Indigenous Peoples

Who We Are

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Your DGB for today is to learn about America’s history of forcibly dividing families of color. The horrific new Trump administration “zero tolerance” immigration policy has resulted in criminalizing immigrants fleeing violence and seeking asylum at our border, with roughly 2,000 frightened kids being removed from their families by force or trickery and placed in detention centers.

When reading commentary on these actions, you may have seen the sentiment, “This is not who we are!” You may have even said it yourself. Unfortunately, this is not true. America has a long history of cruelly separating children and babies of color from their parents. This sobering WaPo piece describes the policy as it was enacted during the years of chattel slavery, and later, as Native American children were forced into Orwellian boarding schools.

As a country, we cannot effectively stop or prevent these human rights abuses from happening if we don’t acknowledge what has come before. If the awful Trump administration policy is in part “who we are,” it is also true that “who we are” can be a country that learns from the past and insists on doing better.

 

Native Lands

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Your DGB for today is to learn about the indigenous history of the land you live on.

When white people came to the Americas, they outright killed or displaced nearly all indigenous tribes. You can read about The Trail of Tears here: https://www.history.com/news/history-lists/7-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-trail-of-tears

We seek to honor and acknowledge those that were killed and displaced and who still seek to be treated humanely by the US government. One way to do that is to acknowledge the ancestral lands we all live on that were stolen. You can go to this website https://native-land.ca and enter your zip code and it will tell you what native tribe lived there. If you click on the tribe, it will tell you more about their people.

If you wish to further help indigenous people, you can find different tips on this website: http://www.powwows.com/can-help-native-americans/ such as purchasing items made by indigenous people, donating to verified charities, learning more about their history, and speaking up about their causes.

We can never undo the damage done to the indigenous community, but we can work to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

Support Indigenous Communities

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Your DGB for today is to find a way to support local indigenous communities.

Second only to Columbus Day on the list of Problematic American Holidays, Thanksgiving has almost arrived. And while a food coma makes it easy to ignore the uncomfortable realities of historical facts surrounding the original feast, we would like you to make a small effort to bring restoration to the people that lost so much in the building of this nation, the United States.

First, you will need to do a little research to find what Native American tribe(s) are local to your area. Here is a resource that can help: http://www.native-languages.org/states.htm

Once you discover that information, find a way to assist.

Are they having issues with your town, city, county, state or Federal government? Contact your officials and let them know you want their need heard and a solution found.

Do they have art, food, books, music or other things for sale? Buy something.

Are they looking for volunteers with specific skills that you happen to have? Pitch in.

These are just a few suggestions. Find more here: http://nativesinamerica.com/2015/03/7-ways-for-non-natives-to-empower-native-people/

And here: http://mashable.com/2015/11/26/native-american-thanksgiving/#7w4_vTqS6PqV

While your butter softens and your turkey brines, grab back and support your Native American neighbors.

 

Mikki Metteba

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Your DGB for today is to support high school student Mikki Metteba’s right to peaceful protest.

A senior at Window Rock High School in Fort Defiance, Arizona, Mikki Metteba was recently given in-school suspension for wearing an anti-colonialist and anti-fascist t-shirt protesting Donald Trump’s penchant for both. Like 99% of the students at Window Rock, Mikki is Navajo. We think Indigenous voices should be amplified, not silenced; so does her brother, Ty Metteba. Ty wrote this post on Facebook outlining the legal basis for Mikki’s right to protest and asking the school to make things right. Specifically, he requests that the school apologize to his sister and remove the suspension from her record. In his post he includes the school’s phone number (928) 729 7002 and a sample letter you can send to:

 

Window Rock High School

PO Box 559

Navajo Route 12

Fort Defiance, AZ 86504

 

Incidentally, if you would like a t-shirt like Mikki’s, go on over to the shop at http://www.indigenousaction.org/. Indigenous Action Media was founded “to provide strategic communications and direct action support for Indigenous communities sacred lands defense.” Go for the t-shirts, stay for the news and activism.