Indigenous Youth Delegation to Palestine

12 08 2009

Just wanted to pass on this news that was sent to me.  It is from Native youth from the SF Bay Area that traveled to Palestine to build a bridge between Native people from across the world.  Here is there latest update and also look for the Links I just added for their blog and SNAG magazine.

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From the Ibdaa Cultural Center in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, to the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, to Hebron, the Old City, Beit Ummar, the Shufat Refugee Camp and remnants of the Lifta village in Jerusalem, to Qalandia and Qalqilia, to the Al r’ad Center and the Balata Camp – we have been immersed in the sights and smells of Palestine and Israel over the past week. Check out the Connections and Journey sections of our blog. We have made many connections already – deep and intense between Palestine and Turtle Island/Aztlan; bringing together youth in refugee camps together who don’t have the opportunities to travel much; serendipitously introducing our bus driver/olive farmer to a Palestinian fair trade organization that could export his product; and much more that you will learn about upon our return home.

For now, we have noted the similarities between the Palestinian indigenous experience and ours in the United States and Mexico – the massive agricultural destruction; settler tactics; the burning of lands, wreckage and deaths that precede occupation; land disputes; court entanglement; settlements; people having to work in settlements because roads/walls have cut through their lands and intentionally destroyed communities, families, infrastructure, agriculture, businesses…This week has been about learning and connecting. The week that follows will be about strategies for how to survive and thrive. We worked with the youth in the Balata camp to set up a blog to share their stories in Arabic: www.balatacamp1948.wordpress.com. More to come!

The journey is just the beginning of a 100% grassroots effort to connect struggles and strategies of resistance. We plan to create a documentary film about the experience; a tri-lingual magazine (English, Spanish; Arabic); a music CD with Native and Palestinian artists; bring Palestinian youth to the United States to visit and stay on Native reservations and work with the youth; and much more. You can support these efforts in any of these ways:

MAILING DONATIONS: You can send contributions directly to Delegation – P.O. Box 40597, San Francisco CA 94140.
ONLINE DONATIONS: We have also set up a Facebook Causes page where you can donate: Help Send Native Youth to Palestine! Or, if you are logged in to Paypal, you can also click here to donate safely online.
You can help organize or help promote a Report Back! When the delegates return to the U.S at the end of August, we will be carrying with us stories, images, music, and ideas generated during our time in Palestine.  We are committed to using these to do organizing and education back home and we need your help! Invite us to come into your classrooms, youth groups, and homes. We hope that each report back can also be a fundraiser so that we can begin immediately collecting the funds we need to bring a delegation of youth from our partner organizations in Palestine to visit and work with us in our communities here in the U.S.
Help us produce our film! With the footage, images, and music we have been creating and collecting as we travel, we are producing our own film as a tool for our ongoing education and organizing. We need your help to make it happen and make it quality.  We need funds for translation, sound and color correction, graphics, dvd production, and distribution.
Help produce and distribute SNAG Magazine! The next issue of SNAG Magazine is dedicated entirely to the images, art, and writing that the Native, Xicana, and Palestinian youth are creating. The issue will be published in three languages- Arabic, English, and Spanish!  If you can use this as a tool in your classrooms, community organizations, libraries, or youth groups, contact us to pre-order copies that should be available by WInter 2009:  indigenousdelegation@gmail.com. We are also collecting funds to translate, produce and mail the magazine out.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


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