This week an increasing number of US states, cities, and other municipalities celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a deliberate space to reflect on the history, present, and future of Indigenous peoples in Turtle Island/USA/Canada specifically and worldwide generally. Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS), a Turtle Island/United States based Quaker service organization, shared several resources to help further understand this particular day, including Quaker complicity in Indigenous oppression, and avenues to take action. QVS wrote that “We’re excited to honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day! The strength and resilience of Native Peoples who have long stewarded the land we live upon is seen and lauded. There is much work to be done in addressing historical and modern harm to our Indigenous siblings, let us collectively move and work towards that justice!” As indigenous peoples are at the forefront of being affected by climate change while also being leaders in the movement to save our planet, the following resources can be helpful in reflecting on Quakers’ specific relationship with Indigenous peoples and the ways we can support and be in solidarity with Indigenous communities.
Friends Journal QuakerSpeak video on seeking Right Relationship with Native Americans can be watched here and this article discusses Quaker Boarding Schools.
Use this tool to navigate a map to find out whose land you are on.
This article is on the history of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and 8 Indigenous rights groups to support and learn about.
The art featured in this post was created by artist Blue Rain, of the Muscogee / Creek Nation, whose land the Atlanta QVS community is on.
Our opportunity to address climate change comes when there is culture wide recognition that our human economy must limit our collective emissions to what can be sequestered (removed through photsynthesis, mineralization or technology). When society recognizes that limit, we must address how to share that limit fairly. Eli develops the concept of a fair share of emissions where if the world averaged this amount, we would achieve net zero carbon emissions economy as referenced in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
Costa Rica is given as a gold standard for low emissions whilst upholding a happy and functioning society – with only 1.9 tons of CO2 emitted per person per year. But how can the USA, emitting more than 19 tons of CO2 per person per year move towards being more sustainable without a hindrance to the well being of its people? Eli’s estimate of a fair share of emissions is 2.6 tons CO2 per year
Fishpaw explores the limitations of strategies such as Cap and Trade which separates individuals and industry, instead seeking means to incentivize making improvements to our consumption system. Through explaining carbon pricing as a viable policy that communicates emissions in transaction cost, Fishpaw an in-depth exploration of carbon tax strategies that allow us to understand why it is important to bring about change.
Watch Eli’s lecture or read Eli’s website
Three corporations want to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants at the Port of Brownsville, Texas.
The Rio Grande Valley community needs people to write to French banks and any other financial institutions funding and supporting three proposed LNG facilities, which are to be located on a two-lane road, Rte 48, along the Brownsville Ship Channel near South Padre Island and Port Isabel.
Dr. Sarah Bishop Merrill has written a letter requesting a TCEQ Public Meeting on Centurion’s Heavy Condensate Upgrader Facility proposed for the region, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, near the Port, Brownsville Ship Channel and the Bahia Grande Wildlife Refuge.
They also need general support in their fight against the harmful effects of the oil and gas industry, in particular, the fracking in Texas, which has been poisoning the water supply and stimulating earthquakes at faults.
Check out their Facebook group “Save RGV from LNG” for more information.
Valerie Joy from the Australia Yearly Meeting voiced her concerns about her healthcare insurance provider, Medibank’s, investment in fossil fuels companies. Read her letter here to gain some inspiration for your own affirmative actions.
Towards a green and fair energy system for all: This QPSW booklet explores how we could build a just and sustainable energy system in the UK in tune with Quaker testimony.
Across the UK, Quakers are taking action on fracking. This briefing explains why our governments should ban fracking and suggests ways that you can take action.