Monday, January 23, 2017

NATR -- Native/American Truth and Reconciliation


Native/American Truth and Reconciliation (NATR) 
Process: A Healing Grassroots Decolonization Initiative

(Please see the Statement of Responsibility below)


Honorary Supporters / Endorsers of NATR 
(As of Jan. 25, 2017)


Prof. Noam Chomsky

Image result for cornel west standing rock

Prof. Cornel West 
(Lead Honorary Advisor)

Image result for richard falk

Prof. Richard Falk
(Lead Honorary Advisor)

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WHAT YOU FIND BELOW 
(In this simple initial web page--in development)



- STATEMENT OF MORAL/ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY: 

A Needed Preamble

- Project Description (Mission/Structure)


How to Join NATR...


- Initial Action Steps


- Thanks-Healing Instead of Thanksgiving!


Decolony/Conflict Healing 


- Who We Are (And Significant E-mails)


- Background/History 


- Contact Info


- Mother Projects (With link to founder's bio)
 
 


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STATEMENT OF MORAL/ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY: 
A Needed Preamble

For obvious moral/ethical and historical reasons, we believe that the initial impetus for the herein envisioned "truth and reconciliation" drive should emerge from, and be substantively moved forward by, the morally sensitive "whites" especially in the U.S., in a similar way that "white" South Africans (whose consciences were becoming increasingly awake) finally accepted the moral/ethical responsibility of saying NO to Apartheid; and hence they placed themselves in the forefront of the Truth and Reconciliation Process in South Africa, stretching their hands toward "blacks" (and other civility actors) requesting their collaborative participation. It is in this way that such a glorious (and living) chapter in the civilizing history of nonviolence was written, through the profoundly healing collaboration of the perpetrators and the victims. 

In other words, the present NATR initiative should never become, or be allowed to be seen, as "another Indian grievance." 

Thus, at an appropriate time (and after the necessary dialogues and consultations) our initiative will obviously need to FORMALLY seek the Blessing, approval, guidance, and participation of the Native Leaders/Elders, whose moral/ethical/spiritual civilizing guidance (in particular) will be centrally indispensable to the genuine healing (of the oppressed as well as the oppressors) that this history-making undertaking for authentic peace and justice will hopefully bring to authentic manifestation.  


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PROJECT DESCRIPTION

i) Mission: 

Aiming for authentic healing and inspired by the historic Truth and Reconciliation discourse and experience in South Africa (and needless to emphasize adapted to the unique conditions on the Turtle Island) the Native/American Truth and Reconciliation (NATR) Process: A Healing Grassroots Decolonization Initiative has been born as a natural inspirational outgrowth, flowing (most recently) out of the Standing Rock uprising and struggle, in order to eventually overcome the destructive consequences of "colonial" domination in the Native/American unfolding of history (especially in the U.S.) leading to the genuine healing of all affected.    

ii) Structure: 

The NATR endeavour has been initiated by the Circles of Nonviolence/Community Collaboratives (a.k.a. the Circles Movement of Movements) Initiative, for which a Special Circle of Nonviolence/Community Collaborative for the Native/American Truth and Reconciliation (NATR) Process (called the "NATR Circle" for short) has been envisioned/formed. 

This independently functioning Special NATR Circle/Collaborative would be an integration/collaboration hub which would bring together and harmonize the activities of all the "NATR Ally" community groups that have been and will be formed, in order to build sustained grassroots support 
and collaboration for the NATR initiative in the local "areas of integration focus" of the respective Circles of Nonviolence/Community Collaboratives around the U.S. -- and eventually around the world.


iii) Decolony/Conflict Healing (Please see below)

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The Way to Join NATR

1) Please study this page and contact us--Contact info below.

2) Per the "Structure" paragraph, above, ask us regarding: 

a) how you could go about starting an "NATR Ally" community group 
and/or 
b) a Circle of Nonviolence/Community Collaborative in your area, so you (and other civility actors) could interact collaboratively with the "Special NATR Circle/Collaborative."  

3) So, what are waiting for? Please CONTACT US!    

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Initial Action Steps (As of July 19, 2017)

The purpose of these initial steps is to help introduce and raise the profile of the NATR project as a prominent national issue, so as to find/attract additional significant figures and institutions as partners, allies, or supporters of this history-making struggle:

a) A 2018-2019 NATR "speaking tour" of the U.S. and Canada -- as well as South Africa, Europe, and Australia--as possible.

b) Making the needed preparations for inviting Archbishop Desmond Tutu to come to the "Turtle Island" (perhaps in the Spring of 2018?) for a number of major addresses to "formally" inaugurate the NATR initiative.

c) In preparation for inviting Archbishop Tutu, contacting (and building a relationship with) the Desmond Tutu Center at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Thanks-Healing Instead of Thanksgiving!


"Our Native sisters and brothers say:


'Be thankful, humble, heal.' 


So, let us begin by calling

'Thanksgiving' Day...


THANKS-HEALING!


NOTE: This project is in development--More info to come soon.


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De-Colony/Conflict Healing: 

An Initial Draft Project Outline

Proposed by Moji Agha--In conversation with Madonna Thunder Hawk
(May/June 2017)

NOTE: This project is in the very early stages of its gradual development--More info to come soon. FOR CONTEXT PLEASE SEE THE SIGNIFICANT E-MAILS SECTION, BELOW.

BACKGROUND / PURPOSE: 

Hopefully this project would perhaps serve as a set of initial steps toward building the needed foundations and supports for the NATR.

The idea of a "De-Colony" evolved (see "significant e-mails," below) during the 5-months-stay of Madonna Thunder Hawk and her Feather Necklace Tiospaye (extended family) of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, at OCETI SAKOWIN CAMP, during the 2016/2017 NO DAPL uprising near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. 

As this history-making uprising to heal historic and on-going traumas unfolded, we saw "DECOLONIZATION THINKING" develop organically along "DECOLONIZATION DOING," as we were trying to practice "DECOLONIZATION LIVING." Thus, the Feather Necklace Tiospaye (extended family--on the Cheyenne River reservation) have been planning for the building and development of environmentally appropriate dwellings that are off-the-grid, as a major move (on various levels) toward grassroots self-sufficiency, i.e., LIVED DECOLONIZATION. 

PRE-DRAFT OF SOME INITIAL PROPOSED OBJECTIVES: 

Toward the full manifestation of "DECOLONIZATION THINKING, DOING, AND LIVING," we are considering the following objectives: 

1- De-Colony's first objective is to get an off-the-grid "Earth Ship" built, and to also gather (through donations) all the other needed items and resources to make off-the-grid DECOLONIZED BEING IN COMMUNITY (in actual environmentally appropriate dwellings) sustainable. This physically manifested DE-COLONY could perhaps be the "heart" (or headquarters of a sort) of our de-colonized life. 

2- Another project objective (i.e., a below-outlined twin initiative hopefully to be developed through collaboration with De-Colony) has been proposed by "brother" Moji Agha, a fellow "civility/decolonization activist." He drove to North Dakota from Southern Arizona and stayed at the Standing Rock area for almost two months in November and December of 2016. Among other projects, he is the Founder of the NATR (Native/American Truth and Reconciliation) Initiative: http://natrprocess.blogspot.com/

Here is brother Moji's summary draft (in his own words) of his proposed "Conflict Healing/De-Colony" project, with its related twin educational initiative; both envisioned to be initiated (perhaps) in and/or through the DE-COLONY's "heart" headquarters mentioned above--And it is worth noting that both of these (potentially promising) projects could potentially be of help toward generating support and gathering the needed resources to get the De-Colony's "heart" actually start beating:  
       
a) My purpose in this project is to offer free-of-charge culturally/spiritually appropriate mediation/conflict healing services to the larger Decolonization/Standing Rock movement. Why? Because a major aspect of becoming free of "colonization" is the authentic healing of conflicts among indigenous nations, tribes, and communities. In other words, we all need to help bring streams of integrated healing to the turbulent rivers of our collective struggle against systemic colonialism. 

b) And why I feel (in humility) that I am even qualified to offer such brotherly (as a sufi "monk"--dervish) conflict healing collaborative services? Because in addition to my educational background/training/experience (as basic qualifications for such a tremendous undertaking) I happen to have the following two characteristics simultaneously:  

i) My having LIVED (deep in the body of the brown-skinned "Orient") the bitter poison of colonialism/discovery doctrine; hence knowing/living the horrible venom of systemic colonial "divide-and-conquer," while at the same time:

ii) Because I am not a native of the Turtle Island (i.e., not of any particular native nation/tribe) I can hopefully be fair and unbiased (in reality AND perception) to all my native sisters/brothers on all sides of the (somehow colonially caused) conflicts/wounds that need sustainable culturally and spiritually sensitive healing; so that our struggle can help heal the Turtle Island and our Mother Earth.

c) As a kind of a twin to this conflict-healing component of De-Colony, I believe it would be greatly beneficial (if not critically needed) if De-Colony (or its allies) were to offer a series of sustained educational teach-ins and workshops (of various lengths, online and on site--and travelling from reservation to reservation, as appropriate and possible) especially to educate our native sisters and brothers regarding the many consequences (including the many ugly but often hidden faces of "divide-and-conquer") of systemic and historic "colonization" -- with long-lasting often "unconscious" wounds. Again because of my background, I humbly think that I could be an appropriate initiator "vessel" for such needed collaborative educational decolonization work.  

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WHO WE ARE  (As of July 2017)


NATR's Honorary High Council 

- Noam Chomsky, Strong Supporter/Endorser (but "just too busy" to participate)

- Cornel West, Lead Honorary Advisor


- Richard Falk, Lead Honorary Advisor

For other potential Honorary Advisors, we plan to invite (if possible) the following "white" high-stature moral luminaries:

- Sister (former) Karen Armstrong;
- Bill Moyers
- Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!
and
- Michael Moore
- ??? (please suggest)

Special NATR Circle/Collaborative ("NATR Circle") and its Advisory Council 
(As of July 2017)

- Bruce Bridegroom, Attorney (in Tucson, Arizona)

- Moji Agha (NATR's Founder and Special Circle Facilitator)

- We plan to hopefully attract to this effort (as soon as possible), the young veteran Wesley Clark, Jr. -- Please see his history-making clip, Forgiveness Ceremony: Veterans Kneel at Standing Rock, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjotlPIlRqw.


- ???


INDIGENOUS WISDOM COUNCIL 

FOR COLLABORATIVE SUPPORT OF THE NATR INITIATIVE 

(As of July 2017)



- Sally Ann Gonzales--Advisory Capacity Council Member

She is an elected Member of the State of Arizona's House of Representatives (Legislative District 3 in Southern Arizona) and Member of the legislative body's Native American Caucus--as a distinguished member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe; She hosted the Indigenous Rights Forum at the Arizona State Capitol in April of 2016. 

NOTE: 

In the January 18th meeting of Moji Agha (NATR's Founding Special Circle Facilitator) with his legislative district's elected member of the Arizona House of Representatives, Representative Sally Ann Gonzales expressed enthusiastic support for the NATR initiative, and she stated that pending the needed dialogues and consultations (starting with her fellow elected members of the Native-American Caucus at the Arizona House of Representatives), she could see the real possibility of an eventual legislative bill supporting and facilitating the work of the Native/American Truth and Reconciliation Process within the State of Arizona--as possible and appropriate. 

Other potential members of this Wisdom Council (to be contacted for membership in the council) include the following:


-  Madonna Thunder Hawk (Has expressed interest)


Please see the Decolony/Conflict Healing project, above. 


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NATR Ally Community Groups (As of July 2017)

- Despite the fact that the NATR initiative has just been born, about a dozen TO-BE-CONSOLIDATED Circles of Nonviolence/Community Collaboratives (in North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona) have already expressed great interest in starting "NATR Ally" community groups (please see the "Structure" paragraph, above) in order to build collaborative grassroots support for the initiative in their respective local Circle/Collaborative's "areas of integration focus."

- In the January 17th (monthly) meeting of the Circle of Nonviolence/Community collaborative of the Greater Phoenix area, the Circle/Collaborative started (i.e., adopted) the NATR Ally Community Group of that area--Next steps to follow.


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Significant E-mails

On Sun, Jun 18, 2017 at 8:47 PM, Madonna Thunder Hawk <...> wrote:
[[A composite of several e-mails]]

Dear Mr. Moji Agha, 

Hello...The first goal of the De-colony [project] is to get the "Earth Ship" and other off the grid items built and donated. This is all I have written so far:  

Our idea of a "De-Colony" came from our five month stay at OCETI SAKOWIN CAMP, during the NO DAPL [uprising] near the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. We saw decolonization THINKING and DOING develop over that traumatic, history-making time. Our Feather Necklace Tiospaye (extended family) here on the Cheyenne River reservation are planning for off the grid/environmentally appropriate dwellings as a major move to self-sufficiency on a grassroots levels.


As my spiritual sister Phyllis Young [who introduced you to me] has told you, I am quite interested in your proposed De-colony/conflict healing (and education) ideas, but I am sorry I can only do a little bit at a time...[because] I just can't juggle more than what's right in front of me...[given that currently] I am completely overwhelmed [by] the organizing [work needed] for the legal defense of the [Standing Rock uprising's] water protectors...[Hence my] every moment is going to their legal defense, and to the first stage of the De-colony, which is getting it built. As soon as I am able, I am meeting with the folks who are helping me with the Earth Ship plans and the energy needs...I will have to reconnect with you when I have the actual ability to take this next step on for the De-colony...[so] I will be in touch when I can. 

[For now]...if [only] there are small steps we can take...I will do what I can, but [note that my slow pace]...is not for lack of support or interest, just the shortcomings of too much work and age I am afraid. 

Thanks for your understanding and patience. 

Pilamayaye, 


Madonna  

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From: Richard Falk <...>
Date: Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 3:58 PM
Subject: Re: Native/American Truth & Reconciliation (NATR) Process: A Grassroots Initiative
To: Moji Agha <moji.agha@gmail.com>

Dear Moji Agha: 


I am glad that you continue to do good things! Of course, I would be honored to join the NATR's "Honorary High Council." At times like this none of us do enough...Warm greetings, and best wishes for 2017. 


Richard Falk

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From: Noam Chomsky <...>
Date: Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 5:16 PM
Subject: Re: Native/American Truth & Reconciliation (NATR) Process: A Grassroots Initiative
To: Moji Agha <moji.agha@gmail.com>
[[A composite of several e-mails]]

Glad to learn that Cornel West has joined...The importance of what you are doing cannot be doubted...I strongly support and endorse...your, if fact, very admirable and significant projects, especially the NATR initiative. I wish I could follow through on your suggestions [and participate in the NATR as an honorary advisor]...but it is just impossible for me, I’m afraid--Too many urgent commitments. What I would be happy to do, however, is to join the NATR's Honorary High Council in a symbolic capacity, with this title--per your proposed summary:

- Noam Chomsky, Strong Supporter/Endorser (but "just too busy" to participate)

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From: cornel west <...>
Date: Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 9:30 PM
Subject: Re: Native/American Truth & Reconciliation (NATR) Process: A Grassroots Initiative
To: Moji Agha <moji.agha@gmail.com>

Sounds good my dear brother! I do support you and your projects in all forms, including [the lead] honorary advisor [of the NATR initiative for my role]. Stay strong!

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From: Dave Archambault, II <...>
Date: Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 1:50 PM
Subject: The Movement's Future
To: johnnie <...>, "moji.agha@gmail.com" <moji.agha@gmail.com>

Johnnie and Moji,

Would you connect? Moji wants to help with [the Standing Rock movement's] future – see attachment.

Chairman Archambault [Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council]

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On Oct 30, 2016 12:09 AM, "johnnie" <...> wrote:


Hau brother Agha!


Hau and Thank you for your support! We will be organizing [the interfaith gathering] over the next few days, in the meantime would you please visit our website: ocetisakowincamp.org for more information on things to consider.


I will contact you again, at present we are under duress and somewhat limited in our response time.


We ask that you please bear with us. Please also be aware that except for one small area we do not currently enjoy internet or cell service in camp, thus receiving messages can be delayed.


 I will try to get a chance to ring you again - usually at night, if that’s ok?


Thinking of a shared interfaith event, and hope to speak about it…


With a Handshake and Regard,


Johnnie Aseron

Wellbeing Director
Oceti Sakowin Camp
www.ocetisakowincamp.org

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BACKGROUND / HISTORY (Updated July 19, 2017)


The Initiative's Original Formulation Period--Standing Rock/Bismarck, North Dakota: 
Sun. Dec. 4 to Tues. Dec. 13, 2016

Date of the Initiative's Official Birth--Tucson, Arizona: 
Mon., Jan. 16, 2017 (MLK DAY)

Founded / Developed by: Moji Agha



INTRODUCTION:

The profound need for a comprehensive Native/American Truth and Reconciliation (NATR) process for healing through decolonization/nonviolence -- and "forgiving but not forgetting" -- has been (and has ever increasingly become) apparent to awake consciences, especially since the historic, civilizing, and inspiring decolonization triumph of the Truth and Reconciliation Process in South Africa, championed by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, the Late President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

HISTORY:

Inspired by such a history, in the Fall of 2012 Moji Agha (the Iranian-American drafter of this document/site) started a "Truth and Reconciliation Process, Iran" initiative, with limited success, due to "security" conditions inside the country.

Previous to this Iran peace effort he had founded the "Think Tent of Tucson" in 2011-2012 (Please scroll to the bottom of this "America for Nonviolence" page, for more information: 

http://mossadeghlegacyinstitute.blogspot.com/p/america-for-nonviolence-anv.html), so that the Occupy Movement in the U.S. could "think systematically about the future of the struggle."

Since then, and on-going, brother Moji (he is a sufi monk/dervish) has been developing the "Circles Movement of Movements" a.k.a. Circles of Nonviolence/Community Collaboratives initiative (https://www.charterforcompassion.org/index.php/circles-of-nonviolence-community), which is the mother project of the present NATR effort.

As a part of the Circles efforts, since 2015:


a) Moji has been standing in active solidarity with the Oak Flat (San Carlos Apache) struggle in Eastern Arizona,
b) has established connections with the recently-established American University of Sovereign Nations (AUSN), 
and
c) in April of 2016 he participated and spoke at the Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix.

In November of 2016 (four "sad days" after Donald Trump got elected), sensing a historically nonviolent movement-building potential in the Standing Rock uprising and struggle, he drove from Southern Arizona to North Dakota (in his "Nonviolence Automobile--NV Mobile") and arrived in the Oceti Sakowin Camp/Bismarck area, for obvious solidarity reasons.

Thereafter, as it can be seen in the files below, brother Moji has been trying/praying to find a proper way to start what is now the herein initiative, i.e., the Native/American Truth and Reconciliation (NATR) Process, followed (hopefully shortly after) by an African/American Truth and Reconciliation (AFATR) Process:

a) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yYOqWYcS5E (Mon., Nov. 28, 2016--Bismarck, ND--at the Public Library, Community Forum on Standing Rock);

b) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4vRiuMv_-0 (First 8 minutes--Interfaith Prayer Ceremony at the Sacred/Central Fire of the Standing Rock's Oceti Sakowin Camp, Sun. Dec. 4, 2016);
and

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Contact Info

Moji Agha's e-mail: moji.agha@gmail.com (Preferred way of contacting us) 

Phone/Text: (520) 325-3545 

NOTE: When texting, please identify yourself (or your organization) in the body of your text, because Moji's phone is not "smart" enough to show your identifying info! 😊

Mailing Address:

C/O Moji Agha
P.O. Box 14705
Tucson, AZ 85732 

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Links to NATR's Underlying "Mother" Projects


a) Circles of Nonviolence/Community Collaboratives (Circles Movement) Initiative: https://www.charterforcompassion.org/index.php/circles-of-nonviolence-community (Scroll down to the "Founder's Background" bio section)


b) America for Nonviolence: http://mossadeghlegacyinstitute.blogspot.com/p/america-for-nonviolence-anv.html