Week 7: We Stand on Stolen Land

Indigenous awareness and activism around the world

Indigenous rights must be a priority every day, but as Indigenous People’s Day was last Monday and Thanksgiving is fast approaching, it is all the more relevant to have these conversations. This week’s stories are focused around Indigenous activists and awareness of the history of the land. 

She Ran Boston for the Missing Women the World Ignored

Photo from @nativein_la on Instagram

Run-Through: 

Taylor Dutch writes for Runners World about an indigenous runner named Jordan Marie Brings Three White Horses Daniel. Daniel devoted her run of the Boston Marathon in April, 2019 to 26 missing and murdered indigenous women. She prayed for one woman after each mile. Dutch says, “84 percent of indigenous women have experienced physical, sexual, or psychological violence in their lifetime.” Daniel painted a red hand print over her mouth and wrote MMIW (missing and murdered indigenous women) on her legs. Daniel said, “MMIW is the longest standing ‘Me Too’ movement that we’ve had since colonization, since 1492, and no one ever talks about that.” Daniel hopes to run in the 2020 Olympics and thus give her movement a larger platform. 

On review:

☀ Runners World is not a mainstream publication, and I think Dutch handled this absolutely crucial event consciously, yet Dutch could have dug deeper into the story and Daniel’s history.

☀ This is one of very few articles about Daniel, despite the fact that her act of protest is unique and she is on track to become a public figure in the future.

The Indigenous Man Who Declared His Own Country

Photo from The New York Times

Run-Through: 

In 2014, Murrumu of Walubara created his own nation state off the coast of Australia. Livia Albeck-Ripka reports for the New York Times on Mr. Walubara’s self-declared Yidinji Territory, which includes the Great Barrier Reef. Mr. Walubara rid himself of any connection to Australia because the Australian Constitution still does not protect Aboriginal people. This has required personal sacrifices, including access to health care. His goal is to create a productive relationship with the Australian Government that would entail allowing Yidinji leaders to make all environmental decisions for the territory. “For Mr. Walubara, the road ahead may be lonely and fraught, but he remains convinced that a treaty will occur in his lifetime,” said Albeck-Ripka.

On review:

☀ This article neglects to mention the relevance of this move in a time when the Great Barrier Reef is slowly deteriorating likely from *majorly* the actions of white people.

☀ For more information on Indigenous Australian issues: 

8 Guides and Tours to Honor Indigenous Cultures

Photo from Outside Magazine

On review:

Outside Magazine’s Stacey McKenna details a guide (posted on Indigenous People’s Day) on how to travel with Indigenous Communities in mind. She recommends activities including riding, fishing, snorkeling, and hiking around the country (and a couple in Canada) and explains which tribes the land was belongs to. For example, McKenna suggests Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lander, Wyoming and Tundra North Tours in Inuvik, Northwest Territories of Canada. “A growing indigenous-led tourism industry is working to bridge that gap, opening up Native lands and leading hikes, cycling tours, and multi-day trips that explore their histories,” said McKenna.

Run-Through: 

☀ I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but there is likely an Indigenous journalist who could have written this. But, as is usual with Outside Magazine, it is written by a white person.

☀ This is a list of places that honor Indigenous cultures but the article does not address how to respectfully travel through Native land. I might have added a brief summary of Leave No Trace principles and an explanation of how to acknowledge whose land your on. 

☀ More resources:


Thank you for reading! See you on the trails, and don’t forget to acknowledge whose land you are on!