Tending a fire for a sweat in Standing Rock, ND at the home of one of the direct descendants of the great Lakota Chief Sitting Bull, I couldn’t help but contemplate the many layers of trauma and resistance that have been permeating the US this past fractious year. For so many in left and progressive circles, the tumult can be quickly summed up by simply saying “Trump.”

For those searching, however, for a deeper understanding of both the causes and cures of our current moment in history, we must look far beyond Trump to find our way out of this time of injustice and violence. Centering our work around Trump and his circle may not only prove ineffective in dealing with these symptoms of a society in crisis; it may lead us to worsen the divides that got us here.

Traditional indigenous elders,...

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