More for 2022

  I wish for more thought, labor, and resources from nontribal people towards decolonizing in 2022. A couple of weeks ago I emailed  Draft Steps for Decolonizing  and asked for your feedback. Today I share some of the responses, beginning with what two tribal women from the Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR) had to say. I am humbled by their taking time to respond because I know how busy each of them is. I am thankful to them for sharing their knowledge and wisdom.   Thoughts from one Native woman WRIR:   There needs to be a curriculum created to educate programs, institutions, and organizations on diversity training for inclusion, … and with diversity training for all created by white and Native voices.   Thoughts from another Native woman from the WRIR:   May we add: Understanding that decolonization in the church is also vital to Indigenous healing?  I have been talking more and more about this with other Indigenous Christians. It's a hard conversation to have because a good p

Part 2: Filling the Gaps

Katie Roenigk has done it again this Sunday in the   Riverton Ranger  in her “Part 2” article headlined on the front page, “Through the gaps: Antelope lived hard cycle before shooting.” Thanks, Katie, for helping to educate us.  In so many ways this community failed Andy Antelope before he was shot by a Riverton police officer, someone who knew about at least some of Andy Antelope’s hardships beforehand. This series of articles gives us a chance to go back before September 21, 2019, when Andy Antelope was outside of the Riverton Walmart eating a hotdog that he had purchased from a veteran’s fundraiser when confronted by the officer who killed him. Last week we learned in “Part 1” that Andy Antelope had been sexually assaulted only a few days before he was killed and that the Fremont County Sheriff’s office and County Attorney have not released the report of its investigation and that a rape kit had been conducted, although we do not even know whether it was analyzed for evidence. We do

Filling In the Gaps

 Today’s  Riverton Ranger  has a frontpage story that opens with, “Anderson Antelope’s numerous contacts with law enforcement and medical professionals in the days leading up to his death at the hands of a Riverton police officer demonstrates the gaps in the criminal justice and health care systems in meeting the needs of a vulnerable member of society.” The article, written by Katie Roenigk, raises more questions than it answers because the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office refuses to release the results of the investigation of the sexual assault of Andy Antelope that was reported on September 18, 2019, to Officer James Donahue, the same officer who pulled the trigger on September 21, 2019, killing Andy Antelope. The county attorney supports the decision of the sheriff’s office to not release the report, although a Wyoming Supreme Court decision rules that the report can be released to the public, although names may be redacted.  I have asked why the police were called by Walmart th

Who I Am

A close friend suggested that I write in my blog about who I am. I feel uncomfortable writing about myself. Is this like a job resume or is it a personal inventory, like I have done in the past as a part of being in AlAnon? Maybe somewhere in between. The reason my friend suggested this is so people who question my motives of why I do social justice volunteer work at age 76 have a better understanding. In a nutshell, it is who I am. As a pastor said about me years ago, social justice issues are my children. As a parent of social justice concerns, I do not always get it right. But I am confident that I know more than I did fifty years ago. At the same time, I know that I must continue learning by reading, listening, discussing, and studying to figure out how to do it better. My earliest recollection of social justice work on my part was when I was in the fourth grade. At recess, some boys were throwing rocks at another boy. I walked up to them and told them to stop. They did. When t

Racial Wealth Gap

 We have no excuse for our not learning about racism, its root causes and what we can do about it. Books, webinars, and pod casts are easily available. Some actively seek to ban the truth being taught. Some say, “I have learned enough” and have closed the door to learning more, finding it a too depressing interruption to their otherwise comfortable lives compared to people of color. We can do better. This past week I took advantage of a few learning opportunities including an analysis of racism as a pandemic disease with more negative effects than COVID-19, but not the resources needed to prevent its spread. This was sponsored by the Black Studies Department of the University of Wyoming with Dr. Rik Stevenson from the University of Florica speaking on, “The Negro Question and the Public Heath Crisis.” Another was sponsored by the National Council of Churches and led by Christian Brooks, a scholar and justice advocate for the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness. This was a partici

Hope Is Required

This past week I came close to giving up. Why do we keep doing this? Nothing is going to change it seems. People ask why do you continue to seek “Justice for Andy” when two years have gone by, and still no public inquest, still no police accountability, still no meaningful change? And that my friends, is why we must carry on until we do get change. We know that once we give up, there can be no change. Hope is required. Otherwise, the oppressors win. I recall that when I first heard that Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed on April 4, 1968. I was a young community organizer in Cincinnati, Ohio and eating dinner seated at one of several round tables at an event sponsored by the “The Mayor’s Friendly Relations Committee” where we were addressing racism. We had hope. We met in response to riots the summer before where the National Guard had been called in to restore order. Whether the meeting was to prevent riots or to end racism, we were there Black and White together. Seated at my

Resistance Opportunities

Three events can help each of us determine whether we are complicit with or resisting injustices towards the Northern Arapaho, Eastern Shoshone, and other indigenous nations. Tuesday, 6:30 pm,  Meet & Greet with Angelo Sage , Northern Arapaho, and Organizer for “Justice for Andy” for the Riverton Peace Mission at the Wyoming Equality office, 1601 Capitol Avenue, Cheyenne. Angelo plans to go to Cheyenne this week to connect with Antonio Serrano and others for training on organizing and community engagement; and thanks to Sabrina King, while Angelo is in Cheyenne, he will meet with supporters to raise funds to continue his work and for folks to learn more about the “Justice for Andy” campaign and what it means for indigenous people living on the Wind River Indian Reservation and in Fremont County. All supporters are welcome! Can’t be in Cheyenne on Tuesday? We welcome more Meet & Greet opportunities for Angelo Sage in other communities in Wyoming. If you could host or co-host