Indigenous Women Rise:
Standing United with (Im)migrant Communities
Increased fear is plaguing the nation's (im)migrant communities as they brace for the possibility of federal agents making arrests under President Donald Trump's Immigration Executive Order. This order targets undocumented foreign nationals in the U.S. In February, more than 680 persons around the country were detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. These raids are designed to send a message, cause wide-spread panic among (im)migrant communities, and divide families. The aftermath of these raids has created high levels of anxiety in many of our communities, especially among children.
As Indigenous women to this land, we stand with those who came to this country to seek refuge and those whose homelands are not defined by colonial settler borders. We rise to remind this Administration and the world that Indigenous Peoples are the original inhabitants of what is now known as the United States and we were the first to greet (im)migrants to the shores of this continent. This country's prosperity relied heavily on the lives of our ancestors. Also, the survival of Indigenous Peoples relied heavily on fearless hearts who prayed and stood up, united and acted, while thinking for the next seven generations. We encourage the (im)migrant community to also stand fearless, draw on the resilience of your ancestors, know your rights and organize.
We also stand to show that our ancestral ties do not recognize borders. Trump's promise to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border directly threatens the ancestral ties that our southern relatives have to these lands since time immemorial. We stand with the Tohono O'odham Nation and oppose the construction of a wall that will cut across 62 miles of this Indigenous nation's territory in Arizona, as well as that of other Indigenous communities along the current border (i.e. Kickapoo, Lipan-Apache, etc.). The building of Trump's wall across the Tohono O'odham Nation's traditional territory proposes to split the tribe's land in both the U.S. and Mexico. It also threatens to sever a social, cultural and economic connection among its people, whose history predates any U.S. boundaries. Moreover, this threatens the United States' obligation to uphold and honor Tohono O'Odham treaty rights.
As Indigenous leaders, Indigenous Women Rise (IWR) supports social justice movements that advance the promotion and protection of civil and human rights, fortify local communities and coordinate resistance nationally or internationally. IWR encourages those who want to take part in other grassroots efforts across the country to visit action.unitedwedream.org to find campaigns that are powered by Indigenous Peoples, (im)migrants, people of color/women of color, and allies determined to reject Trump's hate and to continue honoring and celebrating (im)migrant and refugee resilience and defiance. You can also find a directory of immigration support and protection resources from Equal Voice Action here.
In January, IWR marched alongside our allies in the Women's March on Washington and helped to raise up the voices of not only Indigenous Peoples, but all those who were marching for the protection of our collective rights, safety, health, and families. We ask you now to join us in sisterhood as we march in solidarity with Standing Rock in the Native Nations March this Friday, March 10th in D.C. Help us to show that we will not stand idle while the health and well-being of our communities is under attack. Information about the march can be found here: facebook.com/indigenouswomenrise.
Indigenous Women Rise is a partnership between Advance Native Political Leadership, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Native Voice Network, Native Voices Rising, National Indian Women's Resource Center, Americans for Indian Opportunity, Indigenous Environmental Network, Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas, North American Region, and other key groups and individuals working to advance Indigenous rights and issues.Visit indigenouswomenrise.org for more information.