From my heart to yours, I extend a warm handshake to each and everyone reading this message. As we embark on this new journey, this undiscovered country, I call on each one of us to stand strong and to continue the important work we have before us, the work that was started by those who have gone before us and the work we will pass on to those who come behind us, the work to end violence in our communities.
As Indigenous people of this great Turtle Island, we honor our sacred connections to this planet, knowing that we are guardians and protectors and bear a tremendous responsibility to protect all life on this planet. Our great leaders have said that “The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth.”
During this time of thanksgiving and giving thanks, we are thankful for the countless gifts and blessings we receive. We are thankful for the survival of our people, and for the wisdom and spiritual strength of our ancestors. We know that our presence here today is a direct result of the prayers of our ancestors. Our lives have meaning and purpose, we each have a gift. We each have a voice, a song to sing.
The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center is extremely thankful that we have been selected to once again serve as the National Indian Resource Center to End Violence Against Native Women and to continue our leadership in providing culturally grounded, grassroots advocacy to end gender-based violence in Indigenous communities and to support tribal sovereignty.
We believe and base our work on traditional values, remembering that we are all related to one another, to the plants and animals, to the lakes and rivers, to the rocks and earth, to the sun and moon, to the wind and the fire.
We would like to take a moment to reflect on the Grandmothers of our movement such as Tillie Black Bear and her prolific knowledge and spiritually rooted teachings that guide our path in prayer, hope and belief that tomorrow will bring changed hearts and minds of peace, tolerance, respect and love for one another as good relatives.
I thank each and everyone of you for helping to make the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center the valuable organization it is today, and look forward to our continued journey together.
Lucy Rain Simpson