‘Indigene’ (Latin = ‘self-generating’) 'Community' (Latin = 'com' = 'together'  + 'munus' = 'gift or service')

Indigene Community www.indigenecommunity.info

In a finite world, where energy and materials collectively harvested from the biosphere are limited, what is wrong with the following two pictures of suburbia and cottagia?

Note the primacy of the car, its water, energy, materials, lawn and tailored landscape.  2-dimensional suburban living is based in a linear industrial machine and thinking, creates angst which literally drives suburban inhabitants along the highway 'back-to-nature' via the cottage. 

Both of these pictures contain elements of essential family life and nature, however the detached process of living from one highway exit to the next, denies recognition, caring or solidarity for the world's people who produce the resources entailed.  Traditionally indigenous people achieved abundance through careful management of the orchard-forest.  Humanity's present mix of energy producing technologies and fuels, be they gasoline, electricity, massive resource harvesting, storage and transport are causing massive loss of biosphere and associated human habitat.

An extreme example of biosphere destruction is addiction to nuclear energy and technologies, inherent with expensive capital cost, constant errors, ionizing radiation release and accident likelihood threatening life and humanity's very existence.  In the past 66 years, constantly increased radiation burden from 'normal' operation and thousands of nuclear accidents have released small or large amounts of ionizing radiation into the biosphere and human genome.  Tensions both social and technological, leading to nuclear war, are accentuated by these artificial approaches to human livelihood.

BEFORE: Fukushima Japan 14h 46minutes 43seconds Friday 11th March, 2011 8.9 Richter earthquake, tsunami waves from the ocean of which some reached 71 feet, electric-al power shutdown occurs with resulting fuel core partial meltdown in 3 reactors and spent fuel vat, 

AFTER: Electrical power to reactor command instruments shut down, causing cooling failure in fuel core with partial meltdowns at all three reactors, first with hydrogen fire explosions, then massive contaminated steam releases including massive ionizing radiation into ocean, air and soil including significant plutonium.

Pickering Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario, Canada

Does detached nuclear single-household planning, building and predominant commercial / industrial economy based living and nuclear power electrical supply contribute to resource-conflict and the likelihood of nuclear war?   Is nuclear living an acceptable standard of lifestyle, given biosphere limits?

How can ‘indigenous’ (Latin = ‘self-generating’) multi-home ‘domestic’ (household) centered economies of clustered living, bring us together in sustainable relationships, inter-generational family and peace?

'Trickle down' is the theory that you feed the rich expensive food & drink, give them lots of toys & activities to play with.  When they have to relieve ('Trickle-down' is another word for 'incontinence') themselves, the public is there to appreciatively carry away the 'water' & 'night-soil' because this after all nourishes the earth.  The problem of TD 'theory' is that they make themselves rich by extracting non-renewable material and energy resources from people and planet rather than respecting the full-cycle of biosphere's living economy restoration.  The money-rich devote themselves to thinking in 2-Dimensions revolving around non-living linear economy.The reason the rich want less regulation is not to have to think about life in its sacred complex 3-D relations.  In 'Trickle-down' economics the dammed rivers are flooded for hydro electric, soil has been removed and the land beneath polluted with toxic complex synthetic chemicals and nuclear isotopes to remain barren for millions of years.  In their regulation free 2-D world, should we all be grateful?

April 2012 update:  Article by Common Dreams called, Radiation at Fukushima Plant Far Worse than Thought    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/03/28-1  describes that the outpouring of radiation from the spent fuel rods storage area has now lost much of its water cover and is emitting such high levels of radiation as to make human (radiation dosages) or robot intervention impossible (measurement, adding water or any adjustments) including the dysfunction of controlled 'robots' for measuring, adjusting or mitigating this potential rise to 'criticality'.  The electronic controls of the robots and endoscopes are rendered inoperable by the high radiation levels.  This means the reaction and attempts to bring water into the spent fuel area is completely uncontrolled by human intervention.  Not reported in this article even is the fact that the situation at all three plants were caused by the earthquake only shutting down of pumps way before the Tsunami hit.  It is also impossible at Plants 1 & 3 to get accurate measurements because of the high levels of radiation being released.  Considering the tonnage of highly refined radioactive (bomb-grade) material capable of melting from its Zirconium coated rods as much has already done, we have the possibility of both massive meltdown and explosive criticality.  When enriched bomb-grade spent fuel material in the tonnes including significant portions of Plutonium, melts from its rod enclosures into a now dry spent fuel area releasing massive amounts of radiation as it is doing now but with the potential of going critical.

An Atomic bomb only needs 33 pounds (15 Kg) of enriched uranium to set off the chain reaction enough to blow up a city.  Tonnes of material are presently in the process of losing their cooling water without human or robot  intervention or even measurement possible.



This article considers humans as social creatures habituated over our long history to intergenerational living, economic and social interaction among extended family and community, more than the nuclear (mother, father, children) or single parenting family or single person households, which predominate in colonial (imperial) society. Young adults bear children while we are inexperienced and often without financial or physical resources. In the ‘developed-world’ families are having fewer children because of a lack of social and economic supports or relations of mutual aid with elder and fellow generations. Youth thrive on intergenerational contact, yet nuclear-style housing presently requires great amounts of car travel and supervision in order to visit family & friends or to place children as young still crawl-ing tots into institutional day-cares etc. We need privacy of personal space, yet we also need options for interaction on a regular day-to-day basis. Isolation, excessive labour and consumption in nuclear family homes have led to continual ecological and war crises over the past several thousand years.  The isolation and emotional-override of the unorganised extended family and community, lead to economic and political policies (personal, family, community and state) of over-consumption and war.


Most raised in detached nuclear single family designed homes and communities, think such as our: “mainstay”, “coming-of-age”, “right” / “responsibility”  or personal and family “pride” without “downfall”.  Collective living in apartment or townhouse is not part of our colonial pioneer prestige.  We’re falsely taught in ‘exogenous’ (Latin = ‘other-generated’) institutional schools, churches, governments & media that; our collective-living ‘indigenous’ (Latin = ‘self-generating’) ancestors worldwide lived in ‘primitive’ (‘primary’), savage (sylva = ‘tree’) miserable isolation (self-description?). We’re prejudiced against innate indigenous heritage and capacities.  We’re all originally indigenous peoples from every region on every continent, but through linear-thinking of war, hierarchal-control, environmental-destruction and displacement over thousands of years have become ‘exogenous’ (Latin = ‘other-generated’). In conquest and control-societies, the self-concept and land theft of colonial authorities and the people themselves, require that indigenous sovereignty at each location be denigrated, denied and ignored.  This cycle leads to a situation where much of humanity knows little about our long, abundant, well-organised, ecological and resource efficient indigenous heritage.  Even raising questions about our indigenous heritage inevitably raises a sneer from those educated institutionally.


Indigenous peoples typically interacted in extended family multi-home buildings and local ‘community’ (Latin = ‘com’ ‘together’ + ‘munus’ = ‘gift or service’) collaborating diverse resources & abilities around the world on every continent with remarkably similar architecture, infrastructure & social organisation. Family and individual dwellings were separated with privacy tendencies as today’s apartments.  Pueblo housing is similar to townhouse dwellings today. Pueblo & some Longhouse communities interacted and morphed one to the other. Each provided family privacy and interactions not found in today’s detached nuclear homes. Multihome modular (standard size & design) housing shares walls, floors, roofs, foundations, infrastructure (plumbing, electricity, phone, internet, postal etc), reducing consumption and empowering individuals and families to plan and benefit together with lowered material use, best-performance, low operating costs & environmental capacities over millennia.

PEOPLE OF THE LONGHOUSE (a term of ‘affilliation’)

Along the west and east-coasts of Turtle Island (North America) Longhouse (apartment style) peoples from Mexico to Alaska and from the Canadian Maritimes to Florida lived intermixed or next to pueblo (townhouse style) and the mound-cities of the Mississippi Valley interior, pueblo and pit-house struct-ures of the plains and mountain areas, thriving for tens of thousands of years. The five nation Iroquois confederacy call themselves ‘People of the Longhouse’ (Haudenosaunee or Rotinosaunee) a term of ‘affiliation’, (redundant as a term of distinction at that time) because of widespread Longhouse urban planning practice.  ‘Longhouse’ from the Iroquois means ‘place of the extended rafter’ meaning ‘place of extended welcome’ where group multi-home planning and design allows for extended households to more easily ‘welcome’ others, than single home planning.  Natives saw and remark in documents upon colonial detached single home isolation and lack of ability to collaborate among ourselves as families or communities. Is the appellation ‘Longhouse’ used specifically as a message to European peoples for the most important principle which we can adopt today as our urban-design standard?  Around the world, various forms of Longhouses and clustered ‘pueblo’ style housing was used in Vietnam, Philippines, Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.  Following are a few photos of traditional longhouses from: 1) Atlantic North-east of USA and Canada, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy), 2) Africa, 3) Australia, 4) Borneo,   5) Viking Europe, 6) Vietnam and 7) Pacific Northwest of the USA and Canada:

EAST-COAST ATLANTIC NORTH-AMERICA                   AFRICA                                    AUSTRALIA                                                            BORNEO





Shared building superstructure materials and infrastructure such is found in multi-home buildings such as apartment and townhouse blocks when compared over single homes, districts, cities and nations add up to huge environmental savings, which allow individuals and societies to collaborate and not have to compete for control of resources with other societies. Indigenous peoples living in close-proximity and having time-based accounting methods afforded them the cultural-memory to maintain economic and political structures, wherein everyone develops progressive ownership in specialised Production Societies and a place at the community council.  Social-economic stability allows communities to cultivate longterm biosphere productivity through food and material trees planting and encouragement.  All receive inherent elemental benefits of tree-based sun, water, air, soil and biosphere co-production.


In the period of World-War II and following, American led allies through the ‘Manhattan’ (New York City office) project and subsequently others during the cold war developed the Atomic nuclear bomb.  This historical period had intense energy market development and exploitation of foreign resources driven by expansion of colonial ‘detached-single-family’ home, city and rural human landsca4pes.  Control of middle-eastern and other world-wide oil supplies decided both eastern and western conflicts.  In 1945 we dropped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and again on Nagasaki with civilians as the primary target, a major violation of human and civil relations in war.


Allies had a choice of demonstrating the bomb at an international public demonstration in an unpopul-ated area but we felt threatened and were so aggressively competitive that; we dropped it upon prim-arily urban residential areas. We must ask ourselves as nations of isolated nuclear home inhabitants, whether detached single home material and energy use is a key factor of colonialism and a key physi-cal and psychological factor leading to our nuclear bomb use and continuing proliferation of stockpiles to this day? Does physical isolation (today worsened by such as electronic media) lead to insecurity? The computer systems that monitor and decide upon nuclear attack threat must sufficiently anticipate, and evaluate possible incoming missiles and respond within seconds and minutes.  Human defence governors have precious little lee-way or information in which to render decisions and respond.


Much effort is put into conservation around essential activities such as reducing heat loss in our build-ings and homes and a thousand other activities such as the amount of toothpaste we use on tooth-brushes (the little-multipliers), but little discussion follows larger ‘essential’ items of  housing, goods and services or ‘non-essential’ energy and items (the big multipliers).  As a result we are having disproportionate ‘small-item’ research and discussions on factors which we know won’t solve climate change or social and economic justice.  The following ‘big-item’ discussion sheds some light on significant choices we have as home owners and renters, our single largest expense and investment..


2010  in Canada some 63% of housing is detached nuclear family or some 6,300,000 primary dwel-lings with an average market value of some 250,000$ each or totalling 1,575,000,000,000$ (1.575 trillion $).  In addition to these primary homes, 10 % of the richer detached families have 1,000,000 cottages or vacation dwellings at market values of 250,000$ each  = 250,000,000,000$ (250 billion $).  Without proximity to each other, we lose co-innovative links to developing popular empathic technologies and empowering people in their communities. The rich are alone, bored & isolated,

In the USA these figures can be multiplied by ten to arrive at 63 million primary dwellings worth 15,750,000,000,000 (15.75 trillion $) for detached nuclear primary dwellings and some 2,500,000,000,000$ (2.5 trillion$) in secondary cottages or recreation homes.


Roughly 37% of North American populations and half of (50%) urban populations live in connected housing apartments and townhouses either as renters or as condominium owners, yet little is being done by inhabitants and owners to design or enhance energy, social and economic efficiencies of co-investment, interaction, inter-generational living and exchange within these buildings & systematically among surrounding communities. Attached multi-home dwellings in apartment & townhouse buildings cost 1/3rd the amount to build and operate (heating, maintenance and infrastructure maintenance per dwelling unit) as well as bring in and operate municipal services.  Participatory intentional community Cohousing has the ability to develop both human interaction and sustainable design on a level that can enhance present buildings and develop new environmental, social and economic capacities.


Human peace starts with interpersonal collaboration and resource efficiencies, particularly important today as limited fossil fuel supplies end; we must drastically reduce consumption and live together in peace. http://www.endofsuburbia.com/ & http://the-end-of-oil.com/   Mutual Aid, A Factor of Evolution by Petr Kropotkin 1905  http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/mutaidintro.html   Please visit preceding sub-sections under Section C. RELATIONAL ECONOMY particularly 1) Extending our Welcome Participatory Multi-home Cohousing in the article on ‘Economy

“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” Mohandas Gandhi

Douglas Jack   eco-montreal@mcgill.ca LaSalle-Montreal (Kahnawake North), H8R 1X9

Sustainable Development Corporation (Canadian Non-Profit since 1994) www.indigenecommunity.info

Project coordinator, Eco-Montreal Tiohtiake Green Map www.eco-montreal.mcgill.ca

Tsi Tetsionitiotiakon Sustainability Rooted in Heritage http://cbed.geog.mcgill.ca/WIP.html

Indigenous Welcome and Orchard Food Production Efficiencies  http://dcnstrct.org/indigenous/

Canadian Cohousing Network: http://canadacohousing.ning.com/group/montrealindigenecommunity



Fellowship of Intentional Communities: http://directory.ic.org/22331/Indigene_Tiohtiake_Community_Latin_com_together_munus_gift_or_service

Question and Comments

Douglas Jack,
Oct 15, 2010, 3:10 PM