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Panelists, from right, Arcenio Lopez, Chairman John Berrey, Jodi Gillette and Dolores Huerta, discuss economic and environmental justice at the First Americans and New Americans convening held at the Kennedy Center.

IFAI supporters John Berrey, chairman of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, and Jodi Gillette, policy advisor for Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry LLP, spoke at the First Americans and New Americans gathering on Sept. 14 held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Their panel, Advancing Our Shared Issues and Common Cause: Interdependency for Collaborative Frameworks, explored the interrelated issues of economic justice, environmental justice, and food systems and food sovereignty. The session examined interdependencies and how they can drive more powerful collaborative frameworks for action and policy.

The historic event was called to create a forward-looking convening of nationally recognized Native nation and Immigrant leaders at a pivotal time for the communities they represent. Each group contends with dominant false narratives and the destructive laws and policies borne of those narratives. The gathering encouraged these communities to learn from one another, explore opportunities for joint action, and discuss how to reshape the “American” identity to include the histories and present contributions of First Americans and New Americans.

Attendees were asked to recognize the urgency of our current political climate and the need to develop visionary, self-determined solutions. Attendees addressed shared challenges to advance a common purpose in vital areas such as civil rights, economic and environmental justice, and food systems and food sovereignty – all through a lens of culture, identity, and citizenship.

 

FIRST AMERICANS and NEW AMERICANS: 

Forging Shared Narratives around Culture, Identity, and Citizenship

 

The National Congress of American Indians and Define American welcome Native nation and Immigrant leaders to participate in an historic conversation.

 

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Cultural Performance & Leadership Reception:  6:00 – 9:00 PM EDT

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Convening:  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,
2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

 

Thursday, September 14

6:00             p.m.    Joint Cultural Performances at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage

  • Dark Water Rising
  • Combo Chimbita

7:00 p.m.    Leadership Reception

  • Meet & Greet
  • Art Showcase

8:00 p.m.    Arts and Culture: A National Conversation around Shared Strengths

  • Kevin Gover (Pawnee), Director, National Museum of the American Indian
  • Erika Andiola, Co-Founder of DREAM Action Coalition, Political Director of Our Revolution

 

Friday, September 15

MORNING SESSION: Building Collective Understandings of Our Shared Challenges

8:30 a.m.       Registration and Networking

9:00 a.m.       Welcome and Opening Prayer

  • Brian Cladoosby (Swinomish), President, National Congress of American Indians

9:10 a.m.       Spoken Word Poet

  • Nicholas Courtney (Makah and Modoc)

9:15 a.m.       Converging Narratives: Righting Our Past and Present through Story

Nationally recognized voices will share their unique and converging experiences regarding their work to reshape the “American” identity to raise up the vibrant histories and present contributions of First Americans and New Americans.

  • José Antonio Vargas, CEO, Define American (moderator)
  • Clarissa Martinez De Castro, Deputy Vice President, UnidosUS
  • Jacqueline Pata (Raven/Sockeye Clan of Tlingit Tribe), Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians

10:00 a.m.     Break – Networking

10:10 a.m.     Advancing Our Shared Issues and Common Cause: Interdependency for Collaborative Frameworks

Exploring the interrelated issues of economic justice, environmental justice, and food systems and food sovereignty, this session will examine our interdependencies and how they can drive more powerful collaborative frameworks for action and policy.

  • Maria Hinojosa, Anchor/Executive Producer, Latino USA, NPR (moderator)
  • John Berrey, Chairman, Business Committee, Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma
  • Jodi Gillette (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota), Policy Advisor, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP
  • Dolores Huerta, Civil Rights Activist, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers of America
  • Arcenio Lopez, Executive Director, Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project

11:15 a.m.    Q&A Session

11:35 a.m.    Framing the Afternoon’s Breakout Discussions and Collaborative Framework

This overview will set the framework for the afternoon’s breakout group discussions, which will delve into the some of the most pressing and cross-cutting issues facing Tribal and Immigrant communities today through the lens of identity, culture, and citizenship.

  • Ryan Eller, Executive Director, Define American: Introduce topics and topic leaders
  • Citizenship and Human Rights: José Antonio Vargas, CEO, Define American
  • Economic Justice: Gerald Sherman (Oglala Lakota), Founding Director, Lakota Funds
  • Identity and Race: Jonathan Jayes Green, Co-Founder and Network Coordinator, UndocuBlack Network
  • Food Systems and Food Sovereignty: Janie Simms Hipp (Chickasaw Nation) Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, University of Arkansas
  • Environmental Justice: TBA

 

LUNCH SESSION: Growing Relationships Through Food

12:00 p.m.     Food Systems Presentation and Breakout Group Member Introductions

Native and Immigrant Executive Chefs will present the meal and talk about the importance of food systems and food sovereignty as it relates to identity, culture, and citizenship.

  • Freddie Bitsoie (Diné [Navajo]), Executive Chef, Mitsitam Native Foods Café, National Museum of the American Indian
  • Cristina Martinez, Chef/Owner, Barbacoa

 

AFTERNOON SESSION: Developing a Framework for Joint Action

1:00 p.m.       Facilitated Breakout Discussions

2:00 p.m.       Break – Networking

2:10 p.m.       Spoken Word Poet

  • Yosimar Reyes

2:15 p.m.       Sharing with the Whole: Breakout Groups Report Out

2:50 p.m.       Deepening Our Sense of “We”: Intersectionality and Alliances Across Our Shared

Communities

Focusing on the southern U.S. border and how land connects peoples and cultures, Native and Immigrant leaders will explore alliances and points of intersectionality as it plays out within a single region.

  • Ian Record, Director, Partnership for Tribal Governance, National Congress of American Indians (moderator)
  • Erika Andiola, Co-Founder of DRM Action Coalition, Political Director of Our Revolution
  • Edward D. Manuel, Chairman, Tohono O’odham Nation

3:20 p.m.       Forging Our Next Steps for Collective Action

This session will engage in the important work of formulating a Collaborative Framework, learning how to “Show up for one another”, and identifying next steps to refining and driving our shared narratives and priorities.

  • Building Our Collaborative Framework
  • Our Top Takeaway Priorities
  • Meeting Again to Deepen Our Shared Work

3:50 p.m.       Spoken Word Poets

  • Yosimar Reyes
  • Nicholas Courtney (Makah and Modoc)

3:55 p.m.       Closing

4:00 p.m.       Adjourn

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