Witnessing

Too much has been happening the last few days to report it all here. But one resource that is worth reminding people about is The Marshall Project, which is focused on transforming our criminal justice system. They have created a series of short videos where people witness to their interactions with the system. It’s a great place to start from if you are working with people who have no idea how destructive and racist our systems are.

Lament and advocacy in the face of the murder of George Floyd

Here we go again. On Monday May 25th Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin arrested George Floyd, and used a restraint hold (kneeling on his neck) that either killed him outright, or certainly contributed to his death.

On Tuesday there were protests and a march that for the most part were very calm and peaceful, until the very end when eye witnesses noted young white males involved in property damage at the police station in precinct three. The police moved in with riot gear, tear gas, mace, and rubber bullets.

By Wednesday morning the cities were in shock. Four police officers who were at the scene of the original arrest have been fired. The mayor of Minneapolis and the Chief of Police have asked both the BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) and the FBI to investigate.

Update Thursday, June 4th

Today as I update this post George Floyd’s memorial service will happen. All four officers have now been charged (with Derek Chauvin charged with various degrees of murder), the State of Minnesota has begun a civil rights investigation stretching back 10 years of the Minneapolis police department, and days and days of marches have happened and continue to go on.

We must lament, and we must act. This week some of the resources that are once again being shared include:

a spreadsheet of anti-oppression resources

Treaties Matter

This is a website full of useful information and educator guides for Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations,  a nationally recognized, award-winning, traveling exhibit made in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities CenterMinnesota Indian Affairs Council and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian that was touring during 2013. The website remains, and is a very useful tool.