“It Ain’t a New Deal, It’s the Same Old Deal”: Red Deal Events Draws Community Support

Community members discuss the action to implement the Red Deal.

By Jennifer Marley

The next Red Deal coalition meeting is Thursday, July 11, 2019 6pm  at the Larry Casuse Freedom Center 1421 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87106.

Day 1

On Wednesday, June 19th over 75 people attended the first Red Deal workshop and listening session at the Larry Casuse Freedom Center in Albuquerque. The goal of the event was to not only introduce the Red Deal but to actively build on it and develop unique solutions to the problems that “green” capitalist transition schemes refuse to acknowledge. This was the first of many listening sessions and workshops that The Red Nation invited allied movements, comrades, and relatives to join us for, to draft and implement the Red Deal, a movement-oriented document for climate justice and grassroots reform and revolution. 

The Red deal was created, keeping in mind that the proposed Green New Deal (GND) legislation is a step in the right direction to combat climate change and to hold corporate polluters responsible. We acknowledge that a mass mobilization, never before seen in history like this is required to save this planet. However, what is often forgotten is that congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the main proponent of the GND, is herself a Water Protector who began her successful congressional run while she was at Standing Rock protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Indigenous movements have always been at the forefront of environmental justice struggles. The Red Deal does not seek to challenge or replace the green new deal, rather it seeks to build people power and policy from the ground up, allowing Indigenous people to claim their rightful place as leaders of the environmental justice struggle. 

The Red Deal workshop started with a prayer by  Comrade Cleo, who also prepared the meal we shared. Onyesonwu of the All African Peoples Revolutionary party spoke on the importance of Juneteenth, reminding us that colonized people have always freed themselves by engaging in active struggle, not by crying on the shoulder of the colonizer. Next, Comrade Nick opened the conversation by introducing the premise of the Red Deal. Following this, the themes of the Red Deal were presented: what creates crisis cannot solve itchange from below and to the leftpoliticians can’t do what only mass movements do, and from theory to action. (See a description of the themes here and below.)

Four Principles of the Red Deal


Below are the four core principles of the Red Deal that were presented at the first Red Deal coalition meeting on June 19, 2018 at the Larry Casuse Freedom Center in Albuqerque, New Mexico.

What Creates Crisis Cannot Solve It

We’ve all heard the term “divestment.” It was a popular strategy during the NoDAPL uprising in 2016; water protectors called upon the masses to divest from the financial institutions investing in the pipeline. Why would we need to divest from the pipeline, and the fossil fuel industry more generally? Because it causes widespread harm to people and the planet and, most acutely, Indigenous peoples. The Red Deal continues this call for divestment from fossil fuel industries, but we go one step further. We draw from Black abolitionist traditions to call for divestment away from the criminalizing, caging, and harming of human beings AND divestment away from the exploitative and extractive violence of fossil fuels.

But, divestment is only half of the equation. What will we do with the resources that will become available once we divest from prisons, the military, the detention industry, and fossil fuels? As of 2015, military spending accounted for upwards of 54% of all discretionary spending at the federal level. Proposed discretionary spending for national security in 2020 comes in at $750 billion, $718.3 billion of which is slotted specifically for the US military. In a given year, the US provides $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel. $182 billion is spent each year on cops and prisons. And eight white dudes—all except one an American citizen—own over half the world’s wealth. This doesn’t even include the revenues from the fossil fuel industry.

Compare this to the $68 billion allocated for education in 2016 and the $186 billion allocated for mental health services in 2014. And only $66 billion of discretionary funds are spent on healthcare each year, with $5.4 billion allocated to IHS. Despite this massive allocation of resources, healthcare is still unaffordable for almost half of Americans. Despite treaty and federal obligations, Native people (especially those living in urban locations) experience the worst healthcare. Corporations like the pharmaceuticals industry control public services through lobbying. Despite these already low numbers, the US government is threatening to cut spending on education, healthcare, food stamps, and other crucial health and human services in order to further inflate military spending. Imagine if we had over a trillion dollars to invest in healthcare for everyone? To increase teachers’ pay so they can provide quality, free education to everyone? To repair roads and provide safe and accessible public transportation for everyone? To invest in large-scale language revitalization programs in every Indigenous nation on the continent?

Imagine if the US military had to hold a bake sale to keep its doors open instead of preschools, domestic violence shelters, art and language programs, and family planning clinics? This proves there is an overabundance of energy and resources that go into demonizing Indigenous water protectors and land defenders, Muslims, Black people, Mexicans, women, LGTBQIA2+, and poor people. While climate change receives barely a sliver of attention. With the resources we gain from divestment, we could end world hunger, illiteracy, child hunger, homelessness, and build renewable energy tomorrow.

This is the world we are proposing.

Change From Below And to The Left

The flurry of anti-protest laws that have been considered in dozens of states in the wake of Black Lives Matter and NoDAPL proves that the people themselves and their demands for a dignified life threaten the powerful. It has been forgotten that the current Green New Deal (GND) legislation was only possible because its main proponent, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was inspired by the NoDAPL uprising. Indigenous people are, and have always been, at the forefront of the struggle for climate justice.

While politicians withdraw from the social justice demands of the GND like healthcare, housing, and education, we embrace them. But we know that we must go further. We must throw the full weight of people power behind these demands for a dignified life. People power is the organized force of the masses; a movement to reclaim our humanity and rightful relations with our earth. With this, not only will we topple power, but we will build a new world from the ashes of empire. A world where many worlds fit.

There can be no rich people without poor people; the rich depend upon the poor. But the poor don’t need the rich. This is our power. Although Indigenous peoples live in a capitalist society, we continue to practice people power. For example, Pueblo communities feed for nearly every ceremonial event. The original purpose of this was to pry surplus from those who held more wealth and redistribute it amongst those who didn’t so that neither a poor class nor a ruling class could form. Everyone’s material needs were met; there was no starvation, no homelessness, no alienation. Everyone was a relative, and everyone had relatives. Capitalism destroyed this world. We must destroy capitalism to bring it back.

People power is the most direct form of democracy. Everyday people decide what’s best for themselves, not the elite and powerful. The wealthiest in the world have refused to pay taxes for more than a century while Indigenous people starve and die of preventable diseases. We are of the conviction that crying on the shoulder of the man who stole your land is the opposite of people power. You can’t smudge the murder out of capitalism, nor can you expect the powerful to give up their wealth out of the kindness of their hearts. So how do we get things to change? Lobby Congress and politicians? No. We reach out directly to our people, hitting the streets and galvanizing the support of the community. Once community support is galvanized, politicians will follow. Our leverage is people. Leverage comes from a movement behind you. Only when people move, do we build enough power to force concessions and eventually win.

Politicians Can’t Do What Only Mass Movements Do

Everyone has heard the term “reform.” Politicians use it all the time when they’re describing their plans for social change. We believe in reform, too. But we’re proposing a different kind of reform. Reform typically means asking the powerful to implement gradual changes that we hope will eventually improve our lives. This approach attempts to treat the symptoms of a crisis, rather than the structures of power that create crisis in the first place. For example, in March 2016, white police officer Austin Shipley’s lapel camera captured his murder of 27-year old Navajo mother Loreal Tsingine in broad daylight in Winslow, Arizona. Lapel cameras are often cited by police reformers as a necessary deterrent to police violence and killing. Shipley murdered Tsingine with impunity and faced no charges.

In the same year that Tsingine was murdered, police arrested over 800 Water Protectors and brutalized and traumatized countless others at Standing Rock. That same year, police killed Native people at higher rates than any other group and killed Native women at six times the rate of white women. Yet, when proponents call for MMIWG “reform,” the solution is more police to address the killing, rape, torture, and imprisonment of Native women.

And in 2018 and 2019, we saw an increase in deaths of Indigenous children in migrant detention centers along the US-Mexico border. We witnessed the shooting by US border patrol of Claudia Patricia Gómez González, an Indigenous woman from Guatemala. And we mourned the death of trans Indigenous woman Roxana Hernandez in an ICE detention facility. Immigration reformers have called for border patrol to keep families together and have also filed lawsuits to call for the construction of “more humane” cages for these families and individuals.

The question these reformers ask is: How can we improve the police? Who do we need to lobby to make these improvements? Instead, we ask: Why are police considered the solution to the crisis of Indigenous life? Why do we even need the police? “Chinga La Migra, “Abolish ICE,” and “No Ban on Stolen Land” are not mere slogans but demands for a dignified life. The police, military, and border patrol exist to protect the interests and wealth of the elite. Instead of providing homes, healthcare, and food, all we get are more cops, more soldiers, more walls, more poisoned water, and more cages. The interests of the few always outweigh the needs of the many. This is how power works in a world structured by capitalism.

Reformists misunderstand this fundamental truth about capitalist states. Capitalist states protect capital and the wealthy class, not life. Reformists who appeal to the state for change compromise our future. We refuse to comprise. Our philosophy of reform is to reallocate social wealth back to those who actually produce it: workers, the poor, Indigenous peoples, the Global South, women, migrants, caretakers of the land, and the land itself. Each of these categories needs special protections. Some examples of the type of reforms we seek include the complete moratorium on oil, gas, and coal extraction. Another is the restoration of Indigenous land, water, and air to a healthy state. These “non-reformist reforms” are crucial to achieving abolition, decolonization, and liberation.

Where will we get the money to fulfill these reforms? From expropriating the wealth from corporate polluters and settler governments and redistributing it to the masses, creating jobs to caretake and heal the planet and build our collective future.

From Theory to Action

Bosses run the world, from the White House to the highest executives of the multinational corporations that plunder the earth. Yet, there is no unified left that poses a real threat to the bosses. We have witnessed massive grassroots rebellions against the fossil fuel industry, police violence, racist immigration policies, and labor exploitation, yet nothing has coalesced into a unified mass movement. We believe that this struggle to restore the health of our bodies and the earth will serve as the most powerful vehicle for building a mass movement. We cannot simply be against something; we must be for something.

We will make policy recommendations that can be used at any level of government, from the grassroots to the tribal council to the state. We cannot turn away from the state because the state has its sights set on us at all times. Indigenous people know that every moment of our existence is mediated by the state: it is illegal to give birth in our traditional homes without state permits and we aren’t even allowed to visit our sacred sites that lie within federal lands without proof of identity. The state harasses us wherever we go because we are not supposed to exist; we are supposed to be gone, erased off the lands the US so desperately wants to exploit for profit. Wherever the state and forces of capital set their sights—urban Indigenous youth, women, migrants, Black people, LGBTQAI2+, our sacred mountains and waters–we must agitate and organize. We cannot simply build isolated utopias while the rest of the world burns, nor can we wait for the slow process of reformist reform to kick in. We cannot simply heal our individual trauma, nor can we consume better to save the environment. We cannot vote harder and place all our hope in a few individuals in Congress. Climate change will kill us before any of these strategies liberate the planet from capitalism.

By fighting for non-reformist reforms in and with these communities, we will drain power and resources from surveillance and harm and reinvest these resources in the wellbeing of all. We will fight for the redistribution of the wealth stolen from us, whether it’s land, water, air, or labor. We will do this in such a way that adheres to the philosophies of abolition, decolonization, and anti-capitalism.

We must reclaim our collective power. When the state invests its greatest resources to contain the threat of mass mobilization, we must already be organized in those spaces and those communities. We must be one step ahead, ready to capture the momentum of the next rebellion and catapult it into a full-blown mass movement.

Above all, we seek peace and right relations between all life. Join us in this struggle!

Melanie Yazzie serves food to Red Deal participants.

Once the listening session ended and the audience was now acquainted with the Red Deal and its purpose, we broke into small groups to discuss ways the Red Deal could be utilized, and it’s generative possibilities. Half of the groups functioned as an education and action group for those new to the struggle, the other half were planning and action groups for experienced organizers to begin brainstorming. Some proposed food sovereignty and imagined programs that would allow us to re-establish our relationships to the land outside the non-profit industrial complex. Others addressed the need for freedom schools in the spirit of Survival Schools, organizing teachers, divesting from the tourism industry, and solutions to rampant bordertown racism and violence. 

Time seemed to fly in the break out sessions, and we were left eager to continue conversations we started that day. Seeing so many comrades in one place all working diligently to imagine a better future was proof that revolutionary action to protect our earth, human, and non-human relatives is not only possible but inevitable. 

We ended with each group presenting what they had discussed and closed with a final prayer and the next steps. We reminded everyone that in our spaces, everyone has relatives, no one goes hungry, and we always equal to one another.  

Email: contact@therednation.org
Twitter: @The_Red_Nation
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/297217001159399/


The proposed Green New Deal (GND) legislation is a step in the right direction to combat climate change and to hold corporate polluters responsible. A mass mobilization, one like we’ve never seen before in history, is required to save this planet. Indigenous movements have always been at the forefront of environmental justice struggles.

Democratic socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the main proponent of the GND, is herself a Water Protector who began her successful congressional run while she was at Standing Rock protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Thus, the GND and the climate justice movement in North America trace their origins to Indigenous frontline struggles.

With this background in mind, TRN is proposing a Red Deal. It’s not the “Red New Deal” because it’s the same “Old Deal”—the fulfillment of treaty rights, land restoration, sovereignty, self-determination, decolonization, and liberation. Ours is the oldest class struggle in the Americas; centuries-long resistance for a world in which many worlds fit. Indigenous peoples are best suited to lead this important movement. But it must come from the ground-up.

The Red Deal

The Red Deal is not a counter program of the GND. It’s a call for action beyond the scope of the US colonial state. It’s a program for Indigenous liberation, life, and land—an affirmation that colonialism and capitalism must be overturned for this planet to be habitable for human and other-than-human relatives to live dignified lives.

The Red Deal is not a “deal” or “bargain” with the elite and powerful. It’s a deal with the humble people of the earth; a pact that we shall strive for peace and justice and that movements for justice must come from below and to the left. We do not speak truth to the powerful. Our shared truth makes us powerful. And this people’s truth includes those excluded from the realms of power and policy-making.

In the spirit of being good relatives, the Red Deal is a platform that calls for demilitarization; police and prison abolition; abolishing ICE; tearing down all border walls; Indigenous liberation, decolonization, and land restoration; treaty rights; free healthcare; free education; free housing; full citizenship and equal protection to undocumented relatives; a complete moratorium on oil, gas, coal, and carbon extraction and emissions; a transition to an economy that benefits everyone and that ends the exploitation of the Global South and Indigenous nations for resources; safe and free public transportation; restoration of Indigenous agriculture; food sovereignty; restoration of watersheds and waterways; denuclearization; Black self-determination and autonomy; gender and sexual equality; Two-Spirit, trans*, and queer liberation; and the restoration of sacred sites.

Thus the Red Deal is “Red” because it prioritizes Indigenous liberation, on one hand, and a revolutionary left position, on the other. It is simultaneously particular and universal, because Indigenous liberation is for everybody.

Where will we get the resources to achieve these monumental tasks? We call for a divestment away from the police, prisons, and military (two of the largest drains on “public spending”) and fossil fuels and a reinvestment in common humanity for everyone (health, wellbeing, and dignity) and the restoration of Indigenous lands, waters, airs, and nations.

Areas of Struggle

We seek to divest from all carceral institutions and reinvest in healing our bodies and the earth. Our areas of struggle are:

End the Occupation: divest from the following police and military institutions

  • Defund Police/La Migra/Child Protective Services
  • End bordertown violence
  • Abolish incarceration (prisons, juvenile detention facilities, jails, border security)
  • End the US Military occupation everywhere
  • Abolish imperial borders

Heal Our Bodies: reinvest in the following institutions and services

  • Citizenship & equal rights for everyone
  • Free & sustainable housing for everyone
  • Free education for everyone
  • Free healthcare for everyone
  • Free and accessible public transportation for everyone
  • Suicide prevention
  • Mental health services
  • Healthy, Indigenous, and abundant food for everyone
  • Clean water & air
  • Sexual and domestic violence services
  • End MMIWG2S
  • Reproductive justice

Heal Our Planet: create jobs by reinvesting in the following

  • Clean, sustainable energy
  • Traditional & sustainable agriculture
  • Land, water, air, & animal restoration (above and below ground)
  • Protect sacred sites
  • Free the earth from capitalism
  • Multi-species caretaking
  • Enforce treaty rights and other agreements
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Water Protectors protest the auctioning of 38,000 acres of Indigenous lands at the BLM-Rio Puerco Offices.

Day 2

The following day 25 people gathered at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rio Puerco office to protest the online auctioning of 38,000 acres of land in the Greater Chaco Landscape for gas and oil exploration. The bidding started at just $2 an acre, and netted $2.8 million in online sales. 

The protesters were met with a heavy private security and police presence, and the building had been barricaded. Participants were told that they were not allowed on “private property.”

Melanie Yazzie sang a woman’s warrior song created by incarcerated First Nations women to combat suicide and carceral violence. Organizer Cheyenne Antonio spoke about the connection between fracking in Diné territory and the epidemic of violence against Native women. New Mexico has the highest rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The oil and gas industry plays a part in this crisis, with the presence of man camps and the poverty that extractive projects leave in areas once they leave. 

Chants now familiar to Water Protectors—“Water is life!” and “You can’t drink oil! Keep it in the soil!”—were heard at this action along with other chants that called for the end of the occupation of Native lands—“When people are occupied, resistance is justified!”.  

Midway through the action, even more, police arrived, threatening protesters with arrest for walking on public sidewalks and through the grass near the BLM building. The group eventually marched up to the freeway where the action was more visible. We continued to rally reminding people that such actions are critical when nobody else protests the blatant theft of Native land for fracking. 

Jennifer Marley reports back community reflections and proposals for implementing the Red Deal.

The protest ended as it began—in prayer—and left the crowd uplifted. The Red Deal event and following protest are fundamentally about protecting water, land, and air for future generations. Our hope is that the Red Deal and the ways it will be implemented will allow Native people to reclaim their relationship to the earth and all non-human relatives. 

We must reclaim our collective power. When the state invests its greatest resources to contain the threat of mass mobilization, we must already be organized in those spaces and those communities. We must be one step ahead, ready to capture the momentum of the next rebellion and catapult it into a full-blown mass movement.

Above all, we seek peace and right relations between all life. Join us in this struggle!


2019 NLC
Download hi-res poster here.

Native Liberation Conference 2019

Anti Imperialism and Solidarity with the Global South
El Morro Theater and Events Center, Downtown Gallup, New Mexico
September 7-8, 2019

(505) 750-7192
RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1820208641413166/ 
Twitter: @The_Red_Nation
Agenda coming soon!

Fascism is on the rise throughout the world. So our response to it must be global. As Indigenous peoples, we don’t have to look far. The Indian War is now the never-ending, global “war on terror.” From Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen, and new threats of war against Iran and Venezuela, the United States is the biggest threat to world peace.

Within our own homelands, walls and jails imprison and keep out the poor, the humble, separating us from our relatives. Uranium mines, fracking wells, and oil pipelines contaminate our lands, rivers, and bodies. Violent men in and out of uniform disappear our relatives — young and old — by the thousands, in ditches, highways, detention centers, and prisons. In cities and in reservation communities, we face a housing crisis and lack of medical care. Native people know what it means to live in utter poverty in a land of plenty.

While the earth burns, the rich get richer. The end of the world is easier to imagine than the end of capitalism. We cannot succumb to this cynicism of defeat. So we must dream a new world into existence.

From Palestine to Turtle Island, from Africa, Asia, to the Americas, we fight for a world premised on justice and freedom for the good people of the earth. We demand a world where wealth and resources are redistributed according to need, where everyone belongs. We demand land and a dignified life for all our relatives.

To build this world, we turn to all nations and communities in struggle against the global elite destroying our planet. In the spirit of Indigenous generosity and radical relationality, we invite all oppressed people and progressive movements to join our cause.

We invite all relatives and comrades to the fourth annual 2019 Native Liberation Conference in Gallup, New Mexico on September 7-8. This year’s conference focuses on internationalism, anti-imperialism, environmental justice, and building an Indigenous-led anti-colonial left in North America.

This event is free and open to the public and for all ages. No registration is required. Many of our guest speakers are traveling from afar and need travel accommodations. Please donate at therednation.org/support and donations will also be collected at the conference, if you can. Every dollar counts!


10 Point Program

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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.


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.