Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Decolonizing Our Work for Justice: Join the UU College of Social Justice and Lummi Nation for a Program on Indigenous Rights & Climate Justice, April 25-May 1 

“Whose land do you live on?”

It’s an uncomfortable question for those of us known as “settlers,” and one that we do not regularly have to face. Last year, as part of the UU College of Social Justice’s “Solidarity with Original Nations and Peoples” program, I had gone in considering myself someone whose eyes were open to the injustices done to the original peoples of the United States. As I stood on the rocky shorefront of the Salish Sea, listening to Lummi organizer Freddie Lane explain the history of this sacred site under threat, I realized that my knowledge barely scratched the surface.

I did not know that Federally Unrecognized Tribes lack government acknowledgement only because they never signed a treaty with the United States and they were never conquered. I did not know that the U.S. military’s very origins were in the domination and genocide of the original people of this continent. And I did not know the scale of the determination, cultural pride, creativity, and hospitality that I would find among the Lummi leaders and organizers that invited us onto their sovereign Nation.

Today, one of the most urgent challenges the Lummi people face is the struggle to prevent construction of an immense coal terminal on their sacred land at Cherry Point. Designed to facilitate export of some of the dirtiest fossil fuels, such a terminal—and the multiple rail lines serving it—would be disastrous to the land, water, and culture of the people who have lived there for thousands of years.

The UU College of Social Justice’s second annual journey, “Solidarity With Original Nations and People”[AK1] , taking place from April 25-May 1 will not only introduce participants to this specific justice struggle; it will also empower us all to return to our own locations and look with new eyes on the history of the towns and cities where we live, and to find new pathways to solidarity with First Nations across the continent.

As Unitarian Universalists we have demonstrated our ongoing support for the Lummi Nation’s struggle to preserve Cherry Point. Lummi Nation Council member Jay Julius and Master Carver Jewell James spoke to a crowd of over 2,500 at last year’s Public Witness[AK2]  at General Assembly in Portland, hundreds of us wrote to President Obama asking him to block the Gateway Pacific Terminal, and through Faithify[HH3]  we raised nearly $14,000 to for the Lummi Nation’s totem pole journey[HH4]  for climate justice and building solidarity among tribes along the coal train route.

By asking “Whose land do you live on?” instead of “Who were the Native Americans who originally lived in your city or state?”—which places First Nations peoples in the past—I am learning to decolonize the question, and my work for justice. I hope you will join me.

Please register now [AK5] for this powerful program. Registration closes February 21.

Hannah Hafter
Senior Program Leader for Activism
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

 [AK1]Hyperlink to http://uucsj.org/lummi/
 [AK2]Insert hyperlink to http://www.commit2respond.org/lummi
 [HH3]Hyperlink to www.faithify.org
 [HH4]Insert hyperlink to http://www.commit2respond.org/totem_pole_journey
 [AK5]Add hyperlink to http://uucsj.org/lummi/

Monday, February 15, 2016

Tom Goldtooth at Lummi!

4:44 pm: 'THE EARTH IS ALIVE' SCREENING 29min. Documentary Video that was presented in Paris

5:13 pm: DINNER Welcoming • Table Song Blessing • Dinner

6:24 pm: WITNESSES & WORK Calling of Witnesses • Explaination of evening events/schedule

Lummi Youth Ambassadors Presentations of their visit to COP21 • Paris, France • UN World Conference on Climate Change • Slideshow • Video • Lummi Youth Ambassadors • Matthew Jefferson • Teralynn Gaona • Nickolasa Revey • Richard Jefferson • Ashlee Lucero • Alexa Jefferson • Alex Phair • Miko Hillaire • Salena Phair Wilson • Kia George • Freddie Lane • Deborah Parker • Becky Kinley • Derek Kawakone • Angela Gaona-Turner • Darrell Hillaire (Producer: The Earth is Alive) 

7:22 pm: INDIGENOUS ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK, Key Note Address: Tom Goldtooth, IEN Executive Director

8:02 pm: Welcoming attendees to share Testimony, Love & Questions to Tom Goldtooth

8:31 pm: WITNESSES share their words of what they witnessed tonight


FYI: Tom Goldtooth keynote address at the Indigenous Climate Justice Symposium, November 5, 2015, “The Paris Climate Accord: Will it be a Crime Against Humanity and Mother Earth?” Speaks about the upcoming COP21 talks in Paris in December. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nux4xpVDDlQ  This is a long, almost 2 hours, but the most powerful presentation about instructions given to Native Peoples and how they are connected to the earth as related to Climate and Global Warming and how they want to FLIP the discussion about it. MOVEMENT OF INDIGENOUS RESISTANCE

Tom was co-awarded the Gandhi Peace Award in 2015.  Award recipients in other years have been: Bill McKibben, Amy Goodman, Dennis Kucinich, Ramsey Clark, George McGovern, Marian Wright Edelman, Cesar Chavezetc..  The first award in 1960 was awarded to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Report Update on the Unist'ot'en Camp!

February 11, 2016 
BUF Sanctuary, 7-9 pm

Come out and hear from a crew of young folks from Bellingham who spent part of this past December at the Unist'ot'en camp, a reoccupation of unceded Unist'ot'en territory in northern B.C. that is blocking the construction of multiple fracked gas and tar sands pipelines. 

The event will include short videos about the Unist'ot'en Camp, testimony and photos about our expierences and what we learned while at the camp, and a discussion of how people in Bellingham can support this incredible frontline resistance to ongoing colonialism and fossil fuel development. 

If you are interested in going up to the camp yourself this will be an event you won't want to miss. We will be discussing logistics for how people can get up there this spring.

There will be a passing of the hat to raise at the event to raise funds for the camp.

People are NOT expected to donate to attend the event.

However if you are able to contribute please consider bringing cash or a checkbook help sustain the amazing work that is happening at the Unistoten Camp. The camp relies on grassroots donations and doesn't get any money from NGOs or Government.