MUSE Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir presents “Resilient” by Rising Appalachia, arranged by Danielle Jagelski of the Oneida Nation. MUSE is committed to being a partner with the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition (GCNAC) and working together to bring awareness to the importance of honoring the Earth and protecting the water.
“Resilient” represents MUSE’s story of learning more about “closing our mouths and learning to listen” to the courageous Native women leading the fight to preserve Mother Earth and to honor Indigenous cultures and traditions. We also strive to listen to the cries of Native Americans about how “Settler Colonialism” has and continues to destroy Native lands.
The video highlights the Tecumseh Statue (located in Thornton Triangle in Saylor Park) and Fountain Square, both of which serve as significant Native American landmarks in Cincinnati. MUSE give much appreciation and thanks to Jheri Neri and the women of the GCNAC for sharing their time and wisdom with us.
We wish to acknowledge that MUSE performs on land traditionally cared for and called home by the Myaamia (Miami), Shawandasse (Shawnee), and Wazhazhe (Osage) peoples, and by their ancestors for millennia before them. We recognize that these Indigenous peoples never ceded their sacred ancestral land, but were forcibly removed from it by European colonial forces and later by the United States, which committed countless atrocities against both the Indigenous Peoples and the land as they sought to exploit natural resources for profit. In their greed and cruelty, the colonists built this country and their wealth not only on stolen land, but also by the forced labor of people stolen from their land and enslaved. We acknowledge this country’s settler colonialism: its deliberate and persistent efforts to erase Indigenous humanity, community, and culture, including through genocide, isolation on remote land difficult to cultivate, separation of Indigenous families, and forced assimilation. We recognize settler colonialism in injustices that are still harming Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color today, including environmental destruction, privatization of public space and resources, and gentrification.
MUSE lifts up the resilience and enduring presence of Indigenous people who survive and thrive here today despite such violence to their bodies, spirits, and culture. We commit to the work of decolonization within ourselves and our organization, and pledge our solidarity with the cultural reclamation, education, and advocacy efforts of Indigenous people in Cincinnati and beyond. While we did not commit the past crimes of this country, we recognize that we are responsible now to work for reparations and restore the right relationship with Indigenous peoples. As allies, we will join our voices with theirs when they call for justice, and quiet our voices when it is time to listen to their experience. As we reckon with the climate crisis that colonial recklessness has created, we will lift up Indigenous wisdom of how to care for and sustain the earth, and remember that the victories of environmental activism would not be possible without the leadership of water protectors and work of Indigenous people globally. MUSE hopes you will be inspired to learn more, and join us in honoring the lives, memories, and contributions of Indigenous people everywhere.