The Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID) and the Indigenous Environmental Network have both issued statements on the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, identifying the roots of the problem and ways to get involved.
In a related matter, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz today announced an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department, focusing on discriminatory practices against people of color.
The Indigenous Environmental Network issued the following statement, titled Indigenous Solidarity Actions in Defense of Black Lives, reprinted in full below.
It is from a place of deep love and power that we declare Indigenous solidarity and action in support of Black Liberation and Black power. With strong hearts, minds and actions, we stand and uplift our love for, and defense of, Black Lives.
The Indigenous Environmental Network stands with Black Lives. We kneel with Black Lives. We cry with Black Lives and we fight for Black Lives. We dedicate ourselves to the liberation of Black people. We believe in protecting and expanding investment in community-led health and safety strategies, not funding racist police forces. We pledge to work alongside our Black relatives to collapse capitalist patriarchal colonial systems.
In this moment we lift up and center Black voices and the Black Lives Matter movement. This does not mean that police brutality inflicted upon Native communities is any less crucial to address. It does not mean that our struggles are any less important. In fact, standing in solidarity and supporting Black Lives Matter, addresses the root causes of that brutality- systemic racism and white supremacy. Dismantling these systems is the work we need to do together.
America is built upon genocide of indigenous peoples and the enslavement and labor of Africans; systems of racism, sexism, and the concentration of wealth and power among the few have been the foundation of a deeply unjust society. We have been pitted against one another to serve racist and divisive interests. We reject this false division and embrace the collective struggle.
As we continue to fight back in solidarity against colonization and white supremacist ideologies, we acknowledge the need to confront the anti-Black racism that exists within our own communities, in our families, and within ourselves. We pledge to embrace the ways in which our histories and families have been forever linked by blood, struggle, and love. We pledge to do the challenging work to build deeper solidarity. Our struggles are intertwined with each other.
Help us support the Movement For Black Lives (M4BL) and supporting allies mobilizing across the country, by rising up and saying “No More!”. The organizers of M4BL are inviting us and the Indigenous front line to join them in a week of action June 1st – June 5th in Defense of Black Lives. This is an opportunity to uplift and fight alongside those speaking up in the streets and on the airwaves.
Change your social media profile pictures to the image below this week to show that you are committed to being in defense of Black lives and go to this website to learn how you can support!#DefendBlackLife #DefundPolice #IndigenousBlackSolidarity #BlackLivesMatterTag @Mvmnt4BlkLives @indigenousrising @ienearth on social media during your actions.
Together we are stronger. Together we are Family. Together we will prevail.
With Love for Black Lives and Prayers for All Our Relations
MUID, a collaborative of some thirty American Indian organizations operating within the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota, issued the following letter, which reads in part:
In no uncertain terms, the membership of this collaborative strongly condemns the murder of one of our fellow citizens, at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. Furthermore, MUID condemns the ongoing and systemic racist ideologies that continue to run strongly through the department like a virulent and lethal pathogen. This disease of spirit is actively polluting the minds of some of the rank and file to the point where they are no longer able to perform their tax payer funded jobs with any degree of professionalism, or with any legitimate capacity to restrain themselves from brutalizing and murdering fellow human beings. To this we collectively and loudly proclaim NO MORE. …
We reject outright as false the defense of the MPD that contends that the actions of a handful of depraved individuals cannot overshadow the department as a whole. Any attempt at minimizing such pervasive sickness by localizing it to a “problem few” is in actuality a demonstration of willful ignorance, and perhaps an act of complicity. It minimizes the scourge of lethality that these “few” repeatedly wield upon our people.Moreover, it neglects the fact that the Minneapolis Police Department provided the very context within which these attitudes were developed and potentially cultivated into full maturation. The department itself was either too inept to detect these sick individuals before they were given free rein to commit atrocious acts of murder in broad daylight, or worse yet, the department actively fostered and endorsed these attitudes and then turned them loose onto the public. …
MUID stands with the African American community, and all other communities regularly target for violence by the MPD.
We believe that this department wide sickness emanates directly from leadership — specifically the President of the Minneapolis Police Federation. Mr. Bob Kroll has a long history of bigoted and ignorant remarks in the press, and public displays of allegiances with known purveyors of racism. Mr. Kroll has repeatedly and openly propagated racist ideology within the public sphere while serving on the Minneapolis Police force. The vitriol emanating from the words of Mr. Kroll are the very same ideology represented within the infected minds of the responding officers who murdered George Floyd, and for all the others who have brutalized black and brown people with impunity while wearing a badge. We therefore also call on the immediate termination of Bob Kroll from the Minneapolis Police Department. By retaining his position amongst the force, Mr.Kroll is able to retain his position as the union lead. This by its very nature serves as a powerful signifier to those “problem few” within the Minneapolis Police Department that they have a benefactor in a position of authority, and by virtue of his position, will protect them at all costs, no matter how villainous or lethal their exploits become on the streets of Minneapolis against the very citizens they have pledged to protect.
Click on the link above for the full statement.
Update: The Star Tribune reports: Minnesota Human Rights Department launches probe into Minneapolis police:
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights will launch an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department after filing a civil rights charge related to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody last week.
The probe, announced Tuesday by Gov. Tim Walz, will look at Minneapolis police policies and procedures over the past 10 years to determine whether the department has engaged in discriminatory practices toward people of color.