Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Because of the upsurge in COVID cases in Iowa, my friends at the Great Plains Action Society decided not to hold a public gathering this Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Instead, they participated in a guerrilla street art action to push back at the recognition of Columbus Day in Iowa and the nation. Celebrate Indigenous People’s DayContinue reading “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”

Completing a circle

I first learned about the Wet’suwet’en peoples in British Columbia when I saw this YouTube video, Coastal Gaslink Evicted from Unist’ot’en Territory, January 5, 2020. Having worked so hard to protect water from the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, I was amazed to see this peaceful eviction of a pipeline company. From that dayContinue reading “Completing a circle”

Listen…to the story

Many tragic stories were told yesterday, the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in the land called Canada. Although rooted in tragedy, it felt like the time has come to begin to bring these stories into the light. A sense of relief, in a way, that these deeply buried traumas are being told. YetContinue reading “Listen…to the story”

Teaching Quality Standard

It is difficult to realize how close we have come to the erasure of Indigenous peoples in the lands called the United States and Canada. This is changing as Indigenous peoples are leading the struggles to protect Mother Earth. There is also focus on Indigenous peoples as the remains of thousands of native children onContinue reading “Teaching Quality Standard”

Truth and Healing Curriculum

As the horror stories of the institutions of forced assimilation of Indigenous children continue to emerge, it is clear the erasure of this history almost succeeded. I remember being taught very little beyond Columbus ‘discovering America’, the colonial version of ‘Thanksgiving’, and not much related to the settler colonists and Indigenous peoples. It is crucialContinue reading “Truth and Healing Curriculum”

Students teaching students

Yesterday I saw the great presentation, Online Pushback:UnBan Anti-Racism Education in Iowa, a forum by Indigenous youth of the Great Plains Action Society related to Iowa’s ban on teaching Critical Race Theory or Anti-Racism Education (video below). Indigenous Youth Organizers, Alexandrea Walker and Keely Driscoll, have started a youth-led movement to demand that the currentContinue reading “Students teaching students”

Unban Anti-racism Education in Iowa

The Great Plains Action Society youth organizers and experts across Iowa weigh in on white supremacy and the ban on Critical Race Theory. The bans on Critical Race Theory across the country are one of many examples of efforts to whitewash the truth. Online Pushback: UnBan Anti-Racism Education in Iowa YouTube Link youtube.com/watch?v=tIlz26X7T-U The TruthContinue reading “Unban Anti-racism Education in Iowa”

What You Get into Will Change You

Recently a series of things happened that provoked some reflection. I saw the quote, “what you get into will change you. Sometimes in life you just don’t know what you’re getting into”, which prompted me to write the following. A lot happened to me since retiring and returning to Iowa four years ago. I hadn’tContinue reading “What You Get into Will Change You”

even Quakers if you can believe that

“even Quakers if you can believe that“. I heard this from an Indigenous friend during a presentation about institutions of forced assimilation. This is damning for us Quakers. A jarring dichotomy of being viewed as leaders in the work for peace and justice and yet to have participated, continue to participate in the cultural genocideContinue reading “even Quakers if you can believe that”

Native American Boarding School Violence and Whitewashed History

I have been blessed to get to know and become friends with Sikowis (Christine Nobiss). Four years ago I heard her speak about building bridges with native peoples during Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)’s annual sessions. In 2018 we walked and camped together for 94 miles, eight days, along the path of the Dakota Access pipelineContinue reading “Native American Boarding School Violence and Whitewashed History”