Through research and analyses in line with broader, national discussions about racial equity, First Nations is building a movement for justice where Native Peoples are involved in conversations about what justice and reparations mean for Native communities.
This project continues First Nations’ approach to informing and improving practices and policies that affect Native Peoples, through research and findings like Reclaiming Native Truth and Invisible No More, and by underscoring how including Native perspectives and priorities is imperative to creating a more just society.
The need for this project stems from multiple factors:
Centuries of colonization and complicated, contradictory federal policies have stripped Native communities of critical assets. Systemic inequities at all levels of the U.S. government, exploitation of Native resources, and the continued dismantling of Native community and family structures have resulted in Native environmental, economic, and social inequalities.
The tragic murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations have further revealed injustices. Simultaneously, COVID-19 has amplified long-standing racial and class inequalities throughout the country.
Still, nowadays many Americans express a high degree of support for the inherent rights of Native nations, including Native sovereignty, the preservation of sacred sites, and the honoring of treaties. And many Americans believe that systems need to change to be more inclusive of Native Americans, supporting Native sovereignty, self-governance, and cultures.
But how this desire for change is translated into policy is complex. In addition, calls for, and conversations about, Native justice have largely occurred at the elite level with little input from Native communities.
First Nations recognizes that there is a need and an opportunity to understand how we can shape public opinion to increase public support for Native American justice.
Launched in 2021 with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, this project aims to provide an understanding of how Native perspectives and priorities map to public opinion, policy development, and the infrastructure needed to advance Native demands.
Below are two components of the Building a Movement for Native American Justice project. Watch for more components unveiled throughout 2024.
Native Justice Essays
What exactly does Native justice look like? First Nations convened 16 Native leaders and knowledge holders to explore this question and share frameworks for achieving Native justice through the knowledge and traditions that have guided Indigenous people since time immemorial. Read the essays.
Native Justice Artist Gallery
Art is an integral part of Native culture, serving as a way to visually address complex issues, emotions, and ideas, while preserving and perpetuating Native knowledge systems. In this virtual gallery, curated by Danielle SeeWalker, select Native artists share their artwork or an artistic production that depicts or reflects Native justice in their communities through the artist’s eyes. Explore the gallery.