October 9, 2023

Hello.

I'm writing to you on October 9, Indigenous Peoples Day. I am a place-based folk musician, making and collecting songs inspired by the people and places where I live, work, create and play. Most of my life, that place has been on the ancestral lands of the 𐓏𐒰𐓓𐒰𐓓𐒷 𐒼𐓂𐓊𐒻 𐓆𐒻𐒿𐒷 𐓀𐒰^𐓓𐒰^ (Osage), S’atsoyaha (Yuchi), ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee), Hopewell and Adena peoplesnow known as Frankfort, Kentucky. I take up space in this email to remember those forcibly displaced from this area I now call home, and to acknowledge the pain and grief of genocide and colonization.  And I want to recognize the living, thriving contributions and influence that Native cultures have had and continue to have on central Kentucky and beyond. According to the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission, over 170 American Indian tribes and many others of Indigenous descent live and work in Kentucky. The nonprofit organization Kentucky Indigenous Peoples organizes cultural and educational events and community outreach, with the vision of “seeing a secured future for today's Native American Peoples residing in Kentucky.” Land acknowledgement and self-education are small ways that I am working to decolonize the way that I think, teach, gather and create. It will be a lifelong journey, and I look forward to learning more and being held accountable. If you have resources or ideas you’d like to share, please do!   

Voter registration ends tomorrow, Tuesday, October 10th at 4pm EST. You still have time to register or share the opportunity with a friend! Learn more and register to vote at govoteky.org. Please, vote like our lives depend on it. Because they do. 

I’ll be 30 years old this month! To help me celebrate, please send bright wishes and creative vibes, or say “hi” at an upcoming show: 

And finally, I’ve been facilitating outdoor group singing circles the past few months, and it’s so lovely and healing. If that sounds like something you’d like to participate in or learn more about, please reply to this email with your curiosity.

Take good care of yourself. We need ya.

[sound of falling leaves],

Jeri Katherine

Photo by Seriously Sabrina Photography, courtesy of UK Food Connection