Elder Activist for Social Justice Community Conversation
Right Relationship and Respectful Dialogue as Elders
Guest Speaker Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
Thursday, Nov 16th, 9 to 11 am PST 12 to 2 pm EST
As a follow up to last month's exploration of "Truth and Reconciliation", we will continue to discuss what is "right relationship" with our history, our self-identities, and with historically oppressed peoples in our country. We have heard that there is no "reconciliation" to an earlier time when colonizers and Indigenous peoples got along and/or to the enslavement and oppression of Native peoples - so how do we communicate with respect and understanding within this context?
In this month’s Elder Activist Social Justice Community Conversation we will try to better understand how we may reach out to people who have been in the frontline of our country's persecutions, listening and learning together as we engage in a dialog that promotes healing. What responsibility do we have as "Elders" working in social justice for this kind of conversation and how does that play out?
We welcome Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band in California, whose ancestors were put in bondage in the Missions of Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista. He will share the truth of his tribal history and converse with us about the challenges of mutual healing: he says there is no real path known for this effort, but that it is long overdue that we figure it out together.
Bio: Valentin Lopez has been the Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band since 2003, one of three historic tribes that are recognized as Ohlone. Valentin is Mutsun, Awaswas, Chumash and Yokuts. The Amah Mutsun are comprised of the documented descendants of Missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz. Valentin Lopez is a Native American Advisor to the University o f California, Office of the President on issues related to repatriation. He is also a Native American Advisor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Valentin is actively involved in efforts to restore tribal indigenous knowledge and ensure our history is accurately told. Finally, Valentin is working to restore the Mutsun Language and is a traditional Mutsun singer and dancer. As Chairman, Valentin is a standing member on all Tribal committees and Boards.
We will have about an hour for our conversation; and, then about 45 for our EASJ “business” meeting. You are welcome to join us for any parts of this meeting that are of interest to you.
To receive an email invitation click HERE and indicate your interest in EASJ
All are welcome and inviting friends is encouraged!
We are instituting regular semi-monthly planning meetings - after our Community Conversations, and on 4th Wednesdays of the month 9-10 am PST beginning in January 2018. We will have a planning meeting on Nov 20, 9-10 am PST, the next planning meeting will be Jan. 24. Our next Community Conversation will be Dec. 14 , 9-11 am PST.
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with some of the issues and calls of our Native neighbors. Below are several short videos:
- Val Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribe, (2:28 min)
- Kandi Mossett, Decolonizing the mind at Bioneers, 2017, (1:16 min)
- Corrina Gould and the Ohlone Shell Mounds, Bioneers, 2017, (1:21 min)
If you have more time, this is well worth watching:
Joining Our Conversations
Our 2-hour EASJ conversations will be on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 9am PST / Noon EST
We will be using Zoom video conferencing, which is very easy to access by computer, or regular telephone. If you choose to use your tablet or smartphone, be sure to download the Zoom app ahead of time. We will be starting each meeting on time so please connect 15 minutes before the call so that the host can help with any technical difficulties or questions you may have. Once the call starts the host will be not be able to help with connection issues.
Link here for instruction and access to Zoom video conferencing