Protecting People and Planet: An Indigenous Perspective

Join us as we welcome 1992 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Rigoberta Menchu Tum of Guatamala, to Kalamazoo as part of the Great Lakes PeaceJam Youth Conference weekend.

This PUBLIC ADDRESS provides the greater Kalamazoo community with the opportunity to hear directly from Rigoberta Menchu Tum as she discusses her work advocating for the rights of indigenous people throughout the world, the history and impact of colonization on indigenous populations, and the exploitation of their land, livelihood and lifestyle as a result of a growing global economy.

A question and answer session will follow Ms. Menchú’s talk. Ms. Menchu’s books will also be available for purchase and signing. A suggested donation of $10 per guest is requested. WMU students attend free with student ID.

Paw Paw Rally Against Native Mascots

Concerned Native Americans and allies will gather during the Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival on Sept. 10, 2016 to request the abolishment of the racial “chieftain” mascot and the R-word slur adopted by Paw Paw Schools. The rally aims to draw visibility to the voiced Native concerns that have gone unresolved regarding the unequal treatment of Native Americans and the racism experienced by Natives in the public school systems which carry on this tradition of institutionalized racism through mascoting of native people by employing stereotypes of their customs and traditions without cultural competency, and using a long-noted term of horror towards Native people which does not carry respect, “Redskins.”

This rally is an organized effort stemming from the FB page “Protests for Native Rights in MI”.

Participants will gather at 10:30 am at 115 Johnson St. in Paw Paw, MI to assemble, receive signs, pray, and prepare. We will march towards downtown with the goal of occupying the space by the ampi-theater in front of Maple Lake. If we are asked to move, we will occupy the corners of the streets at the intersection of downtown Paw Paw. Police will be alerted much closer to the date in order to avoid any obstruction to this Amendment right.

This rally is in reaction to the lack of response from the Paw Paw school board who has been approached again regarding this issue monthly since February of 2016. They have placed this issue as a “back-burner” concern in the search for their new superintendent, which was hired at the end of June 2016. Those of us who have been frequenting the board meetings have not recieved any information of the intent to change the mascot or R-word slur. We need them to issue a resolution of change to us.

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