All around the world, indigenous people are on the front lines of fights to protect the land. For those asking “how to do indigenous solidarity work,” these Indigenous Solidarity Guidelines developed by Deep Green Resistance are a first step.
Land is central to indigenous culture. By aligning ourselves with indigenous peoples, especially traditional and radical indigenous people, we take important steps towards preserving a living planet and stand in solidarity with oppressed groups, including women and people of color.
How To Do Indigenous Solidarity Work
It is important that members of settler cultures ally themselves with indigenous communities who are fighting for their rights and survival.
There are right and wrong ways to express solidarity. The following guidelines have been put together by Deep Green Resistance members with the help of indigenous activists.
They are not a complete ‘how-to guide‘ – every community and every situation is different – but they can hopefully point you in a good direction, to enable you to act effectively and with respect.
- First and foremost we must recognize that non-indigenous people are occupying stolen land in an ongoing genocide that has lasted for centuries. We must affirm our responsibility to stand with indigenous communities who want support and give everything we can to protect their land and culture from further devastation; they have been on the frontlines of biocide and genocide for centuries, and as allies, we need to step up and join them.
- You are doing Indigenous solidarity work not out of guilt, but out of a fierce desire to confront oppressive colonial systems of power.
- You are not helping Indigenous people, you are there to join with, struggle with, and fight with indigenous peoples against these systems of power. You must be willing to put your body on the line.
- Recognize your privilege as a member of settler culture.
- You are not here to engage in any type of cultural, spiritual or religious needs you think you might have, you are here to engage in political action. Also, remember your political message is secondary to the cause at hand.
- Never use drugs or alcohol when engaging in Indigenous solidarity work. Never.
- Do more listening than talking, you will be surprised what you can learn.
- Recognize that there will be Indigenous people that will not want you to participate in ceremonies. Humbly refrain from participating in ceremonies.
- Recognize that you and your Indigenous allies may be in the minority on a cause that is worth fighting for.
- Work with integrity and respect, be trustworthy and do what you say you are going to do.
Examples of Indigenous Solidarity Work
Deep Green Resistance has been involved in solidarity work with our indigenous friends and comrades for many years. Here are a few examples of campaigns we have conducted.
- Support for the occupation and protection of Mauna Kea
- Caravans and fundraising for the Unist’ot’en Camp
- Solidarity work for indigenous resistance to water extraction in Nevada
- Campaign alongside Lakota people fighting White Clay liquor stores
- Assistance during the Standing Rock #NoDAPL struggle
- Media support to amplify radical indigenous voices
- Outreach with these indigenous solidarity guidelines, and on the importance of avoiding cultural appropriation (theft)
If you want to get involved in an organization that prioritizes indigenous solidarity, contact us.