Native Arts and Cultures Foundation mourns the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and the many others throughout history who have lost their lives unjustly to racist human violence. Black Lives Matter. We stand with Black communities in their struggle for equality and justice. Our indigenous cultural ways teach us that we are all relatives, and remind us that one day all peoples, no matter race, culture, or any other social construct, will rise together in unity.
For more than a decade, the work of NACF has been honoring and celebrating the practice and power of Native arts and cultures. We have partnered with Native artists and culture bearers whose arts practice focused on uplifting and changing the narrative about Native peoples in this country. We are dedicating the next ten years to social, cultural, and environmental change through Native arts and collaboration.
We at NACF desire justice for our Black relatives. We desire justice for Native peoples and all peoples who have been historically traumatized based on race and ethnicity. Everyone deserves equal access to a full, vibrant life, which is essential to a healthy and just society. Everyone deserves governance and institutions that operate fairly, based on principles that uphold equity, compassion, and truth.
Because we believe in action to fulfill the conviction of our words, we commit to the following:
- Support at least one artistic collaboration that speaks to the multiple identities of Native peoples, including those who also identify as Black
- Invite and support Black artists and cultural leaders to participate in our NACF convening in 2021
- Collaborate on a webinar with Black and Native artists to discuss their work and ways they are working together on shared interests
- Develop further understanding of Black liberation and culture, and its relation to Native issues by familiarizing ourselves with the work of Black authors who are writing about relevant topics
- Engage in advocacy with Black and other people of color (POC) locally and/or nationally on mutual concerns and interests
Arts and creativity are one of the most powerful ways to foster empathy and understanding, promote cultural resilience and diverse experiences, and provoke us to greater transformation. They inspire us to become better human beings. These benefits guide all of our work at NACF. We will continue strengthening our efforts with Native artists and communities and strive with Black and POC relatives to secure a more just society.