“Let Everyone In!” Indigenous Peoples Day Has No Borders

by Hope-Siihasin

Beyond Border Statements at 5th Annual Indigenous Peoples Day, October 14th, 2019

Yá’át’ééh, my name is Hope and I am a lead organizer with The Red Nation, a founder of the Beyond Borders caucus and southwest point person for the Coalition to Close the Camps. I am a genderqueer Diné, Mescalero Apache, Chicanx comrade and use them/them pronouns.

I just want to first acknowledge that we are on stolen Native land, it is stolen Tiwa Pueblo Lands (Sandia-Isleta Pueblo lands, specifically).

Secondly, Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!!

As Indigenous Peoples, we welcome migrants into our territories. We never built walls or borders on our homelands as part of our cultures. We do not own these lands, but we have caretaken them since time immemorial and all our non-human relatives that migrate in and out of these territories. Indigenous Peoples have had relationships with thousands of other Indigenous peoples, prior to colonization and border imperialism, across this continent and beyond. Capitalism severed our ties from the land and each other. Borders and walls allow for profits and goods to pass through freely and cage humans or other living beings inside. This is unacceptable.

On this day, I want to acknowledge and honor our Indigenous relatives that have had to migrate away from their homelands due to this white supremacist-racist-genocidal government, known as the United States. We honor you, we see you and we welcome you as our relatives. Many of our Indigenous relatives who are coming from the southern border of the states, have more of a right to be here than any European settler. This nation was never a nation of immigrants but a nation of colonizers. It still upholds that genocidal legacy today. The United States was stolen through extreme violence as Indigenous people were massacred, assimilated and colonized. Much of this continent will not acknowledge the genocide on Indigenous peoples across the Amerikkkas. Immigrants migrate to find sanctuary, colonizers come to steal and profit off of the exploitable. Native people believe in liberation, we believe that we can live together in a world without walls or borders. In a world that empowers and uplift Indigenous people, poor, migrants, black & brown relatives, queers, trans folks, disabled, non-Native peoples and even our nonhuman relatives. We all have a place in each other’s liberation, and to be clear, as Indigenous peoples to these territories, all migrants are welcome in our homelands. Migrants who work and those who don’t. Migrants who do and don’t speak english. Migrants who are displaced. Migrants who are unsheltered. Migrants who are sex workers. Migrants who are LGBTQ2S+. Migrants whose lands are occupied. We welcome all who are disenfranchised, marginalized and colonized. I hope to work and build a movement that includes everyone, where we are all leading change, may the colonizers structures fall, along with capitalism, colonialism, US imperialism, ICE and CBP, prisons and patriarchy. The United States has no legitimacy in dictating who is and isn’t eligible for citizenship on stolen lands.

We demand that the United States close every single concentration camp and actively search and put resources into reunifying families and supporting asylum seeker cases. Let everyone in! We know that the process for citizenship is Eurocentric, revisionist history, racist and unrealistic. I encourage all my Indigenous relatives to actively create safe sanctuary spaces for our undocumented and dacamented relatives. No one is illegal on stolen land, except for colonizers.

We demand that the United States honor the calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions by people across the U.S and cease funding the genocide in Palestine! FREE FREE PALESTINE!

We demand an end to occupying Indigenous territories across the United States and giving Native people back ALL their land and resources. The US military has over 800 military bases outside of the US and needs to end its military occupations across the world. We want people to unlearn and relearn how to exist in our territories, in our communities, not under this genocidal regime.

We must work to reunify all families that have been torn apart by the many United States systems, structures and institutions. Many of these same systems that were founded on the murder, theft and torture of Native peoples and children across these lands. We are all struggling under this classist, racist colonial system, we must all work together to destroy it so that we may be liberated. Join us, let us work together to build the community we need and our children need. Be on the right, or should I say left side of history, rise up. End the occupation! Close the Camps!