While it is important to have respect for that which distinguishes us from one another, it is equally important that we find a way to focus on that which binds us in common as children of the Creator—as fellow human beings, as global citizens, as citizens of this great democratic experiment who are all deserved of human rights, equal opportunity, dignity, and respect. In doing so, we will begin to move beyond the “other” mentality that separates and divides us and remember that we are all related. We must move beyond the ignorance that resides within narrow mindedness of one’s limited understanding of the world and humanity, as we seek out our truth. We must no longer allow for loving and innocent hearts and minds to be corrupted with hate, greed, and intolerance. We must inspire and encourage empathy and compassion. In doing so, we will discover that we are part of something larger, something greater than ourselves. Today, we find ourselves at a crossroads in our democratic experiment. This is the moment where the experiment fails and disintegrates, or the moment that we will ultimately forge ahead stronger. As part of our continued evolution as a country, as a people, the time has arrived for an awakening, or reawakening, of consciousness and morality.
"There's nothing left...It's just a burned shell": MIGIZI, a sacred space supporting Native youth in #TwinCities, suffered major damage during #GeorgeFloyd protests in #Minneapolis. Kevin Abourezk @Kevin_Abourezk was on the ground on May 30, 2020. #NativeLivesMatter #Minnesota pic.twitter.com/eciPoyg3q4— indianz.com (@indianz) May 30, 2020
Until we all see a bit of ourselves in each other, until we share a common understanding of our journey as a nation, until we find common ground in our dreams and aspirations, we will continue to be misled and defined by our fears and selfish interests. We will continue to turn a blind eye to the ills of our society by standing in silence. We will continue to see those not like us as others. And we will continue to justify, rationalize, and participate in that which separates and divides. The opportunity is now for us all to commit ourselves to be agents of healing and change to ensure that the path we choose at this fork in the road will lead us to greatness, which fundamentally includes true unity and justice for all. We must all take a firmer stand on the ground of righteousness, reverence, respect, and regard for all of humanity. It is up to each and every one of us to prove to the world, to prove to our Creator, that we have not lost our collective soul as a society, that we are not morally bankrupt.
"They're killing us": The killing of #GeorgeFloyd by police officers has set off a firestorm in the Twin Cities of #Minnesota, home to a large urban Indian community whose cultural, social and economic institutions are being threatened. #NativeLivesMatterhttps://t.co/BHCaPYnPo4— indianz.com (@indianz) May 29, 2020
We are better than what we have been and have the potential to be so much better. We must harness this time of challenge and upheaval in our nation to achieve truth and reconciliation with the stains on its character and integrity. Only then can we forge ahead together as a united people by removing the many ills of injustice that continue to impede our ability to achieve the ideals and principles we set forth so many years ago. As stated by the Reverend Martin Luther King, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” Now is the time to end the delay and denial. Now is the moment to make the right choice.
Kevin Abourezk @Kevin_Abourezk is LIVE in #Minneapolis as crowds continue to gather at the place where George Floyd was killed by police officers. #GeorgeFloyd #NativeLivesMatterhttps://t.co/cy12ZG5Ywj pic.twitter.com/4r5cxZHiFK— indianz.com (@indianz) May 31, 2020
Established in 2014, the USET Sovereignty Protection Fund (USET SPF) is a non-profit, inter-Tribal organization representing 30 federally-recognized Tribal Nations from the Northeastern Woodlands to the Everglades and across the Gulf of Mexico. USET SPF is dedicated to promoting, protecting, and advancing the inherent sovereign rights and authorities of Tribal Nations while assisting its membership in dealing effectively with public policy issues and serving the broad needs of Indian people.