Building Partnerships for Collaborative Action

Building Partnerships for Collaborative Action (Partnerships) brings the pressures facing Indigenous communities–and the campaigns they create to address them–into the center of our organizing work. Partnerships emerged from our 12 affiliates shared commitment to:

  • Support initiatives to protect and expand Indigenous sovereignty and self-governance.
  • Strengthen the capacity of Indigenous-led organizations to engage disconnected members of their community in ways that give them more agency as individuals and collective power as a group.
  • Engage a critical mass of non-Indigenous people and organizations in understanding the impact of colonization, their ongoing complicity in its legacy, and the ways in which they can become partners in creating an equitable future.

The Partnership process centers on building and maintaining long-term relationships between community leaders in our dominant culture organizations (faith institutions, labor unions, nonprofits, and community groups) and local tribes and Indigenous-led organizations. Sharing stories, these relationships deepen over time, moving at the speed of trust.

Foundational to the Partnerships process is our ten-hour "Wrestling With the Truth of Colonization" training which educates our non-Indigenous leaders on the history, legacy and impacts of colonization and prepares them to come into respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Our affiliates have committed to building power with Indigenous-led organizations, providing resources to organize the un-organized within Indigenous communities, and acting on shared priorities. The scale, persistence and sincerity of this effort is slowly earning the trust of Indigenous communities and bringing them into partnership with our affiliate alliances. 

Partnerships long-term goal is to move beyond land acknowledgments and token actions towards changes in policies and practices that increase Indigenous sovereignty and reduce outcome disparities in areas such as education, housing, employment, and health care.

This initiative is active in all 12 of our affiliates which are located in the four colonized countries that are now called Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.