Solidarity with Indigenous Superheroes

Stunning collage by Mer Young

Indigeneity Conversations is a project of Bioneers Indigeneity Program, a Native-led Program that promotes Indigenous approaches to solve the earth’s most pressing environmental and social issues. We produce the Indigenous Forum, original media, educational curricula and catalytic initiatives to support the leadership and rights of First Peoples, while weaving networks, partnerships and alliances among Native and non-Native allies. Learn more.

Haru Kuntanawa, Chief of the Kuntawa Tribe in Acre, Brazil.

Haru is recognized by many indigenous people of Brazil as one of the most influential young leaders of his time.

His strong presence, compassionate heart and expressive influence has changed and restored the faith of his people and surrounding villages that reside along the banks of Acre, Brazil. Haru met with the Twelve Tribes Alliance in Acre and promoted a big alliance between the people. His goal was to defend the traditional knowledge and honor the use of natural plant medicine as these sacred and medicinal uses of plants can cure the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies.

Indigenous groups have also taken their case to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands. On 9 August, the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), which represents Indigenous groups across the country, filed a complaint with the court accusing the Bolsonaro administration of violating human rights and, they claim, paving a path for genocide by undermining Indigenous rights, reducing environmental protections and inciting incursions and violence through calls for mining and land development. APIB also made it clear that it’s not just Indigenous rights at stake, drawing a direct link between the protection of their territories and of the globe. (Tollefson, Nature.com, Sept. 30, 2021)

The Indigenous Ally Toolkit developed by Dakota Swiftwolfe and Leilani Shaw is an excellent resource to begin exploring what it means to be a true ally to Indigenous people. They explain that being an “ally”to Native and Indigenous people is not just something you can claim, you must have the acknowledgment of the community you wish to support and be in solidarity with. This Solidarity Guide was developed by Jess Alvarez Parfrey on behalf of Transition US.

At the intersection of land justice, language justice, and ecological restoration the Wiyot tribe of what is commonly called Humboldt, California are creating a legal framework for how to give the land back to First Nations so that healing of, and on, the land can both happen. Learn more.

Imagine a global economic system truly aligned with care for the earth and the whole of life for the benefit of current and future generations, guided by the ancestral wisdom and technologies of cultures that have lived this way for the larger course of human history. This is the work of The Fountain.

For millennia the world’s indigenous peoples have acted as guardians of the web of life for the next seven generations. They’ve successfully managed complex reciprocal relationships between biological and cultural diversity. Awareness of indigenous knowledge is reemerging at the eleventh hour to help avert global ecological and social collapse. Indigenous cultural wisdom shows us how to live in peace — with the earth and one another. Original Instructions evokes the rich indigenous storytelling tradition in this collection of presentations gathered from the annual Bioneers conference. It depicts how the world’s native leaders and scholars are safeguarding the original instructions, reminding us about gratitude, kinship, and a reverence for community and creation. Included are more than 20 contemporary indigenous leaders — such as Chief Oren Lyons, John Mohawk, Winona LaDuke, and John Trudell. These beautiful, wise voices remind us where hope lies.

Land is something sacred to all of us, whether we consciously appreciate it or not — it is the space upon which we play, live, eat, find love, and experience life. The land is ever-changing and ever-shifting, giving us — and other creatures and beings on the earth — an infinite number of gifts and lessons.

For Native Land Digital, what we are mapping is more than just a flat picture. The land itself is sacred, and it is not easy to draw lines that divide it up into chunks that delineate who “owns” different parts of land. In reality, we know that the land is not something to be exploited and “owned”, but something to be honoured and treasured. However, because of the complexities of history, the kind of mapping we undetake is an important exercise, insofar as it brings an awareness of the real lived history of Indigenous peoples and nations in a long era of colonialism.

We aim to improve the relationship of people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, with the land around them and with the real history and sacredness of that land.

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Alison Malisa

EconoWitch||Stirring the pot of Economics Education & Research 4 Peace, Prosperity, Regeneration, and Wellbeing for All. Prosocial||Nature||Salutogenesis