Death to Settler Identity & the 5 Stages of Grief

This really cuts to the heart of the matter, coming from the next watershed over. Reblogging this, as it points to where I was going with my last post. Inspiring me to keep going….

AS THE WORLD BURNS

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Settler colonialism seems to be the least tolerable thing I have every tried to explain (for white settlers that is, Indigenous People’s know and live the reality with or with out the term). Unsettling is the perfect way to describe this work since most white settlers seem to get almost physically sick and extremely enraged over these concepts. There are many demotions to one’s status in settler colonizer society by becoming what I will call, borrowing from Meme, a self-rejecting settler (1). This is a small start in confronting settler privilege. In the big picture, decolonization has far more to offer to the self-rejecting settler than the toxic privilege that they/we embody. Fully gaining their/our humanity, reentering their/our place in the human family, freedom from an alienated, individualist, hierarchical existence, and continued life on this planet to mention a few (2). But time again I have experienced white settlers clinging…

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the other white: basque and irish in occupied territory

Don’t start me talking
I could talk all night
My mind goes sleepwalking
While I’m putting the world to right
Called careers information
Have you got yourself an occupation?

-Elvis Costello “Olivers Army”

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Just read a fascinating article that I want to share from the Basque Tribune called “Basques and the American Indians”

Basque author Mark Bieter grew up in Boise and shares his experience of hearing the Basque people described as the “Indians of Europe.”  Avoiding too much colonial equivocation, he insightfully remarks:

The Basques are the Indians of Europe: I liked the idea. I’d grown up in the Western United States with Basque ancestry, and I suppose I felt a kind of solidarity with Indians. But when I did my own amateur archaeology and dug into it, the solidarity crumbled. I looked at my own life. Shoshone and Bannock tribes lived(sic) close to my childhood home in Boise, Idaho. They might have been on the same spot where I played as a kid. What happened to them? Looking even further back in history, I knew Basques had a role in Spanish colonization in the Americas. It’s hard to stand with the indigenous when you’ve had all the advantages as a descendant of the newcomers.

Echoing the Irish experience on this side of the pond, I appreciate the time and willingness it take to explore the tensions created by a history of colonization intersected by the assimilation into whiteness and it’s advantages within the Empire.  Sleuthing out the grounds for solidarity while not overlooking the cultural gaps created by settler colonialism is touchy, but this article turned up a gem; one that resonates deeply with the Gael:

A German doesn’t have to do anything to be a German. A Basque or an Indian has to do something more. That can be a blessing or a curse. An Apache woman can move into a city, do nothing, and a piece of the tribe dissolves. Or she can do something else. Basques and Indians, separated by thousands of miles and years, actually might have a few things in common, a similar past and some of the same questions: Does your background mean something to you? And if it means something, what are you doing about it?

Of course this made me think of Elvis Costello’s song with the words “white n*gger” and certain Indians referring to us Irish as the “Blacks of Europe.”  Really?  The only real answer is Yes and No.  No because whiteness is a very effective mechanism that cannot be ignored.  But YES because our stories do present a grounds for solidarity that has a past, present, and future that needs to be actively cultivated.  Much like the Mi’kmaq and Acadians together in Elsipogtog, a willingness to understand each others stories has more power to bring people together in solidarity than it does to perpetuate the divisiveness of privilege.

 

Anti-Colonial Anarchism vs Decolonization

Go raibh míle maith agat! I am privileged enough to know who my People are, the exact places we come from, and my language is still alive to be reclaimed. But I must wonder about those who feel they are ‘settler mutts’ or are adopted, or what of English people who actually are speaking their Native language? What of the Indigenous folks who’s languages are now sleeping?

Of course I ask this in the spirit of further deconstruction and reconstruction, celebrating the intersectionalities that connect us all and make us all unique.

Awakening the Horse People

anticolonialvsdecolonization

Many forms of resistance to colonialism and empire are necessary and important, and this poster should not be interpreted as dissuading those forms of solidarity and resistance. Nor should anti-colonial consciousness and decolonization be thought of as mutually exclusive forms of action.  They often co-exist as “named” movements side by side. This poster seeks to point out that they may not be equivalent, and there are some critical differences between the two.

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and what rough beast, its hour come round at last….

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I find both racism and “racialism” to be, quite literally, nauseating.  Noel Ignatiev, author of How The Irish Became White and co-editor of Race Traitor, has stepped on a diversity of toes with his call to “abolish the white race.”  Of course his point is that the “white race” and “whiteness” are social constructs originating in privilege, stating further that “there can be no white race without the phenomenon of white supremacists.”  I think Noel Ignatiev is brilliant.  So my question is, what is left when we abolish the “white race”????  Americans?  Canadians?  (I, for one, am looking forward to going back to just being green.)

Goodbye whiteness!  But how?  The obvious answer may be in cultivating the same appreciation for the diversity of European “ethno-nationalisms” that self-described Leftist academia and radical sub-cultures have cultivated for all Peoples outside of the sphere of “whiteness.”  We could do this strategically, with the intent of not feeding the reactionary elements who love to claim “anti-racist is anti-white.”  But I’m not convinced this would really work, in and of itself, despite my own obvious love of my language (gaeilge: which I can barely speak) and People (when I say ethnicity, nation, or race, the mud comes flying, as perhaps it should).  But at the end of the day, my only real tool against “whiteness” is “Irishness.”  I’ve tried, and still want, to use “Cascadian” against whiteness, but that has stirred up some serious mud-flinging in regards to “neocolonialism” and “re-colonization” and more “whiteness.”  So where can we go from here?  At this point I can only leave this as an open question, and it needs to be and open question.

To be quite frank, these conversations have become so difficult, or nearly impossible to have, that I have a strong urge to throw in the towel, move to the woods, and hate everyone. But I firmly believe that beneath the ashes, in the ruins of the race wars, there is something waiting for all of us.  I also firmly believe that we cannot have these difficult, time-requireing dialogues by silencing controversial voices.  In fact, I believe we need to take risks in including controversial voices.  Does this open up the door for ‘racialists’ to have a voice in our anti-racist discourse?  Well, that door is already open, even if you think it’s not, and I’m not yet saying if this is a good or bad thing.

This is a tricky point to make, but worth the patience and effort.  In a recent piece (please read the whole thing, it’s good) in the Vancouver Straight by Erin Flegg, “On White People Going Home,” she shares her confusion common to most white settlers who bother to truly give a damn, concluding:

“The key point here is that the land indigenous people are currently fighting for doesn’t belong to white people, no matter how many articles we read, rallies we attend, no matter how much money we contribute to resistance camps, or how many times we get arrested for standing in the way of the machines. If I stand up for the sovereignty of indigenous territory, I am essentially standing up for the right of indigenous people to kick me off of it as soon as we’re done.”

This is standard fare in Leftist circles today.  Ecological revolution and social justice, with a side of ethnic cleansing?  Wow, big can of worms.  But decolonization in Africa has seen it’s fair share of the ethnic cleansing of white settlers, so why not here on Turtle Island?  It’s only fair, right?  And a recent lecturer at Portland State University, Michael Yellow Bird (Arikara/Hidatsa), has been critical of “Intermarriage Rates” and “DNA Theft” by Europeans, even “joking” about all white people going back to Europe.  Is that not ‘racialist’?  And with the incessant use of the word “white” as an outright pejorative term in Leftist circles, is the anti-racist Left really doing a good job calling out racialism?  In contrast to “whiteness” the Left glorifies in racialism, in fact, if it’s not white, it’s racialicious!

Now, these are indeed straw man arguments, however true the facts are, and I bring them up to show that it is better to express troubling stories and vent a little animosity than to suppress these things.  We are all capable of understanding resentment.  It is actually a healthy process.  We’re all safe to try it.  Even it it is coming from….gasp….white people.

But what if there is something “racialicious” about light skinned Europeans other than “whiteness?”  How the hell could this ever come to light in the “more enlightened than thou” culture of Leftist critical theory, when any remote sympathy for “White(sic)” autonomy is hunted down like a runway slave, burned like a witch, and fasc-bashed like Whac-a-mole? (I only notice white boys doing this, interestingly enough: see Rose City Antifa in action below)

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My problem is not that “white” people are being silenced.  History and I know that Fascists are real.  My problem is when an Indigenous person is silenced by white settlers for breaking ranks and risking a tolerance for “white racialism” in a tactical search for better allies than the Left has been.  Is this really a sin before the Inquisition?  Tell me how it’s cool for for Savage Fam (below) to rap about killing settlers, but not cool for a Native to say “racist rednecks are not my enemy, the state is my enemy.”  Dear fellow white boys, on both accounts, it’s time for us to just shut up and listen.  And you can accuse me of privileging Indigenous voices all you want, because I am!  I will continue to do so, as I really don’t want to get on their bad side while living on their land!! (see below)

Here is my take home point:  The reactions to “racialist” thinking, when not defensive, are the most telling and informative in regards to our shared humanity.  And this is what I’m really after.  In response the Erin Flegg’s article, some very interesting comments were made:

Sorry to say, but the entire construction of postmodernist identity-based politics is rotten. It does not withstand examination. It will inevitably lead to bad places in the long term. Do you think that if we make excuses and exceptions for racialist attitudes on the part of groups with “less privilege”, it doesn’t give license to privilege/class/ethnic based thinking on the part of all people?

Do you think such things as racialism and nationalism are things you can keep contained in pretty rhetorical boxes?”

Good point. But the context of settler colonialism does change things.  There is a truth to this, but not yet grounds for equivocation.  The Left is guilty of tolerating the above, but on what grounds should this point of view be silenced?  I don’t think it should at all.  And another comment:

I love it when white folks guiltily step up to shoulder the blame for the world’s troubles and then go on to say that there is just no good fix out there and nothing can be done. Enduring the guilt is just another form of white man’s (or woman’s) burden, I guess.

And another:

To even wish it is a desperately absurd fantasy that Rousseau might have found sentimental and naive. Yet I strongly encourage the writer to keep coming up with these ideas, as their exposure to the oxygen of mass discourse will hasten the widespread debunking of racialist politics from the well-meaning left.

Bullseye!  On all three accounts there is a serious disregard for political correctitude.  And because of this, the conversation opens up to a level that the standard Leftist discourse has failed to get to on it’s own.  Now, all that some of us are asking is to replace the Rousseau sentence with “desperately absurd desire for a place for white racialist autonomy”; and “left” with “right.”  Now read it again.  And if you don’t think that the Right can be well-meaning, remember that not everyone thinks of the Left as scrupulously pure either.  The point is: “exposure to the oxygen of mass discourse” as humanities best ally in regards to our legitimate identities coming to light.  And these identities will be a kaleidoscope of intersectionalities, smashing out of the neatly boxed class-view of society.

White racialism is a bomb that needs to be defused; not thrown back into a crowd of white people, by white people.  This fuels more guilt and more of the victim mentality that these ‘white racialists’ feed on and cling to.   So the question remains, how do we fight fire with water?  Too big a can of worms for me.  But my first two bites would be listening to Indigenous people who say things we disagree with, and trying to laugh a little bit at how awful the nightmare of colonialism has been and continues to be.  Even it it’s off colored humor, like this:

Obtuse Post Script: Under the dominion of States legally founded on white supremacy, groups like the Black Autonomy Federation, Indigenous Nationhood Movement, or Anarchist People of Color can exist neither separately nor equally with either liberal democracy, settler nationalism, or white nationalism.  They are in fact predicated on each other.  And this is one of the great fallacies of entryist groups like the National Anarchist Movement, who deem white separatism (but not supremacy!?) to be noble and on par with the black separatism of Farrakhan and Malcolm X.  So until whiteness itself is dead and gone, we Europeans would benefit others and gain the most by seeking our own ancestral wisdom and not casting the first stone under any circumstances.  Towards this, I am all ears and remain completely open to dialogue.

 

Slackwater Rising: An Open Letter to Rose City Antifa

“This is the most immediate fruit of exile, of uprooting: the prevalence of the unreal over the real. Everyone dreamed past and future dreams, of slavery and redemption, of improbable paradises, of equally mythical and improbable enemies; cosmic enemies, perverse and subtle, who pervade everything like the air.” 

-Primo Levi, Se questo è un uomo

I am very sorry that you have chosen to back out of the upcoming gathering, Cascadia Rising: A Bioregional Confluence.  I feel that the perspective you folks have to offer, in regards to the tumultuous arguments that are ongoing in our various communities revolving around oppression and identity politics is a vital one.  I hope that you will reconsider your move to silence dialogue within the bioregional movement and a creative attempt to decolonize a stolen land base.  Please feel free to let you voices be heard.

I have been informed that your decision to not participate  in this gathering is due to the fact that Vince Rinehart (Tlingit) has been asked to speak on a panel discussing the positive and problematic points of intersection between Indigenous Nationhood movements, and the Community Rights Movement here.  Vince is a co-editor with me on a project called Autonomy Cascadia: A Journal of Bioregional Decolonization.  However, your objection to his participation at this gathering is due to his involvement with the “big-tent” pan-sucessionist blog Attack the System, which I have also participated in a public dialogue with, in the form of a recorded interview.  This blog has given voice to the perspective of so-called ‘National Anarchists’, whom, by the admission of the ideologies’ originator, Troy Southgate,  practice Entryism using Left and Anarchist communities to covertly spread ‘racialist’ ideologies with an intellectual genealogy directly connected to classical fascism and the ‘Left-wing’ National Socialist ideologies of Otto Strasser, whom Hitler expelled from the German Nazi party in 1930, 3 years before it’s rise to power.  I am also aware that your organization was formed by the German Communist Party in 1922, before the Communist-perpetrated holocausts of the 20th century. (see below)

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Why anyone would want to identify with either ideology is beyond me.  I am distrustful of both.  However, as a Glasgow Celtic fan, my sympathies have always been with Antifa, extra appreciative of the Green Brigade’s more appealing color scheme (red is really not my color, see below)

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I want to be clear that I am not denying Fascism’s unsavory past and present.  I will also not deny the unsavory past and present of the Left.  I am hopeful that Bioregionalism can be formulated in a way that opposes both toxic ideologies, and I see both the Left and the Right as his-stories not to be repeated.  I also reject both the Trojan Horse of ‘Third Position’ racialism, and the re-colonizing impositions and racial animosities that thrive in Leftist subcultures.  However, attacking everyone I don’t see eye-to-eye with has proven a terrible way to build a community, and I have engaged in dialogue with a good handful of people expressing remarkably problematic ideas about life, taking my fair share of flack for this in the process.  I feel this risk is worth it, as I feel no human being is motivated by pure evil intentions.  Pardon my optimism if you must.   I have also observed peoples ideas change over time, mostly as the result of relationships with other people who are not quick to judge.

You have made false accusations about Vince and I, and are now moving to silence our voices.  This is very much uncalled for.  I would invite you to rise above making straw man targets by degrees of separation, and step up to a real, face-to-face dialogue.  Neither Vince nor I are National Anarchists, nor do we work closely with white supremacists.  We have obviously and publicly been critical of both.  We both agree that the people drawn to National Anarchism have a legitimate search for an identity, free of guilt and self-hatred, and that everyone deserves this.  The Left certainly does not offer this to everyone, creating an environment that pushes exploited and marginalized people who are racialized as ‘white’ straight into the arms of the Fascists you are working to oppose.  There is a battle for hearts and minds going on here, and the horizontal social war is no way to win this battle.

Beyond that, I cannot speak for Vince, but I will say I have a deep respect for him and his desire not lash out blindly into the “sea of whiteness” that has engulfed his land of Tlingit Aani and the rest of the colonized Pacific Northwest.  Refusing to scapegoat even white ‘racialists’ is, I feel, both morally courageous and highly intelligent with a view of the decolonization of his home and Nation in mind.  The global economic trajectory that is now in play could very easily cause the streets of Portland and Seattle to look like the streets of Kiev and Athens in the next few years.  Those in power want gangs of right-wingers and gangs of left-wingers to kill each other in the streets.  Both Vince and I agree that this would be a loss for both the Earth and Humanity, and a victory for those who’s hearts have gone cold and who’s fear is driving them towards a lust for global domination.

Unfortunately, both the right-wing gangs and the left-wing gangs are acting as pawns in the hands of those in power.  So I hope they are paying at least some of you!  But as Ward Churchill, another Native who was politically assassinated said, “You don’t have to be a cop to do a cop’s job.”

In my heart of hearts, I believe that you are brave and beautiful people who’s consciences burn at injustice ,and resent the institutionalized racism that the world dominating colonial settler-states have built themselves upon.  But why are you trying to silence an Indigenous person just for not falling in lock step with your ideology?  Cherry-picking and tokenizing only the People of Color who are willing to be your mouth pieces is just one more manifestation of privilege and racism.  Please ask yourself why your own decolonial desires are running completely afoul of the living, breathing Indigenous people who are your neighbors.  Is that too much to ask?  Or are you simply one more group of Red-flag waving apologists for colonialism and Empire, like the others from Marx to Negri?  I can’t help but think better of you.

Calling Vince a crypto-facist is intellectual suicide, and it appears that you all are even refusing to leave a suicide note.  Hatred of Indigenous people runs deep, so much so that it has infected even those who claim  to be in opposition to genocide and domination.  My friends at Ancestral Pride have been repeatedly called “racist” for asserting their sovereignty and exclusive ownership of their unceded, unsurrendered land-base, despite their good hearts and remarkable willingness to work together with those who have colonized them.

Hearing the real voices of real Indigenous people is often unsettling, because despite any patronizing assumptions we may be projecting, we don’t always hear what we may want to hear.  It’s easy to get defensive, it’s hard to find security as settlers, and it should be, because who want’s to be a product and beneficiary of an ecological apocalypse and cultural genocide?  Nothing to be proud of, but we deserve at least a little sympathy, as colonization is as the root of most human diasporas.  And when a colonized person, who by all rights should see even the best of us as their enemies, is capable of empathizing with some of the worst of us as a potential friend, with more in common than not, exploited by the same power structure; could this at least be reason to talk humbly with each other first, instead of issuing veiled threats of violence and racially motivated intimidation?

I am very concerned with the culture of fear, silencing of dissent, and dehumanization of European Peoples that passes in many Leftist communities as somehow not bigoted or just plain “racist.”  This reinforces “whiteness” rather that deconstructing it.  Resentment towards the “Race” who have benefitted the most from an institutionalized  power structure  and  an often unquestioned racialized, sexualized socialized hierarchy is more than understandable.  But when colonized Indigenous people are willing to validate the search for a legitimate identity amongst these same People, who live on their land as settler colonists, should we silence them, or ask ourselves what their motivation is?  Perhaps there is a reason which we are unaware of.

I am not aloof to this process.  I see a desperate need for Europeans to be proud of who we are.  Proud of our languages, proud of our Nations.  And then completely owning our stories as simple truth, the good and the bad, whether of colonization or conquest, resisting genocide and assimilation, or perpetrating it.  We are still who we are, and that in and of itself is not a bad thing.  Remember that punitive nature of the Treaty of Versailles was the primary cause of the rise of Nazism, not nature.  So may we all remember the bad stories especially, so we don’t repeat them.  I certainly am proud of being Irish, and as much as I should hate Troy Southgate for being a British Nationalist, a genocidal Hun against my people (before either of us were born), I can’t help but think, maybe the poor guy is looking for something real?

And what about the settler colonial Orange Order thugs who were looting and burning down the homes of Natives last week back in the occupied Northeast of my Island Nation?  Well, maybe putting bombs in their bars for 30 years straight didn’t help us out as much as we wanted it to.  Oops.  Sucks to be us, but HAIL HAIL anyway?.  Or is it time to risk our necks and our identities for the sake of the Earth and Humanity?  Maybe even, gasp….talk to our “enemies” before decades of war lead to phony peace talks where we all lose anyway?

I want to be a Bioregionalist, because I don’t want to re-live the nightmares of the 20th century, and yes, they are all rearing their ugly heads.  I believe Place is more powerful and alive than Race or Ideology.  The “far Right” is not my enemy, nor is the “far Left.”  You two can fight over “contested terrain” if you so desire, but please keep your gang warfare and intimidation to yourselves and amongst yourselves.  Those of us who choose difficult dialogues over silencing and skull-bashing have the future and all Earthly hopes for the 21st century on our side, so don’t mess with us.  The more that folks wake up from this nightmare of loss and  find their truth, find their ancestors, find their languages, find their stories; the better chance we all have.  And we will have been Left, and we will have been Right.  No victory is a true victory at the expense of another, yet none of us need surrender.  Look at the stars above, and the earth below.  I say what they say.  There’s more to all of this than we know.

Cathasaigh Ó Corcráin (anglicized Casey Bryan Corcoran)

Bend, Oregon, Cascadia.  Ceded lands of the sovereign Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

 

 

 

felíz día de san patricios!

It is an Irish tradition to fight on both sides of every war (mild sarcasm), and the Mexican-American war was no different.  The Mexican State is unique from the US and Canada in that the Spaniards never institutionalized prison camps called “reserves” and have remained a minority ruling class in a vast Indigenous majority.  That’s right, the vast majority of Mexicans are “Native Americans.”  So when the US Empire decided to fight a land-stealing war of conquest to expand their borders from sea to shining sea, some Paddy’s had an attack or moral conscious  and fought against the settler colonial State that they’d been exiled to.

So remember, when you’re puking up green beer tonight, what you’re really celebrating is shooting colonists (mild sarcasm).   And as much as David Rovics voice grates on my nerves, at least you can understand the words in the above video.

The mass hanging of 30 Irishmen as the Stars & Stripes were raised over Mexico City in 1847 is second only in US military history to the Dakota 38.

sanpatricios

 

America loves it’s strange fruit, even if it’s grown in Mexico.

we people who are darker than blue

As it is Seachtain na Gaeilge and folks are preparing to play Irish for a day, especially across the US and Canada, I’m going to highlight some interesting moments in history regarding the relationship between the colonized Nations of Turtle Island and the colonized Island Nation.  Following a recent post over at An Sionnach Fionn that reminded me of a few other buried histories, today I’m posting a video that never ceases to put a smile on my face every time I hear Red Crow say “Tiocfaidh ár lá.”

The Irish have been made a case study of assimilation and whiteness, but there have always been those of us who have resisted assimilation with a passion and recognized our stories of colonization being played out on the other continents that so may of us were dispossessed to.  So never forget it!

Gabhaigí mo leithscéal chun é a scríobh i mBéarla!  Is díchoilíniú réabhlóid mall!

Cad é atá an focal gaeilge ar WHITENESS?

Báine: a) whiteness…. c) pallor. d) waste, uncultivated, state.

An tír ag dul i mbáine, chun báine: the country becoming waste, depopulated.

Thug sé deirge ar bháine: he turned pale.

Ha!  I hope this video puts the red back in you cheeks!!

nach bhfuil tú fáilte romhat

844 bliain éirí amach dúchasach! Ní raibh sé tús a chur leis Columbus!  Agus tá mé áirithe a throid muid an Lochlannach.

give-thanks

I am thankful that the fighting spirit of humanity will never die.  Like the dandelions in your lawn, you can kill as many as you like, and we’ll just keep coming back.

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  Do you seriously think America was founded by oppressed and humble protestants just wanting to live free?  Any one notice a pattern?  I am so sick of your lies.  You lie to yourself.  You lie to children.  And it’s not OK.  Something tells me your god is a vampire.

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It’s not OK.  It’s really not OK

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tribes of “europe” – why decolonize?

Béal Atha na mBuillí, Ros Comáin, Cúige Chonnacht. Ní dhéanfaidh mé dearmad choíche.
Cé mhéad bliain?

Unsettling America

From Awakening The Horse People:

“Do you know the people you come from?”

This is the one question most commonly asked by the world’s Indigenous peoples to people of European heritage. For the large majority of us in America, Europe, and elsewhere, the honest answer beyond simple genealogy is, “I don’t know.”

Unfortunately, this not knowing is part of a deep disconnection that has serious consequences for ourselves and others.

Traditional Indigenous people understand this unknowing lies at the heart of the political, social, and economic systems that have caused, and continue to cause, colonization and genocide of their people as well as destruction of life on Mother Earth.

At the personal level, the lack of being rooted in a culture of place brings spiritual disconnection, shallow sense of self, and historical trauma from the lost ancestral roots and lost way of life that shaped our physical, emotional…

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