native american

54 petitions

Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to Harvard College, Harvard University, Lawrence Bacow, Provost Alan Garber, Executive Vice President Katharine Lapp, Registrar Michael Burke

Harvard to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day

Whereas through the good hand of God many well devoted persons have been and daily are moved and stirred up to give and bestow sundry gifts legacies lands and revenues for the advancement of all good literature arts and sciences in Harvard College in Cambridge in the County of Middlesex and to the maintenance of the President and Fellows and for all accommodations of buildings and all other necessary provisions that may conduce to the education of the English and Indian youth of this country in knowledge and godliness. —Charter of 1650 To President Lawrence Bacow, Provost Alan Garber, Executive Vice President Katharine Lapp, Registrar Michael Burke, and the Harvard community: We, Indigenous students of Harvard University and our peers, remain aware of the University’s failure to legitimize Indigenous Peoples’ Day through its continued recognition of “Columbus Day” on the academic calendar.  While other universities, cities, and states now rebuke recognition of “Columbus Day,” both the College and University, per the Registrar, maintain “Columbus Day” as an official University holiday. The Undergraduate Council has previously endorsed a petition “for Indigenous Peoples’ Day to be completely recognized on Harvard’s calendar,” and the Graduate School of Education and Medical School revoked their recognition of “Columbus Day” in lieu of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  The City of Cambridge has followed suit in solidarity with countless other communities across the United States. In 2017, Harvard quietly changed its calendar to jointly recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day with “Columbus Day” (with the former designated a City of Cambridge holiday and the latter as a Federal holiday).  To jointly recognize both with precedence given to “Columbus Day” is a stinging rebuke to the many Indigenous students whose education Harvard has a stated commitment to induce. Harvard retains the oldest academic charter in the United States: the Charter of 1650.  In the Charter––said to be upheld to this day––Harvard committed itself to the specific mission of educating “the English and Indian youth of this country in knowledge and godliness.”  This commitment prompted the creation of the Harvard Indian College and ultimate matriculation of several Indigenous alumni, including Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck (Wampanoag), whose portrait hangs in Annenberg Hall.  As shown, Harvard has a clear commitment to Indigenous students, and we demand this commitment be affirmed. This starts with the proper recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and the removal of “Columbus Day” from our calendar. The time has come for Harvard to choose the right side of history.  The time has come for University administration to erase the name “Columbus Day” from the October academic holiday. The time has come for our peers in the Harvard community to join Indigenous peoples as we work to create accurate and respectful historical narratives, in which our ways of life are celebrated and validated, rather than ignored and undermined. As such, we demand Harvard adopt Indigenous Peoples’ Day as the official University holiday and remove “Columbus Day” from its calendar. This change –– one that requires little of the University and its officials –– is one step toward creating a more equitable and welcoming Harvard for Indigenous students. The University must fully and visibly recommit to its ideals of diversity and inclusion with the refusal to celebrate a man whose actions conduced the brutalization, enslavement, and deaths of millions of our ancestors and relatives across the Americas. Indigenous Peoples’ Day at Harvard must be a day that memorializes and attests to the resilience and persistence of Indigenous peoples and our histories. It must not be a day characterized by protests and pleas to be recognized, but by celebration of Harvard’s Indigenous legacy with Indigenous performances, food, art, and discourse. For over five centuries, Indigenous peoples have resisted violence, oppression, and marginalization to provide our future generations a life of dignity, equal opportunity, and empowerment. However, Indigenous people cannot do this alone. Together, Indigenous communities and allies alike can forge new ways of celebrating and supporting our communities that include, not exclude, the diverse body of Harvard University. Harvard exists as a beacon in higher education; by recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, our University will lead the push toward greater inclusion and accurately honor its historic charter, represent the ongoing cultivation of diversity on campus, and pave the way for future growth. Ahéhee’, Yakoke, Pinagigi, Quyana, Mahalo nui loa, Qaĝaasakung, Kepiihcihi, Pidamayapi, Miigwech, ᏩᏙ, Mvto,  Ahí’ííyeéh, Askwali, Kwa’kway, Nia:wen, Tle koo, Philámayayapi, Thank you. Native Americans at Harvard College

Native Americans at Harvard College
1,452 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Mattel, American Girl Brand, Jamie Cygielman, Ynon Kreiz

Remove “Spirit Animal” Create Your Own Design from American Girl Brand’s Options

American Girl Brand has a Create Your Own clothing design which states “My spirit animal” and allows the target audience, children, to add graphics to the design. The phrase is harmfully being used in the mainstream and should not be encouraged to be casually used by children also. American Girl states on their website that they believe “character is everything”, but where is the character in cultural appropriation? The problem with the use of this phrase is that it takes a concept of spiritual belief from many indigenous peoples and belittles it to an offhand way of saying you really like something a lot, such as a cute narwhal diving over a rainbow. This cultural appropriation is harmful to all involved- the indigenous people it objectifies and belittles, the children being taught to accept racist and colonial ways of thinking, those who have to see the phrase in a repeated and continued cycle of trauma and abuse. This is similar to using feathers or headdresses as a fashion statement, encouraging children to play in teepees, or using Native Americans as a mascot. These and hundreds of other examples of how the first peoples of the Americas are daily insulted and demeaned should not be promoted by a highly influential company. Letters, emails and feedback has been sent to American Girl by numerous consumers and concerned people since June 2019, and we have been told the option would be removed but as of today it is still there.  As a step forward for the brands and American people this kind of matter should be addressed swiftly and purposefully, and language and imagery like this should be removed and not entertained for future merchandise by Mattel Inc.  I care deeply because I am Native American and since I can remember have seen indigenous people traumatized, have experienced racism daily, and am subjected to these kinds of nonchalant abuses. It hurts my children, it hurts all our children, to continue using these terms, to deem them acceptable and harmless when actually they’re affecting generations of Americans. After hundreds of years Indigenous people in the Americas are practically erased from the dialogue. Our stories are invisible. Our struggles, as bad as any third world situation, goes unseen. All anyone gleans from us are trends based on our cultures, jokes, insults and stereotypes. Please help be apart of a solution. Positive changes are those in which we become aware of our language, imagery and the things casually taken from other cultures for corporate gain, and then stop using them. Ask Mattel Inc, American Girl LLC, and their CEOs Ynon Kreiz (Mattel) and Jamie Cygielman (American Girl) to remove the Spirit Animal design from its website effective immediately in goodwill and respect for Americas first peoples. Let’s build a nation of Americans whose “Character” is defined by their deeds and integrity.  

mano cockrum
50 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to City of San Antonio, Texas General Land Office, Alamo Trust Inc.

Demand a 3rd Party Conduct a Comprehensive In-Depth Archival Study of The Alamo

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) as a Historic Cemetery on May 10, 2019, concessions from THC in at least two letters to the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation expressing that it has “no doubt there were hundreds of individuals buried in and around Mission San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo) during the Spanish-colobial era” and numerous evidence presented by the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation to the THC outlining the historical significance of the dead buried on the sacred ground. We are demanding that a 3rd party be appointed, independent of the City of San Antonio, Texas General Land Office and Alamo Trust Inc., to conduct; A Comprehensive in-depth archival report A Comprehensive archaeological Historic cemetery delineation report We demand that Lineal Descendants of the people buried at the Alamo be consulted with and new Human Remains protocols be developed with their input.  We demand that the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation be included on the Alamo Mission Archaeology Advisory Committee. We ask that ALL City of San Antonio residents call your city and state representatives and demand that San Antonio de Valero (The Alamo) cemetery be provided with all the protections that other Historical cemetery are provided across Texas.  Since 1994 the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation has fought for the return of ancestral remains around San Antonio and we will not give up our fight to ensure all repatriations are honored and we are able to rebury our ancestral remains if human remains are discovered at the Mission San Antonio de Valero. We hope that the City of San Antonio as land owners move forward to ensure our history is never forgotten. Visit our Go Fund Me page if you will like to offer additional support:

Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation
450 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to B. Carman

Truth In Education

  Have you heard people say, "America is a country of immigrants", yet you know your ancestors were forcibly brought here? Does it make sense that we detest the memory of southern slave owners, yet hold slave-owning forefathers in highest regard? Did you know that our federal government unethically broke over 150 treaties they'd negotiated and signed with the native tribes? When it comes to truth and transparency in historical education, are your children being taught a bias version of the European colonist? Stop allowing our public schools to lie about American history. Click Here for  TRUTH Click Here for KNOWLEDGE   It should seem evident to anyone who has children enrolled in U.S. public schools, that there is a lack of truthfulness in the manner in which European Settlers are depicted regarding the history and founding of our country.  We are educating everyone's children, not just those who are descended from Europeans.    The history of this country is a complex and, for many, a painfully unethical and unjust one.  There are journals, diaries, bills of sale, treaties, logs, letters, newspapers, flyers, etc. written by those Europeans who witnessed or took part in acts of domestic terrorism upon Natives, Mexicans, and subsequently, Africans.        There were over 150 treaties, negotiated and signed by the federal government and the native people of the time, which were unlawfully broken usually due to the European settlers greed for more land or resources such as gold.  There are numerous accounts of slaughter and even genocide perpetrated by the Europeans as a result of their self-imposed superior status over the native people. The fact that 14 of the forefathers which our schools are teaching children (of all races) to honor and revere, owned slaves. (including Thomas Jefferson, so remembered for writing..."We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal).    I could go on listing examples of deliberate omittance or sanitizations of the truth in our children's education, but I will rest my case on this statement...Never having been faced with the facts about their ancestor's failings or flawed behaviors, we now have generations of European descendants who feel a sense of American ownership.  They see very minimal evidence that people of color made any sacrifices or made any significant contributions to the building of this nation.  I have written a complaint to the NCAC (National Coalition Against Censorship) and am awaiting information on how best to proceed with rectifying this, long ignored racial bias regarding true historical education.    Click HERE for a copy of my complaint.

B Carman
253 supporters