The month of November is meant to recognize and celebrate Native American Heritage, taking the time to educate ourselves and others about the influence and contributions of Indigenous people.
We can begin to learn and educate ourselves by taking time to read Indigenous-led journals, books, seminars, and talks. This way we can learn in a meaningful environment that provides us the opportunity to be better allies. It is especially important to note that the University of California, Santa Barbara resides on Chumash land.
Being a part of such a big institution, we have the right to protect the surrounding environments and work to preserve the neighboring land. At the same time, we also need to provide local Indigenous communities with our sincerest condolences for the horrendous mistakes of the past.
This November we continue our help to spread awareness, cultural relevance, and the tools to deconstruct the problems created by settler colonialism. As we become more educated on these topics, we aim to build relationships with local Indigenous communities and ask how we can better serve them. It will take time to heal from historical traumas but we can take this as an opportunity to better our understanding of Indigenous suffering, land rights, and people.