|Message from IEN Executive Director Tom BK Goldtooth|
|For IEN, partners and allies, calendar year 2018 was an extraordinarily busy year, dominated by Indigenous grassroots and front line organizations allied collaboration. Native Nations and allies came together in strategic opposition to an ever-increasing push by corporate and government factions to expand the extractive economy beyond Mother Earth’s capacity, at the peril of her children and future generations. Our prairie lands, desert areas, forests, rivers, lakes, mountains, arctic areas and oceans are falling victim to out of control consumerism and a political system that does not understand the territorial and sacred integrity and the inherent rights of Mother Earth and Father Sky, .
From the momentum of “Stand with Standing Rock” many lessons were learned as we looked at the value of our resistance that is rooted in indigenous ceremony and indigenous knowledge. We are carrying that energy forward to provide our communities with the tools they need to build and sustain the power to honor and protect the sacred gifts of life we depend on… not just to survive but to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing climate and environment.
IEN, along with our partners and allies have challenged and taken on the corporations and factions of corrupt governments whose only objective is to dig, cut, burn, drill, and profit with their endless industrial extraction and pollution of Earth’s natural systems and what many Indigenous Peoples call the “Circle of Life.”
Now is the time to break this cycle; this cycle of governments and corporations privatizing, commodifying and enslaving nature as property, including the very air we breathe. The powers that be have found ways to exact a price on everything from the privatization of water to carbon trading, carbon pricing and offset mechanisms, and profit from these false solutions to climate change, including techno-fixes that elevates disaster capitalism to new and terrifying heights.
IEN speaks for those who have long been forced to be silent as we suffer from the exponential expansion of economic globalization that has given rise to consolidation of control that threatens our ecosystems, food sovereignty, economic stability, Indigenous rights, rights of future generations and of Mother Earth.
We acknowledge a statement made at a climate change meeting in 1998 by Indigenous Peoples of the United States attended by Tribal Nations, grassroots and spiritual leaders, that clearly articulated: “The Creator has entrusted us a sacred responsibility to protect and care for the land and all of life, as well as to safeguard its well being for future generations to come”.
During this last year we have added to our staff, welcomed new partners and allies, and accepted the challenge to strengthen our base, grow our network and build the movement. Looking back, we’ve continued to build on the momentum from our Keep It In the Ground direct actions with the Just Transition campaign and Regenerative Community Loan Fund. We added an innovative grassroots feminist movement, which has fostered greater unity with the grounding influence of Indigenous women. We are thankful for the clarity and substantive success of the multicultural allied movement, It Takes Roots. Led by Indigenous Peoples, Peoples of Color, women, and the gender oppressed, ITR has fostered collaborative strength around the shared vision of systems change that will help eliminate the oppressive policies of environmental, housing, climate, economic, and social injustice.
We’ve bid farewell to others as they take on new challenges in service of their Tribal Nations and to their personal visions and dreams.
In this edition of IEN’s email newsletter, we’ve put together a short recap of the highlights of the last year (below). Many of you have joined us in the marches and actions, conferences and gatherings, workshops, either in person or with your generous donations. Everything we’ve been able to accomplish in 2018 and in the previous 27 years has been due in large part to your attention and dedication to our mission and goals.
At this time, we humbly ask for your continued support so that we can continue fighting for Indigenous rights, for environmental and economic justice, for climate and social justice, food sovereignty and Just Transition. If you are able, you can make a secure year-end, tax deductible donation here.
If you aren’t able to make a monetary donation at this time there are other ways in which you can contribute that are welcome and needed as well. You can join the conversation and share our posts on IEN’s Facebook and our companion Indigenous Rising Media Facebook pages, follow, RT and comment at Twitter, view and like our Instagram images, and read and share our stories and op-eds on Medium. Share this newsletter with family and friends and encourage them to signup for monthly updates from us.
For EVERYONE who has already donated these last few months we can’t thank you enough! Our gratitude for your generosity goes far beyond the largely inadequate words of Thank you. We do what we do for the well-being of the Next Seven Generations.
May the new year bring health and well being to you and yours,
Tom BK Goldtooth