Archived Webinar: Racial Justice in Humanitarian Work Session 2: Indigenous Nations’ Power and Law of the Conquerors

Archived Webinar: Racial Justice in Humanitarian Work Session 2: Indigenous Nations’ Power and Law of the Conquerors

The Racial Justice in Humanitarian Work series, presented by the IRC in Boise, is a large group learning experience, interspersed with small group reflection sessions applying the learnings to our day-to-day work. The sessions study systemic racism in the U.S., histories and lived experiences of people new to the U.S., how each of us fits into those stories individually, and how we can improve our culture of service to refugees and immigrants. Sessions feature a mix of history, reflection, culture panels, and art & music appreciation.

Session 2, hosted on February 19, 2021, focused on three topics: Contemporary Indigenous Nations’ Political Legal, & Economic Power; Many Worlds: Two-Spirited People in Indigenous & LGBTQ+ Movements; and The Importance of Land in Origin Stories. More information and links to recordings of each topic within Session 2 can be found below. 

  • Introduction to the Racial Justice Series: Meet the co-hosts, learn how you can join series planning, and participate in a “Whose Land” activity to identify the indigenous inhabitants of the land on which you live.
  • Contemporary Indigenous Nations’ Political, Legal, & Economic Power: Caj Matheson, Natural Resources Director for the Coeur d’Alene tribe, opens by sharing a traditional Coeur d’Alene tribal oral story about a character named Coyote. Caj discusses the clash of values between indigenous and Western communities and its relationship to colonialism, introduces the Doctrine of Discovery, and presents the ways in which the Coeur d’Alene Tribe has enacted change through exercising political and economic prowess. 
  • Many Worlds: Two-Spirited People in Indigenous & LGBTQ+ Movements: Clyde Hall, of the Shoshone-Metis tribe, was the first public defender of the tribal court, and is a long-time advocate of the rights of Two-Spirited People, a term he helped to create to celebrate native gay people. Shadi Ismail, originally from Syria, experienced oppression for being a gay man in his home country. He came to Idaho through the refugee resettlement program and has connected with his new home through storytelling and community building. Their conversation covers a wide range of topics including tribal land, tribal code and law, the gay rights movement, spirituality, native language, patriotism, and authenticity and identity.
  • The Importance of Land in Origin Stories: Melanie Fillmore, of the Hunkpapa Lakota tribe, discusses displacement and connection to land. Laurie, of the Shoshone Bannock tribe, shares the history of the Boise Valley people and highlights the “Return of the Boise Valley People,” an annual event created in 2011 to bring together various tribes to share stories, oral histories, and pray for their ancestors. Jillian is from the Duck Valley Indian Reservation and is Shoshone Paiute. She shares a creation story from the Great Basin people and highlights the values she sees as most important to indigenous communities. Each participant also shares the importance of storytelling in their communities and the resilience and creativity of indigenous people.

Topic(s): Organizational Development
Population(s): LGBTQI+ Clients
Resource Type: Archived Webinar

Date: February 19, 2021
Language(s): English
Target Audience(s): General Public, Newcomer, Service Provider
Author(s): International Rescue Committee (IRC)
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