Frank Waln (@FrankWaln) is a Sicangu Lakota hip-hop artist. Waln talks about the history of genocide in the U.S., encountering racist stereotypes, and how his music provides positive representation. Waln remembers a prophecy that says his generation will suffer greatly but also bring healing and cultural revival.
Tommy Pico (@heyteebs) remembers missing and murdered Indigenous women in his poetry, pointing out that he never hears about them on the news.
The National Crime Information Center reported in 2016 that there were 5,712 reports of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls, and the Department of Justice recorded only 116 cases. The number 5,712 is undoubtedly an undercount due to structural violence making it extremely difficult to collect information.
In 2017, the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI), a tribal epidemiology center, discovered 506 unique cases of missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls while assessing the number and dynamics of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in a study of urban cities across the United States.
To learn more about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, please read this report.
5,712 — cases of MMIGW reported in 2016
29 — the median age of MMIGW victims
Murder — the 3rd-leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native Women
Information from the Urban Indian Health Institute
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, the author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, and educator and activist Nikkita Oliver have a conversation about the United States' long history of settler-colonialism and policies of genocide at a town hall in Seattle. They discuss An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People, which is a comprehensive adaptation of the first edition that was re-structured for middle-grade and young adult readers. Understanding the history of what is now called the United States is a step toward understanding how the United States is still trying to crush Indigenous Peoples' sovereignty. Once people know how they are complicit in the violence going on in their country, they can start resisting.
When Canada and the United States realized that for Indigenous Peoples remembering their culture, their language, and their ways of life kept their communities strong, they sought to destroy those memories by forcefully taking First Nations' and Indigenous Peoples' children and placing them in residential schools where they were abused and many children died. Dr. Jeanette Armstrong explains the intergenerational legacies of Residential Schools.
Ron Nyce, a survivor of a residential school, tells his story of being taken from home with his siblings and being in the school for five years. Nyce explains that after years of being banned from speaking his first language, the children began to forget the language.
Calina Lawrence, a citizen of the Suquamish Nation, is an Independent Indigenous musician who remembers, lives, and celebrates her ancestral culture. Her album EPICENTER was released in 2018 and her 2019 single “ʔəshəliʔ ti txʷəlšucid” is written and performed entirely in the Lushootseed Language. You can get involved by learning more about the Suquamish Nation and donating to the Suquamish Foundation.