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 Mother Earth and protecting the water.
“Resilient” represents MUSE’s story of learning more about “closing our mouths and learning to listen” to the courageous Indigenous women leading the fight to preserve Mother Earth and to honor Indigenous cultures and traditions. We also strive to listen to the cries of Indigenous peoples about how “settler colonialism” has and continues to destroy Indigenous lands.
The video highlights the Tecumseh Statue (located in Thornton Triangle in Sayler Park) and Fountain Square, both of which serve as significant Indigenous landmarks in Cincinnati. MUSE gives much appreciation and thanks to Jheri Neri and the women of the GCNAC for sharing their time and wisdom with us.
Tecumseh - The great Shawnee uniter statue in Sayler Park
Lydia Greendancer - Sault Sant Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians
In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Tribal Nations DO NOT have criminal jurisdiction of non-Indians for crimes committed on tribal lands. This perpetuates violence against Indigenous women, 84% of which have experienced violence in their lifetime. One-third of the victims had NO relation to the perpetrator. Murder is the third leading cause of death for Native American women. A red hand over the mouth has become the symbol of a growing movement, the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement. It stands for all the missing sisters whose voices are not heard. It stands for the silence of the media and law enforcement in the midst of this crisis. It stands for the oppression and subjugation of Native women who are now rising up to say: #NoMoreStolenSisters.
Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition Office
Library maker space where we reproduced posters by native artists with permission
MUSE at the GCNAC Office standing with Coalition members
Sacred ground to the Shawnee because it was built on Indigenous burial mounds
Irene Bedard wearing the sign of the missing and murdered Indigenous women
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.