Friday, October 05, 2018

Solutions From Indian Country: What The World Needs to Know

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Greetings fellow Bioneers! 
This week, as we look forward to Indigenous Peoples Day and get excited about the upcoming Bioneers 2018 Indigenous Forum, we're bringing you news and happenings from within and beyond our Indigenous community. Join us at Bioneers 2018 by registering for the conference today.

Hello from the Bioneers Indigeneity Program!

This month’s newsletter is guest-edited by Cara Romero and Alexis Bunten, Bioneers Indigeneity Program staff. We’re so excited to share what’s in the news with Indigenous Bioneers and some of what we’ve been working hard to bring you at Bioneers 2018.

October 8 is Indigenous Peoples Day. Here’s a great blog we recommend detailing how to celebrate. It might sound corny, but here at Bioneers, every day is Indigenous Peoples Day! Since it was founded, Bioneers has celebrated and honored Indigenous knowledge and solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues. We work tirelessly every day of the year to get the word out about Indigenous issues and cultures, and to share ways that Indigenous knowledge can help solve our most pressing environmental and social concerns.

This year at Bioneers 2018, we are bringing together Indigenous changemakers from around the world to share their experiences working to protect water, reclaim land, and practice their religions through the annual TEK Workshop, Indigenous Forum, Bioneers Main Stage, and our partner tables and booths.

Read more of Cara and Alexis's letter here.

The Big Question: Water Is Life

Can you name the Anishinaabe Grandmother who walked the circumference of all the Great Lakes—that’s 17,000 miles—since 2003 to bring awareness to the health of water and to the indigenous worldview that water is life? (Read to the bottom of this email to find the answer.)

Wise Words

“I think our native American cultures have always believed that we had to be in sync with nature and that doesn't really give you rights to harm or damage other people or other species. One had to be really careful about how one or a whole group addresses the issues of nature and always understand that we come from that. We're made out of that, it's part of us. It is a whole different way of seeing the world.”
—John Mohawk, Iroquois Chief, author, educator, activist and Bioneer 

What We're Reading

Decolonizing Wealth: On Kinship by Edgar Villanueva

An enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, Edgar Villanuevahas directed the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars for over a decade as a philanthropy professional, and his new book, Decolonizing Wealth, takes those experiences into account. The book, which hits shelves on October 16, offers not only a provocative analysis of the dysfunctional colonial dynamics at play in philanthropy and finance, but also a potential road to transformation guided by Indigenous wisdom: Seven Steps to Healing. Read an excerpt from the book here.

See Villanueva speak in the Indigenous Forum panel, How To Be A Good Allyon Sunday, October 21 at 2:45 pm. 

Quick Read: On Sovereignty

We hear the term “sovereignty” in relation to Native American tribes all the time, but most people don’t know what this term really means. Check out this informative article by Susan Harjo, “If You Don’t Know Treaties and Sovereignty, You Don’t Know History,” to learn more, and prepare yourself for the Indigenous Forum panel, Beyond Sovereignty: New Solutions for Self-Determination, on Saturday, October 20 at 4:30 pm.

This Week on Bioneers Radio & Podcast

We’re a Culture, Not a Costume: Fighting Racism in Schools

Native American students face racism throughout their education, from racist mascots to the historical erasure of the American genocide from textbooks. In this passionate conversation, Indigenous Rights Activists Dahkota Brown, Chiitaanibah Johnson, Jayden Lim, and Naelyn Pike share stories of their own experiences and how they are working to abolish racism in schools.

Subscribe to the Bioneers podcast now: iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube

What We're Tracking

  • Vincent Medina (Chochenyo Ohlone) and his partner, Louis Trevino (Rumsen Ohlone) opened the first Café Ohlone by Mak-‘amham, returning California Indigenous foods to the East Bay. Last year, those who attended the Bioneers TEK workshop got a sneak peek of their acorn brownie recipe just before the indigenous foods organization was launched. This year, Bioneers welcomes Vincent Medina back again to offer the opening blessing to the Bioneers Conference on Friday, October 19. (via Bioneers)
  • Corrina Gould (Chochenyo Ohlone), who spoke on the California Indian Genocide 2017 Indigenous Forum Panel has been leading the fight to protect the West Berkeley shellmounds which contain the burials of her ancestors, and is being threatened under development. Learn about’s latest victory for the shellmounds. (Natalie Orenstein via Berkeleyside)
  • We were in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, where many Indigenous Bioneers pointed out Governor Jerry Brown’s climate hypocrisy. (Amy Goodman via Democracy Now)

Take Action: Petition Against Juristac Open Gravel Mine

Sign the petition to stop the proposal for an open gravel mine on Juristac, Ohlone sacred ceremonial land. Bioneer and Amah Mutsun Tribal Chairman Valentin Lopez shared this petition at Bioneers 2017—and it is still under threat. This is the Bay Area’s “Standing Rock” that nobody knows about. You can learn more about the ongoing genocide of California Indian peoples by watching Lopez’s talk at the 2017 Indigenous Forum Panel, California Indian Genocide and Resilience.

What We're Wearing

This year, we have partnered with Jared Yazzie of OXDX, a Native American clothing design company, to design a limited edition organic hemp T-shirt to commemorate the 2018 Annual Bioneers Conference. Purchase yours immediately to support Bioneers youth scholars today, or get your limited-edition custom silkscreened edition at the Bioneers Conference, at the Bioneers Store in the Exhibit Hall for $50.

The Big Question, Answered: Water Is Life

The Anishinaabe Grandmother who walked the circumference of all the Great Lakes to bring awareness to water health is Josephine Mandamin—and she is coming to Bioneers to speak at the Indigenous forum panel, Mni-Winconi: We are Here to Protect Our Rivers, from 2:30 to 4:00 pm on Friday, October 19. She’ll be speaking alongside other water protectors, including Caleen Sisk (Wintu), Waniya Locke (Ahtna Dene/Dakota/Lakota/Anishinaabe), and Carrie “CC” Curley (San Carlos Apache). 
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