Native American leaders seek to establish embassy in Jerusalem, strengthen ties with Israel

Inspired by the story of the Jewish people, the Riverwinds forge cultural ties between Native Americans and Israel.

Chief Joseph Riverwind and Dr. Laralyn Riverwind. (photo credit: THE MEDIA LINE)
Chief Joseph Riverwind and Dr. Laralyn Riverwind.
(photo credit: THE MEDIA LINE)

Chief Joseph Riverwind, a leader of the Arawak Taino Nation and peace chief between tribal nations, and his wife, Dr. Laralyn Riverwind, who is ambassador-at-large for the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee, have been building bridges with Israel and the Jewish people for decades. After years of bringing delegations of Native Americans to Israel, the Riverwinds have expressed their desire to open a Native American embassy in Jerusalem.

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The Riverwinds told The Media Line that they are inspired by the story of the Jewish people and Israel—the story of an exiled people who returned and settled in their native homeland. “The story of the Jewish people, the indigenous people of Judea, brings us hope. For a tribal nation that has been able to return home, to their sacred sites, their culture, their tradition, their language,” said Riverwind.

The importance of combatting antisemitism

He added that combating antisemitism is one of their main goals while bringing delegates to Israel repeatedly. “Unfortunately, a lot of anti-Israel propaganda is hitting America, and that is starting to slowly get into the indigenous communities of the United States,” he added.

“We desire to educate people about the history, the long-term history of Israel and Judea,” said Riverwind, stressing that teaching ancient history is so important to make people understand the bond between Jews and the land of Israel.

The Riverwinds are also co-founders of FireKeepers International, a charitable organization committed to preserving and teaching indigenous and modern life skills, traditional holistic healing, feeding the hungry, and helping veterans through their healing process.