that makes me a steward. I don't know how I cannot commit to being part of the land. How could I not? How could I not have a commitment to the community? But I'm interested in gatherings, making sure we have gatherings. Make sure that the call gets out, put together, that registration happens, money gets collected.

Oni (y): I'm a duck. (If it quacks like a duck….)

White Ash (?): I came to Rad Faes to be with people - specifically queer men aware of their emotions and spirituality. I did not come to Faes to do the drag thing, I don't know what happened, I was jealous. But I have to say that I adore Kawashaway, and that it is important to me. Yet I'm over tenting and listening about chopping wood at a meeting - that is not a good use of my time for contributing to this community - and am not focused on Kawashaway - I don't think I'm a steward. I'm looking at H's list. In part, but not exclusively, it is a numbers game - the responsibility is among too few people. From what H has laid out, I'm already doing #5 - and #12 speaks to me - so the rub for me is that "steward" is still being identified exclusively with Kawashaway. So if it really is a number's game, there is more power in us being unified rather than separate. We could help the numbers by being clear to newcomers, especially those who don't come to the land and / or a gathering, of how to "join", participate, be a "steward" (or whatever we end up calling it) and get involved - that is all kind of mysterious right now - let's put it all on the website and make it clear to everyone, including ourselves. I want to be acknowledged for what I do. I want to be more a part of Urban Phaz. It is about people. I'm noticing people calling themselves Stewards here, AND most importantly, I want to see more people committing to the specific tasks on the list - and from there, let's let it grow into other areas, including Urban Phase. I'm a stew-. I'm halfway there.

Bearberry (y): For me the fae experience has been a lot about the land. Being the extreme introvert I am, I like to wander off. So if I can serve the land, I'd be honored to be a steward.

Plucky: The benefit of going at the end, is that it is like #12 or #13. Aside from the fact that it needs to be changed to sissies… So, ummm, I am not going to be a steward, I haven't gotten to the point where these types of meetings don't drive me nuts. I don't want to be in part of those meetings.

Miracle (?): I could tell you that I would like black velvet on my toilet seat, but I know I'd get vetoed. I'd like to be the "-ard" to WA's "stew-". I really agree with WA on the issues. Don't invite me to the meetings about dock building and wood cutting. But I see being a part of it in the Cities, generating events in the city to feed stewardship of the land. But I've also been a Board of 22 where only 2 do the work. I consider myself an "-ard".

TwoTurtles (y): Commit to being in Minnesota, and being a steward. Commit to being part of the communication process - bridging the gap between email and those not on email.

Poilu: I can't commit right now to being a steward. But I do like the name steward, vs. BOD. It connects to taking care, being in stewardship with the land, community. If there could be committees, that would help me be a better contributor.

Rocky: If there could be a better agenda, then there could be better RSVP's. Then all could decide if they are called to a particular issue, agenda…

The group agreed to have a booth at Pride. Miracle will take the lead.

The following people agreed to work via e-mail to come up with an agenda for the next circle: Two Turtles, Braeburn, H, Xeno, WA, and Will.

The next meeting was set for Saturday 5 April, at noon. It will be in Duluth. Will will find a place to hold it.

Initial ideas about the agenda:
¢ tasks (further discussion of them, what they are, fleshing them out)
¢ mission: just the land or the wider community AND the land
¢ governance specifics
¢ gathering specifics
¢ vision for Kawashaway (the land)

Will and White Ash volunteered to co-facilitate the next circle.