Native Advisory Council Statement of Solidarity with the UMass Black Community

May 5, 2022

The root struggles of Native American and Black people are and always have been deeply intertwined. The very foundations of this country were built by stolen people on stolen land. At times our communities and peoples have been put in opposition to each other to serve divisive colonial interests of supremacy, domination, and extraction of ‘resources’. The Native Advisory Council unequivocally rejects this false division and pledges to continue to build relationship and solidarity with the Black Advisory Council and the UMass Black community. This does not mean that Indigenous struggles are less important, rather it is a recognition that our histories past and present are and always have been inextricably connected by centuries of continued resistance against the same forces of systemic racism, imperialism, and extractive economies. Together we work to dismantle these systems for the benefit of all our relations and the living lands and waters that sustain us.

We acknowledge the need to confront and work to address anti-Blackness within Native communities, in our families, and within ourselves. We recognize that doing this work is a critical part of our own healing, as is embracing the ways that our histories, clans, and families are forever linked by blood, struggle, and love. We particularly recognize that love is a critical part of decolonization.

To our Black students, our message is simple because it does not take many words to speak the truth. We love you. We support you. You are precious to us. You are important to us. You matter beyond words. Many of you carry Native ancestors along with your Black ancestors. You are the living embodiment of a deep and longstanding love between our communities and we embrace you as beloved kin.

As a Council, we pray for the safety and wellbeing of the UMass Black community and beyond. With strong hearts, good minds, and collective actions, we stand for and uplift our love for you.--The UMass Native Advisory Council