We’re writing this post to express our grief and outrage over the 1505 people, most of them children, whose bodies have been found in unmarked graves at residential schools over the past few months. Here in the U,S., Native American children were forcibly abducted by the government and sent to schools hundreds of miles away, facing violence, starvation, and death merely for speaking their languages. These graves are a raw reminder of the losses inflicted by the genocide of colonization--a process which is still ongoing.
We encourage you to support the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) in their vital work. Yet for those of us who continue to benefit from the horrors of colonialism, we must do much more to be in right relationship with the Native and Indigenous peoples who have stewarded these lands for generations. Land acknowledgment is an important start, but it is not enough.
To that end, we wanted to share resources for learning and action:
- Support Native Theatres and theatremakers, using “A List of Native Theatres and Theatremakers” from American Theatre as a starting place.
- Read plays by Native authors (here’s one reading list from (RE)IMAGINE INDIGENOUS THEATER READING LIST) and learn the history of Turtle Island (the U.S.) through Indigenous perspectives through books like An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States.
- Show up for Native-led movements for justice such as #StopLine3, which is challenging the proposed pipeline expansion bringing nearly a million barrels of tar sands per day from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline company responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the U.S., seeks to build a new pipeline corridor through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior. Line 3 would violate the treaty rights of Anishinaabe peoples and nations in its path — wild rice is a centerpiece of Anishinaabe culture, it grows in numerous watersheds Line 3 seeks to cross. #StopLine3 is just one example, and others include:
- Participate in Groundwater Arts’ Divest to Invest Campaign.
- Contribute to land tax/land rent campaigns such as The Shuumi Land Tax. This specific land tax directly supports Sogorea Te’s work of rematriation, returning Indigenous land to Indigenous people, establishing a cemetery to reinter stolen Ohlone ancestral remains and building urban gardens, community centers, and ceremonial spaces so current and future generations of Indigenous people can thrive in the Bay Area. The Shuumi Land Tax is one of the first and best known examples, and others include:
These are just some of the ways to go beyond land acknowledgment and act in solidarity with Native and Indigenous Peoples. We’ll continue to add to this list as we go--send your suggestions to Corinna Schulenburg.