“Native, Indigenous, Alive” (NIA) & Here; A Guest blog cross post – Part 2 – Intersectional solidarity with Black Lives Matter and Native Lives Matter movements, Dr. Alan Lechusza Aquallo (Maidu/Luiseño)
“Native, Indigenous, Alive” (NIA) & Here
Alan Lechusza Aquallo, Sparrow Productions
Dec. 18, 2014/January 8, 2015
An article published on Oct. 7, 2014 in the Feminist Wire by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, raised a number of important racial, ethnic, socio-political points, the likes of which most may not have considered. The article focused upon the (mis)use, socio-political context, and cultural importance of the phrase, “Black Lives Matter.” The author, and supporting associates, aptly pointed toward the necessity for full disclosure and transparency with regard to the current trend of injustice situations that continue to plague the American and global public. However, a further call-to-arms for socio-political justice and equity may be necessary, in order to draw more sympathetic and focused attention, that seeks to establish positive, balanced and equitable outcomes for these racialized atrocities. No longer can a single culture group or ethnicity demand sole attention as it pertains to matters of cultural and political persecution. Doing so devalues the abundant, and often overlooked, matters which plague other culture groups and ethnicities.
Racism, in the 21st century, is no longer a singular, focused campaign directed toward one group of people(s). The Western hemisphere has an extensive history of racist and genocidal practices that were waged upon its Indigenous/Native Peoples. The complex histories of these genocidal industrial structures continue to have a negative impact upon Indigenous/Native Peoples. Yet, more often than not, these injustices – which established the foundations for the current “first nation” status of the West – go without widespread public knowledge, reference, or understanding. The media bigotry extended toward Indigenous/Native Peoples is one of the most misunderstood and overlooked tragedies for a technologically advanced global society. Support is important for all People(s). Socio-political injustices and cultural inequality on all levels must be eradicated if a society wishes to live with holistic civility. The threat of political power, governmental and economic greed, educational imbalance, and environmental profiteering, must be challenged – in a uniform, cooperative, peaceful, and, strategic manner, which maintains active benchmarks for future success.
The broad dangers, often defined as “terrorism” – albeit cultural or political – contain no singular profile. The peaceful strategies by which a collective People(s) can, together, examine and work, to contest these actions, are critical for the current global climate. Divided, nothing can be obtained; together, in full solidarity and support, work can be accomplished. The frontlines of a socio-political and ethnic divide are being drawn globally. Yet, the voices of the People(s) are still ringing loud, and growing louder as the days come and go. The collective “We” – those marginalized by militant corporate and governmental capitalistic mechanisms – are still here: present, active and, alive. “We” have not gone from this place, Our Indigenous/Native lands. Physical, mental, political and environmental catastrophes were brought to us, on Our own lands. “We,” now, must act together to preserve – for the future – the lands upon which “We” all walk and call “Home.” Our voices need not be pluralized; our strengths need not be torn apart. Our ancestors’ voices need to be heard – again – and collected, as the foundational words of active wisdom and cultural agency.
A fire grows from a single spark; the wind blows with power and strength; the water follows a uniform path, and the land supports all parts of Our lives. To remove one part of the Four Sacred Directions destroys the backbone of Our collective communities/cultures. To do the same, within the struggles for socio-political justice and equity, then, defeats Our ability to collectively, and peacefully, work together for Our positive future.
Maggie Hundley is a citizen of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation, Wind Clan. She is a mother of two young girls, was born in Phoenix, AZ and currently lives and works in Southern California. Collaborations include actions focused on accurate and positive representations of Native peoples and cultures, civil rights/religious leaders outreach and partnership with other groups with common goal of eliminating Native mascots, harmful anti -Indian racism and stereotypes. She is a founding member of NotYourMascots.org.