News and Events: We Are Still Here Conference March 11, Maine becomes first state to ban Native American mascots, and more

News and events in this blog:

  • We own this now: A play about love of land, loss of land, and what it means to “own” something. Feb. 28
  • We Are Still Here Conference, March 11, and the We Are Still Here Advocacy Day, March 12
  • Maine becomes first state to ban Native American mascots
  • Canada attempting to change citizenship oath to include respect for Indigenous treaties

We own this now: A play about love of land and what it means to “own” something, Feb. 28

Ted & Co., TheaterWorks, and Calvery Church are hosting We own this now, a play that “looks at love of land, loss of land, and what it means to ‘own’ something.” It will be performed Friday, Feb. 28, 7-9 p.m. at Calvary Church, 2608 Blaisdell Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Suggested donation $5-$25, but no one will be turned away. This play is designed for settler audiences, but all are welcome. Indigenous friends are welcome to attend without charge. Proceeds will go to Healing Minnesota Stories, First Nations Kitchen, and other local Native solidarity organizations, as well as to future performances of the play.

ABOUT THE PLAY

Chris has farmed the land his grandmother found as a home in Kansas after fleeing Russia almost 100 years ago; his daughter Riley is learning more about who was on that land before her Oma arrived, and the jarring connections she has to the fate of those people. We follow Chris and Riley as they navigate their changing relationship to each other and to the land their family has farmed for several generations.

Diving into historical documents, absurd situations, and extended metaphors, the audience discovers alongside Riley and Chris how the Doctrine of Discovery (the legal framework that justifies theft of land and oppression of Indigenous Peoples) is still being used and causing harm today.

We Own This Now provides a starting point for further conversation: What does it mean to “own” something? What is the relationship between “owning” and “taking” — and what is the relationship between “ownership” and (taking) responsibility?

We Are Still Here Conference, March 11, and the We Are Still Here Advocacy Day, March 12

The We Are Still Here-MN Conference will be held Wednesday, March 11, at InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel,
11 East Kellogg Boulevard. It is created and hosted by a collaborative of urban American Indian organizations and leaders, including the Lower Phalen Creek Project.

Registration for the day-long conference is $65, which includes lunch. It will offer thought-provoking speakers, interactive breakout sessions. and a presentation by Chrystal EchoHawk (Pawnee) of Reclaiming Native Truth.

The conference goals are to:

  1. Highlight Reclaiming Native Truththe ground-breaking national research on dominate narratives about American Indians in the United States
  2. Elevate the accomplishments and contributions of Minnesota’s Native people and Native-led organizations
  3. Equip participants with information and tools to develop their own narratives for influencing change in state and local policies
  4. Inspire collective action by taking an asset-based approach to educate policy makers, philanthropists and the business community.

Questions? Contact the conference coordinator: info@amethystsr.com

The following day, Thursday, March 12, join members of the Urban American Indian Community Organization Collaborative for We are Still Here-MN Advocacy Day.

Maine becomes first state to ban Native American mascots

The Washington Post reports that Maine will be the first state to prohibit Native American mascots. Here are the opening paragraphs:

Twenty years ago, Maulian Dana was watching a Maine high school basketball game between two teams called the “Indians” and the “Warriors.” Her gaze drifted toward the student sections, where she saw kids chanting and dancing with fake feathers and war paint on their bodies. It was the first time she saw things she knew as “sacred and religious” to thePenobscot Nation being “mocked and degraded.”

Her 15-year-old self was angry and shocked, she said, but she turned her frustration into activism. Today Dana is a tribal ambassador of Penobscot Nation who spearheaded the drafting of a bill signed into law Thursday by Gov. Janet Mills (D) that prohibits the use of Native American mascots in all public schools, colleges and universities. Maine is the first state to pass such a law.

Canada attempting to change citizenship oath to include respect for Indigenous treaties

Global News of Canada reports that the country is trying to include respect for indigenous treaties in its citizenship oath. It’s a result of a Call to Action from Canada’s 2012 Truth and Reconciliation Commission to change the oath of citizenship. According to the story:

The wording proposed by that call to action would change the oath to: “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada including Treaties with Indigenous Peoples, and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

The motion was tabled in the House of Commons yesterday by Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.

Click on links for more details.

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