Published February 5, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS – Native Lives Matter was present among 52 organizations marching through the streets of Minneapolis prior to the Super Bowl kickoff. Native LIves Matter works in advocating justice and accountability in response to police officers that murder Native people and provide resources and supportive services for grieving families.
Printed on an upside flag, a sign of distress, were names of slain American Indians at the hands of law enforcement. One line read, “Sitting Bull – Killed by Police. Dec. 15th, 1890.”
Corine Fairbanks, with AIM – Ohio, was in Minneapolis for a national conference, sponsored by Take a Knee Nation, that dealt with the vast number of American Indians and African Americans killed by law enforcement. Take A Knee Nation, includes Twin Cities Take A Knee, Boston MASS Action, Cincinnati Black Lives Matter, students, cheerleaders and athletes from around the United States who have taken a knee to protest police violence, along with the families, especially mothers (Valerie Castile and Toni Taylor), and friends of victims of police violence and activists who have committed to the struggle against police violence and racism.
“You cannot have a legitimate conversation on racism, institutionalized racism, and white supremacy without inviting Native people to the table,” says Fairbanks. There is evidence everywhere, in public schools, on our dollar bills, use racist of Native Mascots and federal holidays, to name of few, thast we have struggled and fought against since settlers first got here. This is not a Black and White issue- you simply cannot have a discussion about racism and institutionalized racism without us.”
Fairbanks attended the conference with Frank Paro, who represented the national American Indian Movement (AIM) office. Paro, filled in for Clyde Bellecourt, a co-founder of AIM, who was too ill to attend. Paro, who had just released from a hospital last week, felt it important to have American Indian presence at the the conference.
Minneapolis is the birthplace of the American Indian Movement, and has been at the forefront of fighting for Native rights, fighting racism, and advocating for Natives families that have also survived unjust attacks from police.
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This BBSNews article originally appeared on Native News Online.