A small collection of resources for non-Natives to learn about and support Native welfare.
These links are meant to encourage you to do your own research, not educate you alone.
"Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people have traditionally been revered as life-givers and caregivers. This is why we say, 'our women and girls are sacred.' But Indigenous women and girls, including those who are 2SLGBTQQIA, continue to be devalued. All too many become the victims of violence."
- National Inquiry of MMIWG
May 5 is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
81.6% of Indigenous men and 84.3% of Indigenous women experience violence in their lives, while Indigenous women are 10x more likely to be murdered than the national average (Nat'l Institute of Justice). 2/3 of these cases are not prosecuted. Please take your research beyond just these links.
Try to make a habit of donating at least once a month to an organization that helps Indigenous people. Even a couple dollars goes a long way. Pick one that feels best for you, set up a monthly amount, and uplift those who've been wronged by colonialism!
INSPIRED NATIVES, not "Native-Inspired."
Sḵwálwen Botanicals - Handmade soaps and skincare from the Unceded Territories of the Skwxẃu7mesh (Squamish) First Nation.
Sequoia - Soaps, candles, incense, bath bombs, and other scented goods handcrafted on Kahnawà:ke land.
Mother Earth Essentials - Cree-made essential oils, soaps, lotions, aromatherapy mists, shampoos, and conditioners.
Iskwêw Lash Co. - Eyelashes and upcoming make-up products independently made by Plains Cree Jenaya Makokis-Logan.
Haipažaža Pȟežuta - Lakota soaps, hair products, body butter, and bath bombs.
Indigenous Cosmetics - Lip gloss, eye shadows, and t-shirts crafted from Sicangu Lakota/Chippewa Cree hands.
Shimá - Colorful soaps, scrubs, juniper ash, and honey from farmers and creatives in Navajo Nation.
Intertribal Beauty - Lipsticks and lip gloss celebrating beauty in mixed heritages and gender non-conformity.
ArXotica - Body care, facial routine kits, aromatherapy, and lip balms from Qissunamiut tribal success.
Trickster Co. - Clothing, jewelry, athletic wear, basketballs, skateboards, playing cards, coasters, and more brought to you by the peoples of the Northwest Coast.
OXDX - High quality street clothing, fashion, art and more by Diné designer Jared Yazzie.
Eight Generation - Clothes, blankets, books, pins, fine art, phone cases, notebooks, towels, and more, owned and presented by the Snoqualmie Tribe.
Lily Hope - Prized Tlingit textile weaver and creating earrings, bolo ties, and blankets out of traditional weaving techniques.
Beyond Buckskin Boutique - Clothing, blankets, jewelry, moccasins, and more curated by an assortment of Indigenous artists.
Ginew - Native-owned denim fashion lines mixing Ojibwe, Oneida, & Mohican culture.
Orenda Tribe - Intricate, unique fashion designed by Native artists from Southern California & Navajo Nation.
Evan Ducharme - Métis high-end boutique fashion challenging the concepts of sexuality and gender.
Nishology - Streetwear, art, bags, and pouches made from from Caddo creatives.
Beads Against Fascism - Beaded earrings, patches, and goods fighting imperialism and racism from Iskwêw hands.
AntlerLad - Fandom, LGBT, and original art by a non-binary Algonquin artist.
Clay & Rain - Choctaw handcrafted polymer clay jewelry and custom orders.
KIND7ED - Comanche furry artist, activist, and street wear apparel designer.
Thunder Voice Eagle - Diné fine artist and authentic southwestern hat and hat band curator.
Ned Pines - Métis & Anishinaabe tattoo artist, clothing designer, and original artist.
Matika Wilbur - Swinomish & Tulalip photographer working on Project 562 to photograph at least 562 Native Nations and All My Relatives co-host.
The Chief's Daughter - Piikani, Blackfoot, & Nez Perce high-skilled beadworker.
Ras K'dee - An Afro-Pomo music artist performing enthralling reggae tracks and uplifting his community.
Tonya Wind Singer - O'otham orchestral singer, composer, pianist, conductor, and more performing heart-touching melodies.
Red Eagle - Choctaw rapper, hip-hop artist, and songwriter showing others the pride of being Indigenous
Lila Downs - Folk singer and songwriter brilliantly weaving art, social messages, and Mixtec culture into her music.
Blue Flamez - Hip-hop based music intertwined with Indigenous instruments right out of Warm Springs.
Raye Zaragoza - Award-winning acoustic singer and songwriter playing powerful, yet elegant songs against the colonial state.
With War - Indigenous punk rock albums shouting in the name of anti-imperialism and decolonization.
Arigon Starr - Kickapoo singer, actor, and comic book writer creating lively country music under her own, first Native-Woman-owned, record label.
Fawn Wood - Powerful pow-wow singer bringing forth her experiences as a Cree and Salish woman.
Bedré Chocolates - Luxury chocolates and chocolate products owned and produced by the Chickasaw Nation.
Indigo Arrows - Pillows, quilts, stools, and handmade textiles in designs honoring Anishinaabe ancestors.
Native Harvest - Various goods from jewelry, maple, jellies, books, coffees, and cake mixes brought from Ojibwe hands.
Séka Hills - Assorted foods from hummus, beef, wine, wild honey, nuts, and more from Yocha Dene Wintun Nation.
Off The Rez - Seattle's FIRST Indigenous-owned food truck and café with breakfast, lunch/dinner, and vegan options.
Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh L̓il̓wat7úl Cultural Centre - Official Squamish cultural center offering shirts, books, music, and more that supports preserving Squamish heritage.
Esâwa Gifts and Gallery - Art, leather crafts, and collectables from local First Nations creatives.
These things should be common sense, but somehow they're not. 🙃
"Wasn't colonialism a good thing? Without it, Indians would still be primitive and without technology like computers, vaccines, democracy, etc.."
Colonialism, in any context, is never altruistic or good-natured as it relies on a power dynamic that directly exploits and oppresses the colonized. Any good that comes from colonialism is an accident, and could've been easily obtained through honest means such as trade, bartering, or collaboration between parties.
Additionally, Indigenous people and cultures were never "primitive" by nature. We simply lived a different, yet equally complex and multifaceted, life than the one we know now, one with less value on the material and wealth. A society wholly in touch with nature is no more or less advanced than one surrounded by buildings and electricity.
» Read More «
"I love the Native aesthetic, it and the people are beautiful! However, people say I'm 'appropriating' when I feel I'm appreciating and uplifting it. How come? Isn't it good to love your cultures?"
Through colonization, Indigenous people have been shamed, separated from one another, punished, and murdered for engaging with their cultures. Under slavery, missionaries, legal child trafficking, and the residential school system, Natives were "assimilated" into White America and forced to let go of their origins or be killed.
Regardless of circumstances, it is inappropriate to be consuming a false image of a culture you do not belong to for self-fulfillment, but it's especially egregious for one whose people are still punished for engaging in while you only benefit. Buying faux-Native goods disenfranchises actual Native people, and both stereotypical and romanticized depictions only encourage and empower violence against Natives.
If you do enjoy Native culture, buy from real Indigenous businesses and involve yourself in supporting your local tribal people, do not go around buying "Native Inspired" clothing made by non-Natives or take part in "Native Themed" events. Our culture and our existence is our reality, not a fantasy or aesthetic for others to indulge in.
» Read More «
"Don't Indians receive money from the government? Why should we support you when you don't even have to work."
Indigenous people "getting paid for being Native" is a myth perpetuated by settlers who claim Native blood to divert Native-designated resources to themselves and instill apathy towards Native people in need.
The American government has historically worked to keep Native people in poverty through nebulous laws, stripping of natural resources, disputes of ownership, and ensuring businesses don't start in reservations, while simultaneously never fulfilling their sides of past treaties.
Native Americans have the worst poverty rates in the country: ~39% for those on Reservations, and ~26% for those off-Rez. Native people are purposely left behind and denied financial support to hinder our growth and to kill us.
And yes, we still pay taxes.
» Read More «
"How many Indigenous tribes are there in America?"
As of February, 2020, there are 574 federally recognized tribes and 326 Indian Reservations present in the United States. However, there are still many more tribes that go unrecognized, such as Nipmuc Nation of Massachusetts and the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe of Southern California. A tribe can also be state recognized, but not federally recognized. Without recognition, tribes cannot claim access to certain protections and aid from the government.
» Read More «
"'Indian,' 'Native American,' 'First Nations,' 'Aboriginal,' there are so many names, which should I use?"
Naming can be difficult as it depends on where the people you are specifically talking about are located and what term they personally prefer. In the United States, many use the term "Native American" in solidarity with one another, though recently there's been support for the use of "Indigenous" to refer to each other and avoid defining ourselves by our colonizers.
Most terms that generalize us are typically too vague and broad to accurately describe who we are, and often lead to stereotyping and miscommunications. In general, be as specific as possible.
When referring to a certain Indigenous group or individual, it is respectful to forego terms like "Native" to solely describe them and use the name they use for themself, which can be autonyms like "Diné," "Oglala," "Skwxwú7mesh," "Ipai," "ʔívil̃uqaletem," and "Apsáalooke," or exonyms such as "Cupeño," "Blackfeet," "Nez Perce," "Apache," and "Lummi." Take note of how a Native person refers to themself to know for sure how to best go forward. If you're ever unsure, ask.
» Read More «
IRL by Tommy Pico | Kumeeyaay (an epic poem written as one long text message from a boy questioning his identity while growing up on a reservation)
The Road Back to Sweetgrass by Linda LeGarde Grover | Anishinaabe (a fictional novel following three Native women's lives and the impact their Ojibwe heritage makes on their lives)
MORE TO COME
Basketry by Elsie Holiday.
This Land - A murder on Indian Land uncovers a fact that may have half the land in Oklahoma returned to its Indigenous people.
All My Relatives - Exploring how being Native relates to every part of life such as identity, health, and stereotypes.
Media Indigena - Redefining mainstream media, but from an Indigenous point of view
Toasted Sisters - Conversations about Indigenous cuisine, cooking, and medicine and how colonization affects Indigenous health.
Red Man Laughing - A humorous look at Indigenous art, music, cinema, and creativity from the past 10 years.
Unreserved - Insightful looks into Canadian history and tribal cultures from an Indigenous lens.
Native Opinion - Educational podcast on Native history and how American politics and policies affect Indigenous people.
Native America Calling - Conversations involving America and what it means to be a tribal person in a modern-colonial world.
MORE TO COME