Showing posts from May, 2021

Job Opening: Riverton Peace Mission

The Riverton Peace Mission (RPM) is on the move. We are planning to hire someone part-time, and we are now accepting applications. The position will remain open until filled by a qualified applicant. Since our inception in the summer of 2019, the RPM’s work has been by volunteers. Earlier the RPM had planned to hire Cara Golden, African American, who served as an intern here in the summer of 2018 and has focused on indigenous studies while attending seminary and working for the Poverty Law Center. However, before we could secure the funding to hire her, she accepted a full-time position as Program Director at the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice (OCCJ) based in Tulsa. She serves along with two other staff of the OCCJ that has the vision of ending bias, bigotry, and racism in Oklahoma. Congratulations to Cara and a blessing for Oklahoma while a loss for us, although Cara and I hope that the RPM and the OCCJ can at times share knowledge and efforts. The RPM has received a seed g

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

With beautiful spring days and seeing our surroundings come to life and a sense of hope as the pandemic may be coming to an end, we must also acknowledge our grief. Last week I learned about more family deaths for people who were already grieving multiple losses. One friend who had a grandson missing learned that his body was found, possibly murdered. Because he was Native American and the body was found on the Wind River Indian Reservation, information has not been released to the public. I was furious at first that the local news media had not covered the possible murder of a Native American, thinking that perhaps the death did not matter since the victim was not white. But a reporter friend let me know that the reason it was not covered is that no information had been released. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has no obligation to report deaths or crimes. In fact, sovereignty of the tribal nations means, of course, that they can make the decision about what information to release.

For the Sake of the Children

This is for the sake of all children, white and children of color as well. Two stories and two actions you can take. Native American children on the Wind River Indian Reservation, like children everywhere, enjoy participating in sports. Last week a grandmother was proud of her granddaughters because they did well that will allow them next to compete in a tournament. At the same time, they had the opportunity to learn about racism, both from name-calling they received from the opposing team and spectators and from racial bias from referees. The grandmother knows well that this is something that they will continue to face throughout their lives and so this prepares them for how to still be competitive within the confines of racism. What? No child should have to learn how to accept racism gracefully or otherwise. This is teaching internalized racism. This is systemic racism when it is the norm. Every school in Wyoming needs to have a zero-tolerance for all acts of racism. I understand

On Wednesday Wear Red

  First, I want to give a shout out to L’Dawn Olsen and Tiffany Eskelson-Maestas with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault who prepared and co-facilitated a fantastic 2-hour Affinity Aspiring Ally Circle for some of us white people yesterday on Zoom. They brought tremendous knowledge and skill for a circle of discussion around the Doctrine of Discovery that still shows up in recent court decisions and permeates the fiber of our institutions reflected in that 98% of private land in the United States is white-owned. I am hoping that we can do more of this learning for us white people who want to change. Thank you L’Dawn, Tiff, and all who participated. Wednesday, May 5 th  is not only Cinco de Mayo but also a day of remembrance of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) and is why we are to wear red on Wednesday. The Wyoming statewide report issued in January, entitled  Missing & Murdered Indigenous People  by the Wyoming Division of Victim Service