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Message from SPIRIT to members of the ManKind Project

In this video, Mato Tá Pejuta Wákan Nawjín, Spokesperson for the Center for Support and Protection of Indian Religions and Indigenous Traditions (SPIRIT), sends a message to the members of the ManKind Project and answers some of the questions and misconceptions that have been circulating.




Below is the text of an email sent to MKP members on November 3, 2022 announcing the video and other updates:


Members of the ManKind Project:


The Vice Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum has sent a letter to the ManKind Project, which explains how MKP’s actions are a violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and offers his support in creating a credible Truth and Reconciliation process. We strongly encourage all MKP members to read this letter.


SPIRIT has received many supportive responses, including from many members of the ManKind Project, and we have published excerpts from a few of these letters on our website. We encourage you to take a look at what others are saying, as it may help inform the way you think about this matter.


Since SPIRIT’s first letter was sent, many of the events of the ManKind Project have been canceled. Although some have blamed SPIRIT for this, we want to be clear that this decision was made solely by MKP, without consulting with SPIRIT. Our initial letter simply asked the ManKind Project to run its programs without any misuse of Native American rituals and traditions. While completely canceling events is one way to avoid misappropriation, we hope to see the organization revise its programs and move forward with the many positive elements.


Unfortunately, the ManKind Project’s leaders have been publicly saying that they have been eager to meet with SPIRIT, but the actual communication with them tells a different story. To clear up the confusion around this, SPIRIT is publishing the full history of communication with the Board of MKP USA, which you can see here. To summarize, SPIRIT sent a letter to MKP on October 6th, but did not receive a reply until October 15th. On October 18th we responded by requesting a meeting with four MKP leaders who represent different parts of the organization. To date, the ManKind Project has not proposed a single time that these representatives could be available to meet with us. Nearly a month has passed since we first reached out for dialogue, so we are moving ahead with other partners to resolve this matter.


Please email us directly at info@spiritprotection.org with letters of support, concern, or any questions you have. We have received hundreds of letters, and we won’t be able to respond individually to each letter, but we will publish some letters with your permission, and we intend to publish answers to the questions we’re hearing in the coming weeks.


Please forward this letter to all MKP email lists, and to anyone you know who is interested in this matter. If this letter was forwarded to you, you can subscribe here to directly receive future updates from SPIRIT.


SPIRIT will be sending additional updates in the coming weeks. We hope to quickly resolve the misuse of Lakota traditions, and turn our attention to supporting MKP in creating non-appropriated alternatives.


Sincerely,

The Council of SPIRIT


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