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The Power of Mutual Aid

We hope you had a chance to read our last update about our new partnership with Peacekeeper Society and the Paaxamit Design School. Can you support Minga this giving season?

Today, for "Giving Tuesday", we want to highlight another area of Peacekeepers’s work: mutual aid. Mutual aid is an organizational model that facilitates cooperative work to meet the needs of everyone in a community.

For supporters of Minga, this probably sounds familiar. In fact, the word Minga means cooperative work toward a common goal. For Peacekeepers, that goal is health and thriving for everyone living on the Yakama Indian Reservation.

Leveraging skills, relationships, and resources, Peacekeepers has built deep trust that allows them to meet community members where they are – both physically and in terms of need – and offer individualized, dignified support.

This year, Peacekeepers has served 1,408 pets, 2,230 families, and 7,337 individuals – including 340 who were unhoused – through programs delivering food, hot meals, and other supplies. Since August’s devastating fires in Maui, they’ve also worked in solidarity with Indigenous organizations there.

Mutual aid is an organizational model that facilitates cooperative work to meet the needs of everyone in a community.

Peacekeepers has also experienced many of the challenges common to mutual aid organizations, which are often informal and community-based. Such efforts are hard to fund through grants or government sources, require significant human resources, and can lead to burnout – the work is difficult and it is never done.

To help build a sustainable program, Peacekeepers is gathering data, reservation-wide, that addresses issues of hunger and cultural unwellness. They will use it in developing customized programs that address the lack of healthy foods on the reservation, create traditional (Native) food supply distributions, and address public health issues that fall within Peacekeepers’s mission.

While Minga isn’t working directly with these efforts, we want to emphasize how necessary and revolutionary this work is. We invite you to take a few minutes to learn more about the history, philosophy, and uses of mutual aid. To start, here’s the Wikipedia entry; did you know contributing to Wikipedia has also been described as a form of mutual aid?

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