Idle No More – Decolonizing Our Activism

Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Idle No More – Decolonizing Our Activism

A one-day workshop exploring ways to build alliances with Indigenous People.

Mandala Center for Change in association with the Port Townsend Friends Meeting and Idle No More presents:

Idle No More – Decolonizing Our Activism

Facilitated by Sweetwater Nannauck


This workshop incorporates traditional Native American teachings and offers participants suggestions on how to be a good ally and form partnerships with the traditional stewards of this land. Led by Sweetwater Nannauck, director of Idle No More Washington, the day includes self-reflection, group participation, role play, one-on-one and small group discussions, group meditation, and finally positive actions individuals can take.

By acknowledging our collective past and focusing on the present healing, it can create an awareness of historical barriers needing to be removed in order to progress.

Historically, environmentalism has focused on the experiences and goals of higher-income, white males. Today environmentalists that are looking to “diversify” the movement must put aside their agenda, and seek to listen, learn from, and join the global movement of indigenous and communities of color.

Idle No More




The objectives for this workshop include:

  • Educate non-Native allies to work with Native Americans doing activism.
  • Authentic alliance building that reflects indigenous-led organizing and strategies.
  • Prepare participants for volunteer opportunities in Native communities.
  • Explore ways to support Native activism rather than perpetuate colonial systems of oppression.
  • Learn how to honor indigenous traditions without appropriating their cultures.


This 4-part workshop will address:

The History of Colonization

Acknowledge the 500 years of indigenous resistance beginning in 1452 through a Native American lens incorporating traditional teachings and stories. Learn about the Doctrine of Discovery as the foundation for the historic colonization, genocide, relocation, termination, and forced assimilation of Native Americans.

Healing Historical Trauma

To heal from historical trauma, you must first understand how colonization has impacted indigenous people. By acknowledging our collective past and focusing on the present healing participants cab become aware of historical barriers that can be effectively removed in a safe and comfortable environment.

Spiritual Activism

Learn about the Natives’ connection with the land, environment, and Spirit. Explore how to incorporate ‘Spirit’ into the activism you do. Explore ways to start organizing nonviolent direct actions that are Spirit-led instead of ego/mind-led.

The 7th Fire

Explore how working with Natives toward common goals of social and environmental justice involves letting go of unconscious racism and privilege. Learn what it means to be a good ally, and how taking the lead from indigenous activists and community leaders will benefit us all.


FACILITATOR: Sweetwater Nannauck (Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian)

Sweetwater Nannauck is the Sweetwater Nannauckdirector of Idle No More Washington. She advocates for the protection of the fragile environment of the Northwest Coast, for tribal sovereignty rights and the traditional way of life of Native people. She is a long-time community organizer, activist for police accountability and for Native artists’ rights. Nannauck is part of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes of southeast Alaska

November 10, 2015 is the 3rd anniversary of Idle No More. Since then Idle No More Washington has had over 60 events and nonviolent direct actions that address local and global issues. She went to Washington, DC to lobby to protect the Arctic, and she was involved in the ‘Shell No’ actions in Seattle and Anchorage when President Obama was there. Sweetwater was featured in the annual Seattle Weekly ‘Best of Seattle’ (2015) ‘Best Activism Idea’.




Sat, March 11, 2017
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM


Port Townsend, WA


US $100


To register, please contact