Indigenous Solidarity Guidelines

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Indigenous Solidarity Guidelines

When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white men came, an Indian said simply “Ours.”

— Vine Deloria Jr.

On Indigenous People’s day, Black Hammer Times is sharing these guidelines from the Land Liberators of Turtle Island. These points outline what non-Indigenous accomplices can do to support the decolonial struggle for the liberation of the nations of Turtle Island.

Black Hammer Organization’s latest project, Hammer City, is a building a city on liberated land — land that will be under the control of its rightful Indigenous stewards.

The Land Liberators are the highest body of anti-colonial Indigenous revolutionaries that are leading Hammer City and leading the anti-colonial struggle.

In the words of Vine Deloria Jr., “Until America begins to build a moral record in her dealings with the Indian people she should not try to fool the rest of the world about her intentions on other continents. America has always been a militantly imperialistic world power eagerly grasping for economic control over weaker nations.”

Chief Mko, of the Land Liberators, explains the intention of these guidelines, “I’m sharing this tool so that Indigenous organizers may use it as I have to help set healthy boundaries and have some way to hold others accountable. I found it helpful as an Indigenous organizer to put words to my oppression. Once I gave it a name I could defend against it.”

Hotamétaneo'o
The Cheyenne Hotamétaneo’o tethered themselves to the land, determined in struggle.

1. Enough acting out of guilt. You must act out of a genuine desire in challenging colonialism.

2. Seek to bolster or raise the voices of Indigenous people, the legitimate authority of Turtle Island. Elevate anti-colonial Indigenous leaders.

3. Do not neglect your own ancestral history and culture. Effective accomplices must sit in this knowledge with confidence and pride.

4. Recognize your material benefits from colonialism and discuss them openly. This action will serve to challenge the nature of colorist, sexist power structures.

5. No investigation means you have no right to speak. Reflect on and embrace your ignorance of Indigenous people’s oppression and always hold this ignorance in the forefront of your mind, otherwise, a lack of recognition of this ignorance could merely perpetuate Indigenous people’s oppression and invisibility.

6. Be aware of and understand the larger white power structures that hold ALL colonized people down. One way to do this is to draw parallels through critically reflecting on your own experiences with oppressive power structures. Reflecting on subjectivity in this way, you ensure critical thought and what others call objectivity. In taking this approach, these parallels will serve to ensure that non-Indigenous allies are not perpetuating the same systemic oppression.

7. Be a critical thinker and seek out the collective brilliance and wisdom of the masses in Indigenous groups. Accomplices cannot assume that every person has the means to be a critical thinker and have a good understanding of the white power structures.

8. Ensure that a community consensus, or understanding, has been established in terms of what their role as an ally is, otherwise the efforts of the masses will be undermined due to a lack of consultation and agreement.

9. Understand and reflect on the prevalence and dynamics of lateral/ horizontal violence and within colonized people, such as women, and seek to ensure that your actions do not encourage these patterns or behaviors.

10. Do not take up the space and resources, physical and financial, of Indigenous people, be mindful about taking up space in community meetings of Indigenous group.

11. Accept the responsibility of constantly learning and reading more about their role as an effective accomplice.

12. Avoid language such as “helping”. Indigenous people do not need to be saved. We need to be united with.

13. Understand natives may not want non-natives participating in ceremonies.

14. Do more listening than talking, you will be surprised what you can learn.

15. Be ready and willing to put your body on the line.

16. Understand uniting with Indigenous people is not about popularity. Expect pushback, and continue to do it anyways.

17. Work with integrity, respect, and honor. Be both trustworthy and actively do what you say you are going to do.

Land Back!

Feature image photo credit: Bob Dass

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