Nearly six million Native and Tribal Nation citizens live in the United States, whose ancestors resided for centuries in original homelands within the continental United States, Hawai’i, and Alaska. At the NATIVE ARTS AND CULTURES FOUNDATION we work to strengthen understanding and awareness of the valuable contributions Native peoples have made to this nation.
We support artists and associated arts organizations to do the following:
- Create new work;
- Mentor apprentices;
- Work deeply in their communities;
- Address social issues, racial equity, and justice;
- Open hearts and minds;
- Be vessels of contemporary Native knowledge;
- Value connection, courage, and cultural responsibility
As we approach the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s April 4, 1967 Riverside Speech, the relevancy of his words today has never been more potent. We are committed to work with USDAC on Revolution of Values, #HonorNativeLand and other efforts. We engaged a small group in our offices last year for Revolution of Values. In April 2018, we look forward to working with partner organizations to convene Story Circles.
We feel a kinship with Dr. King and share his values of truth, hope, inspiration, and resilience. Many Native leaders and clergy of his generation were significantly inspired by his work. If you return to the first page of the #RevolutionOfValues Toolkit, you will find a photograph of Dr. King and civil rights activists marching in Selma, Alabama in 1965. They are wearing flower lei provided by a beloved Native Hawaiian leader, Reverand Abraham Akaka. The lei was given to show solidarity and represent Reverend Akaka’s support and Hawaii’s appreciation and respect for Dr. King’s work and bravery.