Monuments are often thought of as commemorating the past, but they are also about projecting a desired future by narrating the past a certain way. Often these are settler colonial futures, which necessitates the form of monuments to take over land, often in the form of landmarks, making a concrete (quite literally) stake in the land to construct a myth of permanence despite histories that are quite contentious and never resolved. We see this in the various confederate monuments, or monuments to plantation slavery, in the Missions throughout California & the Southwest, in the monuments to war or empire throughout the Pacific. 

By contrast, Monuments to the Future, works with BIPOC communities to think about the futures that we want to create, Black, Indigenous, Queer, decolonized futures, and what how memory moves us towards those futures. Indigenous peoples in particular are often narrated as the disappearing past, when in reality, Indigenous knowledges and the ancestor-work has always been about ensuring an Indigenous future for peoples both human and non-human. Similarly, many Black diaspora philosophies invoke the Sankofa bird as looking towards the past but flying towards the future. In this vein, the Indigenous Futures Lab proposes to work with Indigenous, Black, and People of Color communities to re-envision and build monuments that are dynamic vehicles to the future.