In Honor of Native American Heritage Day
Welcome back to Queering the Narrative!
Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in America. That means a lot of folx got time off and spent the day eating a whole lot of food and connecting with their families. However, the event that the holiday is apparently named for is largely built on a foundation of myths and misconceptions which serve to obscure the genocidal actions of the European colonizers who came to the Americas and violently or coercively removed the indigenous populations. I’m no historian, but if you want to learn more about it, check out this article.
That sucks. It sucks that we live in a world where colonialism is so ubiquitous, one where the effects of it are very much still being felt today. As I write this, I am occupying land that was taken from Native American peoples such as the Potawatomi, the Ojibwe, and the Menominee. We cannot escape colonialism, but on days like today — which is actually officially Native AMerican Heritage Day in the US — we can take a moment to acknowledge the past and set our sights on making what reparations we can going forward.
In light of that, rather than my usual writing advice post, I wanted to take a moment to mention a few amazing organizations led by Native American people across the US that are fighting for the rights, sovereignty, and protection of native peoples in the US and beyond. I encourage you to join me in donating to one or more of these organizations, as you are able, in order to help further their righteous causes.
If you can’t donate, educate yourself. Find out what people were the original inhabitants of the land you’re occupying, learn about their history, and confront the realities surrounding how you came to inhabit the land you live on. And don’t think you’re exempt if you aren’t from the US — if your country was ever a part of the British, French, Spanish, Portugese, or some other European empire, you’ve got some history to dig into.
So, here are some really awesome Native American organizations you should consider donating to:
- Native American Rights Fund
- National Indian Child Welfare Association
- National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
- Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance
- First Nations Development Institute
- Feeding Nunavut (For my Canadian readers!)
- North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (For my Australian readers!)
That’s it for this week! Donate if you can, and learn if you can’t. I’ll be back next week with a more standard post, but until then stay safe, stay healthy, and keep writing!