I’ve been following the various Occupy movements across the country just as many other people have. Here’s the resolution from my adopted hometown, Asheville, NC. I’ve only got six words:
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!
The following resolution was passed by the Occupy Asheville General Assembly on October 9th, 2011 with assistance from Cante Tenza Okolakiciye – the Strong Heart Warrior Society of the Oglala Lakota Nation:
RESOLUTION: OCCUPY ASHEVILLE SOLIDARITY WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Those participating in “Occupy Asheville” assert the following understandings:
WE ACKNOWLEDGE the United States of America is a colonial country, and that we are guests upon stolen Indigenous land that has already been occupied for centuries, Asheville being the ancestral land of the Cherokee people; and
WE ACKNOWLEDGE members of the First Nations have continued to resist the violent oppression and exploitation of the colonizers since they first arrived on this continent, and as a result have a great amount of experience that could strengthen this movement; and
WE ACKNOWLEDGE First Nations people continue to assert their sovereign rights of land, language, lifeway, and culture under Natural Law; and
WE ACKNOWLEDGE after centuries of disregard for the welfare of future generations, and the consistent disrespect and exploitation of the Earth, we find ourselves on a polluted and disturbed planet, lacking the wisdom to love and honor the community of Life; therefore be it
WE ARE RESOLVED, to seek the consent and involvement of the First Nations in the rebuilding of a new society on their ancestral lands that honors our interconnectedness as well as Indigenous efforts to retain, protect, and revive their traditional cultures and lifeways; and
As a further signal to the national “Occupy” movement and to members of First Nations who have felt excluded by the colonialist language used to name this movement, it shall be declared that “Occupy Asheville” aspires to “Decolonize Asheville” with the guidance and participation of First Nations Peoples; and
Recognizing the interconnected nature of our lives, we extend an open hand of humility and friendship, and hereby invite members of the First Nations to join us in this popular uprising now taking place across this continent while at the same time standing in solidarity with the issues critical to their survival.
We wish to further the process of healing and reconciliation and implore Indigenous Peoples to share their understanding, experience, and guidance, as they see fit, so as to help us restore true freedom and democracy and initiate a new era of peace and cooperation that will work for everyone, including the Earth and the original inhabitants of this land; and
We hereby declare that Columbus Day should be referred to as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
Jerry Nelson is a nationally recognized photojournalist. His work has appeared in many national, regional and local publications including CNN, USAToday, Upsurge, Earthwalkers and Associated Content. Nelson travels the country seeking out the people, places and things that make America unique and great. Nelson currently is in Washington D.C. pointing his camera at OccupyDC and freelancing for The Washington Times the second largest paper in the nation’s capital.
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