Reply To: Full Citizenship for Native People

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Additional Dialogue from the November 30 small group gathering

What is the connection between “Full Citizenship for Native Peoples” and Health Equity?
– It is connected because without full citizenship, there is not food security, economic security etc. All of these impact health.
– Additionally, IHS is running out of funding. People die waiting for a transplant. It is a broken system. IHS is an underfunded system.
Health Equity means from an indigenous perspective “to walk in beauty, again” It is a practice of trying to be a good human being. Sustained as a people. Focus on many of the words used here today – community, collaboration, relationships. There is an indigenous version of this.
There are other perspectives on the topic of “Full Citizenship for Native Peoples”. For some, citizenship is not necessarily the answer. The system is a colonial democracy and oligarchy which does not give a damn about the earth. This is not healthy; it is de-natured. Why would we want to participate in such a system?
Key statements heard through the panel conversations:
– We are who we are and not what you want us to be.
– No agenda, no process, not trying to replace the current system.
– Recognized value and gifts of each other.
– Nothing is changing – health care, socioeconomic status, mental health services.
The federal government is a vain system; they can do no wrong.
Utilize human rights platform and an indigenous rights platform.
There is rich diversity in New Mexico. Try new things and ways to do a better job. Need to lay the foundation to have a broader national narrative on the state of indigenous communities.