While only conjecture is possible: What may account for the consortiums disappearance
may relate to our own general descriptions about "trade" and Native conditions;
as presented herein.
Such things happening often revolve on just how much of the “trade”
in general (is - or was) based on exploitation.
Since the days of outside economic influence - smaller groups of bands and tribes
tried sorting through what their needs were in conjunction with what was made available by
trading natural goods - for manufactured items.
Furs for guns; for example.
The terms and offers have often been to the outsider’s advantage.
Additional elements have affected the balances of those gathered or hunted natural goods.
One is the effect of alcohol; another is drugs.
Since its intentional introduction - the addiction rates in FN community have been very, very high.
The despairs of loss of autonomy and language; freedom and health contributed
immensely to the overall backdrop of chemical addicitions.
People will act impulsively when they are able to trade their work for another round of what
they are addicted to. Making and selling things; even Sweetgrass braids - is no exception.
YET - elements of community healing and behavior improvements have been underway in
FN community - in general - for some number of decades - in systematic and successful ways.
So, what then happens when a group no longer is willing to sell what was exploitatively priced
to BEGIN WITH?
Disagreements and dissolving partnerships can result.
If the work of collecting and braiding and caring for these Sweetgrass Braids has an
intrinsic worth - but the cheapest supplies available is much lower than that
- then what you see being sold at “bargain rates” has to be based on exploitation -
often based on financial desperation and/or addiction/s.
In my opinion - a braid of Sweetgrass should not be lower than a fair price -
and the mark-up from that - by those who travel to get these by the truck or carload -
and their overheads - and distributing costs - should have an honest basis upon which
the information rests - one that deserves every step along the way to be done in a fair way.
If not - then - what have you got that you want your best prayers to be presented
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