Becoming a Better Person

Blog by Director of Associate Colette Parker

History will be made on Friday in our nation’s capital when the first-ever Indigenous Peoples March takes place.

The march, organized by the Indigenous Peoples Movement, intends to bring awareness to the injustices affecting Indigenous men, women and children from North, Central and South America; Oceania; Asia; Africa; and the Caribbean.

Organizers plan to raise alarm about human rights violations and the global climate crisis. They plan to lift up a number of issues, including voter suppression, divided families by walls and borders, an environmental holocaust, sex and human trafficking, and police/military brutality”

“Our people are under constant threat, from pipelines, from police, from a system that wants to forget the valuable perspectives we bring to the table,” said Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project.

He continued: “We must remind the world, again, that Indigenous people matter. We are all made better when we respect one another and lift each other up.”

Those words from Chase Iron Eyes got me thinking about what our world would be like if we truly believed that all human beings deserve equal respect because of their innate dignity.

If we really valued human dignity, we would not be plagued by injustice and unfair treatment — there would be no need for grassroots movements (like the Indigenous Peoples Movement) to raise our collective conscience to see those injustices and take action to right the wrongs.

Perhaps what disturbs me the most is that we have to, once again, be reminded that Indigenous people matter.

How many times do we have to be reminded that people of color are just as human as those who benefit from the policies and practices entrenched in established institutions that perpetuate inequity?

When will we truly be awakened to the reality that structural racism is a feature of our social, economic and political systems?

When will we find the courage to be honest and transparent as we dialogue about ways to dismantle the structure that allows injustices and inequities to exist?

Transparency is the first step in building bridges that will lead to a just world where all human beings are valued, appreciated, and embraced.

Like Chase Iron Eyes said: “We are all made better when we respect one another and lift each other up.”

Posted in Associate Blog, News

12 responses to “Becoming a Better Person

  1. Well stated Colette. I was not aware of this march on Friday. It would be wonderful to participate in it.

  2. Colette. Thank you so much. I was totally unaware of this march, of these events. I need to be constantly reminded that I perceive the world through ‘ white’ blinders- especially as I no longer work in more diverse cultures. Keep bringing this to our attention. thanks again
    Maureen Kelly

  3. Thank you so much, Collette! What a different world it
    would be if we just respected each other! We must pray
    on Friday.

  4. Thanks, Colette. The divide and conquer are in all sections, aspects of our society and have been but at least it is getting pushed forward more into our faces now. Denial is becoming harder? Hope so.

  5. Thanks, Colette! This is a really good reminder of how we need to respect one another as part of the human family despite our differences.

  6. Thank you, Colette.
    It’s so easy as an individual to hide behind the words, “But I’m not a racist . . . “ (a perspective still quite open to challenge), and remain willfully oblivious to the huge and persistent issue of structural, systemic racism. Self-justification is a sneaky trap! Thank you for continuing to keep this issue before us in a society that still tends to avoid it.

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