Indigenous Futures Survey

Until now, Native people have never been asked about what issues matter to us. The Indigenous Futures Survey centers Native voices and provides an opportunity for all Native peoples to be a part of shaping the future. Native Organizers Alliance has partnered with IllumiNative and Aspen Institute’s Center for Native American Youth to conduct the largest survey of Native people ever conducted.

The survey will explore the impact of Covid-19 on Native peoples, their families and community, issue priorities for the upcoming election, how racism and discrimination impact Native peoples’ lives and visions for the future of Indian Country. Take the 10-minute survey now and become eligible to win raffle prizes like Nike N7 shoes, beaded jewelry, original artwork, and gift cards to your favorite Native brands. Your voice matters. 

To learn more about the Indigenous Futures Project, click here: http://indigenousfutures.illuminatives.org/

The results of the survey will help inform advocacy priorities for tribal leaders, policymakers, philanthropy as well as help to make visible the voices, needs, and issues of Native peoples to the media and American public in a critically important time in this country. 

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD TODAY! Take the survey now: https://bit.ly/IndigFuture

National Native American Town Hall

In July 2020 we co-hosted The Time Is Now National Native Town Hall on our Facebook LIVE.

Moderating our Native Peoples, Not “Native” Mascots panel is Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee), Lead Plaintiff, Harjo v. Pro Football, Inc; President, The Morning Star Institute. With panelists: Amanda Blackhorse (Diné) Lead Plaintiff, Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc., Carla Fredricks (Mandan Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation) Director, First Peoples Worldwide, and Dr. Stephanie Fryberg (Tulalip) University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan.

And Joined by: Notah Begay III (Pueblos of San Felipe and Isleta/Diné), PGA TOUR winner, Founder, NB3 Foundation.

The second panel is about Mt. Rushmore – the Fight for Indigenous Rights and Against White Supremacy

Join moderator Tiffany D. Cross, On-Air Analyst & Author with panelists: Faith Spotted Eagle (Yankton Sioux) Founder, Brave Heart Society, Tribal Chairman Rodney Bordeaux (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), and Nick Tilsen (Oglala Lakota) Founder, NDNCollective

Followed by How Do We Build a Multiracial Movement for Justice and Equity – moderated by Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee) Executive Director of IllumiNative, with panelists Derrick Johnson, President NAACP, So you want to talk about race- Ijeoma Oluo, our very own Judith LeBlanc(Caddo) Director, Native Organizers Alliance, and Marya Bangee, Executive Director, Harness.

Native Organizer’s Alliance Ribbon Skirt Webinar

Learn to sew a ribbon skirt with us!

We hosted a 90-minute interactive online tutorial with Alexandra Romero-Frederick (Oglala Lakota), on Indigenous ribbon skirt making.

All of our relatives, Native and non-Native, and all genders are invited to watch and learn. 

For Indigenous people, the ribbon skirt tells a story of endurance, strength, spirituality, adaptation and survival.

Today, the ribbon skirt is worn to gatherings that have political, cultural, and social significance. It is a signifier of Native women’s grassroots power.

Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum Made History

The Frank LaMere Native American Presidential was held in Sioux City, Iowa August 19-20, 2019. Co-sponsored by Native Organizers Alliance and our friends at Four Directions, the forum had dozens of endorsing organizations and hundreds of volunteers.

Eleven Presidential candidates took part over the two days, responding to questions from panels of Native tribal leaders and grassroots activists.

You can watch videos of the event below.

NOA partners for the “Promise to Protect” Training Tour

The Native Organizers Alliance is honored to stand in unity with all those who are making a commitment to Mother Earth by pledging a “Promise to Protect”. Guided by on the ground leadership and vision, NOA has been helping to create the training program for the upcoming “Promise to Protect Training Tour”

“Today, a coalition of Indigenous leaders, farmers and ranchers, and their allies announced a training tour to prepare for creative resistance against the Keystone XL pipeline and other fossil fuel projects. The “Promise to Protect” Tour, named for the commitment made by more than 25,000 people to mobilize against the Keystone XL pipeline, will stop in 10 cities across the U.S. and several reservations along the pipeline route.” https://nokxlpromise.org/training-tour/

Judith Le Blanc (Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma), Director, Native Organizers Alliance: “NOA is honored to be a part of the circle of the Promise to Protect Tour. No power is greater than unity in action to protect Mother Earth. Our power grows from building community grounded in the traditional values of relationality and reciprocity. Native peoples coming together in alliance with all who put the natural world and humanity before fossil fuel corporate projects is the only path to ending the threat of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Promise to Protect Training Tour will grow the grassroots power to ensure the sovereign right of the Oceti Shakowin tribes to decide, NoKXL!”

NOA will be posting updates throughout the “Promise to Protect” training tour.

Many Native Americans, Citing History, Angry Over Trump Immigration Policy

“Indian Country remembers,” Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today wrote in Monday’s edition of the pan-Native news site. “This is not the first administration to order the forced separation of families.”

He later told VOA, “I basically wanted to show the recurring nature of history. It’s a story so familiar.”

President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy has separated nearly 2,000 youths from their parents since April, triggering outcry from many Native Americans who find parallels in their own history with the U.S. government.

Author, speaker and storyteller Gyasi Ross, who comes from the Blackfeet Nation and how lives on the Port Madison Indian Reservation near Seattle, Washington, suggested on Twitter that the policy is no surprise:

White liberal friends stop saying that separating children from their parents is “unAmerican.” That is ahistorical & insensitive as hell to the 100ks of Native people who were separated from their children by official US policy from boarding schools & the Indian Adoption Project.— (@BigIndianGyasi) June 16, 2018


Native Americans are no strangers to the break-up of families.

“Most [non-Native] Americans do not know their own history, partly because any history that was embarrassing was not taught in school,” said Oglala Lakota journalist Tim Giago, editor of Native Sun News Today. “Native Americans were taken from their parents starting in the late 1800s and shipped to places like Carlisle, PA and Genoa, Neb. to Indian boarding schools. We are still suffering from the trauma it caused.

​Fellow journalist Vi Waln, editor of the Lakota Times, expressed a sense of solidarity with those detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Many Indigenous people are praying for the [detained undocumented] children to be reunited with their families and for the United States to do the right thing,” Waln said. “But we know from experience that this might not happen.”

Native Americans on social media are sharing immigration-themed meme pictures across the internet, protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policies.
Native Americans on social media are sharing immigration-themed meme pictures across the internet, protesting U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

O.J. Semans, a Rosebud Sioux tribe member and executive director of South Dakota-based voting-rights group Four Directions, echoed Waln’s comment, remembering another government policy which encouraged placement of Native American children in non-Native foster families.

“In the 1970s, we had 25 to 35 percent of tribal children ripped away from their families. It took until 1978 to get Congress to create a law, the Indian Child Welfare Act, to curtail the abductions,” he said, predicting that the current policy of separating migrant and refugee children from their parents will leave lasting scars.

“The trauma of children being ripped away from their parents — the only true love they have — will haunt their dreams and memories till the day they die,” Semans said.

Native Americans on social media are sharing immigration-themed meme pictures across the internet, protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policies.
Native Americans on social media are sharing immigration-themed meme pictures across the internet, protesting U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

One Native American mother offered heartfelt sympathy for the immigrant parents.

“I just can’t imagine my children being taken away and not knowing if I will ever see them again,” said a member of the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, who asked that her name not be used.

She said she believes the policy is racist: “Do you think we’ll see this happening to Canadians illegally crossing the border? No!”

Jefferson Keel, Chickasaw, President of the National Congress of American Indians, seen here testifying before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, during a hearing on priorities for the Trump admini
Jefferson Keel, Chickasaw, President of the National Congress of American Indians, seen here testifying before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, during a hearing on priorities for the Trump admini

Jefferson Keel, president of the National Congress of American Indians, released a statement Tuesday which said, in part, “Congress and the President should take heed of such abhorrent mistakes from the past and actually live the moral values this country proclaims to embody by immediately ending this policy and reuniting the affected children with their parents. Families belong together.”

But not all Native Americans oppose Trump’s policy.

“I think we as a government have the right to detain anyone who comes here illegally,” said Rick Cuevas, a disenrolled member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians in California and author of the Original Pechanga blog.

“And those who are going after the Trump administration now were the same ones protecting Barack Obama as he was separating children from parents. His policies allowed 50,000 unaccompanied minors into the country,” he added.

A surge in migration of unaccompanied minors in 2014 led the Obama Administration to place unaccompanied minors in closed housing units until they could be transferred to family in the United States while they awaited court proceedings.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Hall of Columns as he arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, to rally Republicans around a GOP immigration bill.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Hall of Columns as he arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, to rally Republicans around a GOP immigration bill.

Trump has blamed Democrats for the current policy, announced in April, citing a “horrible” laws that call for children of families attempting to illegally cross the U.S. border to be taken from their parents.

However, there is no U.S. law or court decision that mandates that action.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says it has no policy on separation, but that children and parents may be separated in situations in which “DHS cannot ascertain the parental relationship, when DHS determines that a child may be at risk with the presumed parent or legal guardian, or if a parent or legal guardian is referred for criminal prosecution, including for illegal entry.”

In 2017, U.S. border agents apprehended more than 41,000 unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the southwest border of the U.S., and U.S. customs officials report that between October 2017 to March 31, 2018, nearly 40,000 families attempted the same crossing.

Reprinted from Voice of America News

Putting Solar Panels in Pipeline’s Path, Campaign to Combine Power of Sun ‘With Power of the People’


An Indigenous-led coalition is fundraising to install solar panels along the route of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline to protest the project and provide renewable energy to family farms and Native communities in Nebraska and South Dakota.

“In the fight against dirty tar sands oil from crossing Indigenous treaty lands, we must also take moments to highlight the things we are fighting for,” explained Indigenous Environmental Network campaigner Dallas Goldtooth. “We will not only build renewable energy in America’s breadbasket, on Indigenous lands for Indigenous people, demonstrating the goals of a just transition towards sustainable energy, but we will build it in the face of the Keystone XL pipeline.”

“The fight against Keystone XL has always been about more than one pipeline—we’re demanding a world free of dirty fossil fuels,” added 350.org executive director May Boeve. “Putting solar in the path of this pipeline models the massive overhaul our energy system needs to stop the worst of climate change.”

This effort is just the latest phase of the Solar XL campaign launched last year by the Indigenous Environmental Network, Native Organizers Alliance, Brave Heart Society, Dakota Rural Action, Bold Nebraska, and 350.org. The groups installed an earlier round of solar arrays last summer.

The activists and landowners—who are also fighting the pipeline’s development in court—are optimistic about the message the new solar installations will send to politicians and the public alike, and compared the effort to mass demonstrations against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“The powerful thing about alliances for mother earth is when they create a space to unlearn fear and to relearn leadership. This was true at Standing Rock, and Solar XL is another chance to learn and build a shining example of the future we want,” said Faith Spotted Eagle, a member of the Yankton Sioux Nation and the Brave Heart Society. “Our efforts to fight Keystone XL combines the power of solar with the power of the people.”

With a fossil fuel-friendly Republican Party in control of the White House and Congress, anti-Keystone XL activists continue to emphasize the importance of building broad opposition to the dirty energy industry and the politicians that back it.

“While Trump and fossil fuel executives continue to deny the writing on the wall, our resistance must grow stronger,” declared Boeve, referencing moves such as the administration’s attempt to save struggling coal and nuclear plants with a taxpayer-funded bailout. “We already know the just way forward is with renewable energy solutions like solar and wind, now we need the will.”

“Projects like Solar XL, built with grassroots financial support and owned by Indigenous communities and family farmers, are our best hope for a future of sustainable energy that delivers us from dependence on fossil fuels and the harm caused by extractive industries,” concluded Native Organizers Alliance director Judith LeBlanc Caddo.

The coalition has produced a video sharing the stories of families and communities who would be impacted by the pipeline:



Reprinted from CommonDreams.org

Groups document voting rights abuses in Indian Country

From Salt Lake City Tribune:

Flagstaff, Ariz. • Election sites far from reservations. Poll workers who don’t speak tribal languages. Unequal access to early voting sites.

Native Americans say they’ve encountered a wide range of obstacles that makes voting difficult. Advocates have been spending the last few months gathering stories from around Indian Country in hopes that tribal members can wield more influence in elections, and improve conditions among populations that encounter huge disparities in health, education and economics.

“Some of the problems they were facing actually were issues we thought we’d taken care of long ago,” said OJ Semans, a Rosebud Sioux tribal member and executive director of Four Directions. “If you don’t keep your eye open and the communication open, things will reverse.”

Tribes successfully have challenged what they see as discriminatory voting practices around the United States. In Utah, a federal judge recently ordered school board and county commission districts redrawn after the Navajo Nation argued they were racially gerrymandered. In Nevada, the Pyramid Lake and Walker River Paiute tribes won a legal battle to improve early voting access on their reservations. Alaska Natives reached a settlement in a case that includes increased language assistance for three census areas.

Tribes often turn to the 1965 Voting Rights Act to try and force changes when working with local elections administrators doesn’t work, said James Tucker, a pro-bono attorney for the Native American Rights Fund. The group is part of a coalition holding field hearings across the country ahead of the next round of redistricting and to compile what it believes will be the most comprehensive look at voting rights abuses in Indian Country.

To read the full article visit sltrib.com