We, the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, an Indigenous, women-led organization write this statement in solidarity with our Black relatives and in support of the movement for Black Liberation , and against police brutality. We are co-founded and led by the original stewards of 1 the land we live on, and are made up of an inter-tribal community of urban Indigenous people in the territory of Huichin/Oakland.
We live in a country founded on genocide and slavery, built on stolen land, and stolen lives. We share the grief of displacement from our ancestral lands, the theft of our languages and cultures, the loss of our children, and the intergenerational trauma caused by extractive 2 companies and governments. Black and Indigenous peoples share a deep wound from these 3 foundational violations. In resistance to these atrocities, Sogorea Te’ calls on us all to heal from the legacies of colonialism and genocide, to remember different ways of living, and to do the work that our ancestors and future generations are calling us to do.
We recognize the distinct role of police and prisons in growing and enforcing the violence of colonial and capitalist goals. These systems are born directly from slavery and do little to address real safety in our communities. We call for the immediate defunding and 4 abolition of police and prisons across the country. There was a time before police and prisons; 5 and the process of rematriation, coming back into sacred relationship, is not possible without abolition. Our struggles for justice and freedom are braided together, and we must support our Black relatives in their movement for justice.
Black lives matter globally, and the police state is a function of colonization and 6 imperialism. The state sanctioned violence we see happening in the so-called United States also 7 happens to our Black relatives in Brazil, Haiti, Sudan, West Papua, and across Mother Earth. We recognize and honor the struggle of all our Black and Afro-Indigenous relatives across the world in this global Intifada (uprising).
We commit to continue to build and work with Black-led land and food projects, to listen to and collaborate with Black leadership, to weave Black and Indigenous collaborations through our social fabrics and projects. We acknowledge that Indigenous communities have much work to do in regards to our own anti-Blackness. We continue to commit to dismantling colonial 8 ideologies within our work and ourselves and interrupt anti-Blackness in our communities.
One way to support this movement is through direct funds to Black-led frontline work by donating to collaborators and allies. Other ways to support and engage building justice includes educating yourself, having conversations with your families and neighbors, contributing a skill you have to a support action, leveraging any resources or land you have access to, and following and sharing Black-led justice projects, news, art, and research.
Now is the time for our community to come together to plant the seeds for a new world, in the ashes of the old. We strongly believe that another world is possible and we can cultivate it together.
Black life is sacred. Protect Black life. Protect the sacred.
Support Black-led and Black-focused projects. Support Black Businesses. Support Black Mothers. Support Black Families. Support Black Schools. Support Black Community. Support Black Joy. SupportJustice for Black Lives.
Collectively written by Sogorea Te’ Land Trust in May 2020.
1 The act of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression
2 A psychological term that means trauma can be transferred in between generations
3 Of or involving extraction, especially the extensive extraction of natural resources
4 Redirection of funds towards public and social community services such as public schools
5 Ending a system; taking down the police and prison systems
6 A totalitarian state controlled by a political police force that secretly supervises the citizens’ activities
7 A modern-day manifestation to deep historical roots of government serving racism, as it has since the founding of the nation, illustrating the government’s power to carry out a violent agenda, specifically targeting communities of color
8 To destroy the integrity or functioning of a system