Invisible No More: Native Realities in a Post-Election Era
Less than 0.3% of philanthropic dollars go to native groups. This fact was pointed out at Philanthropy New York’s event, “Invisible No More: Native Realities in a Post-Election Era”, by Schott Foundation Vice President of Programs and Advocacy Edgar Villanueva. Alongside Edgar were Native Americans in Philanthropy CEO Sarah Eagle Heart, American Indian Law Alliance President and Executive Director Betty Lyons, and moderator Patricia Eng, who is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at The New York Women’s Foundation. The panelists discussed concerns of and hopes for philanthropy’s engagement with native partners. Each panelist identified gaps in support for indigenous communities but emphasized that these issues affect us all: the planet that the native community is fighting to protect belongs to all of us, and we must collaborate with others to save it.
Sarah described the loss of land, culture and language that many native people experienced, and are still experiencing. The manifest destiny ideology adopted in the 1800s reassured white settlers that it was their destiny to colonize the lands that once belonged to native communities. The placement of native youth in boarding schools were created to “kill the Indian, save the man”, by training youth to reject their language and culture – a culture-robbing process that continued until the late 1970s. These facts are largely ignored today by the masses, but Sarah envisions a time in which these truths become common sense. Sarah sees our current political climate as an opportunity – now other groups are experiencing what native communities have been experiencing for hundreds of years, and it is crucial for these groups to collaborate.
Schott’s Edgar Villanueva further emphasized the necessity for collaboration, saying, “what’s at stake is all of our futures.” Like Invisible No More: Native Realities in a Post-Election Era | Schott Foundation for Public Education: