Dear Mitakyapi (“Relatives” in the Lakota language and is a traditional greeting),
Cante Waste ya Nape Ciyu zape ye (“I shake your hand with a good heart”).
We know that for many of you, it’s been a very active and important year for social justice advocates across the country. For NAP it’s been no different – from producing a PSA to educate Native voters to a conference around healing and Indian Boarding Schools to participating (dinner with Oprah!) in a cutting edge virtual reality project with John Legend and Oprah – we have been busy sharing Indigenous Wisdom, speaking our truths and and promoting healing across the country.
We believe the way to bring healing to our country is to no longer hide our eyes and ears from that difficult realities on which this country was built. We challenge ourselves and our allies to continue learning about our nation’s dark history related to the first people of this nation, and to participate in a process of restorative healing of the deep and long-standing cultural, social and emotional wounds that continue to impact our communities. In the coming weeks, we will be commencing a multi-year campaign focused on Truth and Healing to address these issues through empathy, equity and understanding.
We will do this through a number of activities, including convening Healing Circles, Racial Healing Dinners, and Cultural Learning Tours to allow partners in philanthropy, advocates, and other allies to join us in supporting the healing work that is currently happening across Indian Country. Soon, we will be introducing a transformative, self-directed, group activity called The Blanket Exercise. We hope that you will commit to learning more about Native people and our history by participating in this powerful group experience in your own communities and working environments. We believe that this exercise will encourage and strengthen all of our work in the areas of Truth and Healing.
Looking forward, we will be launching a #GenIndigenous Response Fund video competition for all of our previous and current grant recipients. We will be announcing the winners and sharing their videos in the coming months, so we watching for them! We are also proud to announce our latest cohort of grantees from Native Voices Rising.
We hope that you will consider joining NAP as members to join this vibrant community of committed advocates and funders.
Wopila (deep gratitude),
Sarah Eagle Heart
Follow me on Twitter! @ms_eagleheart