The Wampanoag Peoples have lived in the region of what is now southeastern Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. The year 2020 represents 400 years since colonizers voyaged on the Mayflower and founded Plymouth Colony as settlers on Native land. This anniversary is a time of reckoning with that history of violence, dispossession, removal. The story of Plymouth Colony cannot be told without the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples who were here as that ship arrived and who still remain.
Shannon Foster is a Sydney D'harawal Knowledge Keeper, educator, and artist. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. with the Center for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges at the University of Technology in Sydney. Drawing on traditional knowledge, Indigenous leaders have advocated for changes to current land management practices for decades to help limit anticipated future fire damage. Aboriginal people have a deep knowledge of their lands, and traditional burning practices can help prevent massive destruction.
Between 1904 and 2004, the German state officially denied that genocide against the Indigenous Herero and Nama people in land that is now known as Namibia had ever occurred under German colonial rule, despite conclusive historical sources and internationally recognized investigations. Hear how communities are sorting through the painful legacy of this violence and indifference in the present in the following interview with Martinus Fredericks, Nama leader and activist.
It was the Wampanoag People, the people of the first light, that encountered the Pilgrims when they arrived to Turtle Island (North America) from Europe in 1620. Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States, mythologizing the violent events that followed European arrival into a story of friendship and mutual sharing. But the reality is that the Wampanoags’ generosity was met with genocide, and this truth has been systematically suppressed in the US education system, government, and popular culture.
Indigenous communities often hold invaluable knowledge about medicinal plants and healing practices rooted in the environment and resources of their traditional homelands. Anoop Pushkaran Krishnamma is working with the Kerala Kani Community Welfare Trust in partnership with Indigenous communities in India to record and preserve this knowledge, allowing for healing practices to be utilized by future generations.
The Kalinga Mission for Indigenous Children and Youth, led by Donato Bumacas, promotes values of biodiversity conservation, with the goal of poverty reduction. These values are upheld using Indigenous traditional knowledge systems and technologies to conserve and maintain the local forests. Sustainable Indigenous agricultural technology is implemented, with the goal of passing these systems down to future generations, as this knowledge was passed down to them.