Indigenous Mutual Aid Collective Statement
Summer 2020

This statement is a collective response by various Radical Indigenous Mutual Aid organizers to the current pandemic and uprisings.
(email us at if your Indigenous-led Mutual Aid crew would like to sign on)

We assert and reinforce our relationships with our human and non-human relatives of occupied Turtle Island. We are calling to stabilize and proliferate anti-fuckery Indigenous-led mutual aid networks to support and defend our communities and embolden resistance towards total liberation. This is a call to relatives and accomplices who are committed to repairing, reestablishing and (re)building reciprocal relationships, together.

COVID-19 is not the first pandemic we’ve faced as Indigenous people, Afro-Indigenous, and Black people, our communities have been systematically poisoned for generations through the destruction and theft of our lands, water, air, bodies, spirits, and minds. What has often been called a “health disparity,” we know as colonial violence through 400 years of biological warfare, forced removal, elimination, assimilation, enslavement and genocide. COVID-19 has only intensified what has been referred to as “underlying injustices”. However, these so called “disparities” are not underlying; they were strategically created and are systematically normalized by colonizers for the sake of extraction, exploitation and occupation of these sacred lands, resources, knowledge and labor.

Throughout this pandemic, we continue to witness and combat the horrors enacted by settler states and corporations so that they may continue to sustain their existence. We feel rage, grief and sadness for the many that have lost their lives, relatives and parts of themselves due to the systemic catastrophe created by capitalism. While corporate media, nonprofits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), tribal, state and federal governments try to dictate the narrative, we refuse to be dehumanized and stripped of our inherent power. Instead we choose to honor autonomy and rage alongside our relatives acting in defense of their sacred lands and bodies. Our mutual aid knows no borders.

As Black and Afro-Indigenous relatives rise up, we join their fight against white supremacy and state violence and commit to confront and end Anti-Blackness in our communities and within ourselves.

In reality, our struggles for liberation have always been guided by our deep connection to all of creation. We have always combated oppressions by caring for our communities through tangible and intangible support and the distribution and redistribution of resources, knowledge and skill sharing through our kinship relationships. Our collectives are currently attempting to emulate this long hxstory of radical Indigenous resistance through mutual aid.

As Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous and Black communities we define mutual aid as our way of existence. Mutual aid is defined as a relationship between so called human and non-human kin that is reciprocal, horizontal, communal, and autonomous. Because this relationship stands outside settler institutions and borders, it is inherently a long-term commitment to anti-capitalism and is “decolonial” in nature. We acknowledge that Kropotkin may have observed and named this mutuality for anarchists, however, cooption of its praxis by white europeans has been used to erase our hxstories while Indigenous expressions of mutual aid have been destroyed and criminalized. Indigenous people from all over the sacred Earth have used mutual aid in their reciprocal relationships with their relatives since time immemorial.

There has been rhetoric in corporate media about returning to a time where everything was, “normal.” However, normalcy of genocide, the destruction of land and bodies is what we cannot return to.

We have always looked to our collective futures and reject any notion of “going back to normal”; Normal was/is racism, transphobia, resource extraction, capitalism, and predatory assimilation. We practice interdependency from the state, and urge folx to participate in community continuity. The practice of that interdependency includes abolishing the police, military, and militarization of relief response on the state, federal level and tribal level. Independecy and self determination from the state includes abolishing prisons, all carceral systems, and de-stigmatizing those who have been incarcerated. In this process, we embrace the discomfort, as we are learning, growing, and moving together.

This is not a cry for support that seeks to further strip our autonomy through “charity” or to build the organizational capacity of non-profit capitalists who maintain neo-colonial institutions, we reject the NGO-ization and non-profit commodification of mutual aid.

We do not ask tribal governments or any other forms of settler governments for permission to advocate for and support our own communities — we do the work because it must be done.

We urge towards an organizing that is based on our cultural knowledge systems, that is anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-heteropatriarchal, that abolishes white supremacy and that extends our ways of mutuality towards a future that honors our ancestors and coming generations.

We also call for support for food sovereignty projects and infrastructure that ensures our ability to provide directly for communities. We know starvation because the government has been rationing our food since we were forced onto reservations. This rationed food has been processed and degraded to a point where it makes our people sick. We recognize food as a medicine because it can provide essential nutrients and even heal when it is natural. We know that replenishing the land with native plants benefits everyone in the long term. We will no longer be dependant on a system that was conceived to destroy us.

As people on the frontlines from the communities we are organizing in, we’re calling for this understanding of support and solidarity. To be clear, if you can’t support us in this way and you seek to perpetuate paternalistic charity that strips our autonomy, we’re not interested in your support.
We offer this assertion against anti-Blackness as part of our first collective statement to ensure that as we build mutual aid we also build meaningful solidarity with our Black and Afro-Indigenous relatives. Our liberation is bound together.

What is anti-Blackness and why must it be rooted out of our communities?

If an Indigenous persxn has ever been able to call a Black persxn the N-word, that is an example of anti-Blackness. It is a kind of collective unconscious opinion of the worth of Black people with roots tied to slavery with caste systems born from it. For example, the stats that say Indigenous peoples are more gunned down, and ultimately more oppressed on Turtle Island dont take into account global anti-Blackness that has been shaped by the global slave trade. Many of us have acknowledged the colorism that exists to ritualize the value of proximity to whiteness, but have failed to acknowledge the ritualized value of proximity to non-Blackness.
Anti-Blackness can also be described as anti-Black racism or Negrophobia. The Fear of, or aversion to, Black people. White “supremacy” describes the hxstorical structural Power of cisgendered property owning White European men. Anti-Blackness is specific to the descriptive existence & experiences of the Slave or “enslaved Afrikans”, those denigrated as ‘Black’. Though enslaved Afrikans might be a misnaming because to be designated as ‘Black’ hxstorically meant that this object of a being was so intergenerationally displaced from homelands, cultures and identities, even so stripped from “being” itself or selfhood, that the only descriptor that stuck throughout the hxstory of The western world’s civil society for the category of a captive population has been, ‘Black’.
There are many languages that cohesively assign & name the politically descriptive category of Black to enslaved peoples. Black, being a way to replace hxstory, language and culture. White Supremacy has created a White versus Black binary constructing the ranking system known as Race, while anti-Blackness has created a Black vs Non Black binary in the entire civilized world, created not only to divide, but to disappear the Indigeneity Black people had to Afrika, Australia and through blood mixing on Turtle Island. This realtional dynamic between the Master and the slave is why hxstorically you can, and subconsciously do, separate Blackness from humanity, but it’s less easy to separate Black people’s hxstorical positionality from Slavery. Slaves to this day, as defined by White & anti-Black Master Narrative have no rights and are defined by the absence of agency, rapeability, fungibility, and proximity to “deserved” gratuitous violence, commodification & death.
Some Afro Pessimist research points out that the era of slavery, the trading of Afrikan slaves, predates european colonization by at least a thousand years by East Asian Slave traders. So the global economies that have shaped our current material world, language and relations for the last millennia have ultimately been shaped by this global anti-Blackness. That humanity’s social life and psychic well being is dependent upon the social death of Blacks.
So where’s the hope?
The hope has happened by Indigenous, Black & Afro Indigenous kinship alliances. Countless hxstorical collaborations between runaway slaves and Indigenous peoples fighting against White domination, forming Maroon colonies, sharing traditions, languages, blood and culture. Runaway slaves teaching Indigenous peoples the languages of white europeans and strategizing great slave revolts, slaughtering Slave Masters to free other slaves from lifelong and posthumous ownership. These alliances have been the biggest threats to the Amerikkkan plantation system.  We are well aware of Black Buffalo Soldiers hired by white institutional Power to decimate first nation peoples. And aware of the “5 civilized Tribes” that have taken on the positions of the White Master Colonizer Class by colluding with the values and proprietary sentiments of the colonizer, but we redirect one another to autonomous Black, Indigenous, Afro Indigenous or Black Indian mutual aid hxstories of shared struggle in the fight against the settler state, slavery and refusing any given positions within it. We align ourselves with these ancestral means to upend such an anti-Black and anti-Indigenous world that attempts to separate us from our most marginalized relatives including our Great earth Mother.

We further call for direct support for donations to these and other Afro-Indigenous led Mutual Aid efforts:


Mesiah & Little Wind


Native American Inter-Tribal Student Alliance

Frontline Medics

Kinłani Mutual Aid

Camp Red Sleeves Mutual Aid

Mothers Against Meth alliance

Two Rivers Mutual Aid



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