The Indigenous Rights Center is a charitable, religious and educational organization. Our purpose is to promote the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples, and preserve and defend the rights and civil liberties of all Native Americans.
Indigenous Rights Center
202 Harvard SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
In conjunction with the University of New Mexico Community Engagement Center (UNMSC), the IRC will host a workshop on Indigenous Perspectives on Friday, 20 November 2015, 3:00-6:00 p.m.
The UNMSC program offers professional development opportunities through monthly workshops, fall and spring semester credit-bearing classes, quarterly trainings, and annual symposium events. These opportunities center on main program areas; Community Health Justice, Educational Justice, and Racial and Economic Justice. All of these program areas are infused with an anti-racism lens which allows students to expand their understanding of the historical, systemic and interpersonal racial dynamics that impact and construct these topics. The purpose of the professional development is to provide Corps members with the knowledge, perspective and skills to work within under-resourced communities of color. The professional development model is based on Paulo Freire’s Praxis model which involves knowledge, action, and reflection. All professional development sessions are engaging, hands on and educational.
The Indigenous Rights Center hosted a community dialogue called: “Connecting Indigenous Struggles and the Black Lives Matter Movement” on Aug 7, 2015. Indigenous rights activist Aureliano Molina and three activists with the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles chapter discussed the state of African and Indigenous resistance in the Americas, especially in Molina’s home of Honduras.
Molina is an organizer with the Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). His organization is 22 years old and works directly with the Lenca indigenous peoples and the eight other indigenous nations in Honduras, including the Garifuna, an Afro-Indigenous nation. COPINHorganizes in 200+ communities for territorial and ancestral rights. They have fought against Canadian mining companies, hydroelectric dam projects, and U.S. military base construction on their ancestral lands. Molina is part of COPINH’s executive council.
The group is part of a delegation to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize to exchange with Black and Indigenous communities organizing for autonomy and self-determination. They shared testimonies of their exchanges with African and Indigenous communities in Central America resisting imperialism and genocide, and their connection to local Black and Brown resistance.
Sayrah Namaste, a volunteer with the Indigenous Rights Center, met Todd Griffin of the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles chapter during a sunrise ceremony and blessing at La Plazita Institute in Albuquerque. They talked about the connection between indigenous struggles and the Black Lives Matter movement, and Todd asked if he could return to Albuquerque with Molina, who was heading home the following week. Sayrah asked the Indigenous Rights Center to host this historic conversation and (Un)Occupy Albuquerque offered to help with a potluck dinner before the event. Amalia Montoya, a Native American activist with (Un)Occupy Abq facilitated the dialogue. The turnout was far greater than expected since the event was organized on short notice, with more than 30 people participating. The Indigenous Rights Center was a great partner in this important event.