At the recent movie night, it was a treat to watch Gather with Ann, who has been traveling to San Carlos Apache land for several years. Ann was able to teach us the Western Apache word for "thank you" (Ahéhe’e) and help us understand some of the geography covered in the film. Ann shared this map that she got from her Apache history teacher Kathy Kitcheyan. Ann said, "It seems important, and I don't see it out in the web-sphere at all. She presented it in a presentation to Congress asking for funds."
Twila Cassadore, one of the featured food sovereignty advocates in the film, is San Carlos Apache. In a recent interview about her experiences with the film, Twila Cassadore said:
"My healing process began when my relatives would take me out to go hunt and gather, to go back to the land again. And there was a reason I did disconnect, but reconnecting was through food, and healing was through harvesting and collecting and being out there with nature and with my relatives. And I'm not talking about people in sense. I'm talking about relatives, my plant relatives, the birds, the animals, the trees. Every part of the land is our relative. And as people, we do not acknowledge them today. We leave them out of the conversation. When we're talking about sovereignty, we don't include them. So we're always in a closed setting where we don't acknowledge them. Acknowledging them is very key and my point of healing, and knowing they are also related to me and they can help me heal. And I can help part of life heal also, using that knowledge."
Susan, one Friend who has seen the film, is sharing this message with Memphis Friends on behalf of the Racial Justice Working Group:
While many Friends will be celebrating Thanksgiving this month, many Indigenous People will be observing:
NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING
Each year on the fourth Thursday in November recognizes the National Day of Mourning. The observance is an opportunity to reflect on Native American heritage and the role Thanksgiving played in the lives of their ancestors.
The organizers of this observance consider Thanksgiving Day as a continued reminder of the democide and suffering of Native American people. Since 1970, participants in the National Day of Mourning have honored Native ancestors and their struggles to survive today. Part of the mission behind the event is to educate Americans about the history of Thanksgiving.
Organized by United American Indians of New England (UAINE) during a period of Native American activism, the march has brought about revisions in the depiction of United States history and government and settler relationships with Native American peoples as well as a renewed appreciation for their culture.
The ad hoc working group for racial justice recommends we discover which Indigenous People lived on the land where our individual celebrations will take place this year. You can do this at:
We also offer some resources and some films you might want to check into this week:
On the home page of https://www.firstnations.org/ attention is drawn to the film Gather recently discussed at our last Racial Justice Movie Night. This 1 hr 14 min documentary takes a close look at Indigenous American movements that aim to rediscover identity and reclaim sovereignty through ancestral foods. You can view it on Netflix.
A shocking and thoughtful new 9 min film produced by the Upstander Project called Bounty is available for live-streaming now. There were 69 government-issued scalp bounties across the Dawnland from 1675 to 1760. Bounty is a filmic testimony of the immeasurable resistance and survivance of Indigenous Peoples. It’s a little hard to find on its website, But here’s how,
- Go to https://www.bountyfilm.org/
- Don’t try to read the words.
- Scroll way down past the first video and lots else to the video with a picture of a room in a Boston statehouse that says Watch Bounty Now Streaming.
- Click on the word Bounty to start the film.
Finally we recommend a 1 hour film premiering on PBS’s Independent Lens at 8 pm on Tuesday, November 23: Home from School: The Children of Carlisle, a well known Indian Boarding School.
Let us open our hearts to our often lost or hidden American history.