21-Day Racial Equity Indigenous Challenge©

Fighting White Supremacy Since 1492.

 

“Just a reminder: the system in what is currently known as the US isn’t ‘broken.’ It was designed by male white supremacist slaveowners on stolen Indigenous land to protect their interests. It’s working as it was designed.” –Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee)


#NativeVoices
#N8V
#Idlenomore

Too often the framing of racial justice gets limited to the Black/white experience. We find that by broadening our lens of how white supremacy marginalizes multiple groups, we both deepen our understanding of white supremacist strategy and impacts and learn about particular histories and current issues of historically targeted groups. Indigenous people, the first to feel the wrath of white supremacy on what we now call US soil, sets the stage for the human and environmental destruction that has unfolded since. As you work through this challenge, bear in mind the degree of invisibility experienced in US Native communities. Not only did European colonial settlers rob Indigenous people of their land, their culture, and their lives, they erased their 20,000+ year old history through omission and myths. The process of reclaiming Indigenous history is a work in progress and therefore not always complete or aligned. Not to worry. Take in what you can in the spirit it is offered – from perspectives and experiences as diverse as the millions of descendants from the 574 nations on whose land we in the US now stand.

Get Started

Commit. Choose an Activity. Complete. Reflect. Repeat. 

  • Individuals

    Jump right in! You pick your start day and commit to one of the 9 action categories below on each of those days… yes, it is that simple to get started! The hope is that you will change things up based on your schedule, commitment, and understanding, so you will be able to attempt all activity types.

  • Groups or Organizations

    Use our Copyright and Recognition Page to get started on the planning and advertising, so your group is cohesive in your approach to the 21-Day Action Plan. Use our Facebook page or Prohabits to stay engaged with each other. As a group you can select which action type and resource to complete as a group or have individuals select for themselves. We have found engagement occurs either way. It is a good idea to plan a pre and post survey and discussion as a group to assess skills building and which challenge you will do next!

  • Adapters

    We encourage organizations to make the challenge fit their audience. Using the structure, intent, and resources within the 21-Day Action Plans, you can adjust daily design, prompts, or how you choose to reflect and engage as a group. Click HERE for adaptation ideas and examples of how communities are adapting the challenge to meet their specific social justice focus. Remember the required recognition. Reach out to us with your adaptations, so we can share with others.

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Stay on Course

Engage & Network

Choose One Activity Per Day

To further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity.

Read: Encounter new writers and ideas from a range of media sources. 

 

Listen in on the kinds of open, honest conversations that too many of us avoid having.

 

  • All My Relations, hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) this podcast “explores indigeneity in all its complexity.” Episodes focus on issues such as DNA identity, appropriation, feminism, food sovereignty, gender, sexuality, and more while “keeping it real, playing games, laughing a lot, and even crying sometimes.” (1 hour episodes)
  • Have You Ever Been Told To “Go Back To Where You Came From?” Jacqueline Keeler (Diné and Ihanktonwan Dakota) asked KBOO listeners in light of Congress passing a resolution condemning Trump’s racist tweets telling unnamed “Progressive Congresswomen” to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” have you ever been told “to go back to where you came from?” (1 hour)
  • Breakdances with Wolves Podcast, hosted by Gyasi Ross (Blackfoot/ Suquamish), Wesley (“Snipes Type”) Roach (Lakota Sioux), and Minty LongEarth (Santee/Creek/ Choctaw), “a few Natives with opinions and a platform.” Episodes report on current events through an indigenous perspective. (1 hour episodes)
  • Uprooted: 1950s plan to erase Indian Country Podcast about the genocidal Indian relocation and termination policies of the US government in the 1950s and 60s. At the time, “blackness” was defined by the “one-drop rule,” but “Indianness” could be washed away in just a few generations through intermarriage with whites. More black Americans meant more workers to exploit. Fewer Native Americans meant more land to take. (50 minutes)
  • Unreserved Podcast host Rosanna Deerchild (O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree) takes you straight into Indigenous Canada, from Halifax to Haida Gwaii, from Shamattawa to Ottawa, introducing listeners to the storytellers, culture makers and community shakers from across the country. The Unreserved team offers real talk from the people behind the headlines, with a soundtrack from the best in Indigenous music. (40-55 minute episodes)
  • Teaching While White: Recovering the Voice of Native Americans in the Classroom Jenna Chandler-Ward interviews Native American educator Claudia Fox Tree (Arawak) about the ways we learn about Indigenous Peoples in school- or don’t. (30 minutes)
  • Morning Show On WJOP With Mary Jacobsen Claudia Fox Tree, Penny Lazarus & Brian Greenberg discuss Thanksgiving inaccuracies, history, and truths the National Day of Mourning (1 hour)
  • The Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women From Across The U.S. NPR’s Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with Annita Lucchesi (Cheyenne) about her report looking at missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in 71 cities across the U.S. (4 minutes)
  • Listening to Indigenous Voices Join the Jilted Indians as we discuss the importance of listening to indigenous voices and building a shared memory of the history of this country on a special Indigenous People’s Day episode. (1 hour)

Here are more First Nations and First Nation Women podcasts

Watch and learn. We've offered everything from short videos to full-length films. 

Notice: Why didn’t I see this sooner? It’s easy to overlook what we’re not looking for.

Once people start to learn about white privilege and America’s systems of oppression through history, they often ask, “Why didn’t I see this sooner?” It’s easy to overlook what we’re not looking for. Once you understand the phenomenon of selective noticing, take yourself on a noticing adventure.

 

WHOSE LAND?

Check out the Native Land App on your browser (also can download on phone, tablet).

  • On whose land were you born?
  • On whose land are you now?
  • On whose land did you (pick one) go to college, get married, hold a job?
  • Did you know this?
  • How hard was it to find this information?
  • A guide to Indigenous land acknowledgment

FOODS

Review this list of culinary and food contributions.

  • How many you use in your own diet that are Indigenous to the Americas.
  • Did you know they were Indigenous?
  • If not, where did you learn/ think they were from?
  • Does your own ancestry use or claim some of them as their own?

NAMES

As you move about around your town/region, look for signs of Indigenous people.

  • Look for
    • State’s name
    • Street names
    • Parks, lakes, mountain names
    • Car names
    • School and other building names
  • Get curious
    • Are the names connected to the original people of the area?
    • Are the names stereotypical and disconnected?
    • Can you find out the meaning of the name(s)?
    • What language is the name from?
  • Notice
    • Once you discover (hello google!) what the meanings are, notice if you think or feel differently about this word you’ve seen and said so many times before.

SPORTS

Notice what sports you have played or watched. 

  • How many involve rubber or a stick and ball?
  • Are they team against team or one-on-one?
  • Many sports owe their origins to Indigenous people if they used rubber (an Indigenous plant) or are played in teams (other places in the world created two player games like chess and checkers).

HOLIDAYS

If there is a major holiday or observance, what is the Indigenous perspective? 

  • Consider events, such as, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Halloween, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, and Veteran’s Day.
  • How can you find out what the Indigenous perspective is for each of the above?
  • How is the Indigenous perspective portrayed in news sources, greeting cards, and/ or television shows?
  •  Is it there or missing?
  • Do you know any Indigenous observances and is time off work given for them?

Follow Racial Justice activists, educators, organizations, and movements on social media.

Consider connecting with any of the people  you learn about in the above resources. Here are more ideas to widen your circle of who you follow. Pro Tip: check out who these organizations follow, quote, repost, and retweet to find more people to follow.

Follow Indigenous activists, educators, and organizations on social media. Here are some ideas to get you started. A good way to widen your circle of who you follow is to check out who these organizations follow, quote, repost, and retweet. 

 

Indian Country Today 
Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
IllumiNative
International Indian Treaty Council
Two Feathers Productions
Matika Wilbur
Native Appropriations
Returning the Gift
Eve Tuck

 

Check out and/or follow these hashtags 
#MMIW
#NODAPL
#Idlenomore
#NativeVoices
#N8VVoices
#IndigenousOutLoud
#Indigenouspeoplesday
#Indigenousart
#Indigenouslanguages
#n8v
#twospirit
#twospiritpride

Engage in racially mixed settings. Be a learner more than a knower.

This can be the hardest part for people new to racial justice work. Engaging in racially mixed settings can trigger age-old power and privilege dynamics. The goal is to be a learner more than a knower, exactly the opposite of what dominant U.S. culture teaches us to be.

 

Here are some things to keep in mind when engaging with Indigenous peoples and cultures.

 

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

Be aware of cultural appropriation. 

  • Consider where you see images of Indigenous People.
  • What is the worst thing that could/ would happen, if an Indigenous “mascot” was changed?
  • What is the positive outcome of changing a mascot?
  • What has happened when celebrities have worn a headdress? How has the public reacted?
  • Do you think religious practices should be done outside of the religious institution? Consider ceremonies in your own practice (If Catholic, maybe the Eucharist. If Jewish, removing the Torah.) How does this apply to Vision Quests, Naming Ceremonies, Sage Smudging, and Sweat Lodges?

TEACHING THROUGH BOOKS

Which books are appropriate?

  • Visit Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo) to see her analysis of American Indians in Children’s Literature.

ENVIRONMENT

Practice “reciprocity” with the natural environment.

  • “What should be our response to the generosity of the more-than-human world?
  • In a world that gives us maple syrup, spotted salamanders, and sand hill cranes, shouldn’t we at least pay attention?
  • Paying attention is an ongoing act of reciprocity, the gift that keeps on giving, in which attention generates wonder, which generates more attention—and more joy.
  • Paying attention to the more-than-human world doesn’t lead only to amazement; it leads also to acknowledgment of pain.
  • Open and attentive, we see and feel equally the beauty and the wounds, the old growth and the clear-cut, the mountain and the mine.
  • Paying attention to suffering sharpens our ability to respond.
  • To be responsible.
  • This, too, is a gift, for when we fall in love with the living world, we cannot be bystanders to its destruction.
  • Attention becomes intention, which coalesces itself to action.” ~Robin Wall Kimmerer

Act: Flex your skills. Take action to interrupt power and privilege dynamics.

 

Actions to consider:

  • Invite friend(s), family, and/or colleagues to do this challenge with you.
  • Prepare yourself to interrupt racial jokes about Indigenous people. Click HERE for some advice about how.
  • Interrupt the pattern of white silence by speaking openly with family, friends, and colleagues about what you’re doing and learning in this challenge.
  • Invite friend(s), family, and/or colleagues to join you for one or more of your daily “to-do’s” for a low-threshold invitation into the work and introduction to the 21-Day Challenge.
  • Does your school, workplace, or faith group have an Equity Committee? Share this with them. Can they make it a school wide initiative? Particularly in the fall when two especially oppressive holidays happen?
  • Join and Support your state’s Indigenous Organizations
  • Google “[city] or [state] Indigenous Trails” and go walk them
  • Attend a Day of Mourning/ Remembrance on Thanksgiving Day
  • If you’re Indigenous, consider starting a Day of Mourning/ Remembrance on Thanksgiving Day (Massachusetts example HERE)
  • Attend a (Social Distance) Pow Wow. Prep for Pow Wow herehereand here 
  • Write a letter – Tell the MA Senate Ways & Means Committee: Amend the Native American Mascots Bill
  • Research an indigenous issue in your area, join it, and/or take action:
    • Removing monuments or placing new monuments/placards nearby
    • Not Your Mascot campaign (writing letters to public officials)
    • Current local repatriation requests
    • Local tribal, state, federal recognition requests
    • Environmental racism/damage
    • Controversies around building a casino
    • Water/hunting/fishing rights (usually related to treaties, access to pathways)
    • Current Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) cases
  • Create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) poster or video:
    • Describe stereotypes in your environment (grocery stores, party/costume shops, books, movies/cartoons/television, etc.)
    • Explain the stereotype
    • Correct misinformation
    • Offer a challenge to dismantle stereotypes (i.e.: stop buying product)

Reflect on what you choose to do, what you’re learning, and how you are feeling.

Reflecting and Journaling is a crucial piece of the challenge. Plan to take time everyday to reflect on what you chose to do, what you’re learning, and how you are feeling. Difficult emotions such as shame and anger, though uncomfortable to feel, can guide you to deeper self-awareness about how power and privilege impacts you and the people in your life. At the very least, use the “Reflect” space on the reflecting journal tool.

Create a Soundtrack4Justice playlist that fuels you and/or can serve as a conversation starter with people of all ages.

 

 

 

Let the music move you!

AIM Unity Song (American Indian Movement)

Cradle Song and Colors of My Heart by Sharon Burch (Navajo)

Who Will Speak by Crystal Woman (Cherokee)

Prayer Loop Song by Supaman (Apsáalooke/ Crow Nation)

Why by Supaman (Apsáalooke/ Crow Nation) also has a Jingle Dress Dancer

Stand Up is about DAPL

Blackbird by The Beatles sung in Mi’kmaq by Emma Stevens (Mi’kmaq)

The Climb by Miley Cyrus sung in Mi’kmaq by 10 year old Kalolin Johnson (Mi’kmaq)

Gentle Warrior (featuring Devon Paul and Thunder Herney) by an older Kalolin Johnson (Mi’kmaq)

Wishi Ta by Brooke Medicine Eagle (Crow)

Come and Get Your Love by Red Bone (various nations)

Universal Soldier with narrative by Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree)

Up Where We Belong by Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree)

Invisible No More – Spotify’s first-ever playlist of Native American musicians

 

Songs not by Indigenous People, but related and supportive.

Indanee by Pat Humphries

HERE is a good, simple song for Columbus Day.

 

Want to keep learning? See more resources HERE.

 

Recent “Good News” (including legal victories)  HERE.

Guidelines:

If you are using, revising or editing the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge © content created by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. and his team at The Privilege Institute, giving credit to the creators is required. Remember, now more than ever, you/your organization must always give credit for the social justice tools/ideas created by BIPOC folks doing and leading Antiracist work. We’ve made it easy to give the proper recognition to be used on websites, social media sites, in email communication, during interviews and/or infomercials. Click HERE for our copyright information and tools to incorporate the required recognition in your plan. We are committed to offering the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge © free of charge. We are constantly enhancing the materials, monitoring social media pages, responding to inquiries/questions, and Moore.

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