At the 2020 UUA General Assembly, delegates voted to adopt an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) – Address 400 Years of White Supremacist Colonialism. Included in that AIW are clear charges for how our faith can and should engage in accountable anti-racism ministry in partnership with indigenous communities at all levels of our justice work. One such practice that we agreed as a faith to charge ourselves with was to “work to stop and reverse ecological harm in genuine collaboration with and taking leadership from communities most consistently and harshly impacted by extractive exploitation of land, water, air, and all beings.”
UUJMCA has historically partnered with indigenous communities and organizers in California, particularly in our water justice ministries. As we continue and deepen those relationships, we encourage all UUs individuals and congregations to do the same, by first reading the 2020 Action of Immediate Witness “Address 400 Years of White Supremacist Colonialism,” and internalizing the charge that we as a faith have given ourselves in this crucial moment for our lives, and the lives of those to come.
CALL TO ACTION: Protect Juristac
The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band (in what we currently call Santa Clara County), is fighting to preserve and protect the land known as Juristac from the proposed Sargent Quarry Project. Learn more about this effort to protect not simply the land, but its cultural, environmental, historical, and spiritual significance to the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, and ways you can support the rights of indigenous peoples in Santa Clara County.
You can also learn more about and support the work of the Amah Mustun Land Trust, an initiative of the Amah Mustun Tribal Band, which seeks to return the tribe to their ancestral lands and restore their role as environmental stewards.
Follow the Annual “Run 4 Salmon”
“Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk and a collective of Indigenous women, activists, and allies organize the annual the Run4Salmon, a 300-mile trek that follows the historical journey of the salmon from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the Winnemem (McCloud River) to raise awareness about the policies threatening our waters, our fish, and indigenous lifeways. It’s a dire time in California for wild chinook salmon (Nur) – climate change, giant dam projects and draining rivers for Big Ag irrigation threaten the survival of the keystone keepers of our waters. Salmon bring essential nutrients to the waterways, forests, and lands. However, since the Shasta Dam was built 75 years ago, the salmon have been unable to return to their home waters in the Winnemem’s ancestral watershed. Now, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe is working on a plan to bring the genetic descendants of their salmon from New Zealand back to their home waters.”
– From run4salmon.org
Sogorea Te’ Land Trust
The Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is “an urban Indigenous women-led land trust based in the San Francisco Bay Area that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people…Through the practices of rematriation, cultural revitalization, and land restoration, Sogorea Te’ calls on native and non-native peoples to heal and transform the legacies of colonization, genocide, and patriarchy and to do the work our ancestors and future generations are calling us to do.” Learn more about this effort to restore indigenous community on ancestral land, and the responsibility we all have to ensure its success.