Four is a sacred number for many Indigenous Peoples - as I run, I send my prayers to the four directions so that they reach everywhere, everyone, and everything. I am running 4 miles to remember and link the sacredness of what the number 4 represents to me, to us. I will continue to carry and offer prayers in honor and remembrance for our missing and murdered Indigenous relatives, to honor our ancestors, pray for our next generations, for our communities today, and feel gratitude and joy - of our survival. We are still here.
- Jordan Marie Daniel (Rising Hearts)
At RER, our focus is running with and for the land. We focus on running and visiting natural landscapes with respect; respect for the lands and respect for the Indigenous stewards of the places we run. We are thankful to partner with Rising Hearts for the Truthsgiving 4 Mile Run as a way to give context to why we run today. The extractive relationship colonizers have had with these lands and Indigneous people is evident in a true telling of the story we are taught to call Thanksgiving. This extractive legacy endures to this day and is why RER runs to have reciprocal relationships with the land and make a positive impact on climate change. We are thankful to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and we will continue to share the truth about this holiday and how to be better neighbors and partners for Mother Earth.
- Michael, founder of ReNew Earth Running
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present day Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years. After an arduous process lasting more than three decades, the Mashpee Wampanoag were re-acknowledged as a federally recognized tribe in 2007. In 2015, the federal government declared 150 acres of land in Mashpee and 170 acres of land in Taunton as the Tribe’s initial reservation, on which the Tribe can exercise its full tribal sovereignty rights. The Mashpee tribe currently has approximately 2,600 enrolled citizens.
Read Washington Post Article on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
ReNew Earth Running
Running to protect and heal the environment by restoring land to the stewardship of Tribal Nations and Indigenous leadership. #LegsForLandBack
Rising Hearts is an Indigenous-led grassroots group devoted to elevating Indigenous voices and promoting intersectional collaborative efforts across all movements with the goals of racial, social, climate, and economic justice. Our Primary focuses are to inform, elevate, mobilize, and organize through strategic and targeted advocacy, establishing collaborative partnerships to help create a better and safer future and environment for all of our relatives who inhabit this planet, past, present and future.
The unfortunate first contact between the Wampanoag and European colonizers in 1621 would be the beginning of a centuries-long legacy of colonial violence. A white myth written off as a friendly feast celebrating the union of “Indians” and pilgrims was actually a violent encroachment by colonizers on Indigenous lands. Colonizers who came ashore with disease and savage ways of being, overhunted the wildlife, mismanaged the land, and resorted to murder and cannibalism to survive. In a near state of total starvation, colonizers were fed by the true stewards of the land. The favor would never be returned. Instead, the beginning of a genocide project would ensue where the majority of Indigenous peoples in the coastal areas of Turtle Island would be wiped out from murder and colonizer-brought diseases. It was not until 1637, that the Massachusetts Bay Governor would proclaim a celebration in the name of God for the massacre of 700 Pequot people. A feast would be had for the success of manifest destiny, a white supremacist wet dream, wherein white people advance a racist agenda of eradication and enslavement of Black and Indigenous people.
In 2020, the colonial project has evolved beyond the power of 13 colonies into a system that extracts and exploits finite resources, encourages state-sanctioned executions, trafficks people of the global majority into for-profit prisons, violates treaties, and denies aid amidst a pandemic that is disproportionately killing Black and Indigenous peoples. Truthsgiving will be a day of mourning, a grounding in our collective survival, and a commitment to never again feed what kills.
The colonial holiday, Thanksgiving 2022 is right around the corner, during a month that acknowledges Native American / Indigenous people – Native American Heritage Month. We first need to acknowledge that the very foundation of Turtle Island (North America), so-called, the United States of America began with genocide, disease, wars, pillage, violence, rape, and enslavement since 1492. Then we must recognize and acknowledge that our Black relatives were forcibly removed from their homelands, enslaved, and brought to the islands in the Caribbean and to North and South America. The foundation of this country, was off the genocide of Indigenous Peoples, attempts to completely eradicate our ancestors and stole our lands that were governed by our own relatives as Sovereign Nations. This country was built by enslaved Black people. Both of our communities have experienced these similar traumas and injustice due to colonization, white supremacy, systemic oppression, and racism – all mechanisms we still experience to this day.
We would like to present you with a new perspective of what Thanksgiving means and represents. Due to the abundance of false narratives of Native people and inaccurate information in school textbooks, there is a certain lens that we are viewed through. These opinions and beliefs are rooted in discriminatory behaviors and attitudes that are continuously perpetuated through systemic racism and white supremacy. This day is another holiday, like Columbus Day and Halloween, and other narratives, that is problematic and harmful to Native people. Native relatives and allies are taking the steps needed to correct this narrative, to decolonize these holidays and expose the truth about these holidays so that we can remove them, replace them, and perhaps, celebrate Native people and accomplishments rather than being constantly reminded of these injustices and historical trauma. We can’t continue to romanticize and normalize racism and the stereotypes that exist for Native people. So, please, we encourage you to take a deep breath, come to this space with an open mind, learn something new, and become an ally to our communities.
16 laps on a track = 4 Mile
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