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Advent for change

Advent means a time to prepare for what is coming. The Riverton Peace Mission, with hope and courage, prepares for a shift from reacting to injustice and violence symptomatic of colonization to proactive change to disrupt systems that cause harm to Indigenous peoples.

Reflecting on the Riverton Peace Mission’s recent Planning Retreat, I note that during the first three years, the work was often reactive. In the past we protested cover-up attempts related to the police killing of Andy Antelope. We provided food and hygiene supplies in response to COVID, and most recently our volunteers collected and provided blankets and other items for underserved homeless people in our community. We lifted the voices of victims of bordertown violence and prejudice. We offered opportunities for learning and difficult conversations. We supported Indigenous led efforts to provide services and will continue to do so.

Now we shift strategically to make justice happen. Our goals as decided at the retreat are proactive, not reactive. We thus prepare to educate and advocate for the following:

1. For the City of Riverton to enact a resolution to address institutional racism through establishing a committee that collects and studies the data, revises policies, and provides training and resources. Racism has no place in Riverton.

2. Shelter for homeless people here, most of whom are Native Americans.

3. Alcoholism be treated as a disease. Healthcare; not arrests.

4. Increase civic engagement, including voting, for Indigenous peoples to protect tribal sovereignty, to promote justice and for equitable allocation of resources.

We have hope, courage, and determination. What we need is the financial and relational support from our friends, people like you.

You can help. Donate for Giving Tuesday, $3 or whatever you can afford. If you are able to demonstrate your commitment with a yearend major donation of $500, $1,000 or $5,000, we will use the funds to build capacity for meaningful change. You may give online or mail a check to PO Box 255, Riverton WY 82501. If you want to discuss other options, let me know. The Riverton Peace Mission is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Fear not. Be humble. Have faith. Be bold. Build relationships. Do justice.

Chesie Lee

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