Into the HEaRt of De-Criminalizing Indigenous Worldviews by Margot Van Sluytman

In prisons in Canada and around the world, a large percentage of criminalized people, who are more often than not, victimized people, Indigenous people make up significant percentages. In a recent *talk I gave, accompanying Indigenous Elder and Artist Philip Cote, we addressed what happens when colonial narratives and patriarchal narratives collide. The result is that our worldviews are shattered. When our worldviews, which are our foundational way of meaning-making, are dismissed, denied, and in the case of
cultural genocide: decimated, our heart health fails. Our bodies, our minds, our souls become disconnected become dissociated. Become imprisoned. Imprisoned in the figurative sense and eventually over time, in the literal sense.

Continue reading “Into the HEaRt of De-Criminalizing Indigenous Worldviews by Margot Van Sluytman”

Standing Rock: What Does Easter Look Like? by Elizabeth Cunningham

As I write, Bakken crude oil is moving through the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe Reservoir, crossing treaty lands and waters that the Sioux Nation never ceded to the United States Government.

This, after the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline since it was proposed in 2014, with hundreds of other tribes making formal declarations in support of the tribe’s opposition. This, despite ongoing lawsuits. This, after a prayer camp begun by a small group of indigenous youth in April, 2016 grew to several camps with a total population at one point of close to 20,000. This, after 4,000 United States military veterans came to stand with the water protectors in December, 2016. This, after the United States Army Corps of Engineers under the Obama administration denied the easement to cross the river and legally bound themselves to conducting an environmental impact study that the Trump administration aborted. This, after countless unarmed water protectors faced attack dogs, mace, rubber bullets, water hoses turned on them in sub-freezing weather, and noise cannons.  This, after the arrest of over seven hundred people (some charged with felonies and still awaiting trial) many of whom were strip-searched and held in kennels in an unheated parking garage. This, after hundreds of people camped all winter, surviving blizzards and bitter cold. This, after people remained standing in prayer until they were forcibly removed from the prayer camps on February 22nd, 2017. Continue reading “Standing Rock: What Does Easter Look Like? by Elizabeth Cunningham”

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