Life is Sacred: A Statement of the Nation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities…/
Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive | June 8, 2020
By TCJ Staff

Epiitendaagwak obimaadiziwiniwaan Mekadewiziwaad. As Anishinaabe, we say Black lives matter.
Leech Lake Tribal College, White Earth Tribal and Community College, and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

Naahiłii beda’iina’ nihił danilį. As Navajo, we say Black lives matter.
Diné College and Navajo Technical University

Takomni Hasapa Oyate Wiconi Heca. As Sicangu, Hunkpapa, and Sihasapa Lakota, we say Black lives matter.
Sinte Gleska University and Sitting Bull College

Takomni hasapa wiconi hecha. As Dakota, we say Black lives matter.
Cankdeska Cikana Community College

Makade-bizaawizijig da-apiitenimidiwag. As Ojibwa, we say Black lives matter.
Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College

Taaqsipait Iñuggutiŋit Nuimanaqtut. As Iñupiaq, we say Black lives matter.
Iḷisaġvik College

Apiitendaagwadoon obimaadiziwiniwaan makadewiiyaaseg. As Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, we say Black lives matter.
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College

Leng-e-sot. As Lummi, we say We take care of ourselves, watch out for ourselves and love and take care of one another.
Northwest Indian College

Waza ni wina nihunpra ha ni wina wakanchunk. As Hochunk, we say Life is sacred.
Nebraska Indian Community College

Kah s ki te w wi yah s o pi mah ti s so no wah w ki che tah kwah n ni yo. As Cree, we say Black lives matter.
Stone Child College

Mashíi shibisha aru ahgua’ac (Hidatsa). As Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara, we say Black lives matter.
Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College

Ha-duakag g s-cuckcu ‘o wuḍ si has ha’icu. As Tohono O’odham, we say Black lives matter.
Tohono O’odham Community College

Ndąą Diłhił’í bi’idąą da’ilįį. As San Carlos Apache, we say Black lives matter.
San Carlos Apache College

Takómni hásapa wičhóni héčha (Dakota). As Dakota and Assiniboine, we say Black lives matter.
Fort Peck Community College

Takomni hasapa wiconi hecha. Takomni Hasapa Oyate Wiconi Heca. Mashíi shibisha aru ahgua’ac. As Dakota, Lakota, Hidatsa, Mandan, Arikara, we say Black lives matter.
United Tribes Technical College

I n phénnîn ínbí wówátsí wá din chä múu (Tewa). As Native artists, writers, and designers from more than 90 Tribal nations learning on the ancestral lands of the Tewa people, we say Black lives matter.
Institute of American Indian Arts

Wɔʔɔtááníhʔɔɔtɔh ʔíínʔikíitɔ́nɔh ʔanáatéhch (Aaniiih). As Aaniiih and Nakoda, we say Black lives matter.
Aaniiih Nakoda College

Kade’aazijig gchipiitendaagoziwag. As Gnoozhekaaning-Anishinaabe, we say Black lives matter.
Bay Mills Community College

Apiitendaagoziwoog igo meKdewzhejig. As Saginaw Chippewa Anishinaabe, we say Black lives are important.
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College

Este Ivste vpopoketv hayetv mvrahkv. As Muscogee Creek, we say Black lives matter.
College of the Muscogee Nation

Wąkšik ho’įna wakącąk šąną. As Winnebago, we say Life is Sacred. (We all share in common, life.)
Little Priest Tribal College

Baaishtaashiilishiipite Kuun Biilaaxpaakuuk. As Apsáalooke, we say Black lives matter.
Little Big Horn College

Apiitendaagoziwag mekadewizijig. As Ojibwe, we say Black lives matter.
Turtle Mountain Community College

The nation’s American Indian and Alaska Native tribal colleges and universities (TCUs), which are the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), stand, kneel, pray, and act with our Black brothers and sisters and all who are oppressed and have felt the dehumanizing impact of racism, invisibility and hate. We send our condolences and prayers to the families of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd and all the families whose loved ones are unnamed. We share your fight and your burden. We will not rest until together, we overcome the systemic, generational and unending brutality practiced against people of color under the authority of those who are sworn to serve and protect.

It is a sad truth that sanctioned disrespect and brutality occur daily in communities of color, yet too often go unreported. It has been happening for more than 500 years since Columbus and his crew sailed across an ocean and captured, enslaved, and murdered Indigenous people so that he could claim their land for his queen. Whether today’s victims are “merciless Indian savages,” as we are described in the Declaration of Independence (the same document that declares “all men are created equal”), or Breonna Taylor asleep in her bed, Ahmaud Arbery jogging down a street, or George Floyd lying on the ground under a police officer’s knee, the root cause is the same: the systemic, generational inability to recognize the humanity of others, brought to this land by the first immigrant-colonizers and enshrined in this nation’s founding documents.

Racism runs deep and wide across this land, like blood coursing through veins, beating to a drum—the heartbeat of hatred, living in the very document mayors, governors, generals, mothers, fathers, you, and I cite as our national ideal, our collective aspiration: “that all men are created equal.”

Yet today’s protesters and peacemakers give us hope: they are redefining that phrase of division and hate—their actions are a sustained shout from the mountaintop that the people of this nation have the faith and grace to believe that every human being is born with certain rights—that Black lives matter.

As tribal colleges, we lift our voices. We commit to taking up the charge issued to us by the Honorable John Lewis, “It’s time to make some good trouble—necessary trouble.” It is time for all to stand and kneel and raise our fists in unity and equality; to review our own law enforcement training programs and practices (to share or to change); to work to ensure the right—and will—to vote in our marginalized communities; to provide forums for people to come together, talk, and heal and work toward a new Declaration of Independence and Equality—to do all that is needed to build a just world—a world in which our future generations are able to breathe.

Wazągųsra honį’ąp ra nąc wągojawi ną – The creator blessed us with life (Winnebago)
Wiċoni wak̇an – Life is Sacred (Lakota)
Naahiłii beda’iina’ nihił danilį – Black lives matter (Navajo)
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