The thing about being an Indian person is that you feel most at home with your own people.
The United States – you know, native people are large landowners, but the military has a huge chunk of our territories. And in those, there are a number of places that are our sacred sites.
The first thing I am is a person. I am a woman. And I am part of a nation, the Indian nation. But people either relate to you as an Indian or as a woman. They relate to you as a category. A lot of people don’t realize that I am not that different from everyone else.
America is so accustomed to some depiction of native people that is entirely racist, and there’s a perception that that is okay.
I think of some of my friends who have passed to the spirit world but are who here with me when I go to events and when I walk in my own community. My sisters, Ingred, my sister Marsha, and my sister Nielock. All cofounders of the Indigenous Women’s Network with me. All long time women activists in the native community.
Mother Earth needs us to keep our covenant. We will do this in courts, we will do this on our radio station, and we will commit to our descendants to work hard to protect this land and water for them. Whether you have feet, wings, fins, or roots, we are all in it together.
When I first came to Harvard, I thought to myself, ‘What kind of an Indian am I?’ because I did not grow up on a reservation. But being an Indian is a combination of things. It’s your blood. It’s your spirituality. And it’s fighting for the Indian people.
The reality is, is that the military is full of native nomenclature. That’s what we would call it. You’ve got Black Hawk helicopters, Apache Longbow helicopters. You’ve got Tomahawk missiles. The term used when you leave a military base in a foreign country is to go ‘off the reservation, into Indian Country.’
Native people – about two-thirds of the uranium in the United States is on indigenous lands. On a worldwide scale, about 70 percent of the uranium is either in Aboriginal lands in Australia or up in the Subarctic of Canada, where native people are still fighting uranium mining.
Food sovereignty is an affirmation of who we are as indigenous peoples and a way, one of the most surefooted ways, to restore our relationship with the world around us.