Stolen Land, Stolen Lives: Indigenous People and the Legacy of Colonialism

Prior to the colonization of North America, over a thousand separate Indigenous nations populated the continent – each with their own unique culture, language and traditions. The perseverance of Indigenous nations in the face of a global extractive economic order, climate change, and racism speaks to the endurance of spirit and the wisdom of ecological stewardship. Today, Indigenous peoples comprise 5% of the global population yet protect 80% of Earth’s biodiversity. Building solidarity with and respecting the leadership of Indigenous peoples has been a core part of Bioneers’ ethos since our founding and is increasingly a focal point in global organizing across any number of issues, from large scale conservation work to climate activism to movements for social change. 

This coming Monday, an ever-increasing number of state and city governments are taking part in a larger movement to challenge the American mythos about Indigenous people and the founding of this country. Indigenous Peoples’ Day offers us a chance to reckon with a violent and oppressive past in service of a nascent trajectory towards healing, reconciliation and new ways of being. 

This article contains the content from the 2/01/2021 Bioneers Pulse newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter straight to your inbox!

Bioneers Decolonization Series

  • What Is Decolonization? | Decolonization has recently grown to become a buzzword among various organizations and businesses and used to support a wide range of political interests. With no informed understanding or intentional use of the term, decolonization risks being robbed of its political power. For an in-depth conversation about the concept, check out this interview with Alexis Bunten on decolonization
  • Why We Should Indigenize Place Names | Over the past year, Americans have made great strides in dismantling white supremacy. We are still far behind other settler colonial nations in indigenizing our street names, but recent events point to a growing awareness and efforts to forward this movement.

Register for the 2021 Bioneers Conference today to tune in for this incredible panel and many more powerful programs.

Conversation with Oglála Lakȟóta Elder Basil Brave Heart

The Oglala Lakota Nation are one of the many nations that belong to the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (“Seven Council Fires”; known derogatorily as “Sioux”). Basil Brave Heart is an Oglala Lakota combat veteran, Catholic boarding school survivor, author and retired school administrator from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. 

In part one of this two-part interview with Hilary Giovale, Basil shares reflections about Lakȟóta lifeways and the impacts of boarding schools. In part two, Basil shares his perspectives on war, healing, and patriotism. 

Coming Soon! Bioneers’ Indigeneity Conversations Podcast

The newest podcast program from Bioneers is on its way in just a few days. Each episode will bring Indigenous perspectives to global conversations. Keep an eye on your inbox for launch details!

Life in the City of Dirty Water | Clayton Thomas-Muller

The mass Indigenous-led movement against oil pipelines left a permanent impact in the fight against climate change. Indigenous nations are leading the movement to protect water and hold governments accountable to treaty laws that preserve Indigenous relationships with the environment. In this excerpt from his brand new book, Life in the City of Dirty Water: A Memoir of Healing, Clayton Thomas-Muller shares the power and wisdom of Indigenous climate advocacy. 

Read more here.

Good Fire: Indigenous Cultural Burns Renew Life

Bill Tripp, Deputy-Director of Eco-Cultural Revitalization for the Karuk Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources, is a forest management specialist and the lead author of the Karuk Eco-Cultural Resource Management Plan and co-author of the Karuk Climate Adaptation Plan. His work involves developing partnerships and strategic action plans to enable large landscape collaborative management throughout Karuk Aboriginal Territory and beyond. Bill is featured in the film the INHABITANTS: An Indigenous Perspective which follows five Native American tribes as they adapt to today’s climate crisis by restoring their ancient relationships with the land.

Read more here.

Don’t Miss It: Upcoming Events

YES! Fest

YES! is turning 25 this year and celebrating with a free virtual festival this Thursday & Friday, Oct. 7-8!

You’ll hear from world-renowned scholar & activist Vandana Shiva, Alicia Garza, Adrienne Maree Brown, David Korten, Sarah van Gelder, and discuss transformative justice w/ Dallas Goldtooth, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharris of Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, Mariah Parker, and Amanda Alexander. Plus hear performances from Brett Dennen, Dar Williams paying tribute to Pete Seeger, Taina Asili, Chris Pierce, Raye Zaragoza, Tawana Petty, and groove to Mollywop.

Come to YES! Fest – Sign-up (it’s free)! 

Fantastic Fungi Global Summit

If you loved the Fantastic Fungi movie on Netflix, you won’t want to miss out on the live virtual 3-day event from October 15-17 with over 40 leading experts such as Paul Stamets, Merlin Sheldrake, Michael Pollan, Suzanne Simard and many more!

Learn more here.

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