August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Black Mesa Indigenous Support: Regional Coordinators

BMIS Regional Coordinator Proposal
By Black Mesa Indigenous Support
Photo: Black Mesa Support Caravan
Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is seeking year-round regional coordinators! We are looking for excited, committed people to join us in support of the traditional resistance communities at Big Mountain/Black Mesa. We are seeking individuals and groups from all over the country and encourage people who are new to organizing projects to join us, as well as supporters who have long-term involvement in the struggle. Please pass along this email to people in your community who might be interested, and get in touch with us if you have any questions at:
BMIS strives to have our organizing grounded in the needs and input from people on the land at Big Mountain Black Mesa, which necessitates lots of communication, translation, and trips to the land. In addition, we serve as a bridge between outside supporters and the resistance community. We envision a regional coordinator structure that will help us strengthen our ties to outside supporter communities, and build capacity and connection to the land and elders. We are a small, all-volunteer collective and are unfortunately unable to accomplish all that we would like to see in support for traditional resistance communities on the land. Regional coordinators will help us in regards to capacity, as well as aid BMIS in staying accountable by providing input and suggestions from supporter communities nationwide. Most importantly, we hope that regional coordinators will help us build a national network that can support Big Mountain/Black Mesa, as well as regional indigenous resistance struggles, and social movements for the liberation of all peoples and the planet.
We envision regional coordinators as a bridge between national BMIS work and local supporter communities. Regional coordinators will be responsible for facilitating trips out to the land for supporters from their area. This will involve talking to new supporters ahead of time to review the Cultural Sensitivity Guide and preparedness information, as well as communicating with BMIS about any problems or issues that arise. In addition to helping ease the capacity issues of BMIS nationally, these direct meetings between regional coordinators and supporters will help build solidarity networks and encourage accountable relationship building. Regional coordinators will also assist in organizing the annual Fall Wood Run caravan and building a local network of supporters for indigenous sovereignty struggles. We hope to develop a stronger national network of people that can respond to Elders calls for support, and envision the regional coordinators as a key part of this goal. In addition, regional coordinators will be asked to do fundraising in their area for BMIS and direct on-the-land support. If you've never done fundraising before, dont worry! We have lots of information about grassroots fundraising to share with you and see this as a part of our education and organizing campaign.
In addition to organizing directly around Big Mountain Black Mesa support efforts, we also hope that a regional coordinating structure can become a vehicle for BMIS to help promote a national network of indigenous solidarity organizing and movement building. To this end, we are excited about the role regional coordinators can play in building political analysis among supporters. We want to contribute to sustainable movements that prioritize the leadership of those most impacted by oppression, relocation, and environmental degradation. We hope regional coordinators and local supporters will be able to build connections to and support for local indigenous struggles in their area, and make connections to the anti-colonial resistance at Big Mountain Black Mesa.
This proposal and call-out for regional coordinators is a work in progress. The work we do together will be defined by the energy, creativity, and commitment that we share, and we are looking for input from people who would like to get involved in our work. Please let us know if you have suggestions for BMIS in regards to regional organizing, caravans, and our support work generally. Below we've listed some of the ideas that we have brainstormed as projects that regional coordinators could contribute to. Let us know what you think!
-year round outreach and initial conversations with folks interested in doing on land support
-connect to local climate justice, anti-racism, and decolonization projects
-organize the local caravan well in advance- outreach to participants, donations, ride coordinating, etc. to avoid last-minute craziness
-set up sheepherder send-off parties which can double as political education and fundraising events
-put on screenings of Broken Rainbow, as well as speaking engagements, report backs and other educational events to spread word about the struggle
-set up discussions around the Cultural Sensitivity Guide and other related readings to facilitate political development of supporters
-organize joint fundraisers in support of local indigenous struggles
-organize local responses to calls to action from the land
-looking into and spreading information about local corporate and political connections to Peabody Coal
-tabling and information distribution at local events to build networks and share information
-build local capacity to fight racism and participate in multiracial movements for justice
We are inspired by what it could mean for people to be able to commit in sustainable long-term ways to supporting the struggle at Big Mountain Black Mesa as well as the other struggles that must be won to make justice a reality for all people and on all lands. We are looking for people to join us in this project! If you are interested in becoming a regional coordinator, please send us an email telling us where you are located, why you are interested in the work, and any ideas you might have for solidarity work in your region. Thank you sincerely and we look forward to hearing from and working with you!

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