The end ideal is to harness the energy and create a spiritual revolution
that would follow the example and leadership of our First/American Indian Tribes/Nations
in preserving human rights as a species imperative and
in protecting, healing, restoring and honoring the Earth,
on which we all rely for our very existence.
These teams will (including, but not limited to):
- work to educate, inform and motivate the greater faith community to work with various Tribes and Nations around the region in supporting their struggles to protect sacred lands, treaty rights and their cultures;
- match their activities to the specific needs of the Tribes and Nations in their locality who are willing to participate;
- work to provide general education, assistance and resources even if Tribes or Nations are unable to participate or not situated in a locality where a Team wants to be active;
- provide a justice movement model that can be used elsewhere nationally or internationally.
Team activities could and would conduct the following types of activities either creating or providing support for the creation of (including but not limited to):
- Research developing/create a leadership council specific to First/American Indian issues and challenges
- Enhance or develop solidarity networks within individual denominations;
- Enhance or develop solidarity networks within the greater faith community on local, state and regional levels;
- Enhance or develop ally networks with environmental and social justice organizations on local, state and regional levels;
- Develop leadership training programs, based on individual faith belief systems (e.g. training workshops for UUMA). There are some curriculums and presentation materials that are already in existence and it may be that they can be reviewed and modify to work for our purposes;
- Develop leadership training programs for those willing to work with the greater faith community. There are some curriculums and presentation materials that are already in existence and it may be that they can be reviewed and modify to work for our purposes such as the Seeking Right Relations curriculum by Friends;
- Develop curriculum for educating youth (e.g. religious education workshops) based on individual faith belief systems. There are some curriculums and presentation materials that are already in existence and it may be that they can be reviewed and modify to work for our purposes such as HonorWorks;
- Develop curriculum for educating congregational members or open to interfaith groups on issues concerning spirituality and the Earth, First/American Indian Nations issues. There are some curriculums and presentations that are alredy in existence and it may be that they can be reviewed and modified to work for our purposes such as Earth Ministry’s Care for Creation curriculum;
- Create social media projects to educate and inform (videos, blogs, etc.). These could be made available on the NW UU Justice Network and/or create their own.
- Establish networks with local Tribes and Nations willing to participate. This would necessitate researching the region and determining which Tribes/Nations are where (what their land base is historically if possible, but at least contemporary), their statuses as Tribes and/or Nations, their leadership, making connections, to some extent understanding the immediate issues and challenges they are facing, etc.
- Support Tribes and Nations with conferences, demonstrations, presentations and other identified needs. This would include supporting such events as the Totem Pole Journey.
- Pursue incorporation of indigenous issues, challenges and worldviews into spiritual practices based on individual beliefs systems or collaborative interfaith efforts
- Lobbying, as a faith community, local, state and federal representatives. Example: Teams could go to speak to WA state representatives on Native American Lobby Day, Interfaith Advocacy Day, Environment Lobby days, etc. This would also include letter-writing campaigns to local, state, federal and international legislative representatives and agencies.
- Organize faith and interfaith actions by themselves or in conjunction with other actions such as Earth Day events, Indigenous Peoples Day events, Native American Heritage Awareness Month, climate justice actions, or other environmental/social justice group actions (350.org, Idle No More, Rising Tide, etc.).
- Develop interfaith educational programs and congregational/denominational actions based upon various general issues such as institutionalized racism and it’s impacts on F/AI Nations, repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery, federal laws and policies, treaties rights, local and regional histories of indigenous peoples-cultural and political, etc. This would require some work with Tribal partners if available and willing.
The Teams would be developed based on needs and resources. Some teams c/would be within a UU congregation similar to that of BUF’s Native American Connections Team, working within their congregation and with a local F/AI Tribe/Nation to educate, inform and create/participate in F/AI issue actions. Some teams c/would expand to include other faith area groups, such as the Lummi Interfaith group. These teams would be comprised of representatives of different local faith groups to educate, inform and create/participate in F/AI issue actions within a given community. Some teams could be State-based either on a UU only level or an interfaith level, working with F/AI issues within a given State. There is hope to build a regional team on a UU and/or interfaith level that would work on F/AI issues on a regional level.