March 2017 CEO Message
Dear Mitakuyapi (“Relatives” is a traditional greeting in the Lakota language),
Cante Waste ya Nape Ciyu zape ye (“I shake your hand with a good heart”). Happy Women’s History Month! It has been an incredible few weeks sharing the work of Native Americans in Philanthropy and Indigenous Women Rise with amazing leaders engaged in utilizing their platforms to support cross movement building.
Last month, I participated in the “Visibility Panel” at HARNESS, an organization founded by America Ferrera, Ryan Piers Williams and Wilmer Valderrama. It was an incredible day of conversation and a day of action with leaders from the LGBTQ, Muslim, Latino, Native American and Black communities to power change.
A few weeks ago, I was honored to participate in Meena Harris’s “Phenomenal Woman” t-shirt campaign with Omaze at United Talent Agency to benefit fearless women’s organizations supporting women’s rights on the ground (Omaze is also the campaign leader behind Shailene Woodley’s “Stand with Standing Rock” t-shirt). The campaign is inspired by the Maya Angelou poem, “’Cause I’m a woman / Phenomenally. / Phenomenal woman, / That’s me.” I met Senator Kamala Harris (aunt to Meena Harris) and the amazing Tony Award winner and singer Cynthia Erivo from the 2015 Broadway Revival of “The Color Purple”.
In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, NAP will participate in several activities happening around the Native Nations March Tipi Camp in the Northwest Quadrant of Washington Monument Park, DC. With Indigenous Women Rise, we’ll be co-hosting a Networking Circle on Wednesday, March 8th from 5-7pm. You can find a full schedule of these events online at indigenouswomenrise.org.
NAP will also be joining the Indigenous Women Rise (IWR) collective in the Native Nations March on Washington. The Native Nations March is a response to the call put out by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to defend our inherent rights to protect Unci Maka (Mother Earth) and our water: Mni Wiconi (Water is Life). Back in January, IWR marched alongside many of our allies in the Women’s March and helped to raise up the voices of not only our own Indigenous people, but all those who were also marching for the protection of their collective rights, safety, health, and families. We’re asking those we showed up for at the Women’s March to march in solidarity with us in the Native Nations March this Friday, March 10th in D.C. Help us to show that we will not stand idle while the health and well-being of our communities are under attack. Information about the march can be found here: indigenouswomenrise.org.
Sarah Eagle Heart, CEO
Native Americans in Philanthropy