For too long, Native American people in the United States have been stereotyped as vestiges of the past, invisible citizens in their own land obliged to remind others, “We are still here!” Yet today, Native leaders are at the center of social change, challenging philanthropic organizations that have historically excluded Native people, and fighting for economic and environmental justice.
Edited by Raymond Foxworth of First Nations Development Institute and Steve Dubb of The Nonprofit Quarterly, Invisible No More is a groundbreaking collection of stories by Native American leaders, many of them women, who are leading the way through cultural grounding and nation-building in the areas of community, environmental justice, and economic justice. Authors in the collection come from over a dozen Native nations, including communities in Alaska and Hawaiʻi. Chapters are grouped by themes of challenging philanthropy, protecting community resources, environmental justice, and economic justice. While telling their stories, authors excavate the history and ongoing effects of genocide and colonialism, reminding readers how philanthropic wealth often stems from the theft of Native land and resources, as well as how major national parks such as Yosemite were “conserved” by forcibly expelling Native residents. At the same time, the authors detail ways that readers might imagine the world differently, presenting stories of Native community building that offer benefits for all. Accepting this invitation to reset assumptions can be at once profound and pragmatic. For instance, wildfires in large measure result from recent Western land mismanagement; Native techniques practiced for thousands of years can help manage fire for everyone’s benefit.
In a world facing a mounting climate crisis and record economic inequality, Invisible No More exposes the deep wounds of a racist past while offering a powerful call to care for one another and the planet. Indigenous communities have much to offer, not the least of which are solutions gleaned from cultural knowledge developed over generations.
About the Author
Raymond Foxworth (Navajo) serves as program director at the Henry Luce Foundation. Previously, he served for over 15 years at First Nations Development Institute in various capacities, most recently as Vice President, where he oversaw national grant-making activities to Native nonprofits and tribal entities, fundraising activities, and all communications functions.
Steve Dubb is senior editor of economic justice at NPQ, where he writes articles, moderates webinars, and works to cultivate voices from the field and help them reach a broader audience. Before that, he worked with cooperatives and nonprofits for over two decades, including twelve years at The Democracy Collaborative and three years as executive director of North American Students of Cooperation.
“These writings are an opportunity to reset relationships between mainstream environmental organizations—often white dominated—and Native communities. Invisible No More will be indispensable in the struggle against social injustice, climate change, and environmental degradation." — Ramón J. Cruz, former President, Sierra Club