This week a conversation with Jean Luc Pierite, the chair of the board of the Native American Culture Center in Boston. Pierite dives into the history and role of the National Day of Mourning celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. A gathering that seeks to tell the truth and celebrate Native spirit, Jean Luc talks about how ceremony and prayer focus on supporting resilience of spirit. A member of the Tunica Biloxi tribe shares how he grew up navigating Euro-centric stories and bias and why his speech at the 52nd annual gathering in Plymouth, Massachusetts will focus on the present challenges facing his community.
This is Our Way of Having Our Feast
Jean Luc talks about his upbringing in New Orleans and how his roots in his tribal community and his faith in the Roman Catholic tradition intertwine in his advocacy and work on behalf of the Native American community. Throughout the conversation, he talks about the role of the Day of Mourning and how it links the past efforts of the United States Government to terminate tribes to the present struggles facing indigenous communities across the nation.
Prior to his election to the NAICOB Board of Directors, Jean-Luc was elected to the Community Linguist seat of the Advisory Circle for CoLang for the period 2016-20. The Institute on Collaborative Language Research or “CoLang” is designed to provide an opportunity for community language activists and linguists to receive training in community-based language documentation and revitalization. Jean-Luc is a member of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana.
Part of Is it Calls for Social Justice and Part is a Sacred
Jean Luc talks about the ceremony and events that take place and why linking the legacy of the past to the struggles indigenous communities face is critical to addressing the harms that have taken place and advancing social justice.
What is in the Ground is a Record of the People
Jean Luc offers three concrete examples to consider when gathering during the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday that will center a different story from the origin myths around the holiday.