Volume 2, Resources 16: Indigenous Land and Inclusive Calendars

Hi friends! Last weekend we were able to squeeze in some outdoor summer fun and we went tubing on the Russian River. Because of the drought it was… not rushin’. We had to walk through very shallow water at some points and paddle at others, but it was tons of fun and I love being in water. We also saw a bunch of critters: turtles, fishes, blue herons, and river otters! I’d never seen river otters in the wild and honestly, I’m still riding the high of seeing their adorable little faces. Here’s a photo of me in full summer goth, before I got sunburned:

This week is a resource week, but before I get to that, two things. First, absolutely massive thank you to my wife, Nicole, for her help on the second set of resources in today’s newsletter. I normally do all the footwork for this newsletter myself and it’s something for which I’m constantly making notes of resources and ideas. I had a Level One spell slot left to do this whole newsletter and Nicole jumped in and did some incredibly helpful research that has made today’s issue exponentially better than it started out to be. Thank you, Nicole. You’re my favorite.

Second, I want to share this video which has brought me an absolutely obscene amount of joy. I fucking LOVE ABBA and also silly musical skills like playing the pipes as this man is doing:

Resource #1: Native-Land.ca

This is primarily for those of us who live in heavily colonized parts of the world: North America, Central America, South America, and Australia mostly, with a few other areas as well. Native-Land.ca is a map for us to learn whose ancestral home we are living on. Aside from the maps, the website has an informative blog as well as a page of information on Territory Acknowledgements (also sometimes referred to as Land Acknowledgements).

I know that some people, especially in the U.S., like to say, “We’re all immigrants here!” and that is not true. This land I am on is stolen, and I am the great-great-great-great-grandchild of stolen children brought to this stolen land. This is why we use the term “BIPOC” (Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color) and not just (POC) because the experiences of those who are Indigenous and those who are Black are markedly different in many ways than other people of color who have immigrated to this country.

I’ve been thinking a lot about reparations the past couple years and how to thoughtfully give funds to the Indigenous people whose land I am on (the Muwekma Ohlone) and much to my delight, this link on Indigenous Land Tax from Resource Generation came via the Books & Bakes newsletter (Laura is rad and is one of my Book Riot colleagues).

Resource #2: Mindful Calendar Scheduling aka FFS Quit Scheduling Meetings on the High Holy Days

Backstory: No one is perfect at DEIB efforts (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging) but the idea is that we all are trying (not just listening and learning) and when we know better, we do better. That’s all I ask.

So, wanna know some easy ways to do better? Don’t plan meetings/events on work-restricted religious days, like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It’s 2021 and we need to stop doing things that make people have to choose between their culture and their job. Another thing? Don’t plan team lunches during fasting holidays. These are all things that also depend on if you have people honoring these holidays so my default is, if I can avoid it, then I do that and when in doubt, an email asking if people are cool planning a meeting on whatever day. This article has a little on how to do that as well as some notes on Jewish holidays. Here is a broader article on considering religious beliefs when scheduling events.

Google Calendar does have general overlays for Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Orthodox holidays but it only tells you the holiday and nothing about what is expected for it. Confession: I desperately want to create a public Google Calendar that people can subscribe to that has all work-restricted, fasting, and otherwise meaningful holidays and their requirements. However, my therapist is on my case about taking on too many projects and committees and then making myself sad that I don’t have the spell slots to do the things I want to do like shoot arrows, bake cookies, and make music.

That being said, my brilliant, loving, helpful wife found that Yale University’s Chaplain’s Office has done this! Go to this page and you can get a calendar overlay for Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Outlook Calendar. Alas, it is not perfect because not all the holidays note the expectations and some of the dates look iffy compared to other calendars. That being said, I’m going to also give you all the resources to work things out for yourselves and to double-check things.

Note: This is on my radar because Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are coming up in September.

  • Anti-Defamation League Calendars of Observances: Currently has pdfs of calendars of observances for 2020, 2021, and 2022 in list form. Along with holy days, it also includes other observances like LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, Loving Day, and Juneteenth. Each day has a short description but no notes on expectations.

That’s it for this week! You can shop any books I’ve mentioned in this newsletter at my affiliate shop, The Infophile’s Bookshop, and support independent bookstores. If you want to send me some snail mail, you can find me at P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481. If you want me to send you some happy mail, feel free to give me your address.

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