Watersheds of Cascadia revealed in map created by organization that challenges colonial narratives

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      Many British Columbians have heard of Cascadia, which is region that includes the Fraser, Columbia, Skeena, and Snake river watersheds.

      According to a group called Cascadia Illahee, it encompasses all or some of British Columbia, Alberta, Alaska, Washington state, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, and California.

      It stretches 4,000 kilometres along the Pacific Coast, covers 1,384,588 square kilometres, has a population of just over 16 million, and includes some of the most productive farmland in North America.

      Cascadia Illahee is a pro-LGBT and pro-Indigenous rights organization that challenges conventional colonial narratives about the boundaries of North American nation states.

      It does this by appointing diplomats, issuing passports acknowledging that its residents live on unceded lands of dozens of First Nations, and creating its own departments.

      Its Department of Biological Affairs, for example, has released a watershed map of the Cascadia Bioregion.

      "Our Cascadia Hydrological Map shows in fascinating detail how our rivers and streams flow and interconnect, merge and diverge, carrying life to the land," the group's website states. "Cascadia has long inspired generations of cartographers, geographers, planners and visionaries. The flow of water also has an inherent aesthetic elegance that our map captures beautifully."

      The map shows every river in the region, including intermittent streams, and each body of water with a diameter greater than 10 kilometres.

      "For an extra dimension of depth, we apply a method called the Strahler Stream Order to show the hierarchy of streams as they flow from their source—rivers are shown thicker as they acquire the flow of tributaries. We think it enhances a sense of the interconnectedness of our waterways."

      Posters are available on the website, with 10 percent of earnings going to support the Alaska Whale Foundation.

      Cascadia Illahee says that the region has seven of the world's 10 best carbon-absorbing forests, the world's tallest trees, and more than 350 bird and mammal species.

      Cascadia's culture, according to the website, is "rugged independent, self sufficient, and is described by some as a ‘progressive libertarianism’ that values the right of people to do as they please as long as it doesn’t negatively affect others, social systems that everyone needs or improves social well being such as education and healthcare, while maintaining a data based approach for fiscal accountability and responsibility".

      "Reflecting this, Cascadia as a region was the first place in North America and much of the world, to legalize gay marriage and marijuana."

      The website also goes into considerable detail about the nine regions of Cascadia, the Cascadia subduction zone, and the region's volcanoes

      The next major event on Cascadia Illahee's calendar is the Cascadia NW Arts & Music Festival, which takes place from July 25 to 28 at the Masonic Family Campground (24310 Mountain Loop Highway) in Granite Falls, Washington.