Showing Up for Indigenous Communities with Our Money, Time, and Attention
Our community comes together on Indigenous land–the occupied, unceded territory of Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, Snohomish, Lummi, Skagit, and Swinomish. It’s our responsibility to reckon with this reality every day, throughout our personal lives, professional lives, and everything in between.
However, this acknowledgement is not enough. A continuing priority for GeekGirlCon is to build real, lasting, power-sharing relationships with Indigenous communities. We commit to holding ourselves accountable to this work and doing better.
Today, Thanksgiving in the United States, is a symbolically relevant day to center conversations about how white and non-Indigenous people perpetuate the ongoing colonization of Indigenous communities. That being said, we must make these conversations–and action–a priority every day.
Below are some resources for education, taking action, and engaging with Indigenous creators–this is far from a comprehensive list, but rather a place to build from:
Unlearning colonial Thanksgiving myths:
The people harmfully mythologized in our stories about Thanksgiving are currently fighting to defend the status of their Reservation and along with it resources for critical programs. This page describes direct action you can take.
The real history of Thanksgiving as told by Wampanoag scholars Paula Peters and Linda Coombs.
Where to start with self-education:
Begin your research on what Indigenous land you occupy.
Read up on the dangers of the ally industrial complex.
Panel discussion about making land acknowledgements a meaningful step towards reconciliation rather than an empty gesture.
Article detailing the complexity of the land acknowledgment practice and how it is a meaningless gesture without material action backing it up.
Here in Seattle, it’s especially important to center the Duwamish because they still do not have federal recognition.
A clear direct action we can take is paying the Duwamish directly. Setting up regular payments is particularly helpful. Pay rent yourself, then talk to your community and workplace about it as well.
Directory of Indigenous mutual aid efforts, organizing guides, and decolonial writings.
Decolonial effort to provide care to unsheltered folks along Mniluzahan.
Anti-colonial effort to care for unsheltered folks on Chiricahua land.
Provides no-barrier meals to folks in the Skykomish River Valley.
Other places to donate:
Native-led conservation effort with a mission to restore land back to its original state.
The Quileute are currently raising money to move their tribal school out of the tsunami zone.
The NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization that works to build Indigenous power. They are currently raising money to support Indigenous communities, who are being uniquely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indigenous-created media recommendations:
Podcast unpacking different topics relevant to Indigenous communities with a focus on relationships to land, culture, and each other.
Travel podcast from an Black Indigenous perspective.
Podcast discussing science fiction through a decolonial lens.
Indigenous creators to support:
Author of The Marrow Thieves and Empire of Wild
Geoscientist & writer
Plant ecologist, writer, and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Author of The Sixth World Series
Author of When My Brother Was an Aztec
Throat singer, composer, visual artist, advocate, writer, and public speaker
Author of Heart Berries: A Memoir
Poet and essayist
Author of The Grass Dancer
Author of Ceremony
Author and playwright
Author of Son of a Trickster
Author of the poetry collection Whereas
Founder of A Tribe Called Geek
Creator of Project 562
Creator of Native Appropriations blog