2016 has been an incredible year for the Bioneers’ Indigeneity Program. From the White House to Standing Rock, we continue to champion Indigenous rights and the rights of Mother Earth through our innovative programming and media.
Our success in 2016 is thanks to support from our Bioneers community of creative, passionate people from all walks of life. We are so grateful to our allies and supporters for championing the Bioneers Indigeneity Program. Hear more about the value and impact of this program in the video message below from Clayton Thomas-Muller (Mathias Colomb Cree Nation), 350.org ‘Stop It At The Source’ campaigner and Bioneers Board Member.
Our Year in Review
This year, Alexis Bunten (Aleut/Yup’ik) joined Program Director Cara Romero (Chemhuevi) to produce our strongest Indigenous Forum to date, with powerhouse speakers from the frontlines of Standing Rock. Among the highlights, Indigenous environmental and human rights leaders honestly spoke about the atrocities of the Indian boarding school era; about leading a just transition in the Alberta Tar Sands; and about sustaining rich Indigenous farming traditions in the Southwest.
Over 100 Indigenous youth from more than 65 tribal nations took part in the 2016 Bioneers conference on full scholarship. These amazing young people were not only exposed to life-changing ideas that they will take home to their communities; they also enriched the broader Bioneers community by leading workshops, and sharing ways they keep culture alive through an Indigenous Forum panel titled, “Traditional to Digital: Our Indigenous Youth.”
We were proud and humbled when our Native Youth Leadership initiative was nationally recognized at the White House, where we were invited to share the story of how we built our program from a handful of five youth in 2011 to what it is today: a robust, year-round program to support Native youth dialogue around to the most important issues affecting future generations. Support from our Bioneers community makes breakthroughs like these possible!
In the coming year, we will continue to build upon this incredible momentum, by creating curriculum to bring our Indigenous Forum content to classrooms and online, through lifelong learning opportunities. If you attended the Bioneers Conference, if you follow our ongoing efforts to share environmental and social justice solutions through our media outreach, you know that “Indigenous issues” are “everybody’s issues.”
Now, more than ever, we are painfully aware that we have reached a tipping point in the history of the planet. In this critical time of political and environmental turmoil, where human rights to safe water, access to healthy foods, and the healing powers of nature are more threatened than ever before, we need your help to continue to bring groundbreaking Indigenous solutions to the world.
As 2016 comes to a close, we want to express our deep sense of gratitude to our incredible extended Bioneers family for your support. We’ll keep you updated on all of our activities as they unfold, and we hope to hear from you—our biggest allies. We could not do all this without you.
With Sincere Appreciation,
Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Program Director; and
Alexis Bunten (Aleut/Yup’ik), Program Manager