The Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC) expresses solidarity in spirit and in action with the Idle No More movement and its calls for Indigenous sovereignty and rights, self-determination, and environmental protections, and against ongoing colonization, racism, genocide, and oppression.
Though MN BBC focuses on on ending Minnesota’s complicity in Israeli settler colonialism, apartheid, and occupation in Palestine, we stand in support of Indigenous resistance to all forms of oppression and injustice worldwide. We recognize that Palestinians and the Indigenous people of the Americas have suffered ethnic cleansing and innumerable attempts to destroy their variety of cultures and identities at the hands of the very same forces of European colonization. We therefore join Idle No More in demanding the upholding of First Nations treaty rights by the Canadian government, and in demanding an end to the ongoing theft of indigenous lands and to resource exploitation and environmental devastation (including tar sands and pipelines) by corporations and governments. In addition, we are inspired and grateful for INM’s explicit call for the protection of women, land, and water and their vision for a world made up of just, equitable and sustainable communities.
As a Minnesota-based organization, MN BBC acknowledges our own state’s history of colonization of Dakota and Ojibwe lands and the profound impacts that genocide, racism, oppression, and injustice have had and continue to have on the Indigenous people of Minnesota. After over four hundred years of land theft and treaty violations, the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations have less than 4% of their historic lands and individuals and communities still have to fight for rights like fishing and hunting. We see huge disparities in health in our Native communities such as vastly disproportionate suicide rates, occurrences of mental illness, heart disease, diabetes, various forms of cancer, and increasing poverty. As a result of the historical trauma caused by the Indian Boarding School system, specifically in Morris and Pipestone locally, we see less than half of our Native students, only 42%, graduating from high school compared to an overall statewide graduation rate of 76 percent.
As an organization currently made up of mostly non-Indigenous members, MN BBC also acknowledges our role as settlers on this land. We cannot and should not work for decolonization of Palestinian lands, without being in solidarity in word and action with decolonization struggles at home. For Palestinian liberation is intrinsically tied to the liberation of Dakota and Ojibwe peoples, and to all Indigenous people worldwide. That is why we stand with Idle No More here today, and why you can count on our support in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.