Honoring Indigenous Peoples’ Day

“I would like to see the day when the tribal council has a real say in the makeup of a tribal budget — not just an approval after the fact, not just the right to come begging for this-or-that but the right to say: This is my money, this is my heritage, this is my land.”
Sargent Shriver |Scottsdale, AZ| November 5, 1965

Our Quote of the Week has been chosen in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Acknowledging our country’s history of violence and oppression towards our Native American siblings is an important step towards achieving equal justice and opportunity for them and for all of us.

In 1965, Sargent Shriver gave an address at the National Conference of American Indians in Scottsdale, Arizona. Speaking about the importance of the War on Poverty programs for the local Papago, Navajo, and Havasupi peoples, and for all Indigenous peoples, he demonstrates the true power of the programs for communities that implemented them: to engender community action, economic opportunity, and self-determination.

Today, Indigenous communities continue to suffer from economic and health disparities relative to the general population, and they continue to see the same assaults on their lands that have for centuries resulted in displacement and environmental degradation. It is up to all of us to understand how our collective actions have caused these disparities over time. On this Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we invite you to take a little time to learn more about the history of the people who originally inhabited the area where you live. Acknowledging and honoring the history of our Native American siblings is a gesture of reconciliation that can help reinforce our collective commitment to justice.

We at SSPI acknowledge that we live and operate on the lands of the Lenape peoples, who were forced out of New York by the Dutch in the 1600s. May we honor this land we call home and all its inhabitants, and may we continue to work together for justice and opportunity for our Indigenous siblings and for all who have been violated and oppressed.

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Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.
Sargent Shriver
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