Truthsgiving 2020 Digital Celebration
Time & Location
About the Event
Register at: bit.ly/Truthsgiving2020
Reject colonial holidays that perpetuate dangerous stereotypes and whitewashed history. Celebrate Truthsgiving with Indigenous Peoples and allies across the midwest and join us for an online webinar to celebrate the truth--real history and real solutions for issues we face today.
There are many colonial mythologies about Indigenous Peoples and the founding of America. Thanksgiving is one of them, however, in the words of Wamsutta Frank James, Wampanoag, “the Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors, and stolen their corn, wheat, and beans.” The truth is that real history has been whitewashed and that Thanksgiving perpetuates white supremacy and romanticized notions about North American Indigenous Peoples.
To celebrate the current Thanksgiving mythology is to celebrate land theft through ethnic cleansing and enslavement. It is masked recognition that this country was founded on the actions of generations of settler-vigilantes and colonial-militias who depended on the genocide of Native American Indigenous Peoples and the enslavement of African Peoples to steal land, the legacy of which is still felt today.
Webinar Panelists include:
Dr. Damita Brown
Dr. Damita Brown is a community based educator specializing in racial justice work who has been teaching leadership, anti-racism and allyship workshops for over 12 years. She holds a doctorate in History of Consciousness and has taught youth who are incarcerated as well as at the college level. Using contemplative practices, creative process work and transformative justice, her approach addresses deep patterns of harm at the institutional, interpersonal and personal levels. Currently Dr. Brown serves as the Restorative Justice Director at the Dane County TimeBank. She is the lead teacher for the Community Lab for Intentional Practice, a space where people interested in unlearning racism can connect with others for resources, practice space and instruction in techniques for dismantling oppression in a supportive and compassionate environment.
I am currently partnering with Vote Mob as the Iowa Field Coordinator to encourage long-term BIPOC partnerships in the State of Iowa. I have collaborated with different individuals and organizations on other initiatives such as the Urban Native Emergency COVID-19 Fundraiser, Climate Crisis Unity Parade, and various runs for #MMIW (#MMIR because our male relatives matter too!) and other causes. I currently sit on the Community Action Agency Board of Directors, Urban Native Center’s Board, Native American Advisory Board (partnership created with the Sioux City Police Department to better relations with the Native community), and Black Elk Native American Center.
Ronnie James is an Indigenous activist and organizer in Des Moines, Iowa. He currently organizes with The Great Plains Action Society and Des Moines Mutual Aid, in addition to being a father and a pre-law student. He is involved in many Mutual Aid projects centered around food insecurity, racial and economic justice, and our houseless relatives. He has many years of boots on the ground grassroots organizing experience, all informed from an Indigenous and anti-capitalist perspective. Ronnie is pursuing a law degree to further these goals and believes that by having a law license he will be able to effectively protect the vulnerable and support the courageous.
Mysti Babineau, citizen of Red Lake, is a survivor and activist working in community to take awareness and combat the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives in the occupied Dakota and Anishinaabe territory currently known as Minnesota.
Sikowis (Christine Nobiss)
Sikowis is is Plains Cree-Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is a mother of three, and the founder of Great Plains Action Society and Little Creek Camp and has titled herself a Decolonizer. She has a MA in Native American Religious Studies and a graduate minor in Native American Indian Studies from the University of Iowa and has been living in Iowa City for 15 years. Sikowis believes that Indigenous sovereignty and knowledge are ways to decolonize both people and the colonial-capitalist economy. She has spearheaded many actions, events, and campaigns such as a resistance camp to the Dakota Access Pipeline (Little Creek Camp), Indigenous@SOCAP, the first Iowa based Indigenous political engagement summit, the removal of white supremacist monuments in Iowa, and the concept of Truthsgiving.