Rock the Vote Native Style hosts Indigenous Peoples' Day events in Bemidji and the Twin Cities
October 12, 2020
Minneapolis, MN—Monday, Oct. 12 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Minnesota, and Rock the Vote Native Style is observing the day by participating in community events in Bemidji and the Twin Cities:
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Hosted by Rock the Vote Native Style and
3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12
Location: Paul Bunyan & Babe, Bemidji
The Native Symposium - We’re Still Here
Hosted by Native Roots Radio
7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11
Location: Facebook Live, Twin Cities
In the U.S. and across Minnesota, the stakes of elections have never been higher. That’s why MN350 has launched Rock the Vote Native Style, a Native-led campaign in Northern Minnesota to support voter education and mobilization, and empower Indigenous communities to make their voices heard in the 2020 election on critical issues like racial and climate justice.
“We are seeing an increase in voter engagement in our communities,” said Sheila Lamb, Ojibwe leader and MN350 board member. “They’re voting to get Indigenous people in office. They’re voting to get people who have a moral compass and who care about the future and the environment. That vote gives you a voice. When you join all those voices, that’s where we build power. It’s empowering.”
Political and voter participation in Native American communities has surged over the past decade. In the 2018 midterms, two states sent the first Native American women to the U.S. Congress, and Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan became the second Native American woman to be elected to statewide executive office in U.S. history.
“Natives are stepping up and hearing their call. We see how important this is to our friends and relatives in this state,” said Robert Pilot, member of Ho-Chunk Nation, MN350 board member and host of Native Roots Radio. “Standing Rock really fanned the flames of Native activism all over Turtle Island. The new generation, the seventh generation we always talk about Native-wise, is standing up. This is the generation that’s going to step up in record numbers.”
Rock the Vote Native Style and the organizers at MN350 advocate for strong climate leadership across Minnesota and to center solutions to the climate crisis that come from the frontline communities most affected.
“MN350 has always made it clear that they value the leadership of Native American folks,” said Nicole Ektnitphong, Statewide Organizing Director for MN350. “In the fight for climate justice, we need the voices of those most affected to be leading this work. We won’t be able to enact the progress we want to see happen in Minnesota without partnership with Indigenous communities.”