indigenous rights

185 petitions

Started 1 month ago

Petition to President of the United States, United States Department of the Interior, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, U.S National Park Services, Anthony Morgan Rodman, Deb Haaland, Joe Biden

Restore the original Native American name of Devils Tower back to Bear Lodge

As concerned citizens, we urge the US Government to rectify a long-standing injustice by restoring the original indigenous name "Bear Lodge" to the iconic geological formation currently known as "Devils Tower" in Wyoming. Additionally, we call for renaming the park to "Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark."  This petition is of great significance because it aims to honor and respect the rich cultural heritage of the Native American tribes for whom this site is sacred. On behalf of Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the Spiritual Leader of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota, also known as the Oceti Sakowin, or the Great Sioux Nation, we have created this petition.  He has worked to restore traditional Native American ceremonies since the 1970’s, and in November 2014 he submitted an official proposal to the United States Board on Geographic Names to restore the original name of Bear Lodge.  Now, a strong show of public support is critical to reinforce the importance of this proposal. Despite dozens of historical maps showing that Bear Lodge was the correct name of this mountain, it was renamed to Devils Tower in 1906.  Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, a man who publicly advocated for the genocide of Native Americans with his infamous words, “every buffalo dead is an Indian gone”, was the first to ascribe the name Devils Tower to this sacred mountain.  This act was not only historically inaccurate, but also extremely offensive and disrespectful to indigenous tribes. Adding further insult, the name Devils Lodge implies that the indigenous ceremonies being held at this sacred site for thousands of years, and even to this day, are an act of devil worship. The United States Board on Geographic Names (USBGN) has a legal mandate to avoid names that are "shown to be highly offensive or derogatory to a particular racial or ethnic group, gender, or religious group."  Therefore, the formal proposal submitted by Chief Arvol Looking Horse in 2014 should be assured approval, for the same reason the renaming of Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak was approved in 2016.  However each year, in a deliberate act to derail the renaming process, certain Senators and Representatives from the state of Wyoming propose bills to Congress to maintain the name Devils Lodge. Though these bills never get passed, they serve to block the name change because the USBGN has a policy of not acting on petitions if legislation involving the name change is pending before Congress.  Due to this deliberate manipulation of legislative process, the only way left to restore the original Native American name of this sacred site is by the executive authority of the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, or the United States Congress.  This exact same process happened with the restoration of the indigenous name to Mount Denali in Alaska.   Now, we need your support to demonstrate the importance of this proposal!   By restoring the original name and renaming the park, we can take a significant step towards rectifying historical injustices and promoting cultural understanding. Let us honor the indigenous heritage of this land and create a more inclusive future for all. We call upon the US Government to listen to Chief Arvol Looking Horse's plea and act in accordance with justice. Sign this petition today to support the restoration of Bear Lodge's rightful name and its recognition as Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark. Together, let us celebrate diversity, promote respect for indigenous cultures, and ensure that our nation's landmarks reflect an accurate representation of our shared history. For more information:

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
9,529 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to British Museum

Return stolen Jade Mask of Tezcatlipoka and other stolen artifacts to Mexico!

    The theft and genocide of first nations people of the Americas has been acknowledged. The Mexican government has made it a priority to recover stolen artifacts from around the world. However, the museum of Britain has not offered, nor acknowledged the important artifacts within the museum. Specifically the mask of Tezcatlipoca, and Jade serpent. An Obsidian mirror, or "Tezcatlipoka " is also in the collection. These were pilaged during the coup. The mirrors were used by the priests in Tenochtitlán! The artists and priests were killed in these raids, while the stolen pieces taken to Europe. Ending up in the hands of John Dee. And other elites. Even going as far as to say Returning these pieces are out of the question. Most certainly followed by legal action. 90% of the entire First Nations people were killed. Purposely. A planned attack on a people who valued the lands and Earth more then anything. The artifacts are only pretty to look at for the museum, but for the surviving indigenous of Mexico, these are more remiders of how we are not allowed to be and must give just to be considered alive. That is a loud message. Sold to the museum by a private collector. The Nahautl speaking people of Mexico have been decimated. Some remain mostly in the mountains where they still speak the language. It is endangered, and could be lost.What codexes and artifacts that survive are needed for the preservation of the native Mexican culture. The young people of Mexico should be able to view these with pride. Not on YouTube, or television, magazines, or Britain. So, most will never see them. Including myself, I am of Chichimeca decent. My grandmother from Colima. I want to see them. Why do I have to go to Britain? What excuse will be given? It is all a cover for genocide, and entitlement. As Mexico has began to prioritize the recovery of it's artifacts stolen from Tenochtitlan,and other historic sites of cultural heritage. Britain is holding on to key pieces of art. The mask of Tezcatlipoca, and jade Quetzalcoatl are only two pieces on display at the museum of Britain. These pieces were stolen during the decimation and near genocide of most Nahautl speaking peoples of Mexico. The Mexica, or Azteca are still surviving in pockets of Mexico were Nahuatl is still spoken.  As key parts of the creation story of the Mexica, Tezcatlipoca being a major creator deity brother of Huitzilopochtli, and Quatzacoaltl. We ask to bring awareness to continuous destruction of Mexico pre-Columbian indigenous cultures. Whose remaining descendants desperatly need any remaning language codexe and art for the future preservation of Mexico, and her youth! If Italy, and others have already done so, and it is a priority of the Mexican government to recover precious art and artifacts from this time period, we ask the people of Britain to return treasured pieces to the people of Mexico. Tlazohcamati huel miac

Hope Waggoner
328 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to

Demand a Black and Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation Commission by the US Government

A Call for a Truth & Reconciliation Commission for Black and Indigenous peoples in the USA A Black + Indigenous perspective and review of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 2023 by Sean Sherman ( / The Sioux Chef) and Mecca Bos (BIPOC Foodways Alliance)          On this day, July 4th, 2023, 247 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, now is the time to address the hard truths of our American history. All over America, states and legislators are pushing to re-whitewash an already whitewashed history. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”, perhaps the most famous quote from the 1776 Declaration of Independence—is a sentiment that was never meant to include Indigenous or Black people living in the newly forming nation of America. The history of the creation of this document was largely in retaliation to King George III's 1763 Proclamation, which prohibited colonial settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains and granted all land with rivers that flow into the Mississippi as Native lands. This was an attempt to maintain order and reduce conflict with the Indigenous people who rightfully mistrusted the European colonists who were poised to continue their illegal land grabs. The Declaration of Independence is the document written in response to the king's orders to stop the westward expansion of the colonists. Authors of the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson, were well-known land surveyors, illegally scoping out prime land spaces with the sole purpose of gaining wealth. They were infuriated by the king’s imposition on their intended land thefts, and wrote the Declaration of Independence as a set of grievances against the crown. This document laid the racist foundation of what America is today. Written by white men, reflecting the racist, Eurocentric views of its authors, the Declaration's 27th grievance against King George III accused him of inciting "domestic insurrections" and "bringing on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages." This language dehumanized Native Americans, justifying their invasion and occupation of Indigenous land. The Declaration's assertion that "all men are created equal" was also used to justify the enslavement of Black people, who were not considered to be fully human. The constitution's clause prohibiting congress from abolishing slavery until 1808 effectively ensured that slavery would continue in the United States for many years to come. The legacy of this slavery and white supremacy in the United States is still felt today, in many, many of our institutions and systems. Thanks to this history, Black and Indigenous people continue to face discrimination and state sponsored violence, and we are disproportionately represented in poverty, and incarceration rates. The residual racial biases that were present at the founding of the United States are still openly blatant in today's America. In recent years, there has been a growing movement to acknowledge and address the history of racism and discrimination in the United States. This movement has led to a number of important changes, including the removal of confederate statues and the uprisings introduced by the Black Lives Matter movement and The Fight for Standing Rock. We must continue to work to dismantle the systems of racism and white supremacy that oppress Black and Indigenous people. We must educate ourselves about the history of racism in the United States and the ways it perpetuates harm. Only by doing this can we create a more just and equitable society for all. It is long past time for America and the US Government to come to terms with its violent and racist history. It must acknowledge its beginnings—the genocide and illegal land theft of the Indigenous inhabitants whose thriving communities still resist today—and the enslavement of millions of Africans and Indigenous people. It must take steps to never forget these atrocities.  And it must make reparations for the immense generational wealth created and inherited by European descendants as a direct result of these actions. We must name this for what it is and the lasting harm it has caused: American Colonialism. A short list of American atrocities with little to no reparations to date: The Treaty of Paris 1783: this treaty illegally grants the US ownership of land spaces between the Appalachian mountains and Mississippi River (Ohio Valley) without consent of the Indigenous communities, and those lands were never the property of England to give, let alone the newly formed US Government to receive. King George III’s 1763 Proclamation granted that land ownership to the Indigenous populations giving them all the land with rivers that drain into the Mississippi River. Slavery: The institution of slavery, which denied African and Indigenous Americans their basic human rights and subjected them to unspeakable brutality and dehumanization. Bounty Systems: Financial encouragement and justification for the systematic decimation and genocide of Black and Indigenous peoples. Indian Removal Act: The racist federal policy that forcibly relocated Native American tribes, leading to the theft and dispossession of their homelands causing widespread suffering must be reviewed. Indian boarding schools and assimilation efforts: The forced assimilation of Native American children in government-run boarding schools, where they experienced cultural erasure, physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse and death.Indian Adoption era 1941-1967: One out of three Native people placed into non-Indigenous families, another form of cultural erasure. Jim Crow Laws: State and local laws enforcing racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans, denying them equal rights and opportunities. Black and Indigenous Massacres (eg: Sand Creek, Wounded Knee, Whitestone Hill, Tulsa Race Massacre: The brutal massacres of men, women, children and babies by white US military and white civilian forces.Redlining: Systemic practices that denied loans, housing, and resources to African American communities, perpetuating economic disparities and segregation. Forced sterilization: The coerced sterilization of thousands of Native American women as part of eugenics programs aimed at population control. Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment: A medical study conducted on African American men without their informed consent, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.Displacement of Native American sacred sites: The destruction and desecration of sacred sites through development projects, disregarding tribal cultural significance. (eg: Bear's Ears, Devil's Tower) Urban Renewal and Gentrification: Systemic practices that deny loans, housing, and resources to African American communities, perpetuating economic disparities and segregation including government-led initiatives displacing and and marginalizing predominantly Black and Indigenous communities. Discriminatory Voting Practices: Systematic efforts to suppress the voting rights of African Americans and Native Americans through poll taxes, literacy tests, and other discriminatory measures. Environmental Racism: The disproportionate burden of environmental pollution and hazardous waste on Black and Indigenous communities. The Black Codes: Post-Civil War laws that restricted the rights and freedoms of African Americans, perpetuating racial subjugation. Land Dispossession and Violation of Treaty Rights: The loss of Native American lands through broken treaties, forced relocations, and encroachment by settlers. Systemic Racism in Criminal Justice and Disproportionate Incarceration: The racial bias and discriminatory practices within the criminal justice system that disproportionately impact Black and Indigenous Americans. This includes the disproportionate incarceration and racial profiling of Black and Indigenous Americans. Cultural Appropriation: The appropriation of Native American cultural symbols, practices, and artifacts without permission or respect for their significance.Anti-Miscegenation Laws: Laws that prohibited interracial marriage and relationships, reinforcing racial hierarchies and stigmatizing mixed-race individuals. Northwest Ordinance of 1779, this ordinance lays out the justification for the violent overtaking of Indigenous land spaces and its commodification.   A CALL FOR ACTIONS: Formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights violations against Black and Indigenous Americans from 1776 to today : This process could involve public hearings, testimonies, and a focus on healing, justice, and reconciliation. This includes a public apology by the United States Government.Reparations through Litigation and Legislative Action: These legal efforts could hold the U.S. government accountable for its past actions, seeking financial compensation, and demanding policy changes to address systemic inequalities. Legislation would also be introduced to provide financial compensation, educational initiatives, healthcare access, land restitution, and other forms of redress.Community Development and Investment: Reparations can take the form of targeted investments in marginalized communities to address systemic inequalities and uplift the affected populations. This could include funding for education, job creation, affordable housing, healthcare, and infrastructure development.Land Restitution and Sovereignty for Native American Tribes: land restitution and recognition of tribal sovereignty are crucial aspects of reparations. Efforts could be made to return ancestral lands, support tribal self-governance, and strengthen the preservation of Indigenous cultures and languages.Educational Initiatives: Reparations would include educational initiatives to promote an accurate and inclusive understanding of our shared history. This could involve curriculum reforms that teach the full scope of American history, including the experiences and contributions of Black and Indigenous peoples. The re-whitewashing of American history and removal of mentions of race must not be tolerated.

Sean Sherman
781 supporters
Started 4 months ago

Petition to Eric Adams, Katherine Diaz, Carmen de la Rosa, Sue Donoghue, Sreoshy Banerjea

Replace the Colonial Plaque on Shorakapkok Rock in Inwood Hill Park

TO:  Hon. Eric Adams, Mayor;  Hon. Carmen de la Rosa, Councilwoman of District 10;  Katherine Diaz, Chairperson, Community Board 12; Sue Donoghue, NYC Parks Commissioner; Sreoshy Banerjea, Executive Director of the NYC Public Arts Commission As signers of this petition, we are asking you to remove the plaque on the Shorakapkok Rock in Inwood Hill Park and replace it with a plaque written by the leadership council of the Delaware Nation.  Since it was installed in 1954, the current plaque has told visitors to the park a false history of Manhattan, perpetuating the colonial violence that created it. In one sentence, the plaque says that on the place where it stands - once a Lenape gathering place called Shorakapkok - a Dutchman named Peter Minuit “bought” all of Manhattan Island from the Lenape in 1626 for some “trinkets and beads.” The rest of the plaque discusses a commemorative tree which was planted on the site.  This story erases the truth that, according to Lenape historians and other scholars, the exchange between Peter Minuit and the Lenape was not a business transaction but a ceremony welcoming the strangers to stay in Lenape territory until the time they needed to return home. It ignores the fact that the Lenape, unlike the Dutch, did not conceive of land as a commodity that could be owned and exchanged. It avoids the fact that the Europeans’ 400+ year stay in Lenape territory has never been consensual. It paints the Lenape as ignorant, unaware of their land’s value, and unable to develop it, and thus undeserving to keep it. It stays silent about the murder and displacement of entire Lenape communities to reservations as far as Oklahoma and Canada to make space for settlers. For visitors who read the plaque when they walk into the Forest, it only serves to mislead, reinforcing harmful stereotypes and a false justification for the European settlement of Manhattan. For Indigenous folks and others who have studied the history of this land, residents and visitors alike, the plaque stands as a daily reminder of the violence, deceit, willful miscommunication, brazen entitlement, and white supremacy that have shaped this nation. The people who occupy the Lenape territory now known as New York City need a new memorial to honor Lenape history and their stewardship of the land. We need a new plaque that tells this history from the Lenape perspective, written by the descendants of the people who were betrayed by Peter Minuit. Delaware Nation's Historic Preservation Office is supportive of and willing to consult on creating new signage for this memorial. This plaque is one of the few - possibly the only - public, city-approved memorial that mentions the Lenape by name. We have an obligation to our ancestors and to the coming generations to set the story right.  We thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.          

Isabel Amarante
363 supporters