The last year has been one of such growth for us! Our Board has grown, our purpose is renewed, and many big changes are coming: starting with our name.
The original name, The Landerholmstead, was dreamt up in a class at Bastyr University when I (Rebeccah) first started putting pen to paper regarding this unusual idea. I envisioned a self-sufficient farm with just my family, but the vision grew as I learned about permaculture and reflected on my deepest, sincerest wishes for our region. The marriage of a permaculture site and a charity tackling homelessness simply made sense. So I shared the idea, found support in those closest to me, and soon formed the Board of Directors.
Fast forward half a decade. As the business gained more support, I started to feel like the name was incongruent with our work… while catchy, straightforward, and of course a nod to my ancestors, the name was inherently ego-driven: one naming my family and making us seem like a central part of the organization. While I’ll always be the dreamer who came up with this plan, my hope for our organization is that we blossom into a force for positive change. We are not a private Foundation funded by my family; we are a state nonprofit (hopefully soon a federal one). Any focus on one individual or family isn’t consistent with what I want to help build.
While this idea milled around my head, I had a difficult but vital conversation with a number of Indigenous persons, where I learned that the word “homestead” itself can be harmful to them and their communities. The Homestead Act of 1862 gave stolen Indigenous land away to white farmers, and most of this land has never been returned to the communities that were forced off of it. This Act is just one example among many of atrocities towards Indigenous people associated with this word. That conversation sealed the deal for us – we needed a name change that would not trigger such harmful associations for Indigenous people.
The Board thoughtfully went through an evaluation process together where we considered dozens of options, variations, and phrases and how we perceived them individually or collectively. We settled on the name Revive EcoVillage, and we hope that it conveys the same sense of powerful hope to you as it did to us. Our name change must be filed with the state before it takes legal effect, and once we have that confirmation from the State of Washington you’ll be able to find it on our Public Documents page.
I’m proud to retire the name The Landerholmstead, which served us well in our beginning but no longer suits who we want to be. And as I alluded in the beginning of this post, this is just one of many major upheavals and announcements we’re excited to bring to the public in the coming months. Thank you for your support thus far and for continuing to join us on our journey!