Mukayuhsak Weekuw: The Children’s House

Bright sunlight streams through a bank of windows, illuminating a circle of 23 preschool and kindergarten children holding hands. Having just finished reciting the days of the month and discussing the day’s weather and season—all in Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) language—the students giggle and sway slightly, then become still as the older students, 4- and 5-year-olds, launch into a lengthy morning address reaffirming Tribal values and homelands and giving thanks for their ancestors.

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Keeping the Indigenous in the International Year of Indigenous Languages

On the first day of February 2019, a High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations was held in New York to mark the global launch of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL). As I stood with an international group of Indigenous participants in the back of the grand assembly hall waiting for a photographer to capture the moment, I found myself next to the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, who is the first Indigenous Aymara to lead Bolivia in such a high office.

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Decolonizing Our Diet: Sioux Chef

Chef Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota) is working to draw attention to the cuisine of America’s Indigenous cultures and reclaim Indigenous food knowledge. After mastering European dishes in restaurants across Minneapolis, Sherman shifted his focus to the recipes of his ancestors and embraced the budding Indigenous food movement. In 2014 Sherman founded a catering company, Sioux Chef, specializing in Indigenous foods that eliminate the use of European ingredients.

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STEWARDS OF THE LAND IN PARADISE

We would wake up before the sun, my father,  my mother, my brothers, and I. Sometimes we would go to the beach first, to gather shells and observe the fish. Later we would go to the taro patch as the sun was still coming up and feed our pigs, check the water areas, and start to tend the taro patches. If we were going to pull taro, we would all go together to harvest and prepare it. There is a special method of taking it out of the ground so that we wouldn’t damage the cuttings, or huli, which were to be planted after.

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CONSERVING LAND FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

Native Land Conservancy (NLC), based in Mashpee, MA, describes itself as the first Native-led land trust east of the Mississippi, with a mission “to protect sacred spaces, habitat areas for our winged and four-legged neighbors, and other essential ecosystem resources to benefit Mother Earth and all human beings.” Founded in 2012 by Ramona “Nosapocket” Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag) with startup grants from Fields Pond Foundation and the Island Foundation on the principle that all land is sacred, NLC aims to partner with other land conservancie

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Indigenous Youth Leading the Way

Youth hold the power to shift the dynamics of the world. If we want change, we must provide leadership support for youth in making change possible. Indigenous youth in particular continue to face racism and discrimination and are marginalized in society, but when they have a sense of belonging and a strong cultural identity they become resilient, powerful individuals. They have immersed roots through their ancestral lineage, wisdom, and intelligence. They are the future leaders for their communities.

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Divest, Invest, Protect: Indigenous Women Lead Divestment Campaign

As a continuation of the Standing Rock fight against extreme resource extraction and human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples, a divestment delegation led by Indigenous women traveled to Europe in the spring and fall of 2017 to meet with European financial leaders. Called the DIVEST, INVEST, PROTECT Campaign, the delegation seeks to protect the climate and defend human, Indigenous, and environmental rights through education, advocacy, and action that challenges financial institutions and injustices.

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Indigenous Women’s Rights Are Human Rights

 

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Our Oceans. Our Future. The United Nations Discusses Oceans

Oceans play a fundamental role for life on earth, providing over 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe and over 97 percent of the world’s water supply, not to mention being a source of food. Yet, our oceans are under threat, with only a tiny fraction—just 3.4 percent—being protected. We have seen the disturbing images of islands of plastic and trash floating in the ocean; turtles with plastic straws stuck in their nostrils; birds dying because of the amount of trash consumed and discarded.

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Clean vs. Dirty Energy: The Disregard of Indigenous Peoples in East Africa

Over the past few years there has been a major investment boom in Africa, with a heavy push for oil and gas pipelines and other energy and infrastructure projects. In the rush for economic development, however, there has been little consideration of the negative environmental and human impacts of these large scale projects. African leaders support the recommended scaling up of infrastructure development and have called for the creation of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) as the blueprint for the continent.

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