Everyone deserves the same experience. Many Indigenous cultures share the belief that we come from the stars, that we are made of stars. We already know the constellation of events that need to happen to have healthy moms and healthy babies. What is the perfect constellation that will help us pull down the stars for future generations?
The rivers of the Pacific Northwest shone silver with the number of salmon that used to swim them, you could walk across the river on the backs of the fish. This was the abundance and vitality of these lands prior to settler contact. It feels immeasurable at times, what we have lost. And reclaiming Indigenous lifeways and culture, it feels like this sometimes. Maybe you can weave, or know your songs, maybe you speak your language, or breastfeed, or know how to make a cradleboard. Each practice feels like one or two fish in what used to be a river teaming, impossibly full, with many fish. And it is not this way for all but for many urban Indigenous especially, this can be so.
And this is why we tell stories. To call back the salmon, to call back the stars. To call back the babies to their mother’s breasts. We tell these stories first and foremost for us, for the people. To remember, to call back, to sing back, the vitality and the immeasurability of the worth and value of Indigenous mamas and children. That they know they are enough, that we trust them to know that is best for their children and future generations, and that every parent is the perfect parent for their baby.
Application opens in May 2023. Sign up for our newsletter for updates.
We aim to launch our Storytelling Program with a yearly artist residency program. We envision storytelling as a multimedia endeavor. As an intertribal organization, we recognize that nations and tribes tell stories in many ways. We also recognize that we live in a modern era and that there are many opportunities for storytelling engagement using technology and digital platforms.
We are reclaiming our stories and practices surrounding birth through storytelling projects that will launch over the next several years. Our storytelling project aims to confront the erasure and invisibility that contributes to the disproportionate health inequities and disparities that are part of the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.
The Hummingbird Nest Storytelling Project strengthens our programs and supports system and policy change for our families and our communities.
Our approach is rooted in program sovereignty. Sovereignty in Indigenous communities refers to the ability to self-determine and shape the land, resources, spiritual/cultural practices, health futures, and community lifeways. When it comes to organizational and program sovereignty, we use the following criteria to support sovereignty: Radical community centering; Decolonial and historical trauma informed practice; Guided by our wheel of sacred belonging (see Nest Page for more information).