Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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How to Support Tribal People

If your ancestors mistreated tribal people, and you want to make up for that, there are many ways. You do not have to endorse the actions of dead genocidal maniacs just because they bore a superficial resemblance to the meat you are wearing. Here are some ideas ...

First, consider your ancestors and who they hurt.

Then, examine the victimized group(s) to see who is still suffering from that past damage and how.

Think about what would fix those problems.

Some examples, starting with the tribal topic at hand:

* Locate your nearest tribal reservation and/or one belonging to people forcibly transported elsewhere from your area. See if any major cities near you participated in the urban relocation programs. Check if they have a charity you can support; many do. If you like, mark your donation "land acknowledgement rent" or "restitution."

* Donate to any Native American charity.



* Support Native American colleges. Most have scholarship funds.

* Support tribal libraries. These often have a book donation and/or cash donation option.

* Buy from tribal crafters. If you can't, at least send a donation to make up for it.





* Watch Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and other crowdfunding opportunities for native projects. These often have a giveaway option where you can send a copy of the thing to a reservation. This is a favorite technique of mine.

* Attend powwows and spend money there.

* Learn an endangered tribal language. Support tribal language programs too.

* Learn about ancient foodways. Buy a Native American cookbook and learn some recipes from it. If you're lucky enough to find a tribal restaurant or food truck, eat there too.

* Give credit where credit is due regarding the development of Turtle Island crops.

* Grow a traditional garden, and when you talk about it, cite its origins.

* Work toward returning stolen land to tribal people.

* Invite tribal people to share the use of private property.  The bigger the patch of land, the better, but sometimes even a small patch is very helpful if it has usable features like maple trees for tapping or waterways for fishing.

* The Great Plains tribes relied on and revered bison.  Support bison restoration, their safety, and their right to roam.  Look for tribes with herds or starting herds and donate there.  Occasionally a tribe wanting to start a herd will hold a fundraiser where people can donate to buy the foundation stock.

* On much of the West Coast, it's all about salmonCoastal tribes seek to save salmon by removing dams.  Sustainable fishing in general is also good.




* Restore tribal clam gardens. This movement is just getting started.  Check the nearest coast to you and see if there are any restoration projects that need funding or volunteers.  Most attention is on the West Coast but people made clam gardens in other places too.

* Tribes in redwood territory revere the giant trees.  Work to save the redwoods.  We need all the terraforming help we can get.  Note that California tribes are some of the worst screwed, with tiny rancherias instead of larger reservations, so this is an area where getting more land into native hands would help a lot.




* Celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day.

* Commodity foods kill people. Badger the American government to stop subsidizing unhealthy things like sugar and start subsidizing healthier things like apples and spinach. Support food sovereignty.

* For any legislation or action affecting tribal people, identify their position and back it. There is strength in numbers.

* Work on decolonization.

* Check nearby museums.
- Do they have stolen tribal goods or human remains? If so, badger them to return those.
- Are tribal displays respectful? If not, ask them to update those by consulting with the relevant tribe(s).
- Do they represent tribal artists? If not, ask them to add some.
- If the museum is performing well, reward it with a cash donation or review and specify why.
- If it is performing badly, punish it with a negative review and specify why.

* If you run a program of any kind, try to see if there are tribal folks in your area, and if so, reach out to them.
Tags: activism, ethnic studies, how to

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