Recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day everywhere, finally keep a long-broken promise on child protection for Native kids, stop the DAPL, and more!
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Contact all members of Congress:
- By phone: (202) 224-3121
- By email: democracy.io
- By US mail: Representatives / Senators
- By fax: Representatives / Senators
- By Resistbot: Resist.bot
Contact White House or other federal agencies:
- MAKE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY A FEDERAL HOLIDAY
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is slowly replacing Columbus Day on the second Monday in October. It’s been recognized for decades in different forms and under a variety of names to celebrate Native Americans’ history and culture and to recognize the challenges they continue to face. Some states and cities have recognized it as a state holiday, but it has once again been introduced in Congress to replace Columbus Day and become a federal holiday. While the bills have not yet been numbered in the House or the Senate, let’s tell our MoCs that we support this change as it better reflects the true history of our country.
- KEEPING WASHINGTON’S PROMISE ON CHILD PROTECTION FOR NATIVE AND INDIGENOUS KIDS
It’s been decades since Congress passed the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act, part of a promise from the federal government to answer for the tragedy and abuse that occurred in federally-run Native boarding schools. All too typically, this promise to indigenous Americans was broken and the programs created were never funded. Leaders like Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) are trying to change that with the Native American Child Protection Act (H.R.663/S.2273). This legislation will finally fully fund grant programs for child protection for Native and Indigenous kids, giving tribes and Native communities the tools they need to prevent, treat and prosecute family violence, child abuse and child neglect. The bill passed the House with 378 votes in September, and now awaits action in the Senate. Let’s use this tool from the Native Organizers Alliance to contact our senators and tell them to pass the Native Child Protection Act now.
- SUBMIT A PUBLIC COMMENT AGAINST DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE
In 2020, the D.C. District Court revoked a permit for a portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and ordered an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The following year, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe voiced many concerns over the EIS process, including the fact that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had contracted Environmental Resources Management, a member of a prominent fossil fuel lobby, to conduct the EIS. In September, the Army Corps released the EIS, and Standing Rock has again pointed out the clear conflict of interest. It’s now open to public comment. Let’s join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and submit a comment asking for the Dakota Access Pipeline to be shut down, and for the Corps to conduct an unbiased EIS. We can use Standing Rock’s form comment, or submit our public comment directly to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following these instructions.
- LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: A FIRST STEP
Those of us who would like to acknowledge the importance of indigenous peoples every day and not just on the second Monday in October might think of starting to incorporate a land acknowledgement at meetings and events. It is a first step in understanding and reconciliation. Luckily, the Native Governance Center has us covered, with this thoughtful and helpful Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgment.
- ATTENDING POWWOWS AS A NON-NATIVE
To Native Americans, a powwow is a time to gather and honor traditions. To a non-native, a powwow may be intimidating as it is a traditional event. However, all are welcomed and encouraged to attend powwows! Here are eight things we should know before attending a powwow as a non-native. Let’s use this site to find powwows to attend and celebrate along!
- RECOMMENDED READING
The best way to learn about cultures is to immerse oneself in it or to at least read the words of those who live that life. Native American literature reflects the culture, history, and contemporary issues of the people who are indigenous to what is now the United States. A study of the genre serves to debunk stereotypes and the concept of Native Americans as a monolithic group rather than a diverse group of peoples. To identify books to read let’s use this resource from First Nations Development Institute of books they consider essential. For the children in our lives, let’s use this resource from American Indians in Children’s Literature.
- AND FINALLY, SOME GOOD NEWS
- LAST WEEK’S WINS
The last seven days have been marked by chaos and tragedy beyond description. It can be hard in the face of so much pain to maintain the hope you need to keep working for change. But we still took steps towards a better world, too, and we cannot stop pushing for more. Here’s a summary of some of last week’s biggest victories from our friend and ally Jessica Craven at Chop Wood, Carry Water, including the Biden White House erasing another $9 billion in student loans, Chicago ending the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, and pro-public education candidates stopping the privatizers and book banners in their strikes in school board elections in Fairbanks, Alaska.
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