The mission of the Racial Justice Ministry is to “raise awareness and understanding of and engagement with racial identity and racism, including our individual and collective opportunities to achieve racial justice.” This document is intended to raise awareness and understanding of indigenous people by providing a collection of print and video resources. As you consider the issue of indigenous people, consider these questions:

  1. How are indigenous people connected to the land where they live?
  2. Consider the ways that non-dominant indigenous people and white people in the US think about and interact with the environment around them. In what ways are they alike? In what ways are they different?
  3. Where did you grow up? What indigenous groups or tribes originally lived in that location? What do you know about the history of those indigenous people, particularly during the last 100 years or so? What more would you like to know?
  4. BUUF services being with a statement acknowledging and paying respects to the indigenous tribes that have long lived in the Boise area. Other organizations use a similar land acknowledgement. What value do you see in these land acknowledgements?

A definition

Considering the diversity of indigenous people, an official definition of “indigenous” has not been adopted by any UN-system body. Instead the UN has developed a modern understanding of this term based on the following (Note 1):

  • Self- identification as indigenous peoples at the individual level and accepted by the community as their member.
  • Historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies.
  • Strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources.
  • Distinct social, economic or political systems.
  • Distinct language, culture and beliefs.
  • Form non-dominant groups of society.
  • Resolve to maintain and reproduce their ancestral environments and systems as distinctive peoples and communities.

BUUF Racial Justice Ministry materials

From October 11, 2021

In recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day and our Indigenous neighbors, the RJM hosted a program featuring Dr. Kimberly Marshall addressing “Misconceptions of Native North Americans and Their Relevance for Boise.” Dr. Kimberly Jenkins Marshall, who is now an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Arts & Humanities Forum at the University of Oklahoma, is from Boise. A fifth-generation Idahoan, Dr. Marshall’s current research focuses on the representational erasure of Native North Americans in her hometown of Boise, Idaho. Click on this MISCONCEPTION BUSTING link for Dr. Marshall’s 10-page summary of her presentation.

Audio and video resources

Resources highlighted in bold font are from the Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020: Honor and Recognition program, presented Monday, October 12, 2020 by the RJM via Zoom.

Print resources

NOTE: In the following lists, resources highlighted in bold font are from the Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2020: Honor and Recognition program, presented Monday, October 12, 2020 by the RJM via Zoom. The program featured Native American speakers: Tara Houska (Ojibwa) speaking about Standing Rock Resistance and the Fight for Indigenous Rights and Robin Kimmerer (Potawatomi) speaking on what the earth asks of us. The program invites deeper understanding of indigenous culture, appreciation for indigenous leadership in environmental action, and a call to active support of indigenous efforts to protect their culture and beloved lands. Click on this ACTION PAGE for actions you can take to support local Native Americans and environmental justice.