Support Indigenous Rights: Abolish Columbus Day 

The movement to abolish Columbus Day and to establish in its place Indigenous Peoples Day continues to gather strength, as every month new school districts and colleges take action. This campaign has been given new momentum as Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas assert their treaty and human rights. Especially notable is the inspiring struggle in North Dakota to stop the toxic Dakota Access Pipeline, led by the Standing Rock Sioux.

Read on here: Support Indigenous Rights: Abolish Columbus Day | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

John Trudell, Outspoken Advocate for American Indians, Is Dead at 69 – The New York Times

 

 

This is American history, y’all.

AND it’s San Francisco/Bay Area history.

May you rest in power, John Trudell.

Mr. Trudell was a leading advocate of Native American rights who channeled his message of righteous defiance into poetry and songwriting.

John Trudell, Outspoken Advocate for American Indians, Is Dead at 69 – The New York Times

Thangs Taken: rethinking thanksgiving | Ariel Luckey

There’s a a wonderful, powerful event coming up that I want to highlight: Thangs Taken: rethinking thanksgiving | Ariel Luckey.

Save the Date: Sunday, November 22, 2015

Click on the link for details, a list of artists and activists who will be at the event.

Thangs Taken: rethinking thanksgiving is an annual cultural arts event that brings artists, activists and communities together to explore the complex history of Thanksgiving and to acknowledge the legacy of U.S. colonialism and genocide against Native Americans. Produced by the Free Land Project and curated and hosted by Ariel Luckey, Thangs Taken features live music, dance, film, spoken word poetry, hip hop theater and visual art installations from Native and non-Native artists. Grounded in grassroots activism, Thangs Taken also features leaders from local social and environmental justice organizations to provide information on current campaigns and concrete ways to take action in the community. With the arts at the center, people from diverse backgrounds gather to engage in critical dialogue and to stand in the power of our collective ability to create a world based in peace and justice that we can truly be thankful for.

Each year Thangs Taken raises hundreds of dollars for a specific community organization or campaign. Past events have benefited the Ohlone Shellmound Walk, the Longest Walk 2, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, the Indigenous Delegation to Palestine and the Hintil Ku Caa Preschool in Oakland. Celebrating our common humanity and the legacy of resistance to colonization, we create a circle of prayers, poems, pictures, songs, stories and movement.

 

Again, more info here: Thangs Taken: rethinking thanksgiving | Ariel Luckey.

 

On Indigenous People’s Day…

Sadly, we don’t have an All School Meeting today for me to acknowledge this day as Indigenous People’s Day (a day that originated in Berkeley) but I want to acknowledge it somehow.

This morning, when I checked my social media pages, I saw a post from a Native friend:

“still here columbus. you bastard.
goin’ to work, even.”

The simplicity of these words hit me in the gut. The numbers and facts I have read, the information I still don’t have* became painfully real in that moment (* — this is something I’m working on in my self-education as an immigrant in this country). I sent my friend my love and support, and he wrote back, explaining that he is “a bit grumpy this morning.”

A bit grumpy.

I can’t even imagine…can you?

How would you feel if you felt erased from history? If people took off as a holiday (and had sales for great deals on) the day, which, to you, symbolizes the decimation of 80-100 million of your ancestors?

I wrote back to my friend:

“I can’t imagine why.
Just remember: your joy is revolutionary.”

His part in history is to thrive against the odds. My responsibility is to educate myself and others so I can stand in solidarity with my friend.

I now have this map of Native American Nations with their traditional names & locations hanging in my office, and I’m looking forward to studying its details. Please come visit (S. Campus) and see it for yourself. It’s powerful.

And below are some more resources and perspectives to get us going.

We are always and constantly writing and rewriting history.
We can do better.

The time is always now.

Thanks for reading…

tk


RESOURCES & PERSPECTIVES:
• Chapter 1 from Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States

• Indigenous People’s Day 2015: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com

Italian Americans who Fought for Justice

• This video:

• The hashtag #RethinkColumbusDay is trending today as Americans celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day and challenge Columbus’s genocidal legacy: Today, Americans #RethinkColumbusDay | Colorlines

• This Oatmeal illustration: Christopher Columbus was awful (but this other guy was not) – The Oatmeal (It’s worth noting that Bartolomé was no saint — he was against enslaving natives, yes, but until his repentance, his suggested solution was to enslave Africans instead. Read, research, and draw your own conclusions.)


• This video by my friend Hari Kondabolu on another friend’s (W. Kamau Bell) now defunct tv show, Totally Biased: