PURPOSE: Society of Native Nations(SNN)-is a Non-Profit 501(C)(3) Organization and was founded to fulfill the express mission of Helping to protect and preserve the way of life, culture, spirituality, teachings, and medicines of the Native indigenous people of North and South America. We also help to address the social injustice issues and the rights of all Native people from various communities throughout the United States. Through awareness and education of our culture and spirituality, we believe people can better understand and respect one another to create true unity. Together we can succeed in addressing the issues we face in our Native communities, such as cultural racism, appropriation, exploitation, education, environmental issues wildlife conservation and any social injustice issues. Our goal is to bridge the gap between Native communities and unite to better address the issues we face by providing the programs, events, and actions to accomplish our mission.
WHY: First and foremost to help bring awareness that there ARE Natives in Texas. Texas has a brutal genocidal history. In 1838 Mirabeau Lamar decreed it illegal for any “Indians” to remain in Texas. Violence and torture of Native peoples reigned for years in the colonial missions now being celebrated as world heritage sites and major tourist attractions contributing to gentrification and further displacement of our people. We are living a colonial legacy on these lands where 95 percent of the land in Texas is privately owned. Nine ranchers own 37 percent of the land – an area larger than all but eight states. It is time for us to reclaim our connection to the land.
As Natives based out of Texas, this state faces the largest wealth disparity in the USA. This city is home to many displaced tribal Native peoples facing an urban environment. We have a unique challenge of harsh realities and distractions that make it difficult to stay connected to the elders and our way of life. We are lacking a space to come together as different tribes to build trust to move together for common interests and goals.
We wish to build a path of unity amongst our tribes through continuing practices such as sacred local ceremonial gatherings to bring our communities closer together. We plan to help educate local social justice organizers on how to be conscious of Native ways and land treaties to bring more Native presence and respect in various spaces so our efforts are truly Native led. All the while, training young Native leaders to step into greater leadership roles for the community.
Natives from different tribes are being called to come together to tackle various issues locally including cultural appropriation, racism and stereotypes. Some local examples include children being “forced to cut their hair” to attend public schools, addressing bullying, and educating public school educators about cultural competency to stop perpetuating stereotypes by enacting “Thanksgiving day activities” such as dressing children up as “Pilgrim and Indians”;
This organization aims to bring more resources to support the younger generations. There are many natives in Texas that do not “consider themselves native” and in fact, are unaware of their lineage and connection to these lands. We wish to establish connections to elders and sacred sites and while guiding and encouraging them to piece together the history masked in schools of where and how our people lived and how to continue to live these ways.