The passion of activism and speaking out on the issues impacting indigenous communities isn’t something to be taken lightly. 11 year old Mariah LaPointe-Stafford is one of those passionate individuals moved to continue to stand up for the rights of indigenous peoples and the environment until she sees some change. Mariah was selected to be recognized as a 2021 Social Justice Honoree for the Martin Luther King: Redeem the Prophetic Vision event by the Associated Ministries and the Urban Grace Church. She has been speaking out on Climate change since 2016. (Yes you did the math right, since she was 6 years old!) She also stood against the methanol plant in Tacoma, she has been to Standing Rock twice, and she has been on the front lines, standing strong alongside the Puyallup Nation’s water warriors since early 2017.
She recently has expressed her interest in speaking at screenings for Ancestral Waters, a documentary produced by Native Daily Network. Her first public speaking engagement was in March 2018 at the Youth Climate Strike at Wright’s Park. Since that time, she has addressed the public at two more Youth Climate Strikes. Mariah also leads discussions and speaks about issues relating to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, improving representations of indigenous people in history lessons and in drama, providing valuable testimony in favor of a proposed WA State house bill that would affirm a climate emergency, and the impacts of Climate change. Here is an excerpt of her testimony here: https://hubhopper.com/episode/activists-to-wa-lawmakers-its-time-to-declare-climate-change-an-emergency-1581087647
Mariah is Hunkpapa Lakota (Sitting Bull’s people) and Upper Yanktonai Dakota from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She is also Swinomish, Upper Skagit, Bad River Chippewa, and Waywaysicapoo from Manitoba Canada. She was born in Tacoma and raised by Grandmother, Benita Moore. Mariah is a current and future voice of activism in the Tacoma/Pierce County community. At only 11 years old, she brings perspective and youth voice to the work of justice while honoring her history, culture and the ancestral lands we all occupy.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Redeeming the Prophetic Vision is an annual, all volunteer organized interfaith community event. It seeks to honor Dr. King’s radical call for peace and justice for ALL people by helping the Tacoma/Pierce County community to shine in the light of his vision on the current local, national, and global situations; to re-imagine unity across indifference; renewing the shared commitment to the path of social justice, and reconnecting with peace and justice activists and advocates across the community. For more information about this community event, visit https://sites.google.com/view/mlk-redeem-the-vision/mlk-rtpv-home