Our May 2nd evening program was honored by our two guests, LaDonna Harris and Kathryn Harris Tijerina, bringing the acclaimed Indian 101 presentation developed by the Americans for Indian Opportunity.
“We don’t study the history of America. We study the history of the Europeans coming to America.”
– LaDonna Harris (Comanche) AIO President
Indian 101 BINGO challenged PDA members on their knowledge of American Indian and indigenous peoples’ history and contemporary experiences. The origin of the word “caucus” is from the Iroquois language and means to assemble in order to make a decision. Kathryn pointed out that our new Adelante Progressive Caucus in the DPNM owes its origins to the Haudenosaunee 6-nation confederacy. BINGO winners received blue corn for planting from our tribal neighbors.
The Americans for Indian Opportunity 4 R’s show how closely progressive values link with the heritage values of our native nations.Kathryn took us through “500 years in 50 minutes” covering key events, concepts and critical issues. AIO’s recommended reading list can be downloaded here so we can all learn more since much was left out of our formal educations and mainstream press does not adequately represent Native issues. The slide below formed the outline for the presentation and Kathryn added detail, indigenous lived experiences, and Indian rights legislative and legal successes and stories.
We were asked to consider cultural misappropriation and how we can all choose our words more thoughtfully like “… hold the fort down” and “low man on the totem pole,”and which sports teams to support like the Washington Redskins (a direct reference to bounty take from murdered Natives). Continuing to support negative stereotypes attacks tribal identify and culture. The original Doctrine of Discovery used to conquer this land continues to resonate through our legal system and generational trauma impacts the health and lives of indigenous people today.
New Mexico has one of the highest populations of indigenous people living in both rural and urban areas. It is our responsibility to speak up in support of American Indians’ rights. Here’s something we can each do – go to the National Congress of American Indians at http://www.ncai.org/proudtobe & read and watch the videos. Then act by contacting sports teams you support and current or former schools that have derogatory Indian mascots, imagery or names. Look here http://www.changethemascot.org/ for direct actions.
The resilience, self-determination and governance of Native peoples was the final focus of the presentation including:
- The 2015 White House Tribal Youth Gathering – https://genindigenous.com/white-house-tribal-youth-gathering/
- The youth-led Water is Life movement and elder women-centered DAPL water protectors inspiring actions around the globe.
- The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) – not signed by 4 countries (US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada). https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html
- Rise of global indigeneity – hundreds of examples of Native people leading scholarship, study, journals, conferences, collectives, political movements and more all across our planet.
If your organization or business would benefit from the Indian 101 presentation, please contact to schedule and discuss the fee:
Americans for Indian Opportunity
1001 Marquette Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Contact: Brittany Schulman at firstname.lastname@example.org