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Learning From Ishi

By Alex Jack

On our visit to California, we visited an exhibit in the Sacramento Valley of the Maida who originally inhabited the region. The best known was Ishi, a Native American who was discovered living in the wild in the early 20th century. A poignant book was written about him entitled Ishi: Last of His Tribe.

We also visited the Chinese Temple in Oroville that once served as the spiritual center for ten thousand Chinese who came to northern California during the Gold Rush. The Chinese introduced rice farming to the Valley over a century ago. In the main temple, dedicated to the Taoist God of Medicine, God of Literature, and Goddess of the Sea, we ask the blessings of the rice spirits to protect the Valley from GMOs and other environmental contamination.

Overall, we were delighted with our visit to California. It appears that organic rice farming in America is safe for the moment. But we knew that, unless we were eternally vigilant, we could suffer the same fate as Ishi..