Hey, I’m not native but I am trying to be a better ally. Any tips? –Evangelia
Hey there! Oh, these types of questions make me so happy. 🙂
I love that you want to be a better ally for Natives and there’s a lot of simple ways that you can do that.
Gaining knowledge and experience of other people’s cultures and lifestyles is incredibly important for us as individuals and as a society. It’s important because it teaches us how to better relate, understand, and empathize with the people we share this world with.
Here’s how to be a better ally to American Indian/ Alaska Native people:
- School Yourself – It’s important to learn as much as you can about the tribes you’re around. Keep in mind that every tribe has it’s own culture and history. While there are similarities between tribes and during this century we have come together to fight many battles such as land, human, and sovereign rights, each tribe is uniquely its own. For example, I come from a pueblo tribe in the SW, our history and culture is different from tribes across the rest of Indian Country, Alaska, and Pacific Islanders.You can start by Googling tribes in your area and work out from there. Look for official tribal websites.
- Join the Party! – See if there are any local ways to get involved. You can check to see if your school has a Native American Advisory Club, upcoming tribal or pow-wow events, or Native youth group. It’s best to come with respect as an observer, feel the scene out, then take your cue from there.
- Get Involved – On a national level, a lot of tribes and individuals are putting their energy into fighting the further construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Since the evacuation of the largest camp a couple days ago, it’s important for people to start and keep calling their congressperson. You can also check out Sacred Stone Camp’s website to see how you can get involved. On a local level, see if there are ways you can get involved locally with tribes closest to you.
- Talk to your Native friends – start by talking to your Native friends and see how you can get involved.
Evangelia, we’re stoked to have you on our team! Tell your friends. 🙂