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An Allies to Natives Workshop

More than eighty people attended a recent East Coast USA Allies to Natives Workshop led by Marcie Rendon, the International Liberation Reference Person for Native Americans.

Marcie began by asking each of us what one question we would like answered, or why we had come to the workshop. She answered our questions throughout the workshop.

She talked about how invisible Native people are. There are reservations and other populations of Native people within a few miles of almost everyone, yet few people know they are there.

She shared the cultural gaps she constantly lives with. For example, in Native culture there is no word for art—art is part of life and not separate. She often used the words “before contact” [before Native contact with Europeans]. Before contact, there were no days of the week; time was not described by hours, days, or weeks. Her perspective is rooted in the land and in a culture that has protected the land. We all live on Native lands. We can discharge on “giving back” and “going home.”

Many at the workshop discharged on climate change, misinformation, and genocide. Marcie led us to look at ourselves, our relationship to this land, climate change, and the actions we can take. She invited us to eliminate what keeps us fearful and unable to reach for integrity.

Betsy Damon

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion
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Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00