About the Call
This past Monday, MuslimARC hosted its second National Call-In in support of #StandingRock and Indigenous Rights. This call focused on amplifying the voices of Native and Indigenous activists. The Facebook Event Page stated:
You are invited to join us this Monday October 3rd at 6pmPST/9pmEST for a National Call in for Muslim mobilization to Support Native Muslim Delegations to #StandingRock and #SacredStoneCamp. Native activists, Native Muslims, and Muslims working to raise awareness will present on #NoDAPL, direct actions, how to support the lawsuit the Standing Rock Reservations has filed against the government, and how they will prepare the massive camp-in for the long cold winter. Find out what you can do to support the movement for environmental justice and racial justice. The goals for the call are as follows:
1. Find out why 280 Native Indian tribes are preparing for a winter of resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)
2. Find out more about actions during Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the Livestream from Standing Rock on October 10th.
3. Learn more about efforts you can take to defend the Sacred, such as the #SupportStandingRock LaunchGood campaign at launchgood.com/standingrock
4. Get a chance to ask and discuss with folks taking the lead on solidarity efforts for environmental justice and Native Resistance.
The participants included:
Leslie Henderson Oajaca is a Spanish speaking Indigenous Muslim of the K’iche’/ Maya people of Guatemala and has been a convert for 13 yrs. She has volunteered for numerous Muslim organizations and served as a Helping Hands LA representative. Her work supports, educates, and empowers Spanish speaking Muslims in the US, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Naui Ocelotl Huizilopochtli is of the Nahua nation and part of the Mexica Movement. Self proclaimed Anahuac Indigenous Nationalist, he has 22 years of experience as an Indigenous rights activist. His YouTube channel has over 25,000 subscribers.https://www.youtube.com/
LaTanya Barlow is of Diné & Chiricahua-Apache descent. Sr. LaTanya is a very active member of the Southern California community and served as ICNA Greater Los Angeles Chapter’s Programs Coordinator before dedicating her time to ICNA Relief’s Social Services. She has completed WhyIslam’s Dawah Certification Program and now assists the WhyIslam Ansar Team.
She has completed her first year of Islamic Studies at the California Islamic University in Fullerton and is currently enrolled at the Institute of Knowledge in Diamond Bar, CA. She earned her Associate’s degree in Speech Communication from the University of Maryland-College Park while serving in the United States Marine Corps. Sr. LaTanya has worked widely within our community with notable organizations such as the Muslim American Society (MAS), Islamic Relief USA, Helping Hand, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), and Muslim Girl Scouts.
Moderator: Margari Hill
Programming Director of MuslimARC
Listen to Recording here
Highlights from the Call-In
Leslie shared her experiences this summer at Sacred Stone Camp where she was able to appreciate being Indigenous and Muslim. She stated that she did encounter some Islamophobia within the camp. Leslie recounted that an individual asked her, “Why are you Muslim? You have your ways, why do you need to be Muslim?” Leslie closed the call highlighting that the the need for Indigenous Muslims to come together and get to know each other.
Naui, who has been an ally for Muslim Americans, discussed unlearning Eurocentric thinking and educating himself on his history and identity. Since then, his work has been about confronting White Supremacists, from KKK, Skin heads, and Minuteman, who hate Muslims, Latinos, Blacks, Asians. Naui stated that when we celebrate Thanksgiving we are celebrating “thanks-taken,”, that they thank their God for taking our land. Naui said his family is from Jalisco Mexico, where they are trying to take resources from the mountains. Our rivers dry up. Same thing is going to happen in North Dakota. Sooner or later it is going to burst. He said, ” destroy our land, you deserve our culture.” Naui stated that the Mexica movement is going to come and bring supply so that they can stay for the winter.
LaTanya stated that this issue is going to take a lot of thought, training, humility, and critical thinking skills. LaTanya stated, “What is happening now is that two communities are coming together and that has never happened on this scale.” LaTanya talked about her upbringing as an Indigenous person with the culture, songs, the ways, and the tradition healing of her grandfather, who is a medicine man. LaTanya stated that going to the camp taught her to be a better person. In the conversation, she highlighted that Standing Rock was a place of prayer. LaTanya stated, “I fused my experience at Standing Rock with my perspective as a Muslim and being a Native.”
When asnwering how can non-Natives support, LaTanya stated, “We need to make sure that we fight for the causes locally, nationally, and globally. Now is not the time to sit down and relax and hit the snooze button.” LaTanya emphasized that it was important for Non-Natives to understand that Sacred Stone Camp is a place of prayer. She stressed, “Ask if you are going to take a picture. There are protocols. For example if you go to the mosque you take your shoes. Same thing to the camp.”
LaTanya listed the following suggestions:
- Sign a pledge or petition to support the movement. Understand the importance of contracts. The treaty must be honored. Share your thoughts, continue to protest. Reach out to your local media.
- Don’t send Nestle Water; Knowing what to send, how to send it.
- Huge outpouring of support. The leaders of the camp are going to court on October 5th. Please pray that we have a favorable outcome. These people have crazy money, but we have God.
- Join the movement. Make a plan of action.
Plans for Indigenous People
Imam Zaid Shakir plans to meet with some of the elders of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and chairman of Standing Rock to share Zam Zam water and explain it’s importance. There is a plan for the Muslims arriving to the camp Having lunch together, and pray together.
For more information on the schedule and to follow Leslie and LaTanya’s journey, visit muslimarc.org/indigenous.
Interested in coming to Sacred Stone Camp? Please fill out the form below: