Category Archives: Decolonization & Unsettling

on cascadian independence and fourth world decolonization (sketch #1)

Originally posted on Míle Gaiscíoch:

Lion_and_Unicorn

A member[1] of the Cascadia(n?) Independence Party recently asked:

“Question, what would you do if the natives said they did not want us to officially create Cascadia and told us to get out? What if they started to “fight back” and start a war with us to make us leave, how would you feel about it? After all they were here first right and we are just occupying their land.”

It’s a good question, worded in a way to get folks from any persuasion to show their true colors.  And it opens up one of the biggest questions that I explore here on this blog (as well as through other venues).  So here goes:

First, there are no “the natives.”  There are at least 140 Indigenous Nations within the Cascadian bioregion.[2]  If a settler was asked or forced to leave a place, refuge with the neighboring Indigenous Nation would be…

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i am a settler. i live in a colony.

Originally posted on Míle Gaiscíoch:

settlers_featured

The following is a list of readings for people who feel “unsettled” by the term settler.  Settler is not a pejorative term.  It is a term relative to the historical trajectory of Empire and ENTRENCHED by the laws of the US and Canadian States.  As an optimistic bioregionalist, I share these on the premise that “we can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’re coming from.”  I wrote the first from a Cascadian perspective, the rest are based on general theory.

Notes on a Bioregional Decolonization

Indigenous Settler?  Decolonization and the Politics of Exile

Understanding Colonizer Status

Settler Colonialism Primer

Who are you calling a “settler”?

Why the term ‘settler’ needs to stick

Decolonization is not a metaphor 

the-myth-of-thanksgiving

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Open Letter to BC Witchcamp on Issues of Cultural Appropriation & Respect

Originally posted on Awakening the Horse People:

Follow the link to An Open Letter to the British Columbia Witchcamp on Issues of Cultural Appropriation & Respect.  See for yourself at: BC Witchcamp website.

Want to share support for this letter. Email: info@bcwitchcamp.ca

Indigenous solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of so-called “British Columbia”

SkwomeshAction: Skwomesh Action was formed in early 2014 to be a Skwomesh (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) part of the movement to protect the waterways and homelands of the Salish Sea.

Unist’ot’en Camp: of the Unis’tot’en of the Wet’suwet’en Peoples (Yinka Dini – People of this Earth) is a resistance community whose purpose is to protect sovereign Wet’suwet’en territory from several proposed pipelines from the Tar Sands Gigaproject and shale gas from Hydraulic Fracturing Projects in the Peace River Region.

If you have other links, please post in the comments!

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Decolonization Workshop – Unist’ot’en Camp 2014

Got Land? Thank an Indian

Karuk Ancestral Territory

Settler Colonialism and the White Settler in the Karuk Ancestral Territory

By Laura Hurwitz, Humboldt Journal of Social Relations (Issue #36, 2014) [PDF]

Abstract

From the time of European invasion of what now constitutes the United States, the settler colonial system has aimed to exterminate Indigenous Peoples and replace them with settlers on the land. While settler colonialism benefi ts the settler at the cost of the Indigenous, all life on Earth suffers from the continuation of this system. This research examines how white settlers living in the Karuk Ancestral Territory, located in Humboldt County, California, understand our role in the settler colonial system. The goal of this study is to begin a collective pursuit of a white settler ethic of accountability, which is a difficult task even in preliminary stages, as it requires the admission of being a beneficiary of and acco mplice to the vicious system of settler colonialism. This could bring about the loss of an already fragile identity and an insecure settler future. Yet settler society has a responsibility to face our role in the settler colonial system.

Introduction

This article is written from the perspective of a white settler. For nearly two decades, I have lived in the Karuk Ancestral Territory, situated on the Klamath River in Humboldt County, California. Many of the people currently living in this place, both Indigenous and settler alike, are interested in living a sustainable lifestyle and surviving amongst the environmental, social, political, and economic uncertainty of the times. Here some bridges have been built between Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents and a somewhat cordial coexistence exists; nevertheless, tensions do stem from a settler colonial system that benefits one group of people at the expense of another. The acute awareness among members of the Karuk tribe of displacement from their ancestral territory can be read on the T-shirt of one Karuk elder: “Got Land ? Thank an Indian!”

I came to live in the Karuk Ancestral Territory in search of a better life, one that was not destructive to, but rather more connected with land and life. I did not realize I was moving to a place where Indigenous Peoples had remained in their aboriginal territory and retained connection to their traditional way of life, in spite of European invasion. Neither had I considered that the neighborhood in which I grew up was also occupied Indigenous land. In fact, growing up, I largely thought a bout Native Americans as a “thing” of the past. I learned in school, on television, in movies, through the media, and from accepted social discourse that the original people of North America no longer existed. As a child, I had a thick cardboard book that depicted a ball, a book, and an “Indian” together on the “things” page . My indoctrination to view Indigenous Peoples as less than human began quite early. This is no accident, but rather part of the justification of the settler colonial system.

In the first section of this paper, I carry out a review of existing literature regarding settler colonialism, the settler, white privilege, and white supremacism. Next I discuss the methods used to conduct this research. Thirdly, I unpack white settler identity and how settlers comprehend their position within the settler colonial system, which manifests itself as a complicit settler subject in the Karuk Ancestral Territory. In the concluding segment, I outline some unsettling ideas and situate the white settler in the complicated conundrum within movements for decolonization.

This research seeks to find a starting place from which to collectively pursue a white settler ethic of accountability—a difficult task, even in preliminary stages, as it requires the admission of being a beneficiary of and an accomplice to the vicious system of settler colonialism, and could bring about the loss of an already fragile identity and an insecure settler future. Settler society has a responsibility to acknowledge our role in the settler colonial system.

Click here to read the full article [PDF]…

Big Day For The Struggle Against Ongoing Colonialism

Originally posted on Profane Existence:

by Comrade Black

Today has been a big day for those interested in or involved in Indigenous resistance and anti-colonial struggle. It is also a good reminder of how much work remains to be done.

In an interesting symbolic gesture, the city council of Vancouver voted to formally acknowledge that the land which the city is built on is stolen Indigenous lands that remain unceded. This means that no settlement or land treaties were ever made for the territories; and that the city council is now recognizing the Indigenous people have never given up their sovereignty to the land which Vancouver now occupies. In many respects while this move is only a symbolic gesture, many consider it an important first step down the road to ending colonialism. Yet the mayor of the city went out of his way to make it clear the gesture was entirely symbolic and “wouldn’t effect…

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Confronting Our Colonialism

This video was presented on the unceded territory of the Secwepemc Nation, at the Thompson Rivers University Undergrad Research Conference on March 28, 2014. This video was created for an assignment for an Anthropology class called “Canadian Status/Treaty Indian Reserve Communities.”

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The Colonialism That is Settled and the Colonialism That Never Happened

Originally posted on Decolonization:

by Andrea Smith

While both Black and Native studies scholars have rightfully argued that it is important to look at the distinctness of both anti-Blackness and Indigenous genocide, sometimes this focus on the distinctness obscures how, in fact, they are mutually reinforcing. There is much to be said about these interconnections, and this work has been explored by many in this blog series, in the #decolonizesaam Twitter discussion on anti-Blackness, and elsewhere. Here, I want to focus on how anti-Blackness and Indigenous genocide are connected through colonialism, and further expand on how colonialism constructs both the labor of Indigenous and Black peoples, in particular and different ways, in order to secure the settler state. In this article I want to focus on how settler colonialism is enabled through the erasure of colonialism against Black peoples as well as the erasure of Indigenous labor, with a particular emphasis on some of…

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A Wall is Just a Wall: Anti-Blackness and the Politics of Black and Prison Abolitionist Solidarity with Palestinian Struggle

Originally posted on Decolonization:

by Che Gossett

“It is possible for prison walls
to disappear,
For the cell to become a distant land
Without frontiers”Mahmoud Darwish
 
“A wall is just a wall and nothing more at all. It can be broken down”
Assata Shakur
 
“One might have hoped that, by this hour, the very sight of chains on Black flesh, or the very sight of chains, would be so intolerable a sight for the American people, and so unbearable a memory, that they would themselves spontaneously rise up and strike off the manacles. But, no, they appear to glory in their chains; now, more than ever, they appear to measure their safety in chains and corpses.”
James Baldwin, “Open Letter to Angela Davis

As a Black trans/gender queer femme who works with/in trans studies I am hyper aware of the ways in which Blackness complicates trans studies…

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Labor’s Aphasia: Toward Antiblackness as Constitutive to Settler Colonialism

Originally posted on Decolonization:

by Tiffany King

For the past few weeks a convergence of social media discussions on reparations, Shona Jackson’s book Creole Indigeneity: Between Myth and Nation in the Caribbean, and her recent post “Humanity beyond the Regime of Labor,” as well as my own thinking about Black Studies’ engagement with Conquest have all compelled me to think critically about the issue of Black labor.[1] I would like to take a moment to focus on the conceptual limits of labor as an epistemic frame for thinking about Blackness (as bodies and discourse) and its relationship to settler colonialism. I am particularly concerned about the ways that Black labor may crowd out Black fungibility as a conceptual frame for thinking about Blackness within settler colonial discourses.

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