It is a challenge to learn about a culture different from your own. This is especially true knowing it is really wrong to expect people who are oppressed to teach you about their struggles. For the past several years I’ve been lead to learn about indigenous peoples. Initially that was because what little I did know was that they live in a way that protects Mother Earth by living within sustainable boundaries. I was also interested to learn about their spiritual lives, and that has become more meaningful than the environmental practices. Although they are both part of the same ways of living.
When I heard about the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March, I knew that was something I needed to be part of. The idea was for a group of native and nonnative people to walk and camp together along the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It turned out to be a small group which was great because it gave each of us a chance to share our stories and learn from each other. https://firstnationfarmer.com/
Since then there have been a number of occasions when some of us could work together. Ways to learn without actually expecting to be taught.
I’ve found a great way to learn more without imposing is to hear native women talk with each other. My friend Christine Nobiss and Seeding Sovereignty she helps lead have been having bi-weekly online discussions called SHIFT the Narrative. That is a live, online interview series that covers different aspects of Indigenous political engagement and current issues in Indian Country through interviews with expert guest speakers.
SHIFT the Narrative
Above all else, we rally behind Indigenous-led environmental and climate justice movements as the fight for land sovereignty is at the center of every issue we face. Land defense is a force that has a long history of inciting political engagement–a force that Seeding Sovereignty believes catalyzes real, lasting change.
Thursday, June 11th, 2020 – Episode 005
4pm EST | 3pm CST | 1pm PST
Register here and join us as we interview Dr. Damita Brown, a community-based educator specializing in racial justice work who has been teaching leadership, anti-racism, and allyship workshops for over 12 years. We will be discussing the George Floyd uprisings and the essential role of Black leadership during this time. We will also talk about how to work in solidarity to overcome systemic white supremacy within our government and all its institutions. Will these uprisings incite people to vote in November or are we ready for a much more radical shift?
Dr. Brown holds a doctorate in History of Consciousness and has taught youth who are incarcerated as well as at the college level. Using contemplative practices, creative process work, and transformative justice, her approach addresses deep patterns of harm at the institutional, interpersonal, and personal levels. Currently Dr. Brown serves as the Restorative Justice Director at the Dane County TimeBank. She is the lead teacher for the Community Lab for Intentional Practice, a space where people interested in unlearning racism can connect with others for resources, practice space, and instruction in techniques for dismantling oppression in a supportive and compassionate environment.
Indigenous and Black people in Canada share in the experience of social exclusion and the deferral of the right to equitable health access, and this needs to change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has alerted us to the opportunities that beckon when we think about the collective. The collective is no longer an abstract thought.
We socially distance because we understand that our fates are connected, and that by tending to our most vulnerable, we can save many lives. A similar logic is now informing the collective outrage against anti-Black racism and police brutality that has spread across the United States and has reverberated around the globe.
“No one is free until we are all free.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s adage holds true for both human rights and public health.Indigenous and Black people in Canada share social exclusion and collective outrage. By Sarah Adjekum, Canada’s National Observer,| June 10th 2020
Yesterday I wrote about common concerns of indigenous and Black peoples. https://jeffkisling.com/2020/06/09/decolonize-all-the-things/