August 9, 2021

Witness to the Climate Crisis: It is Time to ‘Draw the Line’

In this guest blog post, Indigenous ethnobotanist Rosalyn LaPier (Blackfeet/Métis), Ph.D. shares her observations, as a traveler on the Red Road to DC journey, on how the climate emergency is impacting Indigenous sacred places, and the need for urgent action. “What stands out most from the journey for me is the visceral, first hand experience of climate chaos happening right now on Indigenous lands and Indigenous peoples’ collective cry for action. It is time to ‘draw the line.’”

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Standing Rock July 24, 2021

The Sacred Remains: Desecration & Resilience at Standing Rock

This video features conflicting perspectives on the Dakota Access Pipeline’s impact to cultural and sacred sites from the State of North Dakota’s Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Historic Preservation Officer (THPO). Their conflict–relevant to the Tribe’s ongoing lawsuit challenging the pipeline–illuminates some of the deeper tensions at play in struggles to protect … Read Update

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July 20, 2021

Video: From the Ancestors to the Grandchildren

This video is featured in an exhibition about the Lummi totem pole journeys, on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Narrated by Phreddie Lane of the Lummi Nation, the video provides some context on what the red line, or Red Road, references.

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June 22, 2021

Washington Post on the Red Road to DC

From the Washington Post: “For master carver Jewell “Praying Wolf” James, a Lummi Nation citizen, the totem pole is “a reminder of the promises that were made to the first peoples of this land and waters.” He said he hopes that people will “share in their responsibility to safeguard the sacred sources of life — Earth, water and sky.”

“It’s going to carry the spirit of the land it visits and the power and prayers of the people along the way to the symbolic heart of the nation,” said Beka Economopoulos, Director of The Natural History Museum in Washington State. She said keeping the pole in D.C. would make it a “monument to the protection of sacred places and a way of relating to the land.”

Judith LeBlanc, director of the Native Organizers Alliance said bringing the pole to the nation’s capital will encourage national leaders to “recognize what their ancestral responsibilities are.” “We sat nation-to-nation and signed agreements,” LeBlanc said. “We gave up land that mattered in order to receive health care, education and housing. Those treaty rights have been denied all through history.”

LeBlanc said she hopes the White House will “create a whole new reset with tribal nations by bringing us to the table to not just consult, but to come up with solutions” to protect land and water resources on sites sacred to Native Americans.”

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