Standing With the Movement for Black Lives

artist: Paige Pettibon (Salish)

Tewa Women United envisions movement(s) rooted in P’in Haa (Breath of Heart/Life) and P’in Nall (Touching Heart and Spirit) that nurture and celebrate the collective power of beloved families, communities, and Nung Ochuu Quiyo (Earth Mother).

For us, beloved families and communities are places and spaces where our children are able to grow into whom they were meant to be: loving, caring, nurturing, powerful, beings; where everyone is valued and has a purpose; and where Love of our Earth Mother and all beings, seen and unseen, drives our actions. Our cultural and spiritual knowingness is grounded in the interconnectedness of the multi-verse. This means that what happens to one, happens to all. This is the web of life. As an Indigenous/Pueblo/ Tewa women’s organization, we come from our center, our heart, our wombfullness to transform our lives and our lived realities. The current reality is that we are all living within a Culture of Violence, one transplanted to this continent hundreds of years ago. This historical nightmare of colonization utilizes the tactics of genocide, gynocide, religious inquisition, and land theft to build an “Unholy Trinity of Domination:” Colonial Mentality, Warring Patriarchy, and White Supremacism. It is fueled by capitalistic wealth and the deliberate subordination of the female compassionate energy of women.

Tewa Women United stands in solidarity with our Black relatives as, together, we dismantle this Culture of Violence and nurture Beloved Community. We especially lift up the beautiful resilience and heart energy that our Black relatives have embodied in their struggles for freedom across so many generations. We are deeply inspired by you and thank you. 

We recognize that by centering #BlackLivesMatter, we do not de-center our Indigenous/ Asian/ Latinx/ Muslim/ LGBTQAI relatives (the list grows as we re-claim our ability to self-identify and name ourselves). For our Earth Mother is round and this means at any given time, we are all “the center.” Our collective power and voices are lifted and protected when we bring light to this interconnectedness, without diminishing the lived experiences of one another. We know that no one is free until all are free. We know that healing the collective trauma affecting communities across the globe caused by imperialistic settler colonialism is a way to end these violences.

Police violence against Black people and all peoples must stop, militarized policing must be defunded. We must consciously intend and commit to stop inflicting suffering upon each other. We must all divest of the tactics and strategies of the Culture of Violence. We must refuse to be used as tools to harm to our relatives and our Earth Mother. We believe that hatred and cruelty are learned and conditioned behaviors, not our natural way of being. We have, within each of us, the Power and Light to come together and end this Culture of Violence.

It is our collective power to re-imagine what a Culture of Peace looks like and it is our responsibility to co-create that vision, together.

bell hooks reminds us that “revolutionary liberation movements for self-determination for Native and African American peoples must incorporate paths of healing and recovery, claiming triumph and pain without shame.”

We need time for our collective and shared mourning of the lives lost to police/Nation-State violence. Healing from these losses is essential for our families and communities to recover and thrive. This is our shared work—person to person, family to family, community to community— to co-create acts of kindness and light the sparks of hope, to grow our soulfulness as multidimensional humanity.

TWU believes our greatest responsibility is to live into our core value of seegi ma vay ii: loving, caring responsibility for self and others. This means to stand in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. It means to embrace healing justice in our movements for our shared liberation and in the practice of relational-tivity with our relatives, all of whom are connected with us through our Earth Mother, our collective breath, and our collective humanity. As families and communities willing to do the hard work now, as we heal ourselves, we heal our ancestors, and simultaneously transform the future of our children.

We encourage you to take action in support of Black Lives: