News and Events: A guide to recognizing cultural appropriation, reparations updates, and more

In this blog:

  • Native Governance Center: Guide to cultural appropriation and wellness
  • Webinar: “Boarding School Healing: Mind, Body, Heart, and Spirit,” March 31
  • Watch the Line monitor training Saturday
  • One more in a long list of reasons to worry about Enbridge
  • Jesuits pledge $100 Million to atone for slave labor and sales
  • Webinar: Modern Racial Categories, American slave societies, and the integration of African religious practices into Christianity
  • Lessons From Lynchings: There’s a through-line from a noose on the neck to a knee on the neck

Native Governance Center: Guide to cultural appropriation and wellness

The Native Governance Center has published an on-line guide exploring how cultural appropriation negatively impacts wellness spaces, what to do if you spot cultural appropriation, and how to practice wellness responsibly. The Center hosted a virtual event on this topic in fall 2020. You can view the recording from our event here and listen to our themed Spotify playlist here.

In it’s introduction, the Native Governance Center writes:

From yoga to “smudge kits,” wellness is on trend right now. While wellness practices can help us to unwind and de-stress, they also raise major questions about cultural appropriation and theft from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities.

Click here for more information.

Webinar: Boarding School Healing: Mind, Body, Heart, and Spirit, March 31

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) is inviting people to participate in its 2021 Webinar Series: “Boarding School Healing: Mind, Body, Heart, and Spirit.”

The first webinar, #TruthAndHealing–The Movement and the Commission, is Wednesday, March 31, 2021, noon – 2 p.m. CT.

To learn more and to REGISTER click here.

NABS CEO Christine Diindiisi McCleave (Turtle Mountain Anishinaabe) will offer a comprehensive overview of NABS’s work, and will examine how we are growing into a new era of Truth, Healing, and Justice. This holistic session will also offer insights into the development and organizing behind an Indian Boarding School Truth and Healing Commission in the United States and how you can support and be a part of the Truth and Healing Movement.

Watch the Line monitor training Saturday, April 10, 1-3- p.m.

Watch the Line has been training volunteers to lawfully monitor the construction of Enbridge Line 3 in northern Minnesota and to document what they see, both through photographs and brief written reports. Others in the project review the documents for possible escalation to the media, regulators or the courts.

Our next training is this Saturday, April 10, 1-3 p.m. Check out our website for more information and click here to register.

One more in a long list of reasons to worry about Enbridge Line 3

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking further investigation into a 2019 Enbridge crude oil pipeline spill near Fort Atkinson, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Enbridge initially reported that 1.35 gallons of material had spilled, but later revised that estimate to 1,225 to 1,386 gallons. State law requires immediate reporting of hazardous substance spills, though the threshold for petroleum products other than gasoline is five gallons. …

Wisconsin State Journal

The DNR told Enbridge to test soil and groundwater in and around the spill, and to sample nearby private wells, the story said. Groundwater tests last fall showed “benzene at concentrations more than 4,000 times the state enforcement standard and toluene at more than nine times the limit.”

New MN350 graphic comparing Enbridge Line 3 with Keystone XL

The Jesuit’s $100 million reparations commitment “is the largest such effort by the Roman Catholic Church and comes amid growing calls for reparations across the United States,” writes the New York Times.

The money raised by the Jesuits will flow into a new foundation established in partnership with a group of descendants, who pressed for negotiations with the Jesuits after learning from a series of articles in The New York Times that their ancestors had been sold in 1838. The order relied on slave labor and slave sales for more than a century to sustain the clergy and to help finance the construction and the day-to-day operations of churches and schools …

New York Times

Webinar: Modern Racial Categories, American slave societies, and the integration of African religious practices into Christianity, April 13

The Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies at the University of St. Thomas will host a webinar on the Christian church’s complicity in slavery and related issues, Tuesday April 13, 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Registration optional. Click here to register and/or get the Zoom link, which will be posted soon.

According to event publicity:

Religion was fundamental to the development of both slavery and race in the Protestant Atlantic world. In this webinar, Katharine Gerbner will give a brief presentation on the origins of modern racial categories, the role of missionaries in creating American slave societies, and the integration of African religious practices into Christianity. Following this, she will be interviewed by Dominique Stewart about these and other issues addressed in her recently published book Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World, which explores the complex connections between Christianity, slavery, and race in early America. More information.

Lessons From Lynchings: There’s a through-line from a noose on the neck to a knee on the neck

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote the following paragraph which captures a key truth in George Floyd’s murder.

The application of force, a deadly force, even after Floyd was handcuffed, even after he became unresponsive, is to me emblematic of an attempt not only to punish Floyd’s body, but also to demonstrate complete control and demand complete submission. The treatment of Floyd’s body was a message to those in his community: Any perceived disorder or disobedience will be crushed, literally.

Columnist Charles M. Blow

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