Building Right Relationships in Your Community: A Dialogue
Paula Palmer and Jerilyn DeCoteau (Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples)
What would “right relationship” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in our community look like? How can we learn about the Indigenous people — past and present — in our community? What steps can we take to start building right relationship? What are some examples of right relationship? (Moderator: Kevin Abourezk)
Part of the Reckoning & Reconciliation on the Great Plains summit.
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[00:00:05.633](speaking Indigenous language)
[00:00:12.520]Good morning relatives.
[00:00:13.700]I wanna thank you for joining us
[00:00:14.840]for this very special presentation,
[00:00:17.007]"Building Right Relationships
[00:00:18.287]"in Your Community: A Dialogue."
[00:00:21.120]My name is Kevin Abourezk.
[00:00:22.360]I serve as Managing Editor for Indianz.com,
[00:00:24.920]and I am an enrolled citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.
[00:00:28.460]I am proud to introduce our two presenters for today.
[00:00:32.180]Paula Palmer is a sociologist, writer,
[00:00:34.670]and activist for human rights,
[00:00:36.650]social justice, and environmental protection.
[00:00:39.750]She co-directs Toward Right Relationship
[00:00:41.610]with Native Peoples, a program of Friends Peace Teams.
[00:00:44.995]With guidance from Native American educators,
[00:00:47.700]Paula created workshops
[00:00:49.000]titled "Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change:
[00:00:51.747]Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples for Adults,"
[00:00:56.660]and "Rediscovering America: Understanding Colonization
[00:00:59.725]"for Middle Schools and High Schools."
[00:01:02.750]She coordinates the work of Native
[00:01:04.077]and non-Native facilitators
[00:01:05.820]who present these workshops nationwide.
[00:01:09.180]Jerilyn DeCoteau is a member
[00:01:10.970]of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.
[00:01:13.330]She serves as Chief Justice
[00:01:14.840]for the Supreme Court of the Pueblo de San Ildefonso
[00:01:18.770]and has helped them create and develop a judicial branch
[00:01:21.411]under their new constitution.
[00:01:23.920]As a lawyer, she has pressed for the rights
[00:01:25.650]of Indian tribes to govern themselves,
[00:01:27.690]control their resources,
[00:01:29.570]and ensure human rights for their members.
[00:01:32.510]She has worked at the Native American Rights Fund
[00:01:34.570]and the US Department of Justice,
[00:01:36.520]litigating treaty, fishing, land and water rights.
[00:01:39.940]She served as Director of the Indian Law Clinic
[00:01:42.140]for the University of Colorado Law School,
[00:01:44.540]as council for her tribe,
[00:01:46.060]and has taught law courses at the University of Denver
[00:01:48.408]and Yale law schools
[00:01:50.210]and at the Turtle Mountain Tribal Community College
[00:01:53.480]On a more personal note,
[00:01:54.313]I just wanna say that I met Paula and Jerilyn
[00:01:56.160]when I first attended their
[00:01:57.077]"Roots of Injustice, Seeds of Change" workshop
[00:01:59.110]in Boulder in February, 2019.
[00:02:01.160]I have to say, when I first walked into the conference room
[00:02:03.710]where the workshop was being held,
[00:02:05.130]I was filled with trepidation.
[00:02:07.560]The smell of incense and a Native flute
[00:02:09.250]made me fear that I just walked into
[00:02:10.560]some kind of new age seminar
[00:02:12.030]where we would all be connecting to our spirit animals.
[00:02:15.040]But very quickly as the workshop progressed,
[00:02:16.990]I realized this was something different.
[00:02:18.537]This was something visceral.
[00:02:20.620]A studiously researched and brilliantly presented
[00:02:23.240]recitation of history of colonialism in America,
[00:02:26.370]starting with Pope Alexander VI's Doctrine of Discovery
[00:02:29.020]and moving forward to Columbus's
[00:02:30.200]subjugation of the New World.
[00:02:32.720]And toward the end of the presentation,
[00:02:34.150]when the narrators described
[00:02:35.340]how just 26 of the 73 Shoshone and Arapaho students
[00:02:39.360]who were forced into boarding schools between 1881 and 1895
[00:02:42.914]had survived that experience,
[00:02:45.340]it dawned on me that this was the first time a non-Indian
[00:02:48.210]had ever truly acknowledged the historical trauma
[00:02:50.990]that I as a Native American feel every day of my life.
[00:02:54.380]And I thought about my own children
[00:02:55.395]and what it would feel like if someone knocked on my door
[00:02:57.930]and took them from my arms and I cried.
[00:03:01.090]As awkward as that felt in a crowd of strangers, I cried.
[00:03:04.720]And later on, I became a facilitator
[00:03:06.350]for this incredible workshop.
[00:03:07.570]And I want to thank Jerilyn and Paula
[00:03:09.470]from the bottom of my heart
[00:03:10.600]for presenting these historical truths
[00:03:12.024]countless times to non-Natives and Natives alike.
[00:03:14.950]Thank you both, and welcome today.
[00:03:19.210]Thank you, Kevin.
[00:03:20.210]That was awesome.
[00:03:21.547]Paula, do you wanna add anything?
[00:03:26.430]Thank you very much for that introduction, Kevin,
[00:03:29.050]and we're going to be talking about our work
[00:03:32.360]in Right Relationship Boulder,
[00:03:33.900]which is a local Boulder, Colorado, organization.
[00:03:37.870]I should just say that I am non-Native
[00:03:40.152]and Jerilyn is Native,
[00:03:42.760]an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.
[00:03:46.770]And we do this work together
[00:03:48.380]as Native and non-Native co-facilitators.
[00:03:52.770]Thank you, thank you, Paula.
[00:03:54.220]I just wanna mention, Margaret,
[00:03:56.728]I don't know, Margaret,
[00:03:58.220]if all of the participants know you,
[00:04:01.940]but just in case someone doesn't, they need to.
[00:04:05.050]I wanna thank both of you for inviting us
[00:04:07.790]to talk today about building right relationships
[00:04:11.000]with Indigenous people in our communities
[00:04:14.200]in the hopes that it'll help you in your own efforts.
[00:04:16.790]We've had many conversations with Margaret and Kevin.
[00:04:19.860]Margaret is a professor at Nebraska
[00:04:23.040]and a director of the Center for the Great Plains Studies.
[00:04:27.640]I think that's bringing us this workshop,
[00:04:31.171]this series on Reconciliation Rising.
[00:04:35.200]So to my bio, I have to add two things
[00:04:39.700]that are really important to me.
[00:04:42.010]One, I was a founder and a board of director
[00:04:46.470]for the national, a founding board of director,
[00:04:48.730]for the National Native American
[00:04:50.150]Boarding School Healing Coalition.
[00:04:52.690]And I also have three grown children, six grandchildren,
[00:04:57.210]and two great-grandchildren.
[00:04:59.160]So really important parts of my existence.
[00:05:02.744]We like to start our work with a land acknowledgement.
[00:05:07.340]And today, because we might be from different parts
[00:05:09.976]of the country or different parts of the state of Nebraska,
[00:05:13.480]which is quite a big territory,
[00:05:15.250]we want to give a general land acknowledgement
[00:05:17.820]for Turtle Island.
[00:05:19.250]So here's how we put it.
[00:05:22.140]We humbly acknowledge that the land on which we live
[00:05:25.613]and work and gather today,
[00:05:28.130]the land that is called the United States,
[00:05:30.280]is the homeland of hundreds of Indigenous nations.
[00:05:33.880]Many Indigenous peoples call this land Turtle Island.
[00:05:37.540]While Indigenous peoples were forced
[00:05:38.924]to give up large parts of their territories
[00:05:41.603]or move far away from them,
[00:05:43.920]they are still here on Turtle Island,
[00:05:46.104]and still exist as nations.
[00:05:49.200]We recognize the irreducible and ongoing relationship
[00:05:53.220]that Indigenous peoples have
[00:05:54.820]with their traditional territories.
[00:05:57.410]Honoring a territory becomes meaningful
[00:06:00.350]when it is the basis for building relationships
[00:06:03.470]with Indigenous peoples and the land.
[00:06:08.600]So what we're gonna do today,
[00:06:11.830]I should say too that I've heard Margaret and Kevin
[00:06:14.410]give a beautiful land acknowledgement
[00:06:16.760]that you might want to hear,
[00:06:17.810]or maybe you have heard it,
[00:06:19.030]in the context of Reconciliation Rising presentations.
[00:06:23.760]So sometime you might want
[00:06:25.510]to have them share that with you.
[00:06:28.180]So what we're gonna do today is I'm gonna talk a little bit
[00:06:30.350]about how we got,
[00:06:33.070]how Right Relationship Boulder,
[00:06:35.690]and that's the experience we're drawing onto today,
[00:06:38.020]our experience in creating and operating
[00:06:40.802]and growing that group.
[00:06:43.980]And we're gonna talk about how we got started with that
[00:06:48.840]because the background is important.
[00:06:51.470]Paula's gonna describe a little bit of what we do.
[00:06:54.593]I'm gonna talk a little bit about some tips,
[00:06:58.040]some ideas for how to start building right relationship,
[00:07:02.370]and then we're going
[00:07:03.203]to have a breakout group, breakout groups.
[00:07:05.870]And there are enough of us here
[00:07:07.840]that we will break you into groups of three
[00:07:10.830]and then have hopefully 12 to 15 minutes to,
[00:07:15.260]and we'll give you a prompt,
[00:07:17.530]we'll give you a prompt to have a discussion
[00:07:19.860]and then come back to the large group
[00:07:21.581]and we'll do a closing.
[00:07:23.690]So what I'm going to do is talk about how we got started.
[00:07:30.260]And we mentioned the workshop.
[00:07:32.170]That's really, Paula and I were engaged
[00:07:34.130]in presenting that workshop all over.
[00:07:36.140]Paula did it all over the country.
[00:07:37.570]I mostly did it with her locally.
[00:07:40.980]And we had acquired a lot of,
[00:07:44.410]a significant mailing list, I should say.
[00:07:47.000]And we were also training others to do the workshop.
[00:07:49.770]Kevin's been trained
[00:07:51.510]and I think has offered the workshop as a presenter.
[00:07:55.050]And we wanted a second step.
[00:07:57.250]And so we kind of like, well, now we know real history,
[00:08:00.550]the truth, what next?
[00:08:02.730]What what can we do next?
[00:08:05.850]What would Right Relationship look like?
[00:08:08.080]And we came across a film called "The Two Rivers,"
[00:08:11.875]"Two Rivers" film,
[00:08:13.280]and it documents a process that people
[00:08:17.310]in Twisp, Washington, went through
[00:08:19.949]to discover who the Native people were
[00:08:23.373]who lived there before and what happened to them.
[00:08:27.300]So they started a dialogue in somebody's living room.
[00:08:30.680]Actually, the Schmekel's.
[00:08:32.980]They had been recent,
[00:08:35.094]they had recently moved to Twisp,
[00:08:37.220]and they decided that they needed to find out more
[00:08:40.370]about what happened to the Native people there.
[00:08:43.920]So they've been engaged in this process
[00:08:46.380]for many years now.
[00:08:47.560]It started back in 1997 and they did the film in 2003.
[00:08:53.830]They documented this whole process
[00:08:56.077]of talking to Native people, learning about them.
[00:08:59.800]And they've done many wonderful things since then.
[00:09:02.380]They have a, I forgot what it's called.
[00:09:06.839]Not a museum, but a cultural center, a knowledge center.
[00:09:12.410]They've improved their education curriculum.
[00:09:15.880]Just a lot of things that they talked about
[00:09:17.870]in that documentary that have come to pass.
[00:09:20.300]So these things really can,
[00:09:22.620]getting to know people and building relationships
[00:09:24.790]really can lead to a good place.
[00:09:26.380]So this is what we were doing,
[00:09:28.060]the workshop in the film,
[00:09:29.320]when we were both asked to be on an ad hoc committee
[00:09:32.750]to draft an Indigenous Peoples' Day Resolution
[00:09:36.230]with the city.
[00:09:37.460]So that's a process that took several months
[00:09:42.350]and it was successful, of course.
[00:09:44.150]'Cause that's why we got RRB.
[00:09:47.270]That's why we exist.
[00:09:48.340]But I just have to tell you one story
[00:09:50.650]that just sticks with me forever.
[00:09:52.700]You know, land and land back and land acknowledgements
[00:09:55.190]are so much on our minds these days,
[00:09:57.320]but way back then in 2016,
[00:10:00.010]sitting around that table the first time,
[00:10:02.550]we just sort of went around the table
[00:10:03.790]and said, what is it that we want here?
[00:10:06.100]What do we want this resolution to do, to accomplish?
[00:10:09.778]And one of the people there, Ray Ramirez,
[00:10:13.740]who'd worked at NARF for a lot of his career
[00:10:18.030]said, "We want land."
[00:10:22.100]And at that time I was so, I don't know.
[00:10:26.220]I was just kind of stunned by the boldness
[00:10:29.426]of just saying that out loud,
[00:10:31.440]you know, we want land.
[00:10:32.770]And I thought, yeah, you dang right
[00:10:34.480]'cause that's what we want.
[00:10:36.020]And so much of what RRB has done
[00:10:38.780]has been related to land issues.
[00:10:41.500]And Paula's gonna tell you a little bit more about that
[00:10:43.700]so I won't go into that.
[00:10:45.210]Anyway, the upshot of the resolution is the council,
[00:10:47.630]the city council of Boulder gave unanimous approval.
[00:10:51.410]And I wanted to just describe a little bit
[00:10:55.102]for you the resolution
[00:10:57.750]because that's really what underscores our work
[00:11:00.680]and drives it.
[00:11:01.960]So in the resolution, the city acknowledged
[00:11:06.190]that Boulder encompasses ancestral homelands
[00:11:09.130]of Indigenous peoples and nations,
[00:11:11.422]and that the Indigenous people of Boulder
[00:11:13.740]have endured centuries of cruelty,
[00:11:17.629]exploitation, and genocide.
[00:11:20.740]And they committed to facing...
[00:11:22.671]Well, facing and acknowledging our past,
[00:11:25.220]good as well as bad,
[00:11:26.283]it makes our community stronger and more resilient.
[00:11:30.270]Boulder has benefited directly from the removal policies
[00:11:33.810]that violated human rights and broke government treaties
[00:11:37.180]and forced people from their homelands.
[00:11:39.590]And the Arapaho were mentioned
[00:11:41.349]particularly in the resolution because by treaty,
[00:11:45.507]which of course is the colonizer's document,
[00:11:47.760]but by treaty this is the recognized homeland
[00:11:50.100]of the Arapaho,
[00:11:51.100]although other people, other tribes were in this area too,
[00:11:54.300]notably the Cheyenne and the Ute.
[00:11:56.056]But really a lot of other tribes came through this area
[00:12:00.170]and used it for hunting camps and, you know,
[00:12:05.250]seasonal and pass through kinds of things.
[00:12:08.700]So those now living,
[00:12:10.480]they also recognize that those now living on these lands,
[00:12:13.250]recognize that harm was done
[00:12:15.270]and that we have a shared responsibility
[00:12:17.460]to forge a path forward to address the past
[00:12:20.170]and continuing harm
[00:12:22.230]to the Indigenous people and to the land.
[00:12:25.000]So they've honestly recounted the history of Boulder Valley
[00:12:28.980]and acknowledged the Indigenous people who live here before
[00:12:32.750]and where they are now.
[00:12:35.040]And they talk about,
[00:12:36.290]they talked in the resolution about Boulder's preparation
[00:12:38.960]to carry out the Sand Creek Massacre,
[00:12:41.250]'cause they were trained right here in Boulder,
[00:12:43.200]at least one of the company's, Company D, I think it was,
[00:12:47.150]and acknowledged that Boulder has benefited
[00:12:49.765]from the removal of the Arapaho.
[00:12:52.750]So they made some specific commitments
[00:12:56.170]to specific actions in the resolution.
[00:12:58.990]The city resolved to do a number of things:
[00:13:02.739]Forge a path forward to address past and continuing harms,
[00:13:07.010]acknowledging that this just isn't in the histories today,
[00:13:10.780]to establish an Indigenous Peoples' Day, an annual one.
[00:13:14.620]So we have an annual, permanent day
[00:13:18.240]to promote understanding and appreciation
[00:13:20.107]of Indigenous peoples.
[00:13:22.290]And they committed to correcting omissions
[00:13:25.483]of Native American presence in city spaces.
[00:13:28.740]So signage, you know, explanatory material.
[00:13:31.970]I'm not sure about the progress they've made on that,
[00:13:34.420]but they have done.
[00:13:36.010]One thing that they committed to do
[00:13:38.610]was to change the name of a park
[00:13:41.270]that had been informally called Settler's Park
[00:13:44.380]and it just became the defacto name.
[00:13:46.885]And now the name of the park is The People's Crossing.
[00:13:51.000]And this name was chosen by the city
[00:13:53.590]in collaboration with the Arapaho and other tribes
[00:13:56.770]with whom the city has a memoranda of understanding.
[00:14:00.770]So the city manager was tasked
[00:14:02.830]with working with the Native Americans
[00:14:04.730]to implement education, proper education,
[00:14:07.970]accurate curricula in all educational institutions
[00:14:11.307]concerning the traditions and history and current issues
[00:14:15.250]of Indigenous people.
[00:14:16.900]So one of the first things we did, Paula and I,
[00:14:19.440]was we went and met with the city manager
[00:14:21.470]because, you know, this was her job.
[00:14:24.360]And we had, we have a great relationship with her.
[00:14:26.890]We also met with people from the Open Space Department
[00:14:31.350]about land issues.
[00:14:33.490]Anyway, we built ongoing relationships with the city
[00:14:36.610]and the county and people from the schools,
[00:14:40.640]the education departments, or the district.
[00:14:46.150]So we knew that the city had...
[00:14:48.940]So we had all this wonderful stuff, right?
[00:14:50.660]This is a great resolution.
[00:14:51.970]I think is a wonderful model.
[00:14:54.220]We knew the city had entered into MOU's,
[00:14:56.800]the Memoranda of Understanding with tribes,
[00:14:59.880]concerning use of land, sacred sites, and so forth,
[00:15:02.990]that had largely fallen into,
[00:15:05.010]I would say, archival dust.
[00:15:06.980]So we worried about the Indigenous Peoples' Day Resolution,
[00:15:10.010]that it might meet the same fate.
[00:15:12.400]So we started an ad hoc group and began to meet.
[00:15:15.630]Meet and talk about how the resolution
[00:15:18.130]could or would be implemented.
[00:15:20.760]And at first we called ourselves Two Rivers
[00:15:23.300]because we were so inspired by that film
[00:15:25.177]and the work that was documented there.
[00:15:27.525]But we did finally land on a name for ourselves
[00:15:30.929]that seems to fit us really well,
[00:15:33.620]Right Relationship Boulder.
[00:15:36.100]So I think,
[00:15:41.870]Paula, do you wanna take over from here
[00:15:43.806]with the mission and so forth?
[00:15:49.770]So as Jerilyn said, after the city
[00:15:52.840]approved the Indigenous Peoples' Day Resolution,
[00:15:56.470]we started meeting with a small group.
[00:15:58.190]That group has continued to grow over time.
[00:16:01.830]But we asked ourselves,
[00:16:03.797]well, what can we do here in Boulder?
[00:16:06.470]What would Right Relationship?
[00:16:08.310]How can we start building Right Relationship
[00:16:10.935]with Indigenous peoples who had been removed
[00:16:13.830]from this city of Boulder and those who live here today?
[00:16:17.908]And so we decided that our first task needed to be
[00:16:23.690]to get in touch with the Arapaho people
[00:16:26.340]who are the people who were removed when gold was found
[00:16:30.610]in the Boulder foothills and the subsequent removal
[00:16:34.850]and the Sand Creek Massacre.
[00:16:36.800]So we were fortunate that among us
[00:16:41.680]there is an Arapaho woman.
[00:16:44.760]Her name is Ava Hamilton.
[00:16:46.140]She's a filmmaker.
[00:16:46.973]She's lived in Boulder for probably 30, 40 years.
[00:16:50.690]She was a student at the University of Colorado
[00:16:53.350]and she was part of our group.
[00:16:56.054]And so we asked her what would be the way
[00:17:00.100]to contact the Arapaho people?
[00:17:03.210]They are living now and have been living,
[00:17:05.283]most Arapaho people have been living
[00:17:07.620]on a reservation in Wyoming and also in Oklahoma
[00:17:12.692]in two different tribes,
[00:17:14.310]the Northern Arapaho in Southern Arapaho.
[00:17:16.850]So Ava said, well, the thing to do is to go there
[00:17:21.350]to meet with them where they live.
[00:17:24.820]And so she contacted them for us
[00:17:28.250]and we were able to make trips to Oklahoma
[00:17:31.510]and also to Wyoming
[00:17:33.608]with some funding that the city provided
[00:17:36.821]as a result of the Indigenous Peoples' Day Resolution.
[00:17:41.550]So in our conversations in Oklahoma and Wyoming,
[00:17:45.430]we met with educators and elders,
[00:17:50.600]the elders councils and several traditional chiefs
[00:17:54.832]and people who work with the tribal governments
[00:17:57.967]in both places.
[00:17:59.874]And we asked them, well, how would you like to relate now
[00:18:05.950]to the people who live in both Boulder today
[00:18:09.310]and to the land of the Boulder Valley,
[00:18:11.980]which is your homeland?
[00:18:14.580]And they responded with very specific,
[00:18:19.010]very clear and specific ways
[00:18:22.340]that they would like to relate to the Boulder area.
[00:18:27.280]One was land.
[00:18:29.460]They said that they would like to have land
[00:18:32.280]in the Boulder area where they can reflect on
[00:18:37.500]and appreciate and honor their ancestors,
[00:18:42.580]where they can have privacy in order to do that,
[00:18:47.720]to have appropriate ceremony
[00:18:51.490]whenever they need to do that
[00:18:55.150]and whenever they choose.
[00:18:57.290]They especially want land where their children
[00:19:01.571]can experience what life was like for them
[00:19:05.424]when they were free people living in the Boulder Valley.
[00:19:12.560]And they also want to have access
[00:19:16.189]to harvest medicinal plants that grow in the Boulder Valley
[00:19:23.750]that don't grow in Wyoming or in Oklahoma
[00:19:26.530]where they live today.
[00:19:29.290]Food, traditional food items like chokecherries.
[00:19:33.472]They want also, they said that they wanted
[00:19:38.760]to get to know the people of Boulder at a personal level.
[00:19:43.240]They wanted to build relationships,
[00:19:45.730]personal relationships with the people of Boulder.
[00:19:49.010]And they thought it would be good for them
[00:19:51.330]to interact with people in churches
[00:19:54.218]and people in civic organizations
[00:19:56.957]and people in the city and county governments.
[00:20:01.210]But they wanted to do this in a person-to-person way.
[00:20:07.570]They wanted to be able to feel at home
[00:20:09.524]in the Boulder Valley.
[00:20:11.520]And they wanted to be able to feel safe there.
[00:20:14.840]So we came back to Boulder
[00:20:17.130]with those thoughts and wishes.
[00:20:25.040]We carried them to the city.
[00:20:26.700]We wrote letters to the city government
[00:20:29.500]and to the Human Relations Board
[00:20:31.569]and to the school system.
[00:20:34.459]And that was another thing that they actually said,
[00:20:36.890]that they would like to influence
[00:20:40.336]how teachers are teaching the history
[00:20:43.920]and the current way of life
[00:20:47.655]and current contemporary issues of governance
[00:20:50.679]and economic development
[00:20:54.211]that the tribes are facing today in Wyoming and Oklahoma.
[00:20:59.600]They wanted to bring that message to the schools.
[00:21:02.380]So we met with the school,
[00:21:04.216]people in the school district
[00:21:05.900]and shared that information with them as well.
[00:21:09.800]And then over time, over the next several years,
[00:21:12.860]we developed a system of working as a group.
[00:21:17.040]We are an all volunteer group.
[00:21:20.420]We have about 800 people on our local mailing list,
[00:21:23.930]but we probably have about, I don't know,
[00:21:27.816]50 people that are continuously active.
[00:21:32.950]People become very active
[00:21:34.780]when we have Indigenous Peoples' Day events,
[00:21:37.200]which are large events that we have sponsored now
[00:21:40.926]and have brought Arapaho people to participate in,
[00:21:47.480]except during the years when COVID
[00:21:49.890]prevented us from doing that.
[00:21:53.370]But what we've done is we've created working groups.
[00:21:56.230]And so different people who are involved
[00:21:58.250]in Right Relationship Boulder
[00:21:59.660]are part of these different working groups.
[00:22:02.140]One is Indigenous Peoples' Day.
[00:22:04.240]And that group has put on these major events
[00:22:08.066]in-person for Indigenous Peoples' Day,
[00:22:11.490]the second Monday in October.
[00:22:15.540]And then during COVID, we did these online.
[00:22:18.370]But in all of those cases,
[00:22:21.293]we provided spaces for Arapaho and Ute people
[00:22:26.111]to be able to share what they want to share
[00:22:29.932]about their history,
[00:22:32.210]their practices of food preparation and arts,
[00:22:37.137]arts, crafts, beading,
[00:22:42.255]elder storytelling, language lessons.
[00:22:47.070]All of the things that they have wanted
[00:22:49.230]to share with the people of Boulder,
[00:22:51.140]we have tried to create the spaces for them
[00:22:53.130]to be able to do that.
[00:22:55.630]We also have a visiting group and they have been,
[00:22:59.523]they have been hampered by the pandemic of course,
[00:23:03.760]but their intention is to make arrangements for exchanges
[00:23:09.440]between Arapaho people and the people of Boulder.
[00:23:13.200]One thing that they are doing is hosting a language camp,
[00:23:16.980]an Arapaho language camp,
[00:23:18.400]which will be held in Rocky Mountain National Park
[00:23:23.600]at the end of May this year,
[00:23:25.370]where students from Northern and Southern Arapaho tribes
[00:23:31.700]will come together
[00:23:33.420]and their own elders will be teaching them,
[00:23:37.390]immersing them in an Arapaho language camp
[00:23:41.320]that we are providing the structure for that
[00:23:44.390]and they are providing the instruction for that themselves.
[00:23:49.040]Another of our group is the schools group
[00:23:51.020]and they are working to bring Arapaho
[00:23:54.922]and other Indigenous voices directly into the schools
[00:24:01.170]and provide resources for teachers to use.
[00:24:05.090]And then we have a self-education group.
[00:24:07.870]And that group is offering opportunities
[00:24:12.190]for all of us in Boulder
[00:24:13.550]to hear directly from Indigenous people who work
[00:24:17.250]in the Indigenous organizations that are based in Boulder.
[00:24:23.350]Organizations like the Native American Rights Fund,
[00:24:26.052]the Youth Leadership Institute,
[00:24:31.005]the university programs where students
[00:24:36.940]at the university organize their own programs
[00:24:42.650]and they have been able to bring programs to us.
[00:24:44.560]Our intention is to learn directly from Indigenous people
[00:24:47.600]as much as possible
[00:24:48.760]and this group provides for that.
[00:24:50.880]And then we have a land group.
[00:24:54.740]And this is responding to the desire for land.
[00:25:01.240]We haven't provided yet directly for land to be transferred
[00:25:07.278]from private landholders or the city or the county
[00:25:12.703]in terms of sort of deeding a piece of property
[00:25:15.957]to the Arapaho or the local Indigenous population.
[00:25:21.470]But we've been working primarily
[00:25:23.780]with the city and the county to create access
[00:25:30.070]and to create processes for Indigenous people
[00:25:33.640]to have a voice in the development of specific areas.
[00:25:39.820]One of those is what Jerilyn mentioned.
[00:25:42.910]The location where troops were mustered and trained
[00:25:48.202]and went on from there
[00:25:50.930]to carry out the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864.
[00:25:54.810]So that property is a,
[00:25:56.279]the property of a Fort in Boulder.
[00:26:00.120]And we have arranged for the Arapaho
[00:26:04.599]and Cheyenne representatives
[00:26:08.150]to have the first voice in how that piece of property,
[00:26:15.350]it's only 110 acres,
[00:26:17.410]how that piece of property will be protected and developed
[00:26:22.960]in order to appropriately memorialize the Sand Creek,
[00:26:29.873]the connection between that property
[00:26:32.420]and the Sand Creek Massacre
[00:26:34.090]in the way that the Arapaho and Cheyenne people,
[00:26:36.380]who are the defendants of those
[00:26:38.390]who were murdered at Sand Creek,
[00:26:40.670]in the way that they want that land to be,
[00:26:44.088]to be protected and memorialized.
[00:26:52.290]So we are working with local Indigenous people,
[00:26:57.330]as well as with the Arapaho who were removed from here.
[00:27:00.580]The local Indigenous people
[00:27:01.920]have also recently organized their own group,
[00:27:05.610]which is called People of the Sacred Land.
[00:27:08.600]And Rick Williams,
[00:27:09.650]who is one of the prime movers of that group,
[00:27:13.557]was one of the speakers earlier in this conference series.
[00:27:18.710]And so Rick and Ava Hamilton,
[00:27:22.130]the Arapaho woman that I also mentioned,
[00:27:24.760]and others are developing their own plans
[00:27:30.481]for opening lands in the Boulder area
[00:27:37.212]for access of Native people.
[00:27:41.960]And our intention with Right Relationship Boulder
[00:27:45.324]is always to support the initiatives
[00:27:49.996]that are taken by Indigenous people themselves.
[00:27:54.120]And I will just say that this is one of the difficult things
[00:27:56.666]for White people.
[00:27:59.040]I feel like I can say this as a White person myself.
[00:28:04.350]Among people who develop an honest,
[00:28:08.955]sincere concern about these issues,
[00:28:12.650]there is such a tendency to jump in
[00:28:15.471]with our own good ideas.
[00:28:19.510]And so I think one of the biggest challenges for us
[00:28:23.250]as a group of Native and non-Native people
[00:28:27.470]working together in this local organization
[00:28:31.740]is for the White people to take a step back.
[00:28:34.540]For the White people to hold off
[00:28:39.023]on putting forward our great ideas,
[00:28:44.000]and instead, listen.
[00:28:46.306]Listen carefully and patiently to the Indigenous people
[00:28:55.880]who need to be, who need to be in front in this work.
[00:29:02.296]And so that is our intention in this,
[00:29:05.520]in Right Relationship Boulder.
[00:29:07.340]It's to support the voices,
[00:29:11.560]lift up and support the voices
[00:29:13.035]of Indigenous people in our own community.
[00:29:17.970]So maybe that's as much as I can say
[00:29:20.830]in the time that we have.
[00:29:23.710]Oh, back to me?
[00:29:25.030]Well, I think what I was gonna offer...
[00:29:27.430]But first of all,
[00:29:28.263]I wanna say that I forgot to mention
[00:29:29.650]that we will have a Q&A session
[00:29:31.510]just in about three or four minutes here.
[00:29:35.210]But what I wanna do now is offer some tips
[00:29:38.550]for developing Right Relationship
[00:29:40.350]with Native peoples,
[00:29:42.090]things we've learned along the way.
[00:29:43.700]Paula hit on really the most important one, I think,
[00:29:47.470]and it bears repeating.
[00:29:49.050]And that is to listen.
[00:29:50.610]Listen to the voices of Native people,
[00:29:52.520]follow their lead,
[00:29:53.860]listen and learn directly from them.
[00:29:56.310]And how do they want to relate
[00:29:58.200]to non-Indian people and organizations?
[00:30:01.090]And how can you support their organizations and aspirations?
[00:30:05.833]Another tip is if you invite Native people to talk
[00:30:09.260]to a non-Native group,
[00:30:10.950]pay them an honor, a fee or an honorarium
[00:30:13.400]for their expertise and their time and their effort.
[00:30:17.820]Because this is something
[00:30:18.830]they're bringing to you as a gift,
[00:30:21.460]what they want to share with you,
[00:30:23.030]what they're willing and want to share with you
[00:30:25.780]to help build that relationship.
[00:30:27.540]And typically Native people are interested
[00:30:29.631]in building relationship with the non-Native communities
[00:30:32.700]that we live in and interact in.
[00:30:35.070]I mean, we have to if we wanna go forward.
[00:30:38.783]So don't be afraid to talk to Native people
[00:30:43.660]as a non-Native.
[00:30:44.770]I just so find that people in RRB,
[00:30:47.400]and especially the newer ones,
[00:30:48.549]they're a little bit afraid.
[00:30:50.100]You know, should I, should I make that call?
[00:30:52.820]Should I write this note?
[00:30:54.380]I'm a non-Indian.
[00:30:55.499]Well, gosh, yeah.
[00:30:57.535]Don't be afraid to talk to Natives.
[00:31:00.510]Don't think that only the Natives in your group
[00:31:02.530]can talk to the other Natives.
[00:31:03.700]That really ends up overburdening the Natives
[00:31:06.210]because then they have to do all the relationship building
[00:31:09.010]and that's really not what this is about.
[00:31:10.690]This is about relationships between non-Indians
[00:31:13.150]and Native people.
[00:31:14.810]So there might be protocols, you know,
[00:31:18.150]for talking to tribes or talking to individuals
[00:31:20.383]or finding the right person in a tribe to talk to
[00:31:24.990]or in an organization,
[00:31:25.976]but don't be afraid to ask.
[00:31:29.170]You know, what do I do?
[00:31:30.300]Who do I talk to?
[00:31:32.770]Yeah, just be, just be real.
[00:31:35.570]Your sincerity will be recognized for sure.
[00:31:41.090]So talk and meet with city, school officials, funders.
[00:31:45.100]I mean, I always see these as the powers
[00:31:46.839]that can really make things happen.
[00:31:49.530]Grassroots people can create a lot of ideas
[00:31:52.070]and a lot of momentum in sort of an educative function
[00:31:55.049]and getting people fired up,
[00:31:57.870]but sometimes you have to collaborate
[00:32:00.530]with those colonizers and help them,
[00:32:05.950]help them recognize they need
[00:32:08.180]to follow the lead of Indigenous people on programs
[00:32:11.474]that are intended, you know,
[00:32:14.546]to benefit the whole community,
[00:32:16.470]but to educate and lift up the voices
[00:32:20.447]and the interests of the Indigenous people.
[00:32:23.500]Especially those whose homeland,
[00:32:25.131]you know, you're sitting on as a government
[00:32:28.100]or as a school, school district.
[00:32:30.490]So yeah, talk to them, let them know.
[00:32:33.220]And surprisingly, they are way open to meeting with us.
[00:32:37.070]We've spent so many hours with Open Space people
[00:32:39.790]to talk about Fort Chambers, for example,
[00:32:42.370]and Indian Mountain, which is a county open space
[00:32:45.770]where a Native group does regularly sweats
[00:32:50.750]and the county wants to make it available
[00:32:53.210]for other uses for Natives.
[00:32:54.891]And they're working with,
[00:32:57.280]they're working with people
[00:32:58.310]so they spend a lot of time.
[00:32:59.817]And sometimes they have funding to do this,
[00:33:01.860]and sometimes they don't.
[00:33:02.800]Just have to squeeze it in on their,
[00:33:05.260]you know, on their list of things to do.
[00:33:08.770]But it is important to get the community involved.
[00:33:12.980]Here's a big one.
[00:33:14.820]Learn your family's settler history.
[00:33:17.080]And here I wanna mention Margaret Jacob's book,
[00:33:20.667]"After One Hundred Winters."
[00:33:22.340]I was looking for it before I started
[00:33:24.480]'cause I wanted to hold it up and show you the cover.
[00:33:27.490]But Margaret's book is very recent and it's amazing.
[00:33:32.030]She acknowledges in the book
[00:33:33.570]that the United States was founded on
[00:33:35.950]dispossession of Indigenous peoples
[00:33:37.930]and searches for what reconciliation might mean
[00:33:43.360]in the light of our history in this country.
[00:33:45.932]She shares some individual settler stories,
[00:33:48.770]including her own,
[00:33:50.610]and explores some of the communities
[00:33:53.131]who are working together to heal historical wounds.
[00:33:56.700]It's a very, very worthwhile book to read for any reason,
[00:34:00.770]but definitely for thinking about
[00:34:02.744]how to build right relationships.
[00:34:05.730]Read the United Nations
[00:34:07.300]Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People,
[00:34:10.170]sometimes called the UNDRIP.
[00:34:12.100]It's not very long.
[00:34:13.100]It's an amazing document.
[00:34:16.250]And find out what that says,
[00:34:18.790]what the world is thinking about,
[00:34:20.520]what the United Nations, at least,
[00:34:21.970]is thinking about the treatment of Indigenous peoples
[00:34:25.980]and how we can improve that going forward in the world.
[00:34:30.400]So this is not a law.
[00:34:32.350]It's aspirational, but many countries,
[00:34:35.560]dozens, 80-some countries,
[00:34:37.130]I can't remember the number, have...
[00:34:38.747]No, 80-some is the number of reconciliation...
[00:34:43.040]Yeah, that's a different number.
[00:34:44.500]Anyway, so the United States has signed on
[00:34:47.350]to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
[00:34:51.200]Find out what other countries are doing.
[00:34:53.430]Canada had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
[00:34:56.830]and that's where the 84 recommendations
[00:34:59.141]that I was thinking of came from.
[00:35:01.360]So they have 84 recommendations that came out
[00:35:03.750]of that six year process of truth and reconciliation
[00:35:07.060]around boarding schools.
[00:35:08.690]And Canada last, just recently...
[00:35:12.830]Was it last, 2021?
[00:35:14.470]Anyway, no, I think it was this year, in 2022,
[00:35:18.510]passed a law adopting the 84 recommendations.
[00:35:24.320]So was it the 84 recommendations Paula?
[00:35:26.710]Or was it the UNDRIP?
[00:35:28.260]I think it was the 84 recommendations.
[00:35:30.040]Anyway, these things are all available online.
[00:35:32.690]And you know, sometimes you don't know where to look online
[00:35:36.050]or what sites are really reliable.
[00:35:38.240]It's getting easier.
[00:35:39.440]There's a lot of 'em.
[00:35:40.457]And you can look up National Congress of American Indians.
[00:35:44.977]And if a site is hosted by an Indian organization
[00:35:49.060]or a tribal government or an Indian news source
[00:35:53.330]such as Kevin's, Indianz.com,
[00:35:56.083]you're know getting material that's been vetted
[00:35:59.647]and that's real.
[00:36:01.310]So it's getting easier to find
[00:36:04.100]and there's so much out there.
[00:36:06.021]So yeah, just I wanna do a quick summary
[00:36:08.593]of what I'm saying.
[00:36:10.280]So stop talking and listen.
[00:36:13.360]And I actually stole these
[00:36:14.320]off the visionmakermedia.org website,
[00:36:21.050]So stop talking and listen.
[00:36:22.900]Learn more than you were taught in school.
[00:36:25.580]Educate yourself, take that responsibility.
[00:36:28.320]Celebrate the triumphs of Native peoples today
[00:36:31.189]and support Native organizations,
[00:36:34.250]support Native artists and businesses,
[00:36:37.210]and celebrate Native culture, don't appropriate.
[00:36:41.630]That's kind of a hard one too.
[00:36:43.470]But that's kind of my summary of some tips that,
[00:36:46.910]you know, might help you think about
[00:36:49.700]how to do, how to create Right Relationship.
[00:36:54.030]So I think we're back to you, Paula.
[00:36:57.910]I'm just seeing this question in the chat.
[00:37:00.520]We don't have very much time for Q&A right now
[00:37:03.990]because we do want you to be able
[00:37:06.890]to share some thoughts among yourselves in a breakout room.
[00:37:11.090]But Jerilyn, here is this question
[00:37:13.800]and I'd like to turn this back over to you.
[00:37:17.100]From my non-Native understanding,
[00:37:18.240]indigeneity and tribal affiliations
[00:37:21.260]and how they are assigned, claimed, and represented
[00:37:23.530]can be fraught for many reasons.
[00:37:25.960]What is your advice for if and how non-Natives
[00:37:28.870]can discern who can or should speak for whom?
[00:37:35.155]Would you like to--
[00:37:36.266]Non-Native understanding of indigeneity
[00:37:38.020]and how they are assigned and claimed.
[00:37:41.380]Oh, boy, pretendians.
[00:37:44.470]I think this question is about pretendians.
[00:37:46.630]I see Kevin nodding his head a little bit.
[00:37:49.410]This is a big problem because when you pretend
[00:37:51.664]that you're a Native,
[00:37:53.270]then you're appropriating the very last thing we have,
[00:37:59.010]which is our identity.
[00:38:00.560]So generally speaking, Native people have relatives.
[00:38:06.700]They know who their tribe is
[00:38:08.370]and they know who their relatives are.
[00:38:10.600]And they may not be even a tribal member necessarily,
[00:38:13.780]I won't hold that against them,
[00:38:15.040]but they need to know where they came from
[00:38:18.640]and they need to know who their...
[00:38:19.789]They need to be able to say,
[00:38:20.823]I have family that is, are members of this tribe
[00:38:24.561]and they know me and I know them.
[00:38:27.370]So there are a lot of reasons
[00:38:28.784]for people to be separated from their tribes,
[00:38:31.520]including some horrible federal policies
[00:38:33.880]that relocated people,
[00:38:35.560]that stole children from homes for adoption and foster care.
[00:38:40.820]So there's a lot of reasons why.
[00:38:43.280]But generally speaking,
[00:38:44.890]people will always know who their relatives are.
[00:38:48.250]And if they don't, they're suspect in my mind.
[00:38:52.100]So I don't, I don't have any more to add to that.
[00:38:55.110]Yeah, Native org...
[00:38:55.943]What I said before, native organizations,
[00:38:58.460]legitimate sources of information, yeah.
[00:39:02.702]Which isn't to say--
[00:39:03.857]I think the other aspect of this question
[00:39:05.533]is also just representing reality
[00:39:08.900]that different tribal nations have different ideas
[00:39:16.247]about their own,
[00:39:19.470]or different points of view about their own history
[00:39:22.417]and their overlapping territories.
[00:39:24.644]And they may not all agree.
[00:39:28.010]And if you're living in a place
[00:39:29.320]where there are a number of different tribal nations,
[00:39:32.631]you may discover that that's true.
[00:39:36.612]That there are various different proposals.
[00:39:42.570]That's just a reality.
[00:39:48.700]It's something that we all need to be aware of
[00:39:52.942]and not have the expectation
[00:39:54.578]that there is one Indigenous voice.
[00:39:58.090]There are always more than one Indigenous voice
[00:40:05.280]and Indigenous view of things.
[00:40:10.120]Is there another question,
[00:40:11.300]or should we go into breakout rooms?
[00:40:14.638]Well, there is, Paula.
[00:40:15.710]It's kind of an interesting question.
[00:40:17.620]Are there any other challenges you can reflect on
[00:40:19.850]and how you overcame them?
[00:40:21.210]Boulder seems like a progressive community.
[00:40:23.800]What would you suggest for those
[00:40:25.290]in more rural, conservative areas?
[00:40:32.340]Well, I guess I would say sometimes
[00:40:35.300]it's difficult to work in a place
[00:40:37.620]where people think of themselves as progressive,
[00:40:40.059]even if their depth of knowledge is quite shallow.
[00:40:47.759]And that can be true in places like Boulder,
[00:40:51.820]where there's just an assumption of that,
[00:40:53.896]oh, we're all so woke, you know?
[00:40:59.270]So that's something that we work with.
[00:41:01.790]And Boulder is struggling
[00:41:03.117]beyond that veneer of progressiveness
[00:41:07.456]and going to the heart of the many, many, many things
[00:41:13.720]that we, speaking as a White person, don't know.
[00:41:19.283]I think we should be careful about assumptions
[00:41:22.970]about conservative communities too.
[00:41:25.190]So North Dakota is a state my tribe is in,
[00:41:28.490]and they just recently adopted a curriculum
[00:41:30.550]for boarding schools.
[00:41:32.240]So a lot of these we think of as conservative places,
[00:41:36.480]they're not conservative across the board, if you will.
[00:41:40.280]I don't even like to apply that word in such a broad way.
[00:41:44.690]But people really do like to learn things
[00:41:48.711]and they do get it when they get an opportunity.
[00:41:54.040]So the thing is
[00:41:55.080]is that everybody doesn't have this opportunity that we have
[00:41:58.750]to talk about these things and share this information.
[00:42:01.130]And when they do, pretty much,
[00:42:04.460]they're interested in...
[00:42:05.811]Yeah, you're gonna see some conservative places
[00:42:08.410]doing some surprising things
[00:42:09.770]when it comes to Indigenous issues.
[00:42:11.470]So yeah, I think an open mind and just offer,
[00:42:15.280]offer to learn with them, to learn together.
[00:42:20.500]So I'm sorry.
[00:42:21.333]I don't know what we're gonna do.
[00:42:22.240]It's 15 after and we have 15 minutes.
[00:42:24.960]Should we do a breakout?
[00:42:26.740]I think we really should.
[00:42:28.146]We'd like to give you all a chance to talk.
[00:42:32.260]And Margaret is going to put you into groups of three
[00:42:36.977]where we would like you to share some thoughts
[00:42:39.880]on these questions.
[00:42:43.950]The first one is what do I know about the Indigenous people
[00:42:47.130]in my area and what don't I know?
[00:42:50.820]And as you're thinking about Indigenous people in my area,
[00:42:54.860]in the place where you live,
[00:42:57.080]think about those who are currently
[00:42:59.872]living on reservation lands
[00:43:02.496]or in their ancestral lands,
[00:43:06.020]people who have not been moved
[00:43:07.718]and who are continually living in the area
[00:43:11.320]where you also live.
[00:43:13.520]But also think about those who have been removed,
[00:43:15.630]like our example in Boulder, the Arapaho, who were removed.
[00:43:19.960]So what do you know and what do you not know
[00:43:23.900]about those people
[00:43:25.037]and about the Indigenous organizations
[00:43:27.263]that are in your community,
[00:43:30.830]like the Indian Center
[00:43:32.170]where Kevin has been working in Lincoln?
[00:43:34.990]What do you know about those organizations?
[00:43:37.620]And then how can you learn more?
[00:43:39.910]So if you can just share with each other,
[00:43:41.980]you'll each have maybe three minutes or so
[00:43:45.970]to talk about what you feel you know,
[00:43:48.653]what you don't know,
[00:43:50.227]and how you can learn more in your own community.
[00:43:54.680]We think that that would be a valuable thing
[00:43:56.730]for you to share.
[00:43:58.010]Margaret, are you able to go ahead
[00:44:00.070]and put people into groups?
[00:44:02.840]Yes, I'm ready.
[00:44:04.330]We will come back at 25 after the hour
[00:44:08.280]for a short closing.
[00:44:15.680]Well, welcome back everybody.
[00:44:17.620]We have such a short time left,
[00:44:19.330]but I hope that you were able to have
[00:44:21.800]an engaging conversation with each other
[00:44:24.470]and able to share some of your ideas
[00:44:27.810]about how to start building right relationships.
[00:44:31.480]So what we want,
[00:44:33.540]what we wanna do then is close with this.
[00:44:35.950]We'd like to, first of all,
[00:44:38.150]say thank you for participating.
[00:44:40.100]Thank you so much for taking the time.
[00:44:42.360]I know you have other options to choose from
[00:44:44.820]in these breakout sessions.
[00:44:46.110]But what we'd like to close with
[00:44:47.930]is writing in the chat one thing
[00:44:51.100]that you are going to do to get started
[00:44:53.920]during the coming week or weeks.
[00:44:56.170]And then once we get that written into the chat,
[00:44:59.940]then you can hit share
[00:45:01.410]and we'll ask everyone to go ahead
[00:45:03.310]and read the chat postings.
[00:45:06.290]So yeah, one thing you're going to do
[00:45:07.740]to get started during the coming weeks.
[00:45:10.530]And I promise you,
[00:45:11.363]if you change your mind next week, you can change it.
[00:45:14.540]So this is just to get the juices flowing
[00:45:16.409]and to capitalize a little bit
[00:45:18.420]on what we've learned and shared today.
[00:45:20.370]So let's go ahead and do that,
[00:45:22.800]and then we can start reading them.
[00:45:28.130]Thank you everyone.
[00:45:28.963]Thank you all very much, it's been...
[00:45:30.770]Great job, Paula and Jerilyn.
[00:45:31.970]Thank you so much.
[00:45:33.320]And thank you.
[00:45:34.153]Yes, thank you.
[00:45:38.210]Bye, take care.
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