native american rights
Petition to Debra A. Haaland, Kamala D. Harris, Joseph Biden
Deb Haaland: Stand Against Modern-Day Jim Crow In Indian Country
We call on Representative Deb Haaland to publicly pledge her support for citizenship and equal rights for Freedmen of the Five Tribes in Indian Territory before being confirmed as Secretary of the Interior and to outline and commit to a plan for Freedmen integration and inclusion in Indian Territory. We demand accountability from Representative Debra “Deb” Haaland of New Mexico’s first Congressional district for her exclusion of legislative protections for Freedmen of the Five Slaveholding Tribes of Oklahoma while serving as New Mexico’s First Congressional District’s Representative. As Freedmen of the Five Southeastern Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Nations) now located in Oklahoma, we have precarious relationships with our tribes of origin. Freedmen descend from those enslaved by tribal members in the 1700 and 1800s, as well as Native people who had been tribal members since before European contact, and free Black people who were tribal citizens and members at the time of Dawes enrollment in the late 1800s. With the Treaties of 1866, all five of the Five Southeastern Tribes abolished slavery and promised their Freedmen citizenship and equal rights. However, in all of these tribes but the Cherokee Nation, Freedmen are either denied tribal citizenship rights or deemed second-class citizens. In the Seminole Nation, Seminole Freedmen are enrolled as partial and unequal tribal members and are counted when the Seminole Nation requests federal funding but are excluded from any tribal housing, healthcare, or educational programs or funding on account of their race--a modern Three-Fifths Compromise. In the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek Nations, “Freedmen” are not only denied housing, healthcare, and educational programs, but are also denied basic citizenship and voting rights on account of their race and their ancestors’ statuses as Black and/or enslaved people. Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek Freedmen are also excluded from protections afforded Native children in the Indian Child Welfare Act on account of being excluded from tribal citizenship. These modern-day Jim Crow policies can no longer be tolerated. We need a Secretary of the Interior who will enforce the Five Tribes’ treaty obligations to Freedmen and who will investigate and end the discriminatory Jim Crow policies in Indian Territory. Representative Deb Haaland’s past legislative action indicates that she is not a strong supporter of protections for Black Native “Freedmen” of the Five Tribes in Oklahoma. In December 2019, Representative Haaland co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) through 2024 that removed protections for Freedmen of the Five Tribes that had previously been included in bills reauthorizing the funding. Although constituting only 5 of the 573 federally recognized tribes in the United States, the U.S. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has informed the Five Tribes that they can expect to receive 10% of the program’s funding--over $62 million in funding for the program. However, as it currently stands, four out of the Five Tribes receiving this large amount of funding would exclude Freedmen from it solely on account of their race and/or due to being descendants of Black slaves. As Freedmen, we believe that our tribes must follow their own treaties and basic human rights and civil rights principles in order to receive federal tax payer-funded resources. Deb Haaland must speak up now as Biden's nominee for Secretary of the Interior in support of Freedmen of the Five Tribes and--when appointed to the office of Secretary of the Interior--must work diligently to ensure that our rights as Native people are protected. As Secretary of the Interior, she will oversee the Bureau of Indian Affairs and will have the power to investigate the tribes, enforce our treaty rights, and bring an end to the modern-day Jim Crow we are facing. We must have Native leadership that is inclusive of all Native peoples, Black Natives and Freedmen included. Representative Haaland, as Secretary of the Interior, will have the power to uphold the citizenship and civil rights of Freedmen of the Five Tribes. She should understand that this is racism pure and simple, and it’s time to stop Jim Crow like policies in Indian Country. Freedmen and our enslaved ancestors have shared culture and community with other tribal members for generations, and it is time that we are given equal access to our nation and community. Freedmen have long oral histories of our ancestors’ time on the Trail of Tears and in Indian Territory, attend and lead tribal events, speak tribal languages, and identify strongly with our tribes of origin. For us, citizenship is not just a piece of paper or a CBID card, but is the confirmation of our history and our culture. As a Native American woman, Deb Haaland has a moral responsibility to end this racism. Add your name demanding that as Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland right this wrong for good. Written with: The Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band (@MCIFB1866Treaty on Twitter): http://www.1866creekfreedmen.com/ Descendants of the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association (https://freedmen5tribes.com/ Donate to support Freedmen: https://www.gofundme.com/f/039justice-for-black-creeksquot-aka-creek-freedmen https://www.gofundme.com/f/federal-court-legal-fund-freedmen-descendants Sources: “Black Lives Matter for Freedmen Descendants of the Five Civilized Tribes”: http://theoklahomaeagle.net/2020/07/07/black-lives-matter-for-freedmen-descendants-of-the-five-civilized-tribes/ “Part of the Tribe, But Shut Out”: https://www.redlakenationnews.com/story/2016/08/31/news/part-of-the-tribe-but-shut-out/50568.html “Freedmen ask Choctaws for their rights”: http://tulsabeacon.com/freedmen-ask-choctaws-for-their-rights/ “Slaves of the tribe: The hidden history of the Freedmen”: https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/slaves-of-the-tribe-the-hidden-history-of-the-freedmen/ “The Black Native American descendants fighting for the right to belong”: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/black-native-american-descendants-fighting-right-belong-n1248328
Petition to The NY State legislature, Andrew M. Cuomo
Return the Cuomo Bridge its original name: The Tappan Zee. That bridge is our history.
UPDATE: Our efforts have resulted in two bills in our state legislature: one in the senate; one in the assembly--with identical language. To change the bridge name to "The Mario M. Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge". Yes, this is a compromise. Yes, this has upset some people that don't want Mario's name anywhere in the bridge. Alas, this petition I started (and that you signed) never was about 'removing Mario Cuomo's name'--it was about preserving the Tappan Zee name on the bridge. Would it have been great if the bridge ONLY had Tappan Zee, and didn't honor a politician? Of course. But to accomplish things in this world, sometimes you MUST compromise, or nothing will get done. These bills are a fair compromise that honor the Tappan and the Dutch, preserve NY history, avoid the spending of countless wasteful dollars to replace all the signs in NY state, and yes, allow Governor Andrew Cuomo to honor his father at the same time. Is it the ideal? No. However, it most assuredly is the only way we will ever see Tappan Zee on our bridge. So please support these bills. They are our only shot at victory.UPDATE: A fundraiser was started on December 1, 2017 to support this cause that has already raised over $8,800 from over 300 individuals making small donations to fund a full-blown advertising campaign. We have also recently started a Fundraiser here on Change.org as well. We are now officially Save Our Tappan Zee, Inc., a NY not-for-profit corporation. You can choose to support us via the Change.org fundraiser here, or you can read more and also consider supporting us at www.SaveOurTappanZee.org and www.GoFundMe.com/SaveTheTappanZee ORIGINAL PETITION STORY: In the summer of 2017, the N.Y. State Legislature voted to rename the famous and now rebuilt Tappan Zee Bridge (named for the Tappan Indians and the Dutch) after former NY governor Mario Cuomo. While Mr. Cuomo may be deserving of something named after him, it should not be at the expense of history, and the original settlers of our land: the Tappan Indians and the Dutch. And certainly not at taxpayer expense. The name Tappan Zee has no politics associated with it. And it properly recognizes the true founders of this land: the Tappan Indians and the Dutch. Plus, it sounds cool to say, “I’m taking the Tappan Zee.” It does not sound cool to say, “I’m taking the Cuomo.” Come on people! Most importantly, we should not recognize the contributions of one in history by destroying a memorial to another. Out of curiosity, why didn't the tax payers have a direct vote since we are the ones who ultimately paid for it, and will through toll taxes? Didn’t a large part of the funding come from a FEDERAL grant? That is OUR bridge. America’s bridge. New York’s bridge. Last I checked, Mario Cuomo and his family did not personally contribute hundreds of millions to its construction... It is time for Albany to do the right thing: bring back the former name of the Tappan Zee Bridge. We want our bridge’s name back. In less than one week, I have amassed more than 27,000 names to my petition to return the Indian & Dutch name to the Tappan Zee Bridge. We are furious that the state legislature voted to rename OUR bridge the Cuomo Bridge in the dead of night without any input from the public. In 2008, the famous and historic Triborough Bridge was renamed the RFK. Now the famous and historic Tappan Zee is the Cuomo. What’s next? The GW? The Golden Gate? The Grand Canyon? Politicians should not be able to do this unilaterally. Why aren’t these national landmarks? I know the Journal News has a section devoted specifically to news of the bridge once known as the Tappan Zee Bridge. Isn’t it ironic, that even THEY still call it the Tappan Zee? But not for long. Sure, our older generations may continue calling it the Tappan Zee, but Generation Z? Soon all signs will be changed. In 30 years, the Indian and Dutch heritage that inspired the naming of the bridge will be gone. And for what? For someone who had NOTHING to do with EITHER bridge and provided ZERO personal funding for the bridge. Governor Cuomo states that because it's a new bridge, it deserves a new name. But that conflicts again with history. England's London Bridge was destroyed four times and each time, it was rebuilt anew, but the name never changed. Why? History. Place. Tradition. Florida's Cape Canaveral was renamed Cape Kennedy only to see its original name returned a few years later. Why? History. Place. Tradition. The same should and can happen here. I hope you will join our collective outrage. We want our bridge back. Immediately. Sincerely, -Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA P.S. - the original bridge was called the Governor Malcolm Wilson–Tappan Zee Bridge, known commonly as the Tappan Zee. So why can’t the new one be called the Governors Cuomo/Wilson—Tappan Zee Bridge? In this way, we recognize Cuomo while not destroying the bridge’s true namesake. Why shouldn’t this happen? The answer: there is NO reason. It should happen immediately, at very minimum. At best, it should just be the Tappan Zee Bridge. MEDIA COVERAGE TO DATE INCLUDES:(Links coming soon. In meantime, just search Google or Bing)* Front page of the NY Post* Editorial endorsing the petition in the NY Post* The Journal News (multiple articles, including an amazing one sharing the breathtaking contributions of the Tappan Indians on our nation)* CBS 2 TV* Spectrum TV NY* Fios TV NY* The NY Daily News* Hamodia* Pix 11 News* NYStateofPolitics.com* Tarrytown Patch* The Los Angeles Times* The New York Times* The Yeshiva World* NY1* WestFair Online* NewsDay* News 12 Westchester UPDATE: A fundraiser was started on December 1, 2017 to support this cause that has already raised over $4,500 from nearly 200 individuals making small donations. You can read more and also consider supporting us at www.GoFundMe.com/SaveTheTappanZee
Petition to Daniel Snyder, Jason Wright, Washington Redskins, Lamar Hunt, Clark Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
Fight Racism and Demand Native American Land Recognition in Sports
OVERVIEW The invaluable contribution of Native Americans to US sports (especially football) has been lost amid the rampant use of racist names and mascots. It is time Native Americans and their land receive recognition and respect from teams that have stereotyped and capitalized on their culture for decades. We’re asking the professional sports franchises to lead the way by officially recognizing the original inhabitants of the land on which their stadiums are built and their games are played. A moment of acknowledgement during routine opening ceremonies, widely practiced in Canada, is a powerful way to honor those whose land and homes have been lost during centuries of colonization. A plaque of respect and recognition is added to each stadium, signifying respect and recognition to the treaties promised to them by our government. Sign our petition to help fight racism and undo the damage of Native American names and mascots in professional sports. OUR PETITION This petition began with letters to Daniel Snyder, owner of The Washington Football Franchise (formerly known as The Washington R*dSk*ns) and Clark Hunt owner of the Kansas City Chiefs (see letters below). We asked that the teams do more than simply change their name or prohibit fans from wearing headdresses and Native American style face paint, that they take a step towards restoration of racial harm by honoring the land on which their team plays, through land recognition. Beyond the major franchises (Atlanta Braves, Edmonton Eskimos, Chicago Black Hawks, Cleveland Indians) there are still over 2000 High College and College teams that use Native American names and mascots. This petition is also intended for smaller teams and communities to make change by removing harmful stereotypes and derogatory names. THE USE OF RACIST NAMES MUST STOP Using Native American names, mascots, and imagery in sports enforce racist stereotypes and inflict psychological harm. They perpetuate caricatures and misuse cultural symbols and practices. It is past time to end this defamation and name changes are not enough to redress decades of racism, prejudice and harm. WHAT IS LAND RECOGNITION? AND WHAT DOES IT ACHIEVE? Land Recognition is a formal process that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. It helps to address centuries of invisibility and disrespect and is inherently healing. Fedex Stadium, home of the Washington Football Team is located in Prince George's County Maryland. It is built on land that once belonged to the Nacotchtank Nation, a people who are now extinct. We believe that if all sports teams, (starting with those that have appropriated the names and mascots of native peoples), honor the land their teams are playing on, all Americans will start to learn the true history of this country as well as the legacy of racism in sports. LEARN MORE Whose land are you standing on? https://native-land.ca To learn more about our work on Native American justice, the status of the petition, and how to spread awareness for just causes, follow us @3_Generations and visit www.3generations.org.
Petition to Bradley County District Attorney, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, Stephen D. Crump
Bradley County District Attorney: charge James Russell’s attackers with a hate crime
Recently, my 60-year old father was brutally attacked by a group of people near his home in Bradley County, Tennessee. The group followed him to his house, claiming that he ran one of their relatives off the road with his vehicle. He was confused by their accusation. It was a case of mistaken identity, but his attackers battered him anyway. Their beating broke his ribs, collapsed a lung, tore chest muscles, and left him with multiple cuts, abrasions, and bruises. My dad is a military veteran, community advocate, a dancer, and a musician. He’s also Native American. During the attack, one of the men grabbed my father by his hair, pulled his head back and said “I’ve always wanted to scalp an Indian”. My dad believed they were going to kill him. After an initial investigation, the Bradley County Sheriff considered the attack to be an aggravated assault, instead of a hate crime. This is important because hate crime charges carry much stiffer federal penalties than state-level assault charges. The sheriff’s deputies even released the other two involved in the attack shortly after they were arrested. Thanks to the media coverage we’ve received so far, all three attackers have officially been charged with aggravated assault. But this simply isn’t enough. My father has been released from the hospital, but he’s in hiding and fearful for his life after the “scalping” threat. He deserves justice. And no American should be attacked or feel afraid because of their identity or culture. Please sign this petition and tell our local sheriff and district attorney to upgrade the charges for my father’s attacker from aggravated assault to the hate crime it truly was.
Petition to President Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Doug Ducey, Environmental Protection Agency
Stop the Uranium Mine at the Grand Canyon
Every year, I visit the majestic waterfalls of Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. People like me come from all over the world and trek 10 miles down just to witness the unrivaled beauty of these irreplaceable landscapes. These places are also a national treasure, and we should be protecting them with everything we’ve got. Instead, a federal judge has given the green-light to the Canyon Mine to reopen and resume uranium mining without the consent or consultation from the Havasupai tribe who live there. The mine could contaminate groundwater, hurt local wildlife, and impact the health of the people in Supai, Arizona. Those who have come to love this part of the world don’t want to see the traditional homelands of the Havasupai people abused or contaminated. Corporate greed should not win out over indigenous rights, sovereignty, and the environment. I do not want to be swimming in contaminated or radioactive water, nor do I want to see the traditional homelands of the Havasupai people abused with a complete disregard for their tribal sovereignty. If corporations can get what they want in a place like the Havasupai inside Grand Canyon, then nothing is sacred and off limits anymore. I am standing in solidarity with Native American nations, environmental groups, and many others who are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt the opening of the Canyon Mine. This fight is also personal to me. I have not only seen the beauty of these places, but I have also networked with the Havasupai people and have gotten to know some of them. In August of 2008, I almost drowned in a major flash flood that hit the main canyon that made national headline news. People from the Havasupai tribe saved my life. With this petition, I’m hoping I can help repay the gift of life they gave me, and the sharing of their beautiful land with visitors. Let's raise our voices together to put a stop to this insanity. Tell the EPA that we are opposed to the Canyon Mine. It is too risky and must be stopped. Let's defend the beauty and stop those who may attempt to destroy it.
Petition to President of the United States
"Amend the Declaration of Independence - Amend the 27th Fact, Submitted to a Candid World"
The Declaration of Independence claimed within Fact #27, which quotes “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.” This declaration laid the ground work on how America, as a new Nation, justified to itself and the rest of the World the onslaught of wholesale slaughter and genocide against Native Americans. The U.S. Government continued a war of terror on the Native American People that peaked under President Andrew Jackson. The Native American population was treated with less respect and rights that were afforded to slaves. It’s time this atrocity and sin be acknowledged and thereby removed from the Declaration of Independence. ABOUT CINDY DAILY: Cindy D. is a direct line blood descendant of an inherited line of Sto;lo Chiefs. She is a Registered Native American at the Sto;lo Research and Resource Management Centre (SRRMC) data-base records in British Columbia Canada. She is also recognized by the State of Oregon by birth as Native American, and in the Death Records of the State of Washington for her Mother's Certification as Native American and a member of the Soowahlie First Nations Tribe. Cindy originally sought to confirm her Native American bloodline. She is now a Registered Indian with Indian and Northern Affairs of Canada (INAC). Cindy filed in Canada under their C-3 Act, which was for people who have become disenfranchised or displaced from their heritage and rights, by no fault of their own. Cindy truly hopes to help other people who have lost their inherited rights, and want to regain it for the future.
Petition to Concerned Citizens
Save Rassawek: The Monacan Indian Nation Capital
"Dear Governor Northam and Commander Patrick Kinsman of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing thousands of taxpayers, we ask you not to allow the James River Water Authority (JRWA) to proceed with constructing a pump station and pipeline project at Point of Fork. If permitted in its current form, this project would destroy the historic Monacan capital of Rassawek, first identified by Captain John Smith in 1612, in addition to several other significant historical and archaeological sites. It is not in the public interest for the Army Corps of Engineers to issue a permit to JRWA to destroy our shared history, especially when JRWA can construct its project at an alternate location and still provide water to Zion Crossroads for speculative economic development. JRWA has argued that locating the project at Point of Forks is the least expensive option, and unfortunately one way the project budget is being trimmed is through proposing archaeological approaches that do not reflect the significance and sensitivity of the site and will result in Monacan history being lost forever. This project is poorly designed and contrary to the public interest, and the Corps should not permit it in its current form. Human remains, the bones of Monacan ancestors, have been found multiple times at the Rassawek site. JRWA now seeks a legally required burial permit so it can proceed with the disinterment and relocation of Monacan people. The Commonwealth of Virginia should not permit the disturbance of Monacan ancestors and force the tribe to endure the traumatic and somber process of repatriating and reburying their ancestors. At a time when the Commonwealth and the nation are working to preserve and interpret the historic capital of the Powhatan Confederacy, Werowocomoco, it is disturbing to see such willingness to destroy the Monacans’ capital. We urge you not to permit this project, which will continue the mistreatment of indigenous Virginians using the excuse of economic progress that may never come to pass. We ask that the leadership of Virginia and the Army Corps conduct a systemic review to identify other options for the water intake and pump station project that do not destroy this irreplaceable history." https://bit.ly/saverassawek This link contains the original petition. Please sign it! If you would share this to others, please share the original petition link above versus this Change.Org petition, though I would appreciate any help in this matter as I dont know many people.
Petition to Michael Berkemeier, Bill Rice, Michael Berding, Brian Begley, Scott Clark, Jerrilynn Gundrum, Balena Shorter
Change Fairfield Senior/Freshman High Schools's Racist Caricature of a Mascot
Both Fairfield Senior and Freshman High Schools are in Fairfield, Ohio. They pride themselves in being Fairfield "Indians". But for me, as someone who attends this school, the title "Indian" is not something we should be prideful of. Some say that our mascot is a sign of our power and pride. But seeing as the population of Indigenous people in our county is 0.3%, and the population in our school is 0.2%, who are we to be prideful of this? It is not our history and it is not appreciation; it is appropriation. Our mascots don't "honor" Natives, they are just "perpetuating negative stereotypes" and "contributing to a disregard for the personhood of Native peoples" (NCAI). These mascots present a misleading image of Indigenous peoples and feed into the historic myths that have been used to oppress them. These symbols also teach our students that it's acceptable to appropriate, mock, and stereotype other cultures. Follow us on Instagram @change.fairfields.mascot!