Showing posts from December, 2020

“This Is Not Our First Pandemic”: Native Communities‘ Inspiring Ideas for the Post-Pandemic Future

BY   STEPHANIE WOODARD   YES! MAGAZINE, DEC 18, 2020 I n reporting on the transformative thinking Native communities are putting into action in these tumultuous times, I heard time and time again: “This is not our first pandemic.” Since the 1500s, when ever-larger numbers of Europeans began arriving in this hemisphere, disasters have come thick and fast for the First Nations, including tens of millions wiped out within a century by continual waves of unfamiliar diseases—measles, influenza, smallpox, typhus, diphtheria, and more. Village after village stood empty. Enduring shock and grief, the survivors relied on ancient lifeways to support them as new trials arose.  Here, three Indigenous communities share heritage ways to live and care for each other that they have refined during this latest pandemic. The aim now, as ever, is ensuring a safe, sustainable future for their people. The plans meet the tests of both time and extreme adversity. Native people have told me so many times it ha

The 2020 Election—How Native Voters Became the Deciders

Versions of this article appeared on the pages and in a website of  In These Times  magazine in Nov. 2020. T he power of Native voters to decide the 2020 presidential election cannot be overstated, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (D ‑ Kan.), a Ho-Chunk Nation citizen, told the Democratic Party in August 2020. States with sizable Indigenous populations — Arizona, Minnesota and others — were in play, Davids said.    Native Americans are more involved and influential in U.S. elections than is commonly understood — fielding scores of candidates for state and national office, running presidential candidate forums and managing energetic get-out-the-vote campaigns. With around 3.7 million Native people of voting age concentrated in Western states —  and this voting-age population accounting for up to 11% of the electorate in New Mexico, 12% in Oklahoma and 17% in Alas­ka, as tabulated by NCAI — Native voters can dramatically shape election result s.    Tribal backing has helped many candidates to su