What is Oyate?
In their own words:
Oyate is a Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed honestly, and so that all people will know our stories belong to us. For Indian children, it is as important as it has ever been for them to know who they are and what they come from. For all children, it is time to know and acknowledge the truths of history. Only then will they come to have the understanding and respect for each other that now, more than ever, will be necessary for life to continue.
The great Lakota leader, Tatanka Iotanka—Sitting Bull—said, “Let us put our minds together and see what life we will make for our children.” The great Cuban revolutionary, José Martí, said, “We work for children because children know how to love, because children are the hope of the world.” Our work is to nurture in our children a sense of self and community. Our hope is that they will grow up healthy and whole.
Our work includes critical evaluation of books and curricula with Indian themes, conducting of “Teaching Respect for Native Peoples” workshops and institutes; administration of a small resource center and reference library; and distribution of children’s, young adult, and teacher books and materials, with an emphasis on writing and illustration by Native people.
Our hope is that by making many excellent books available to encourage many more, especially from Native writers and artists. Oyate, our organiztion’s name, is the Dakota word for people. It was given to us by a Dakota friend.
Oyate has been offered a generous grant that will help them do a major website overhaul. Information on the grant is available right there on there website. popelizbet posted the first announcement, which noted that Oyate is now at $3,217.00 of the needed $5000. They must raise the remaining $1783.00 by Saturday, August 1 in order to receive their grant. And, as many reposters have said, the more who read this, the more that small donations can be valuable. I can afford about $10 now, but if enough people who read this contribute even $5 or $1, they should easily make their goal. If you cannot afford anything, please spread the news: post this on your blog, email the link to friends and family, whatever seems like the most likely way for you to maximize the number of people who might read this and be willing to help.
I've personally ordered a number of books from Oyate, and not only are they are right on target with their criticisms of mainstream literature about Natives, but they actively work to promote accurate and culturally literate material. This is one of the worthiest causes I've run across in a long time.
While you are there, pick up a book or two! I guarantee you will find it educational, no matter how old you are.