Posted by on Nov 23, 2018 in Featured

Why I March: Joseph Alexander Morales ‘Uniting for Indigenous Peoples’

Why I March: Joseph Alexander Morales ‘Uniting for Indigenous Peoples’

On 01.18.19, Indigenous peoples from across the world will be uniting in Washington D.C. to stand together to bring awareness to the injustices affecting Indigenous men, women and children.

In the lead up to the historic event, Last Real Indians will be featuring individuals involved with the Indigenous Peoples March.

LRI editor Matt Remle recently spoke with Joseph Alexander Morales (Pueblo Pijao) about the march, issues he hopes to high light and what is bringing him to the streets of D.C.

Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Joseph Alexander Morales. I was born in California and I’m originally from Colombia And Guatemala. My mother side is from Tolima Colombia More specifically Pueblo Pijao we are an indigenous community of warriors but due to colonialism a lot of us moved away which is how i got to California and now Miami. I grew up only knowing my mother, hearing stories of our family being warriors who fought the colombian government to the point where they were deemed terrorist. That legacy will live on through me where i will continue to fight any colonial governments to make sure my family, community, and all indigenous people have complete freedom to stay on our land and keep our waters clean.

Tell us about the Indigenous Peoples March?

Indigenous Peoples march is a march to highlight issues going within the indigenous community and to remind this country that we are still very much alive. There is a myth that we all died we are a people of a past but that is not true, we are simply a people with a past. As well as connect indigenous peoples throughout cemanahuac (the americas).

What issue/s will you be high-lighting at the march and how can people support that issue/s?

I’ll be highlighting immigration as a native issue. Most non natives and even natives far north to the border have no idea about the communities south of the border. In the U.S we are labeled as hispanic or latino but those are not how my family identifies. Im a member of the Pijao Tribe and for those who dont know we are an indigenous community in Tolima Colombia. We are not the only indigenous people in colombia we have the wayuu tribe in northern Colombia to the Muisca people of Bogota, colombia. The most spoken indigenous language in the americas is Nahuatl an aztec language in mexico followed by Quechua a language in Peru. The caravan that is migrating up central and south america are indigenous people from the K’Iche, choti, maam, etc and these are all Mayas from central america. I say this all to point that that the image of a foreigner in american soil is a native face. When people imagine an immigrant in the U.s they imagine a native american. and indigenous face. We are labeled foreigners by people who had no idea we existed until 1492. Labeled foreigners by the real foreigners. And thats the real irony…. Now the president declared war on indigenous people south of the border.

For those who want to learn more and support what im doing they can Follow an organization i help run called Global Indigenous Group. We are a student ran organization at Florida International University. FIUGIG is our instagram page

Why is it important for indigenous peoples to show unity?

Its important for indigenous people to show unity because the colonial empire has seperated us. The northern tribes are called native americans while us south of the border are called latinos. So, imagine if we join forces? We wouldnt be a minority on our own land anymore.

Why will you be in the streets on January 18th?

A quechua (For those who dont know academics call them incas) elder once prophesized that one day there will be an awakening of the people, a new era, and that when this new era happens, the eagle and condor will fly together once more. When the Maya calender ended a bunch of americans were freaking out and crying the end of the world. If anyone spoke to any maya elder they would understand that it wasnt the end of the world but a new era. Now more than ever indigenous people are joining forces. The eagle and condor will fly together. That is whats happening and im making sure that happens by bringing the condor to this march. And that is why i march.

To sign up to attend the rally and receive updates RSVP here

by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle)

Matt Remle (Lakota) is an editor and writer for Last Real Indians and LRInspire and the co-founder of Mazaska Talks. Follow @wakiyan7