Take Action: Justice for Native Peoples
- Take action on the 2012 General Assembly resolution on the Doctrine of Discovery. Learn about the Doctrine, educate others, and advocate in partnership with Native peoples for its eradication from today’s law and practices.
- Lobby the U.S. President and the Department of the Interior to fully support all of the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (signed by the United States but not yet acted on).
- Help preserve sacred sites! Check out the latest actions from Protect Sacred Sites, and/or find sacred sites near you through the Sacred Land Film Project and Sacred Sites International and plug into efforts to preserve them. For more info, check out Native Peoples' Religious Liberty & Sacred Sites.
- Take action to stop the violence against Native women. Amnesty International has regular campaigns to end the cycle of violence against women worldwide, with particular attention on indigenous women. Visit Amnesty’s violence against women campaign page, or for more info check out Violence Against Native Women.
- The National Coalition on Racism in Sports and in the Media Actions to Protest Racist Mascots was established in 1992 by leaders of the American Indian Movement in order to organize against the use of Native images and names for logos, symbols, and mascots in professional and collegiate sports, marketing, and the media. Find out if there is a current campaign in your state that you can participate in.
- Get tips on hosting a letter-writing table, visiting your representatives, and writing a letter to the editor—all of which are powerful options when considering how to take action on issues such as health, education, violence against native women, religious liberty, and the Doctrine of Discovery.
Volunteer/Conduct a Supply Drive
- Re-Member: Join a one-week volunteer work project on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, either as an individual or as a group from your congregation.
- Backpacks for Pine Ridge: Donate school supplies to Backpacks for Pine Ridge, serving the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the poorest place in America. See Education for more information on this topic.
- Pretty Bird Woman House: This women's shelter and education program on Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota can always use financial contributions as well as material donations of diapers, shampoo, towels and washcloths, sheets and blankets, etc. More information is available on their blog.
Split the Plate to Support a Native Organization
Financial support is by far one of the most desperately needed ways you can help underfunded Native organizations. Consider doing a service centered around Native issues and donating the collection plate to an organization working for the needs of Native populations. Build or deepen your congregation’s relationship to such organizations in your area, and find out from them other ways you can help, connect, and collaborate.
Education and Congregational Life
There are many ways you can take action to engage with issues of justice for native peoples within your congregation, either before or in conjunction with extending your ministry outward. Check out ten ways to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day and how to take action on the Doctrine of Discovery for some powerful ideas.
Examples include learning about your local Native context and history, incorporating education on Native lives and cultures into your religious education programming, holding a movie screening or a congregation-wide common read, or engaging with Building the World We Dream About, a curriculum on race and ethnicity.
You can also check out Potential Unitarian Universalist Initiatives for Action About American Indians (PDF, 6 pages), a 2008 resource by James W. Loewen (author of Lies My Teacher Told Me and Sundown Towns) that suggests ways for Unitarian Universalist congregations to carry out social justice work regarding Native justice issues.
For more information contact socialjustice @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Thursday, September 6, 2012.
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