Riverland Native Voter Project
Iowa is a strategic political state because it is host to the first contest of the presidential primaries. It’s why, when given the opportunity to encourage Indigenous voting in this state we saw a great opportunity to empower our people’s voice. However, we believe in abolishing border imperialism and so instead of focusing on the colonial settler imposed state of Iowa we decided to base our voting initiative on an Ioway made map that depicts their own history between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. We encourage Indigenous people to vote based on ecological and ancestral boundaries with the intent of dismantling oppressive borders and decolonizing the vote
--which is why we began the Riverland Native Voter Project.
Indigenous voting campaigns in Iowa are unique. Most importantly, the impact could be powerful based on 1) the strategic place it holds due to the fact that it is host to the first contest of the presidential primary season; 2) Twenty-eight First Nations still have ancestral land ties here; 3) Iowa is Big-Ag's sacrifice zone and so it is the most biologically colonized state in the country. Big-Ag is taking family farms and, politically, this issue has huge voting potential here if framed right; 4) We hope to unite the POC and immigrant population through Indigenous ties to the land, and; 5) This campaign will reach people outside of Iowa based on our ancestral territorial boundaries. Essentially, we will entice people to vote based on our own "borders"; 6) We will integrate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into our platform, which is key to getting our work nationally and internationally recognized.
We have now partnered with Movement Voter Project's Vote Mob in helping amplify our efforts in increasing BIPOC communities voices who are often left out of the conversation through empowering their vote. We are dedicated in utilizing an 020 pathway to successful outcomes. We will work on conducting interviews, publishing zines, providing voter guides, and other important voter education. Not to mention, some cool swag to offer as we approach the upcoming 2020 Presidential elections. We remain dedicated in our work during the current COVID-19 pandemic by utilizing digital tools such as social media and Zoom.
Empower your voice. Decolonize the system. Go vote!
Vote Mob and Indigenous Iowa
Pictured above is Heron Hargreaves and daughter of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
Pictured is our own Operations Director Trisha Etringer who is now the Iowa Vote Mob Co-Coordinator
Vote Mob and Indigenous Iowa collaborated days before the Iowa Caucus to encourage Native Voters to get involved. We continue to work with Vote Mob in the future to help and encourage our Native voters with the upcoming 2020 Presidential elections. To read more about Vote Mob and their efforts, please click here.
The Riverland Native Voter Zine will offer voter education and encourage Native voter register. Click the links below to download issues of the Zine!
Riverland Native Voter Zine Issue #1