I teared up this morning watching a 30-second video of indigenous women singing at yesterday’s Women’s March.
An indigenous women's march makes its way down Constitution Ave., to cheers. pic.twitter.com/Z9hH3kfgdx
— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce) January 21, 2017
Deborah Parker, a Tulalip Tribes organizer and policy analyst from Washington, explained to Pearce that she and the other indigenous women and men who had traveled from other nations had come together to “make sure that the indigenous woman’s voice is not forgotten.”
They’re concerned about water integrity, the sacredness of tribal territories, and the safety of women across this continent, and they have been organizing with several other tribes and nations to see those concerns addressed and resolved by the United States government.
A few years ago, Lakota organizer Matt Remle wrote about multi-nation grassroots coalitions that formed in Seattle to challenge a pro-colonization school curriculum and the observance of Columbus Day. They mobilized over several years, lobbying city council members, drafting resolutions, preparing alternative to current curricula, and insisting on the value of their own perspectives.
“We are simply part of a larger movement being fought on the local grassroots level,” Remle wrote, “to not only abolish Columbus Day, but see our communities rise up and assert our own voices on our own terms on issues of importance to us.
“We sought to show the power our communities possess when we come together unified under the belief and knowledge that what we do today is both work to heal past generations and lift the spirits of our future generations.”
I see a lot of people asking one another “what’s next” post-Women’s March. I had the same question for myself after the People’s Climate March three years ago. What has to be next each time is multi-issue, multi-demographic active solidarity. It doesn’t matter which issues we each start with, but the principle of the network of mutuality means that my individual zone of responsibility begins right where I’m standing and each issue and community I open up to eventually connects with others.
#NoDAPL + gross state neglect of human services in Flint, Michigan + corporate presumption + unchecked privatization = Nestlé hoping the State of Michigan will allow it to pay $200 per year so it can bottle 400 gallons of water per minute, and make billions in sales profits. Meanwhile, Flint still has no clean water supply.
Nestlé is essentially appropriating what is a common good for their personal corporate utility.” —Jeff Irwin, November 20, 2016
The public comment period on this proposal was extended from November 3, 2016 to March 3, 2017. This means a few more weeks for Michiganders to make it clear that Nestlé should not be able to pump water out of the ground, especially while some state residents remain thirsty.
What you can do
Submit a comment to MI’s Department of Environmental Quality by March 3: Email Carrie Monosmith at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance, P.O. Box 30241, Lansing, Michigan 48909.
Materially support the work of the Indigenous Rise coalition: Donate through the Native Americans in Philanthropy website.