DIRECT ACTION FROM THE GRASSROOTS /5

Sisters Bonded In Action Webinar Series / Part V

About featured guest–
Malia Hulleman is an environmental activist, Hawaiian native, water protector, and indigenous woman. She joined the Standing Rock Sioux on the front lines against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in the face of human and environmental rights violations. Through changing the culture of disregard and disrespect of nature and indigenous people, her goal is to create a renewable and sustainable future for coming generations.
     A lifelong steward of Native treaty lands and sovereign rights at home in Hawaii, she is an organizer with the Mauna Kea movement which is halting construction of the world’s largest telescope on Hawaii’s most sacred mountain.Her commitment to preserving the Hawaiian language is motivated by the similar suppression faced by Native Hawaiians and other Native Americans, including silencing of native language, theft of the most-fertile land, seclusion to low-income areas, and the robbing of ancestral diets.
     While canvassing for the Bernie Sanders campaign, she traveled across the country with UpToUs, developing solutions with communities throughout the United States. Organizing with Rezpect Our Water, an indigenous youth movement, brought her to the front lines of Standing Rock where she endured violence by law enforcement with less-lethal weapons. She was maced three times at Standing Rock (each time, she says, it definitely does not get any better), and faced snipers.
     Malia brings what she’s learned from the Standing Rock movement to nationwide goals such as adopting sustainable energy, and continuing to live a life of pono, or righteousness, as is said in Hawaiian. She inspires people to continue on the path towards permanently halting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through the Missouri and Cannon Ball Rivers, despite setbacks and losses.
     She inspires other women towards leadership with consideration for their neighbors and for the planet.

Heather Milton-Lightening has seventeen years of organizing experience from local issues to international campaigns. Heather was a founding member of Native Youth Movement-that empowered youth politically and socially to make change in their communities; based in Winnipeg, MB in 1995. She helped found Winnipeg's first Native youth organization called Aboriginal Youth with Initiative, Inc. in 1998 through her position as Associate Director. Heather then went on to found and build a national Native youth network that supported Native youth organizing across the US and Canada with the Indigenous Environmental Network based in northern Minnesota. She was a former member of the United Nations Environment Programme's Youth Advisory and has extensive experience in lobbying internationally through the United Nations and other International arenas on Indigenous Peoples issues. Heather's work since then has been to build capacity and find resources that help local Native communities. From funding board participation on the Funding Exchange Saguaro Fund and Honor the Earth; to helping build the Indigenous People's Power Project through the Ruckus Society that trains on non-violent direct action tools. Heather currently is the Co-Director for the Indigenous Tar Sands Campaign out of the Polaris Institute in Ottawa, ON.

Ayana YoungComment