Day 9: Indigenous Nonviolent Resistance

{DISCLAIMER: These reflections are solely my reflections from my journey as a Potawatomi woman. They do not reflect the journey or stories of every indigenous person, and it should not be assumed that every indigenous person has the same experiences. Thank you for joining me here. May we grow toward unity together.}


Do you remember Standing Rock last year? Do you remember how it seemed to lift away a veil from so many people who did not know that indigenous people are still here, still resisting, still trying to thrive?

I watched live feeds from my living room couch everyday that I could during that time. It seemed to coincide with my own coming alive, with my own soul trying to understand what it means to be a descendent of someone who resisted, of someone who was pushed out of the places they once thrived. It was the first time my heart literally hurt in my chest with the pain that I belong to those ancestors. I belong to a legacy of genocide and removal and hurt.

There is a movement of resistance happening right now in Hawaii, and I want to draw your attention to it today. There is a sacred mountain in Hawaii called Mauna Kea that is being threatened, not for the first time, to be taken over with a giant telescope. You can watch this video to get a little information about it. 

It’s important to point out here that in the way of Jesus that is so often talked about in Christianity, indigenous peoples have been following that way for a long time. It is the way of nonviolent resistance, of prayerful resistance. The savage identity places on native peoples has distorted this idea and blinded many to the reality that people like those at Standing Rock are people of prayer.

And so, in Hawaii, our brothers and sisters are standing in prayer and nonviolent resistance. They are training people to do the same, and make it clear that anyone who wants to come and resist violently will not be doing it in the same spirit as the people. Because the land is sacred, restoring and protecting that land is a sacred act as well, and it is not something to protect with guns and knives, but with singing, dancing and praying.

So here are some ways to get involved.

First, watch this video of Dallas Goldtooth interviewing leaders in Hawaii, so that you can get informed. I found it really, really helpful.

Second, you can donate to the HULI fund to help people get special nonviolence training. This is essential.

Third, follow @HULI on Twitter or join the HULI Facebook group.

If you watched the first video above, there is this idea that for the advancement of science, this telescope must be built on Mauna Kea, and that is it just too bad that it happens to be on a sacred place for indigenous people. Instead of this, we pray that the United States peoples, and I pray that the church, would get behind the people of Hawaii to protect the land.

I pray that the world would see the sacred work of indigenous peoples to protect land as something truly sacred and also necessary for the well-being of all of us. As many have said, there are Standing Rocks all over the world, and this is one of them.

One more that I want to draw your attention to is this group of fabulous women who are building tiny houses to protest the Transmountain Kinder Morgan pipeline. Support their work, friends! Women are strong as hell, right?

Please learn, be informed, and stand with indigenous peoples as we honor Native American Heritage Month.



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