It was a great day. I didn’t get much sleep, but I was rocking it out at 7 a.m.!! I got a nap in, though!
Check the pictures! Got my accreditation badge – I need that to get in and out of the UN Center. They had an old picture from my previous UN attendance and I took it! First stop was the Indigenous Peoples Caucus.
It was so exciting to see so many different beautiful people!! I did run into a contact from the Representatives for Native American Rights Fund and Frank Ettawageshik of the National Congress of American Indians. We were introduced and he knew our Bad River Tribal Chairman, Mike Wiggins Jr. He had heard Mike speak at the EPA Region 5 Administrator meeting, and he was so impressed and moved. Frank talked about the Thunderbird nest story that Mike loves to share about our homelands and how Mike told the story so beautifully and demanded they adjust to our protocols!
There are these perfect, round concretions (also known as the eggs of the Thunderbird) that only are found on our beach on Lake Superior and a beach in Japan. When Frank, as the Executive Director of United Tribes of Michigan and of the Traverse Band in Michigan got to the round concretion part of the story, I happened to pull one out of my pocket. I think I might gift it to him. They passed me tobacco and asked me to be the representative of North American Indigenous Women. I wanted to cry!
Indigenous Women’s Day is Wednesday. There’ll be representatives from the Pacific, Africa, Arctic, and Latin America. Makes me wish for my sisters, my friends, aunties, and home. I came here to carry them though. I think of my brothers and sisters across Turtle Island who I wish were here. I have to do well and stand strong.
There’s so many things to see inside the conference, too!! They have a lot of organizations set up from regions, issues, and “solutions”. It’s fun to take a quick break for a smile, art, dance, and song. I saw this lady carrying a sign that said #MakeEarthGreatAgain and stopped her to take a picture!
We started planning for the White House action in the afternoon. We teamed up with SustainUs and held an action in protest of the White House’s new energy campaign – nuclear and coal. That’s crazy! We spoke of the Frontline Communities and those being impacted and still suffering right now. We had a representative from Puerto Rico with us. It’s so devastating.
We shared many prayers with them. I’ve been able to share so much with so many. I am feeling good connecting with people. I want to take so many more pictures, too! There are beautiful representatives everywhere!
Tomorrow, I give a press conference representing North American Indigenous! Wish I had brought more regalia and beadwork. With everything going on at home last week, I’m glad I made it here.