Native American Heritage Month: Youth Activists You Should Know

Cameron Katz

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November 1, 2022

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Our history is a living history, that has throbbed, withstood and survived many centuries of sacrifice. Now it comes forward again with strength.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month, we asked three Native American activists about how their identities inform their climate and advocacy work. Read their responses below, learn more about them, and follow!

Dani Reyes-Acosta

she/her

“I am reEarthing: to myself, to who my ancestors were, to the legacy of my lost history, and to the land that helps me become who I am. I am reconnecting: understanding what it means to be Mestiza in a world where covert assimilation and patriarchy force us to work against our very interests. I am reclaiming: what it means to live in communion with the land and all her inhabitants—what it means to live in community when the gospel of individuality and greed threatens to rend our very humanity from us. I am Mestiza, and I am mixed. And the hundreds of years of assimilation that have made me who I am must be learned from so that I can build a better relationship to myself and the world that gives me—and all of us—life.”

Giiwedin

Any pronouns

“It is known that Indigenous people protect the majority of the world’s biodiversity. My indigeneity is my activism as an Ojibwe person and our lands and waters are a part of us—not separate. So when I advocate for the land and water, I advocate for myself and the people. Miigwech, thank you.”

Jasilyn Charger

they/them

“My identity as a non-binary indigenous person and advocate inspires me to stand on multiple fronts. The intersection of indigenous and climate justice go hand in hand. For you can not talk about one without addressing the other. To see and understand we are all connected like the synopsis of a tree. We must tend to our roots and dig in for the long haul. For it’s our next generation who are watching as we walk forward on every Frontline to preserve the future the best we can. The courage I have seen and learned throughout undocumented history of people fighting social justice and climate justice has lit a fire in my heart. It is we who carry those torches for the land and water.”

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Cameron Katz

Cameron Katz

Social Media Intern

Cameron is a Social Media Intern based in Atlanta, GA who is passionate about using storytelling, creativity, great research, and a bit of humor to help others take action and understand the world a little better. She recently graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in English Creative Writing and a B.A. in History.

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