This past weekend, Kaleo joined with Healing Minnesota Stories, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, The Center for Sustainable Justice, and over 60 multi-racial and multi-national community members for three days of stories, reflection, learning, and community building.
The event was led by an incredible team of organizers and sacred storytellers who offered the power of food and ceremony and place as a way to reckon with our legacies of stolen land, stolen bodies, and stolen stories within systems of white supremacy and colonization.
We also met in small groups, asking how we can work across different life experiences to engage in reparations and repair. One small group, facilitated by the fabulous United Theological Seminary alumna and friend of Kaleo Pamela Cook offered the following suggestions:
1) When organizing, be aware of who is at the table and who is missing. In order to overcome indigenous invisibility, make sure indigenous folks are part of true leadership, not just window dressing.
2) Plant a seed by disrupting the dominant narrative; poke holes in it to make room for the sacred stories we have heard. This may be in preaching, personal conversations, etc
3) Show up and follow the leadership of people of color and indigenous people; stand in solidarity with indigenous people and people of color
4) Create learning opportunities for white people to learn new models of leadership based on followership, how to be a leader by being a follower. White supremacy teaches white people to take over, so they need to be intentional about learning a different way of being.
5) White folks must seek ways of learning that are not at expense of people of color and indigenous people’s pain. Telling stories involves pain and can re-traumatize the teller, so for th health of marginalized people, white folks should not rely solely on stories as a means of learning.
6) Give to and support Makoce Ikikapi, the Dakota Land Recovery Project. Practice reparations.
Thank you, so much, to everyone who participated and to everyone who made this experience possible. Expect to hear more as we continue to explore opportunities to carry this experience forward.