Everyone Calls Themselves An Ally Until It Is Time To Do Some Real Ally Shit

EVERYONE CALLS THEMSELVES AN ALLY UNTIL IT IS TIME TO DO SOME REAL ALLY SHITBy Xhopakelxhit, Ancestral Pride [PDF]:

Every single time we speak publicly, or put ourselves out there we are always asked by other Indigenous Nations, settlers, and settlers of color: what can we do. We then go on to outline all the ways those who want to be potential allies can help us out in a tangible way, in a targeted way, and in a general way. Everyone takes notes, asks more questions, and seems really earnest. Then inevitably soon after something happens that we need to utilize these tools and reach out to our settler allies, guess what happens?! Not much. More understandably our indigenous friends and relatives who are resisting the forces of industrial occupation cannot usually leave their fight to join ours unless the situation is very dire. Yet settlers also seem to have problems with moving beyond the round dance rhetoric of the protest industry and organizing outside of that box.

This is when the reality of doing something other than agreeing with us, reveals the struggle that settlers face when it comes to actually being an active ally; the word ally evokes images of rallies or marchers and bullhorns and social media call outs complete with said ally in the pic standing next to indigenous whoever with fists raised! It is colonized, pretty, and almost as hard to swallow as not having allies at all.

Ally is a verb it implies action, there are more ways that settler allies or hopefuls can participate and help in the indigenous struggle for liberation from the colonial genocidal regime than marching. Our freedom as humans rely on this relationship but it has to be looked at a different way and our life long learned behaviours have to be shed.

Lets forget for a moment all the new mythology of canada and what it presents as the relationship it has with the indigenous people here on this continent called north america. Strike from your memory the silver screen shaman and the great joining of the rainbow warriors. Forget the lie that this is an awesome country founded expressly for your people and remember that is in fact a country that was born on top of our nations and the birth was a bloody abortion of humanity. Now that we have effectively tried to eradicate the lifetime of untruths we have learned in schools and through media, and society, we can come to a place where we can work together but there is more for settlers to know. A great unlearning is happening at a fast rate right now because of the status of the human race and the plight of the planet. We have come to the end of the era of the power and consumption phase, civilization always collapses and we are here to help it! This ending is bringing many new people to the battle that we are waging against the state, but many of our own people are happy with the colonial status quo and only want to secure their rights as far as they can still shop at star bucks and use power. Many settlers do not even care or can fathom giving up their privilege on this continent. It is our job to leave them behind and be the van guard of a new way of being that is based on how our governance systems worked here for millennia.

There has always been a great many of us who are not OK with being assimilated. Last year we seen many indigenous citizens of canada get upset and staged massive protests (INM) from ocean to ocean to prevent something that happened despite the mass mobilization, in the end the omnibus bill was passed. This exercise however was useful in weeding out those who were only in it for the short term or weren’t invested. It also helped to point out those who are really trying to shed the colonial system from themselves, their families, and their lands and for us to connect with each other. It also was a massive waste of momentum and people power!

So now we are here, the dawn of a new winter and more threats against Mother Earth and our very beings.

A few things to remember: Indigenous activists are not super human mythical indigenous beings who are all knowing and all wise. We have problems, we are easily triggered, can be dysfunctional, some are addicted to sex, drugs, alcohol, and ego. We are the perpetrators of lateral violence as we denounce it. We pay rent, work for the man, go shopping and partake in mainstream culture more then we should. We beat our wives and husbands and ourselves there is much we have suffered in our generation and this cannot be undone. We want change, we aspire to change, and we are the change but we are inherently flawed. There is nothing wrong with that, it is a human condition and we are products of our enforced enslavement and colonization but we have to acknowledge these things in ourselves and you do in us as well so we can really do what has to be done. It does no one any greater disservice then to put them on pedestals and many a good movement has been waylaid because we are all too human and the mutual disappointments have caused things to slow to a trickle.

Once we are in the place where we have left our egos and acknowledged our short comings as indigenous now we can touch on the great failings of the settler nation. Many have read the awesome and plentiful articles on settler colonialism, and have gained some insight and now use terms like: unceded coast salish, (insert whatever Nations name whose land you are occupying with privilege) territories, or maybe you dumpster dive and hate consumerism, maybe you have a rosy idea of what indigenous governance means and that you will be welcomed here with open arms and be part of the rainbow tribe. These are the newest forms of mythology that are coming up and into existence because the settler nation no matter how many indigenous you know, how enlightened, and down to earth you are, in your world view there is no future here on turtle island that you are not here. We need to fix this mythology and live the reality of our task.

Think of how 500 years of genocide, colonization, residential school, forced assimilation, cultural appropriation, and land theft and destruction would affect you. Think of the break down of our houses, our families, and ourselves, and how you would deal with that. PTSD is a reality, suicide affects us all daily, violence against our women, human trafficking of our children, alcoholism, drug abuse, and murder are our daily battles, add to that trying to survive everyday and the state of being on our own homelands, poverty stricken, oppressed, and marginalized people that are considered wards of a colonial crown. Supporting indigenous causes isn’t pretty or something to add to the activism resume, it often means accepting fierce strong humans at face value, saying you are in solidarity with indigenous people and sovereignty means you accept our laws and reject the illegal laws of the military state that is actively occupying our lands. If being disciplined or dealing with warrior justice scares or offends you then you are NOT ready to be an ally or to smash the system.

Fact: you are the children and grandchildren of oppressed people who seen our lands as means to escape their own oppressive imperialistic leaders. They came and they used racism and religion as the catalyst for the wholesale slaughter of the native peoples. There is a responsibility in this knowledge to do something. More then acknowledgement and more then rallies or marches. Real tangible ways to create meaningful relationships to us and to the the land is what the next step in our struggle is.

Fact: there is no free pass, just because you know a native person from somewhere who accepted you or adopted you or gave you a name that does not mean you get a free pass with every single native you meet. this also does not make you one of us, there is a common misconception that many believe to be true. just because you know some songs or are rejecting your heritage does not mean you can somehow become one of us. never going to happen. and a huge FYI: even though someone may have honored you with names, songs, or what have you THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THEIR WHOLE NATION ACCEPTS YOU OR HAS TOO! so tuck it in and never introduce yourself as if your part of the tribe, it just makes you look ignorant and is a bad first impression.

Many settlers who are awakening are involved in climate work, or social justice work, or are trying to figure out what decolonization means to you and how you came to be so thoroughly assimilated and made to be part of the machine. This is great you are ready to work! We all have to come to an agreement that awareness saturation point of the masses has happened, we now have to work with who is on board and work hard. If you are living in a city you need to examine how you do this, change is based on leaving behind the ways of life that is destroying our culture. The next steps are to find those in your communities who are able to see a future that is worth working for and doing what is necessary to ensure that those who are working hard on the front lines are being supported. If you are not living in an city then focus can be put on how to actively support resistance in a manner that is helpful and timely. This can translate into many of the suggestions we are putting forward.

Not everyone is a warrior, not everyone wants to be in confrontational situations with the police and governments, or angry people but most of the people who fall into this category are often pigeon holed into being a bull horn blow hard and march organizer. Creating a culture of resistance and support requires us all to know what our strong suits and talents are and to cultivate them so they benefit the cause in a manner that is respectful and meaningful. Creating a culture of resistance is a lifestyle, it is a way of being, and it is an agreement to work together towards a better future for us all. What is your role: are you good at cooking, organizing, preserving, driving, mechanics, drawing, knitting, sewing, gardening, training, writing, healing, building, fishing, hunting, making tools? any of these and more contribute to a cohesive functioning healthy society that reflects the purpose of the cause. In order for us to smash the system, and to crash civilization we have to have a working functioning way of living together in place, humans need security, and comfort. These times we are heading into and are already in are not healthy, this is a scary anxiety producing time in human history and is unprecedented in its enormity. The planet is dying and it is high time we band together physically, and mentally and dig in for the long haul.

Like it or not, and try as you might to refute it, settlers have privilege and more protection when it comes to interactions with the authorities than we do. You also have more benefits and freedom to acquire certain items. Lets put that to good use, this list is by no means complete, or absolute it is a compilation of suggestions from us and other indigenous “activists”. There is variables to every situation, these are merely tools and guidelines to help be more effective in your support of our resistance.

- YOU HAVE MORE LEEWAY IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM AND WITH POLICE / RCMP / COURTS THEN WE DO.  if we get into altercations with the authorities we have a better chance of going to jail and not getting out then you do. commitment and bravery are key to bringing this into the next level by ramping up your resistance and putting yourself in front of the indigenous. those who want to be on the frontlines should optimize their commitment for maximum benefit to the cause, this requires trust and sacrifice.

- CONFRONT YOUR PEERS AND THE RACISM WITHIN COLONIAL ENGO’S AND ORG’S THAT ARE RENDERING THE INDIGENOUS OF THE LANDS INVISIBLE IN THE STRUGGLE. there are many different groups that are getting funding, asking for monthly stipends from supporters, and basically ignoring the fact that there were people here before these countries existed and they decided to be environmentalists. this is environmental racism, and oppression! many of these organizations seek out tokens for their causes and these are our people who are on elected band council and are heavily invested in their own colonization and keeping canada happy then they are concerned with protecting the lands and waters. this is a dangerous combination! lately we have been noticing that while many indigenous are drawing the line and putting themselves out there with critical analysis of these groups and speaking out against their own people, our settler counter parts are not calling out this behaviour in their peers. you need no permission or validation from anyone to call em like you see em!

- BE PROSPEROUS! we need support those of us in city and out on the land, so it helps no one if you are destitute by choice. prosperity helps the grass roots! we are often always struggling to get to events that we may not even be welcome at because we are out spoken. Often times the case is that those who are chosen because they are happy with the colonial status quo get “rewarded” with paid travel, hotels, and food. lets even the playing ground, we understand that rent and bills are a imperative for surviving in a city, but there is much you can contribute if you are successful, if you are going to live in the system may as well excel at it and help as you are able with the grass roots and those on the land fighting for the future.

- IF YOU ARE NOT WORKING BE OF SERVICE IN WHATEVER CAPACITY YOU CAN TO SUPPORT RADICAL INDIGENOUS PARENTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET MUCH LESS GET TO EVENTS! many do not even think of this being an act of resistance but it is. Indigenous families are among the most marginalized and oppressed. We are not super humans and it is difficult to even think of attending events or doing radical stuff when we are so occupied with the daily struggle to just get through the day and put food on the table, attending anything can be daunting and overwhelming under these circumstances.

- COLLECT AIR MILES OR OTHER TRAVEL REWARDS! if you are going to be purchasing in the consumer barracks make those purchases count. Quite often shit goes down far away, and last minute, your airmiles or what have you can sponsor an indigenous person and make a huge difference!

- MOBILIZATION IS KEY! if you have a vehicle or have friends who have a vehicle that they could live without for a week at a time, put it to use for the cause, we cannot even begin to express how important this piece is! MOBILIZATION IS KEY! grass roots land defenders are NOT wealthy, often not supported, and since we work outside of the box so to speak we often miss out on attending important and key events because we do not have transportation. It gets a little tiring always stressing about getting places, if you have families like we do it gets even more stressful, and if you know of or own a van that can be put to good use then do it!

- AUTONOMY, DO NOT CONFUSE AUTONOMY WITH PRIVILEGE! recently we have come to a place in our outreach that has put us in working situations with settler organizers, there has of course been growing pains. an important lesson to learn, and an important distinction to make make between free will and privilege. Settlers actively decolonizing are very sensitive of their privilege and often go through personal discomfort and angst when it comes to ensuring they are not coming off as privileged, uppity, or ignorant when interacting with indigenous. This causes problems because of course we do not want to be dictated to or told what we should be doing by settlers BUT if you are organizing then you need to make decisions and act on them without being guided every step of the way, this causes stress and creates bad relations.

- ACCESS TO OFFICE ADMINISTRATION EQUIP. often times we have things that need to be printed, or distributed, or put into a format for printing and distributing. if you can do this please do. if you have skills that can be of use like graphic design, art, writing and knowledge of obtaining grants then put your skills to use.

- TRANSFER OF WEALTH AND RESOURCES. many people would be surprised at how casually they treat things they have that others are struggling to even think about acquiring. do you have tools, and equipment that you rarely use and could be lent out or donated to those who will use them and be grateful for them? this includes electronics, silk screening presses, hand tools, wood working tools, renovation items. Memberships to big box places, or discounts to hardware stores these can make a difference in getting something built or or organized or not.

- STOP THE TOKENISM. admit that you engage in this behaviour because it is sometimes easier, recognize it and then rectify it. do not ask us to wear our regalia, bring drums, or start dancing. we are not performing monkeys and this kind of tasteless and tactless behaviour is better off dead. let us decide when and where is the appropriate time to be cultural.

-SET UP A NETWORK OF SAFE HOUSES EQUIPPED WITH FOOD FOR A COUPLE DAYS AND BEDDING. this is vital especially along a trail or while traveling, if you map out the routes to the various communities that are engaged in anti industrial work you can pin point which towns and cities require these types of services and start recruiting friends and family who are able to host travelers for one or two nights at a time.

- SET UP A TRANSPORTATION RELAY. many people have a couple hours and vehicle, this is a good way of sharing responsibility when you are helping people travel. it is easy helpful and safe to have a transpo relay that can successfully help groups or families travel long distances without over burdening one driver, or wasting money on public modes of transportation. organization is key for this to work. when you are organizing make this a key part of the travel plans.

- ORGANIZING. if you are organizing make sure you have all you govt ID, you have a valid license, and are willing and able to travel. ensure you do not forget the traditions and culture of those you are traveling with but also of those you are traveling to. remember to ensure all needs are met such as: blankets, first aid, food, transpo, materials, and equipment is available at all stops.

-PROMOTION. if you are helping to put together events and venues ensure that you are not spreading yourself thin by delegating and most importantly set up a system of on foot and in the streets promotion and social media! if people are going to be taking the time to leave their homes and families to attend your event then ensure that it is well attended and worth the time they are absent from their home community.

- MOST IMPORTANTLY NEVER FORGET AND NEVER GIVE UP! we cannot exit a life of privilege and colonial comforts voluntarily and therefore cannot ever forget or give up and join the mainstream culture, we are by our very heritage and birth born political and into a lifetime of racism, oppression, and hard times. if you commit to this path then ensure you are on board for the long haul. breaks of course are good and needed for mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well being for all of us but never forget we live in a terrorist state bent on destroying our lands and waters and the future of us all for profit.

Like it or not, and try as you might to refute it, settlers have privilege and more protection when it comes to interactions with the authorities than we do. You also have more benefits and freedom to acquire certain items. Lets put that to good use, this list is by no means complete, or absolute it is a compilation of suggestions from us and other indigenous “activists”. There is variables to every situation, these are merely tools and guidelines to help be more effective in your support of our resistance.

Xhopakelxhit ~ Ancestral Pride

THIS IS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD ON OUR WEBSITE BY DONATION CLICK THIS LINK SUPPORT ANCESTRAL PRIDE IF YOU FEEL THIS! ALSO IF YOU MAKE A DONATION YOU USE THE PDF TO MAKE COPIES AND PASS OUT!

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3 responses to “Everyone Calls Themselves An Ally Until It Is Time To Do Some Real Ally Shit

  1. Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
    This is amazing! Thank you for taking the time to organize and share this information. Many settler people mean well but have no idea if the things you explain here.

    To my readers-please click thru, read and share this. Especially those if you who have an interest in Native American spirituality and religions. I know everyone is different but I was raised that the issues discussed in this article are fundamentally important to our spiritual reality.
    Because I was taught that spirituality is not some separate fantasy but integral to each moment of our lives.

    If you cannot respect others, all living beings and the Mother Earth and ACT on that every day then you are fooling yourself and living in the fake world.

    To those who seek the path to spiritual growth thru Native spirituality this is imho a much more clear and true explanation of how to get there than any list of “totem animals”, or store full.of feathers and soapstone pipes.

    I believe we can all decolonize no matter where our ancestors lived. We need to develop respect, solidarity and support for one another as we all recover from the destruction of our peoples thru colonization.

    If we cannot work together to build a new world rooted in ancestral wisdom and inter-relationship with nature then it is quite likely that the indigenous groups now on the front lines suffering and struggling against tar sands, fracking, mining and other resource extraction activities will be the proverbial canaries in the coal mine.

  2. Okay, this is an idea in “progress”, okay? So please take it that way. I’m not sure I can fully articulate what i seek to “get at”.

    The thing that jumped out at me most when I first read this was that it seems to me that many of the posts here tend to push a typical Politically Correct tone of “shame and guilt” orientation towards unsettling settler people, categorically. Unsettling, certainly, and a good thing to start out with. But if it is the only reaction we are going to find…? Then I understand your lack of actual participation, or such in more meaningful ways.

    If, on the other hand, the approach was more about MUTUAL liberation, where unsettling settler people were able to be viewed as FELLOW champions of our mutual desires (with crucial attention paid to our past work, i.e. putting our lives on the line, as well as our mutual visions), you might find more desire to stand with you as equal human beings (though obviously poor in decolonial knowledge); and, I think, more solidarity. That’s my feeling, anyway.

    For more insight into this thinking, you might try this link:
    http://anarchy101.org/1312/what-are-some-definitive-post-left-texts See note 5 where “identity politics” is challenged with: critiquing identity politics insofar as it preserves victimization-enabled identities and social roles and inflicts guilt-induced paralysis, amongst others.” Guilt-induced paralysis, whoa. Maybe that’s the difficulty you all are having??

    The MUTUAL bottom line, in my view, then becomes: Can diverse champions find meaningful community TOGETHER with you, or shall such forever remain in a subordinate role? Can our unique approach, based on our own trajectory be just as powerful? Can our unique method(s) also have equitable power?? Because, if all we’re apt to gain out of defense relations with you is assuaging our guilt complexes, well, only a trickle of those sorts of folks are likely to show up….

  3. Pingback: A response to Everyone Calls Themselves An Ally Until It Is Time To Do Some Real Ally Shit | da Visionary Report

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