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I, Ashia Ray, was born, raised, and continue to raise my family on the traditional homelands of the Wampanoag and Massachusett Tribal Nations, the land the US government currently calls Eastern Massachusetts. I take responsibility with gratitude and intent to honor the stories, members, traditions, and cultures of these nations.
My living here makes me a complicit beneficiary and participant in colonization. This compels me to acknowledge the violence and genocide toward Indigenous people local to me, both past and present. I take responsibility for continuing to learn and listen from Indigenous people, boost their voices, support their efforts, and take daily action in my role running Raising Luminaries, and in my role as a parent, to dismantle colonialism.
I will never finish learning how to decolonize my practices in parenting and leading Raising Luminaries. If (when) I overstep or make problematic mistakes, I am grateful for the gift of honest feedback on how I can do better.
More About Our Local Nations (Southeast Massachusetts)
Here are the resources I follow to keep up with updates and calls to action from our local Indigenous nations.
- The Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag website and Facebook page
- United American Indians of New England website (UAINE) & Facebook group
- Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe website and Facebook page
- Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head website
- Wôpanâak Language Reclaimation Project
- Indigenous Peoples Day Massachusetts
- Boston, Connecticut & Rhode Island: First Light Foundation & Annawon Weeden: An educator for organizations and schools
Comment below if you have some more suggestions.
To find out which nations are local to you, check out the Native Land website
This interactive map contains a crowdsourced map with information on territory, language, and treaties. From there, do your own research to find ways to follow and connect with your local nations.
#OwnVoices Indigenous-Led Organizations
Since I can am a US settler (a descendant of immigrants and refugees), my depth of knowledge in Latinx and Indigenous experiences is severely limited. The following are #OwnVoices resources investigating kidlit through a decolonizing lens.
I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly vet every book I read through their filter, and sometimes our perspectives differ. But with respect to Latinx & Indigenous representation, they have a wealth of information and experience I am oblivious to and these resources are an enormous gift to the world:
Learning more about Indigenous representation in Children’s literature:
- American Indians In Children’s Literature
- De Colores: The Raza Experience In Books For Children
- Quick reference books: A Broken Flute & An Indigenous People’s History of the United States
Youth-led & Youth-Focused Organizations supporting Indigenous rights
- International Indigenous Youth Council
- Seeding Sovereignty
- Wôpanaâk Language Reclamation Project
Indigenous Rights & Emergency Relief
For a full list of Indigenous organizations I’ve directed funds to, check out the Financial Accountability Statement.
Quick Family Actions To Start Learning About Decolonization
- Check out the Native Land website and search for local Indigenous-led organizations who need your help writing advocacy letters and supporting initiatives.
- Download the Indigenous Peoples’ Day family action toolkit and mark a few days in your schedule to review it with your kids.
- Visit your local library & fill your bookshelves with these kids books by #OwnVoices Indigenous authors.
Starting your next event with a land acknowledgement? Here are some tips from Dr. Deb Reese (Nambé Pueblo) of AICL on how to avoid virtue signaling and take this opportunity to educate your community.
Members of Raising Luminaries [RL] and our ancillary organizations Books For Littles [BFL] and the Student Ignition Society [SIS], including our supporters, readers, contributors, and the founder of RL and author of this statement, Ashia R. are responsible for transparent and clearly stated missions, objectives, goals, and procedures in an effort to create kind and courageous spaces and resources.
Check out the Accountability Statement & Guidelines for more.
This document was last edited in Octobre of 2020 by Ashia R.