Since late Thursday, Native Americans have been telling non-natives what we really need to hear with the hashtag #DearNonNatives.

It’s about time that the rest of us start listening. Western governments and non-native western people have a history of ignoring Native voices, to the point where their people, land, culture, and lives have been stolen from them. This legacy of physical, sexual, and cultural violence against Native people across the Western hemisphere continues today.

For example, Native Americans are disproportionately killed by police. In fact, they aremore likely to be killed by police than any other racial group, even African Americans. Earlier this month, a Lakota man named Paul Castaway was shot and killed by Denver police.  Recently, two Native Americans have died in police custody. Choctaw activist Rexdale Henry died in a jail in Mississippi, and a Lakota woman named Sarah Lee Circle Bear died in an Aberdeen, South Dakota jail cell after guards ignored her pleas for help while she was experiencing pain.

Native Americans also face very high rates of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. There is also an epidemic of Native women in the US and Canada who either go missing or are murdered.

Native Americans face many other issues, such as high rates of poverty and health problems. In other words, the oppression that Natives have faced in the past still continues today, so it’s important for the rest of us to be in solidarity with native people. That begins with listening, learning, and being respectful of their culture and history (without appropriating it). Reading the hashtag is a great way to start. Here are just a few of the tweets:

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