Fellows are responding to the critical needs of communities, while stepping into the possibilities and leading transformational change toward an equitable society.
For 126 years, the intentional symbol of white supremacy known as the Confederate Battle flag loomed over the people of Mississippi, emblazoned prominently upon the state flag. Generations of activists have fought for its removal. Finally, in July 2020, a perfect storm of global outrage and community strength came together, resulting in the passing of historic legislation calling for the flag to be removed and a new design to be created.
WKKF Community Leadership Network fellows with the Mississippi cohort — Dr. Bryon D’Andra Orey, Patrick Weems, Zakiya Summers and Reena Evers-Everette — remember the work of those who came before and reflect on the strategies that led to this change finally happening.
Carly Bad Heart Bull, a WKKF Community Leadership Network fellow and executive director of Native Ways Federation, shared reflections and practices for Indigenous land acknowledgements at the November virtual gathering of fellows. Carly is Bdewakantunwan Dakota and Muskogee Creek, and a proud citizen of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.
First and foremost, it is not just the responsibility of Native people to give land acknowledgments. The non-Native inhabitants of this land should recognize and honor the Indigenous peoples and stories of this place we collectively call home. Indigenous land acknowledgements honor the land we are on, and show respect for the Native people