TRR News, Resources and Actions

by Paula Palmer

Dear Friends,

As many wisdom traditions teach, times of crisis can also be opportunities for critical and creative social change. We are seeing this in our country as the Movement for Black Lives challenges all of us to step up and stand up for racial justice and against policies and practices that continue to oppress people of color. We are seeing it in the buzz of internet webinars that aim to educate and motivate and inspire us to act. We are seeing it as churches, civic organizations, and institutions undertake the hard work of self-examination to reveal and remove practices that consciously or unconsciously uphold white privilege and power. This is work that requires all of us.

TRR News and Updates:  

Anti-racism work is at the heart of Friends Peace Teams programs around the world and our Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples program in the U.S. Please invite us to offer TRR’s online workshops in your community.  Through our workshops and presentations, your church, school, business, organization, or city government can grapple with the deep contradictions in our national story, the racism that is embedded in our past and our present. You can be a catalyst for the change that must come in your community. Please see our website and contact me to learn more.

And mark your calendars now for a series of webinars that TRR is co-sponsoring with Pendle Hill!

The series is called “Working Towards Right Relationship with Indigenous Peoples.” It will feature presentations and discussions with Indigenous leaders in Canada and the U.S., including TRR facilitators Jerilyn DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) and Elicia Goodsoldier (Dine/Spirit Lake Dakota).  Mark your calendars for 7:30-9 pm EASTERN time on the second and fourth Mondays in August, September, and October. Topics include: Sovereignty and Tribal Government Relations in the United States and Canada; Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;  Cultural Appreciation vs. Appropriation/Misappropriation;  Act in Solidarity, Guidance for Engagement;  Healing from Intergenerational Trauma; Truth and Healing Processes (examples from Canada and Maine). Please check the Pendle Hill website for registration information (coming soon).

This is a challenging time to raise funds to support our TRR work. If you would like to make a donation, your support will be visible in communities throughout the country where Native and non-Native people are forging paths toward right relationship. Thank you for joining us in this work.

Learning Opportunities from Indigenous Organizations:
The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition has posted links to an excellent 2019 webinar series about the history and ongoing impacts of the Indian Boarding Schools. Watch these webinars and register for upcoming webinars, too.
Mother Earth’s Pandemic: The Doctrine of Discovery

This conference will connect the dots between our current pandemic, environmental devastation, the Doctrine of Discovery, and a way forward. Too often these are thought of as unrelated concepts, rather than being the core impediment in working towards social justice in an ecologically balanced Earth.  Our speakers have been working in these areas for many decades.  Participants will hear the wisdom from the traditions of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), as well as other Indigenous Peoples. Through virtual discussion groups, you will be able to interact on how best to implement these values of respect, thanksgiving, and peace into your lives.

Please join us in August 2020 for virtual conversations about the Doctrine of Discovery, so we can begin the process of decolonization back to understanding our proper relationship to the natural world and peace. Click here to learn more and to  register.

The Native American Rights Fund and the Native American Voting Rights Coalition have published a very important and timely new report: Obstacles at Every Turn: Barriers to Political Participation Faced by Native American Voters  

The organizations held nine public hearings to better understand how Native Americans are systemically and culturally kept from fully exercising their franchise. More than 120 witnesses testified from dozens of tribes across the country. The final report was released June 4, 2020, and provides detailed evidence that Native people face obstacles at every turn in the electoral process: from registering to vote, to casting votes, to having votes counted.

Actions for All: 
Do the Right Thing: Eliminate Offensive Mascots in Your State.

For decades Native American organizations pressured the Washington Football Team to abandon its racist mascot — and finally it has! This action needs to inspire high school and college teams throughout the country to change offensive team names and mascots. Can you guess how many high schools in your state have racist or otherwise offensive mascots? Well, no need to guess! Click here and find out who they are and where they are. Next steps: Start conversations in these communities and in these schools. Write letters to the principals, coaches, and team captains. Write letters to the school board, the editor of the local papers, and city government officials. Talk to your state legislators. Turn the Washington Football Team’s moment into a nation-wide movement. We can do this.