Anishinaabe Healing Stories on Racial Justice

 
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Background

This project was birthed at the very first Healing Stories event that took place in Kchiwiikwedong (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community) in 2015. The Native Justice Coalition Director was working as a Consultant with the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion at the time. There were 16 Story Sharers and 60 attendees to make a successful first event. Keweenaw Bay youth, elders, women, and Two-Spirits shared their stories. It was a powerful event for greater community healing. This was a part of a larger initiative to build a statewide racial justice coalition in Michigan. Similar projects took place in Detroit, Flint, and Benton Harbor. You can view the video of this work here - Healing Stories Project.

At the Native Justice Coalition we are passionate about sharing our stories, healing, and racial justice. This project emphasizes public story sharing on racism to bring voice and visibility to our people and communities.  If grant funds are available we plan to digitally record all the stories into documentaries for community resources. If requested by the community we will offer private story sharing opportunities as some people may not feel safe to share publicly. 

This project brings a much needed resource on racial justice to our rural and remote Anishinaabe communities.  Often in racial justice work Native people are not included in conversations, projects, and various initiatives.  The Native Justice Coalition works diligently to break down this barrier and center Native people in racial justice work.  We will be culturally sensitive and address this work inside of a social justice and Anishinaabe led framework.  With this foundation we can address current injustices and generational trauma due to being survivors of genocide.  In turn, this will provide healing for our communities and empower our people.

Photo: Keweenaw Bay Indian Commumnity Healing Stories participants & NJC staff - June 2019

Photo: Keweenaw Bay Indian Commumnity Healing Stories participants & NJC staff - June 2019

Upcoming Projects

If you would like to learn a more about our work or to host a project in your community, please contact our Healing Stories Project Coordinator, Grey Shea, grey@nativejustice.org. We are currently planning for 2020 healing stories events in Anishinaabe communities in Michigan. These events are expected to take place in the summer and fall of 2020.

Past Projects

This project was officially launched in 2018 with the financial support of LUSH Charity Pot, AJ Muste Social Justice Fund, and the Third Wave Fund. We had enough grant funds to do this work in 3 Anishinaabe communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We recruited 23 Story Sharers and had over 100 event attendees between the 3 communities.

In 2019 we hosted this project in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, and Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Between these 3 communities we had 30 Story Sharers and 95 event attendees. We are excited about this growth in our Anishinaabe communities in the past two years. We made new connections and established new community partnerships in this Native led racial and healing justice work in our territory. See the past event flyers below for more informantion.