If you’re interested in supporting The Red Nation or want to start your own chapter, our ‘Ten Point Program’ outlines our core organizing principles and values. Download our pamphlet: The Red Nation Pamphlet Manifesto.
WE DEMAND AN END TO VIOLENCE AGAINST NATIVE PEOPLES AND OUR NONHUMAN RELATIVES THROUGH…
1. The Re-Instatement of Treaty Rights
From 1776 to 1871, the U.S. Congress ratified more than 300 treaties with Native Nations. A provision in the 1871 Indian Appropriations Act withdrew federal recognition of Native Nations as separate political entities, contracted through treaties made with the United States. As a result, treaty making was abolished; and it was established that “no Indian nation or tribe within the territory of the United States shall be acknowledged or recognized as an independent nation, tribe, or power with whom the United States may contract by treaty.”
We demand the reinstatement of treaty making and the acknowledgement of Native independence. We demand Native Nations assume their rightful place as independent Nations guaranteed the fundamental right to self-determination for their people, communities, land bases, and political and economic systems.
2. The Full Rights and Equal Protection for Native People
Centuries of forced relocation and land dispossession have resulted in the mass displacement of Native Nations and peoples from their original and ancestral homelands. Today in the United States four of five Native people do not live within reservation or federal trust land. Many were and are forced to leave reservation and trust lands as economic and political refugees due to high unemployment, government policies, loss of land, lack of infrastructure, and social violence. Yet, off-reservation Native peoples encounter equally high rates of sexual and physical violence, homelessness, incarceration, poverty, discrimination, and economic exploitation in cities and rural border towns.
We demand that treaty rights and Indigenous rights be applied and upheld both on- and off-reservation and federal trust land. All of North America, the Western Hemisphere, and the Pacific is Indigenous land. Our rights do not begin or end at imposed imperial borders we did not create nor give our consent to. Rights shall be enforced pursuant to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the historical and political doctrines of specific Tribes.
3. The End to Disciplinary Violence Against Native Peoples and All Oppressed Peoples
In the United States more than three million people are incarcerated in the largest prison system in the world. Native peoples and oppressed peoples are disproportionately incarcerated and persecuted by law enforcement. Within this system Native peoples are the group most likely to be murdered and harassed by law enforcement and to experience high rates of incarceration. This proves that the system is inherently racist and disciplines politically disenfranchised people to keep them oppressed and prevent them from challenging institutions of racism like prisons, police and the law that maintain the status quo. Racist disciplinary institutions contribute to the continued dispossession and death of Native peoples and lifeways in North America.
We demand an end to the racist and violent policing of Native peoples on- and off-reservation and federal trust lands. We demand an end to the racist state institutions that unjustly target and imprison Native peoples and all oppressed peoples.
4. The End to Discrimination Against the Native Silent Majority: Youth and The Poor
Native youth and Native poor and homeless experience oppression and violence at rates higher than other classes and groups of Native peoples. Native people experience homelessness and poverty at rates higher than other groups and Native youth suicide and criminalization rates continue to soar. Native youth now comprise as much as 70% of the Native population in some places. Native youth in the U.S. experience rates of physical and sexual violence and posttraumatic stress disorder higher than other groups. Native poor and homeless experience rates of criminalization, alcoholism, and violence at higher rates than other groups. Because many Native youth and Native homeless and poor live off reservation and trust lands, they are treated as inauthentic and without rights. Native youth and Native poor and homeless continue to be marginalized and ignored within Native and dominant political systems, and within mainstream social justice approaches.
We demand an end to the silencing and blaming of Native youth and Native poor and homeless. We demand an end to the unjust violence and policing they experience. Native youth and Native poor and homeless are relatives who deserve support and representation. We demand they be at the center of Native struggles for liberation.
5. The End to the Discrimination, Persecution, Killing, Torture, and Rape of Native Women
Native women are the targets of legal, political, and extra-legal persecution, killing, rape, torture, discrimination, and disenfranchisement in North America. This is part of the ongoing process of eliminating women’s political and customary roles as leaders in Native societies. In the United States more than one in three Native women will be raped in their lifetime, often as children. Since 1980, about 1,200 Native women have gone missing or been murdered in Canada; many are young girls. Native women are at higher risk of being targeted for human trafficking and sexual exploitation than other groups. Native women continue to experience sexism and marginalization within Native and dominant political systems, and within mainstream social justice approaches.
We demand the end to the legal, political, and extra-legal discrimination, persecution, killing, torture, and rape of Native women. Women are the backbone of our political and customary government systems. They give and represent life and vitality. We demand that Native women be at the center of Native struggles for liberation.
6. The End to the Discrimination, Persecution, Killing, Torture, and Rape of Native Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Two-Spirit People
Native LGBTQ2 people experience persecution, killing, torture, and rape within Native Nations and within dominant society. The processes of colonization and heteropatriarchy impose binary gender roles, nuclear family structures, and male-dominated hierarchies that are fundamentally at odds with Native customary laws and social organization, where LGBTQ2 people often held positions of privilege and esteem. The effect of this system for Native LGBTQ2 is violent. Native LGBTQ2 experience rates of murder, sexual exploitation, discrimination, hate crimes, homelessness and substance abuse at high rates. Like Native youth, poor and homeless, and women, Native LGBTQ2 continue to be marginalized and ignored within Native and dominant political systems, and within metropolitan-based social justice approaches that ignore the mostly rural-based issues of Native LGBTQ2.
We demand the end to the legal, political, and extra-legal discrimination, persecution, killing, torture, and rape of Native LGBTQ2 in Native societies and in dominant society. Native LGBTQ2 are relatives who deserve representation and dignity. We demand that they be at the center of Native struggles for liberation.
7. The End to the Dehumanization of Native Peoples
The appropriation of Native imagery and culture for entertainment, such as sports mascots and other racist portrayals, and the celebration of genocide for holidays and amusement, such as Columbus Day and Thanksgiving, dehumanize Native people and attempt to whitewash ongoing histories of genocide and dispossession. These appropriations contribute to the ongoing erasure of Native peoples and seek to minimize the harsh realities and histories of colonization. These appropriations are crimes against history.
We demand an end to the dehumanization of Native peoples through cultural appropriation, racist imagery, and the celebrations of genocide and colonization. Condemning symbolic and representational violence is an essential part of any material struggle for liberation.
8. Access to Appropriate Education, Healthcare, Social Services, Employment, and Housing
Access to quality education, healthcare, social services, and housing are fundamental human rights. However, in almost every quality of life standard, Native people have the worst access to adequate educational opportunities, health care, social services, and housing in North America. Native people also have the highest rates of unemployment both on- and off-reservation than any other group in the United States. Access to meaningful standards of living is historically guaranteed under many treaty rights, but have been consistently ignored and unevenly applied across geography and region.
We demand the universal enforcement and application of services to improve the standard of living for Native peoples pursuant to provisions in treaties and the UNDRIP, whether such peoples reside on or off reservation and trust lands. North America is our home and we demand more than mere survival. We demand conditions to thrive.
9. The Repatriation of Native Lands and Lives and the Protection of Nonhuman Relatives
The ethical treatment of the land and nonhuman relatives begins with how we act. We must first be afforded dignified lives as Native peoples who are free to perform our purpose as stewards of life if we are to protect and respect our nonhuman relatives—the land, the water, the plants, and the animals. We must have the freedom and health necessary to make just, ethical and thoughtful decisions to uphold life. We experience the destruction and violation of our nonhuman relatives wrought by militarization, toxic dumping and contamination, and resource extraction as violent. Humans perpetrate this violence against our nonhuman relatives. We will be unable to live on our lands and continue on as beings recognized by the spirits if this violence is allowed to continue.
We demand an end to all corporate and U.S. control of Native land and resources. We demand an end to Tribal collusion with such practices. We demand that Points 1-8 be enforced so as to allow Native peoples to live in accordance with their purpose as human beings who protect and respect life. Humans have created this crisis and continue to wage horrific violence against our nonhuman relatives. It is our responsibility to change this. We demand action now.
10. The End to Capitalism-Colonialism
Native people are under constant assault by a capitalist-colonial logic that seeks the erasure of non-capitalist ways of life. Colonial economies interrupt cooperation and association and force people instead into hierarchical relations with agents of colonial authority who function as a permanent occupying force on Native lands. These agents are in place to enforce and discipline Native peoples to ensure that we comply with capitalist-colonial logics. There are many methods and agents of enforcement and discipline. There are the police. There are corporations. There are also so-called ‘normal’ social and cultural practices like male-dominance, heterosexuality, and individualism that encourage us to conform to the common sense of capitalism-colonialism. These are all violent forms of social control and invasion that extract life from Natives and other oppressed peoples in order to increase profit margins and consolidate power in the hands of wealthy nation-states like the United States. The whole system depends on violence to facilitate the accumulation of wealth and power and to suppress other, non-capitalist ways of life that might challenge dominant modes of power. Political possibilities for Native liberation therefore cannot emerge from forms of economic or institutional development, even if these are Tribally controlled under the guise of ‘self-determination’ or ‘culture.’ They can only emerge from directly challenging the capitalist-colonial system of power through collective struggle and resistance.
We demand the end to capitalism-colonialism on a global level. Native peoples, youth, poor and homeless, women, LGBTQ2 and nonhuman relatives experience extreme and regular forms of violence because the whole system relies on our death. Capitalism-colonialism means death for Native peoples. For Native peoples to live, capitalism and colonialism must die.