Tewa Women United at 2018 Santa Fe Women’s March

Photo: Leo Jaramillo

Representatives of Tewa Women United, 3 Sisters Collective, #Why WeWearRed, Red Nation Television Network, and other Native individuals offered a powerful history lesson to the crowd gathered on Santa Fe’s Plaza for the 2018 Women’s March on Sunday, January 21.

While the march organizers invited Tewa Women United to have someone speak at the rally, on the day of the event our scheduled speakers were unable to attend due to cultural obligations and illness.

As it became clear that no other speakers from the Native community were on the agenda, Indigenous women present at the march took to the stage at the bandstand. Beverly Billie of TWU, in recognition of rising tension due to lack of Native presence and the march organizers’ failure to openly address the misunderstanding, asked for the microphone. Here’s an excerpt from Bev’s speech:

This place that you’re standing on, my ancestors shed blood here…. for you to enjoy the beautiful romanticized tourism hotspot…. beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is what it is because of the people who gave blood on this land. We cannot deny that, right?

…That’s why I’m up here today. I’m here on behalf of Tewa Women United and the Tewa people. I wanted to let you know that I’m here not to speak of politics of laws or rules but to talk to you about your hearts and the unconditional love that it’s going to take to make change. For all of us, each and every one of us. Not only that, but you have to understand with unconditional love comes boundaries and expectations, so we don’t feel resentments, so we don’t hate, so we don’t get jealous, so we don’t step on each other’s backs to get ahead of another.

We don’t do it from an ‘I’ perspective, we do it from a WE. That’s who we are as women….

Watch the video of Bev’s powerful and heartfelt speech here.

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