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Community Conversations – 10/10/22 - Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day

  • 1.  Community Conversations – 10/10/22 - Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day

    Posted 10-06-2022 11:15 AM

    In honor of Indigenous Peoples' Day on Monday, October 10th we will be cancelling our Community Conversations call. Instead, we invite you to watch a recording of the presentation Animal Wellness Programs on Tribal Lands. Glenda Davis, Founder & President of Animal Rez-Q and Sheila Iyengar, Founder and Executive Director of Nagi Foundation discuss the past, present and future via historical facts, current programs and partnerships, and plans to positively impact animal well-being on tribal lands.

     A message from @Glenda Davis on Indigenous Peoples' Day:

    “Ya’ta’eeh – All be good with you. Greetings to all the Native Nations on this special day to recognize Indigenous People. Animal Rez-Q Inc, based out of the Navajo Nation, would like to encourage tribes to continue to recognize the needs of animal kingdoms and the balance of the animal/human bond. Let’s move toward the five freedoms for all animals within our tribal nation:

    Pets and the five freedoms (ASPCA)

    1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst by ready access to fresh water and diet to maintain health and vigor.
    2. Freedom from Discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
    3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
    4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
    5. Freedom from Fear and Distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

    Our Navajo Nation pets as well as other pets of Native Nations deserve to have the five freedoms too.

    Ahe’hee’ (Thank you),
    Glenda Davis, Founder & President


    Glenda Davis also recently spoke on a return to home challenge huddle where she discussed along with Mike Wheeler, return to home laws and regulations. The presentation is available below for you to watch.


    Cultivating Respectful & Healthy Relationships with Indigenous Communities

    Last October on a previous Shelter & Rescue Support Call, we were joined by Keith Slim-Tolagai, Navajo Nation program Specialist at Best Friends Animal Society as he discussed his focus on trust building and Best Friends’ strategy to cultivate respectful and healthy relationships with Indigenous communities. The recording is available below to watch in hopes you can come away with ideas on how to effectively work with Indigenous communities near you.

    Land Acknowledgement Statements

    Has your organization added a land acknowledgement statement to your website or presentations? If you haven’t or don’t know where to start, attached to this post you will find information about the purpose of a land acknowledgement statement, how to get started and some templates. The presentation was prepared by @Kelsey Duffield and is written from a non-indigenous perspective. To find what land you are currently occupying, visit or text your city or zip code to (907)312-5085 to learn more.

    Steps/tips for Writing Land Acknowledgment Statements
    Step 1: What’s the purpose? Start with self-reflection & consider the purpose:
    • Why am I doing this?
    • What is my end goal?
    • When will I have the largest impact?
    • Who is the intended audience?
    When writing an acknowledgment statement, make sure it is genuine, honest, and most of all, EMPOWERING.

    Step 2: Ground Your Mindset in Honest, Positivity, & Respect
    How do you make sure that your land acknowledgment statement empowers?
    • Honesty in a land acknowledgment statement means talking with & writing the truth.
    • Positivity means looking forward and focusing on how to empower Indigenous peoples today.
    • Write a land acknowledgment statement that respects others and their beliefs.
    Step 3: Do Your Research
    Establish how far in the past you would like to acknowledge. Who has current/active rights to your land?
    Correct pronunciation for the names of the Tribes, places, & individuals that you’re including. If you’re presenting on behalf of your work in a certain field, highlight Indigenous people who currently work in that field.

    Step 4: Focus on the Past, Present, & Future
    Start with the past & acknowledge those who have come before & the hardship they may have faced. Then, write about the present who still have a claim to their land. Lastly, include an action that you can do in the future to continue to empower Indigenous peoples.

    Step 5: Check Your Statement
    Some questions to ask yourself to check your statement
    • Have I put at least an hour of research into my land acknowledgment?
    • Do I know enough about the Indigenous people I am speaking about?
    • Did I make sure I am not missing any tribes?
    • Am I honest and open about the history of the Indigenous peoples I am acknowledging?
    • Am I acknowledging their pain?
    • Am I also acknowledging a positive future?
    • Did I acknowledge the past?
    • The present?
    • The future?
    • Did I identify any treaties that were signed in the past and/or are currently in effect?
    • Did I include an action statement that demonstrates the future actions I will do to commit to empowering Indigenous peoples?
    Example land & labor acknowledgement statement from Animal Welfare League of Arlington:
    "What happened in the past shapes our present. Many harms – injustices – reverberate to this day. To begin to repair those harms, we tell the truth, both about the harms, and about the people whose lives and contributions have been made less visible as a result. Thus, we acknowledge that the land we are on here in Arlington was the homeland of the Nacotchtank people, who became part of the Piscataway nation. Billy Redwing Tayac was their most recent hereditary leader.
    We also acknowledge that the prosperity of what we now know as Arlington was built in large measure on the stolen labor of people of African descent, including some five dozen who labored at Arlington House, which was the County’s symbol for many decades.
    We remember in order to move forward and repair past harms."


    Maddie's Pet Forum Admin
    Maddie's Fund

  • 2.  RE: Community Conversations – 10/10/22 - Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day

    Posted 10-10-2022 12:53 PM
    I want to start off by thanking you for the opportunity to reach so many people that honor and respect our animal relatives. I encourage you to see how important the animal Nation is to all of us and how we can continue to work in harmony with them.  They help guide us when we are lost or are looking for answers, they are in our songs, creation stories and ceremonies. Animals are interwoven in our lives and are one of the few things that can regulate our nervous system and vagus nerve, which is why we feel so good around them. Our bodies want to be in that same balance that animals have instinctually. I hope that you are able to take some time to sit quietly with your animals and the natural world around you and let them be your medicine. 

    Sheila Iyengar
    Nagi Foundation