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.”