News articles about COVID-19 regularly ask, “When can we return to normal?” As Indigenous people working at an Indigenous-led organization, we’re asking a much different question: “What could a new normal look like?” Rather than returning to the pre-COVID-19 world, we’re trying to build an entirely new one.
Now, more than ever, we’re thinking about how to rebuild our systems in a truly Indigenous way. Native nations are resilient. We’ve managed to hold onto our culture and values, despite great odds. We’re innovating through our Tribal colleges, language revitalization programs, and our sustainable food and energy systems, to name just a few examples.
COVID-19 has dismantled the world as we know it. While many mourn the loss of our “normal” way of life, we see this moment as a positive path forward for Indigenous changemakers. We’ll certainly face many difficult days during the coming weeks and months. We’ll also find space to dream. Don’t be afraid to envision a new future. Think about a world that’s Indigenous-led and beautiful. What do you see?
We are excited to take this journey with you. Conversations about rebuilding are happening in Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities around the world, and we can’t wait to learn from them. This article is the first in our new series focused specifically on building an Indigenized future. Over the next several months, we’ll dig into a variety of topics related to rebuilding post-COVID-19. Our series will be informational and inspirational: by reflecting on what inspires us, together we can build a new Indigenized future.