We're living in very contradictory times when it comes to food and it's accessibility, especially here in the United States. Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world; America has approximately nineteen million people living in food deserts, with many others residing in areas known as food swamps; both of which deliver a severe and detrimental impact on health and wellness.
The search to discover the truth about Indigenous children who never made it home from Indian Residential Schools in Canada continues. As more unmarked graves of their young relatives are discovered, First Nation communities are at the forefront of pushing for accountability and justice.
If you’re learning about Indian Residential Schools in the U.S. and Canada for the first time; it’s critical you're cognizant of the fact that these systems of colonial violence deliberately inflicted intergenerational trauma on Indigenous communities. Navigating our own lack of knowledge about this type of government-backed, church-led atrocity should not be placed on the shoulders of those who bear its scars.
If we’re committed to being anti-racist and not just an ally (yes, there is a nuanced difference) then we have to engage in a conscious effort to unpack our own racism; eliminating the barriers we unconsciously put up when we're made aware that something we've stated, shared or done is racist.
The Chí’chil Biłdagoteel Historic District, also known as Oak Flat, in Arizona, USA is a sacred site of immense cultural importance to numerous Native Nations who -- over millennia -- have used the area for their traditional ceremonies and medicine gathering. Despite this overwhelming significance to them, it's under threat from being completely destroyed by mining giant, Rio Tinto.
What we say can have a tremendous impact. Words lead to beliefs. Beliefs lead to action. Action leads to change. And change leads to liberation. How we speak to ourselves, the way we talk to others and the thoughts and utterances that we deliver into the world have power.
Words can be powerful. They can uplift, inspire, make us laugh, get us thinking, reveal perspectives unseen, fortify, find common ground — and so much more. Choosing how we speak to ourselves or others, coupled with action that comes from those words, arguably, is one of the most impactful things we can do.
If you live on colonized land, such as the United States, how much do you know about the Indigenous People who are its original custodians? Do you know which tribes and nations resided in your specific area before forced removal? Do you know where they are now? I would take a guess that maybe a lot of you don’t, and that’s something we should all work on to rectify.