Grantee Spotlight: Following Indigenous Leaders
Image credit: Indigenous Environmental Network
“I commit to doing all I can to protect the sovereignty and autonomy of my body and those of my community. As an Apache and Pueblo parent whose ancestors have been here since time immemorial and paid with their lives to protect our resources and our cultures, I am here to ensure that as we build power, we do it with love for our communities, our families, and ourselves.”
– Malia Luarkie, Co-Founder of Indigenous Women Rising
In celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we uplift and honor the work of Indigenous organizers across the country. We see and recognize all that Native leaders and organizations are doing to build a just and abundant future, and we stand in support and partnership. Today we’d like to highlight the work of three of our Indigenous-led grantees, who are working at the intersections of body sovereignty, sustainability, cultural preservation, and community support.
Indigenous Environmental Network
“To reclaim our future, we must change the present.”
The Indigenous Environmental Network was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples to address environmental and economic justice issues. They build the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to protect sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health, and to build economically sustainable communities through campaigns and direct action.
The Indigenous Environmental Network is currently working on major direct actions to bring an end to the fossil fuel era. They are marching on the White House with a coalition of hundreds of Indigenous, climate, and social justice organizations to push President Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop all new fossil fuel projects and are continuing their resistance against Line 3.
- Watch their video calling for supporters to join them in five days of action in Washington, DC, starting on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, October 11, 2021.
- Watch their call to action against Line 3.
Indigenous Women Rising
“We protect each other out of necessity. We do our work out of love for our people and families.”
Indigenous Women Rising is committed to honoring Native and Indigenous people’s inherent right to equitable and culturally safe health options through accessible health education, resources, and advocacy. Indigenous people face many barriers to accessing abortions and, too often, are not provided adequate, quality, or culturally sensitive care in hospital settings. Indigenous Women Rising provides help with the cost of abortions, food, gas, and childcare, as well as access to doulas and other quality medical care. They create space for Indigenous people to tell their stories on their terms as acts of resistance, self-love, and love for their ancestors and family.
Indigenous Women Rising recently added two new staff to their team to expand their abortion and midwifery work. They are also looking to extend and digitalize their sex education curriculum.
- Watch their co-founders Cole Martin and Rachael Lorenzo talk about their work, why they started the organization, and what support they need.
- “What I do is dangerous.” Watch their co-founder Cole Martin’s speech at the New Mexico Women’s March.
Grand Caillou/Dulac Band Of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw
“Honoring our history. Preserving our culture. Protecting our future.”
The Grand Caillou/Dulac Band tribal peoples have been living in their ancestral traditional village of Grand Caillou/Dulac along the Louisiana Gulf Coast for centuries. They still live off the water and the land, but their tribe is in serious crisis due to oil and gas exploration, erosion, saltwater intrusion, and climate change. They are working to protect ancestral lands from climate change and extractive practices, increase tribal resilience, and support community rebuilding and assistance in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
- Read about the effects of climate change on the land and ways of life of the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band and other tribes (before Hurricane Ida).
WDN is following Indigenous leadership, trusting Native organizers, and investing in BIPOC organizations as we move towards justice, abundance, and freedom. In the words of Julia Fay Bernal, Director of Pueblo Action Alliance:
“Thank you for showing up, continue to show up forever.”