As Native American Heritage Month comes to a close, we invite you to join us in recognizing and honoring the tribes native to the Austin area. Those of us who are not Indigenous occupy the lands and waters of the Tonkawa, Comanche and Lipan Apache peoples. Many of us are complicit in perpetuating myths and practices that erase Indigenous histories and the presence of Indigenous Peoples today.

This is a time to honor the important contributions of the Native people. It is essential to recognize the long history of injustices perpetrated against the Native people and the challenges they face today.

You can learn more about Native American history through the National Archives and current challenges Native communities face through groups like Partnership with Native Americans, an organization working to provide healthy food, adequate drinking water and critical support during COVID-19 in remote reservation communities. You can take action by financially supporting this organization if you are able.

You can also center the voices of Indigenous people in your life. If you have young people in your life, we recommend Traci Sorell’s We are Grateful Otsaliheliga, a children’s book that offers a Cherokee perspective on giving thanks year round. We also recommend Tommy Orange’s There There, a bestselling novel about Native American resilience in 21st century America.

We also recommend learning from Indigenous trans femme @dineaesthetics about Thanksgiving as a Day of Mourning.

In our ongoing fight for racial justice, it is imperative that we recognize, support, and advocate for the sovereignty of Native nations. Thank you for joining us in this work.  

In solidarity,

The District 5 for Black Lives Organizing Team