When Being An Ally Turns Into Being An Appropriator (Settler Conduct and Self Check) PDF

Originally posted on Warrior Publications:

Ancestral Pride ally appropriatorPRINT READY! In the same vein as our first infamous zine, for indigenous and settlers alike here are some serious thinks to think about especially if you think you don’t need too. As my web master and ally friend put it: “Sometimes I think I am veteran, you know, like the call-outs are for someone else, not me. But I need to keep tabs on these things.”

Do you ever think that truths or check yourself advice, articles, or memes are not about you? Do you feel you been around long enough to know whats up with indigenous resistance or any kind of activism and and so you are exempt from these types of teachings? If this is you YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOW!

You can purchase for $10 (or more! bigger donations for the zines are happily welcomed) with Email Money Transfer to mamazonscreations@gmail.com or Pay Pal to…

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HipHop’s Origins as Organic Decolonization

Originally posted on Decolonization:

by Damon Sajnani

Scholars routinely recognize HipHop’s political potential but this relation is commonly construed as incidental rather than definitive. Others have gestured to the colonization of HipHop in reference to the way minstrel stereotypes have replaced Afrocentric consciousness as the dominant theme in major label U.S. rap recordings post-1992. However, this leaves the antecedent relation of HipHop to colonization merely implied. This brief article outlines the more fundamental connection between HipHop culture and politics, specifically the politics of decolonization. HipHop culture, at its origins, is an organic decolonization of local urban space by internally colonized people in post-industrial 1970s New York.

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Rhyming Out the Future: Reclaiming Identity Through Indigenous Hip Hop

Originally posted on Decolonization:

by Lindsay Knight

Hip hop music has begun to transform the ways in which young Indigenous people perceive their environments and assert their identities. Examples of resistance in Indigenous music can easily be discovered through hip hop. Without easy access to land and rural communities, urban Indigenous people often have limited exposure to ceremonial ways of experiencing music. Many grow up without an awareness of the existence of Indigenous forms of song and dance beyond the limited versions taught in school. Instead, they are exposed to other forms of music, which they latch onto and reformat by incorporating Indigenous style and sound into the music. By focusing on positive and conscious artists who are situated in this growing movement, this essay describes how hip hop fills a cultural void within urban people’s identities, and assists in maintaining Indigenous worldview through resistance, revitalization and connection to the spirit world.

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Trackin’ settler colonial erasures in Palestine: Decolonizing Zionist toponymy

Tlalli Yaotl:

Solidarity with occupied Palestine!

Originally posted on Decolonization:

by Chandni Desai

Settler colonial societies use national mythologies to erase the genocidal history that lead to a settler nation’s founding. These national mythologies are profoundly racialized and spatialized stories. Sherene Razack (2002) argues that “although the spatial story that is told varies from one time to another, at each stage the story installs Europeans as entitled to the land, a claim that is codified in law” (p. 3). The legal doctrine of terra nullius – empty, uninhabited lands – describes territory that has supposedly never been subject to the sovereignty of any nation. Settler colonists used such laws to politically and materially occupy Indigenous land.

For example, early Zionist settler colonists rendered the land of Palestine as a “land without a people, for people without a land.” Zionist “imaginative geographies” (Said, 1978) constructed Palestine as terra nullius, the empty wilderness, a land that is “bare”, “abandoned”, “naked”, “virgin” and…

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Essay: Decolonizing the “Primitive Skills” Movement

Originally posted on On Stolen Land:

Decolonizing the “Primitive Skills” Movement

A note: I use the word “primitive skills” as a catchall for traditional, indigenous, ancestral, and earth-based skills and technologies, because it is the term widely used in the movement I speak of in this essay. However using the word “primitive” is problematic, as it implies that the technology of industrial civilization is more “advanced” than these older technologies, and ignores the fact that many of these technologies are part of living traditional cultures.

People in modern America choose to practice “primitive”, also called ancestral or earth-based skills, for a number of reasons. Many oppose the modern lifestyle, are critical of capitalism and civilization and mourn the ways it has disconnected us as humans from the earth. Many recognize that Indigenous ways of being represent a picture of humans living in harmony with nature, a truly sustainable way of life, finding food, shelter, and every…

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Unceded Voices – Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence 2015

UNCEDED VOICES : Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence fosters the idea of bringing together street artists of indigenous and settler origins and build an artistic community of shared anticolonial values. The convergence will promote a type of street art that advocates the decolonization of Turtle Island and will remind Montrealers of the city’s colonial past and present. The artists, living across the Canadian and American states, already focus part of their work on issues related to indigenous resistance, anti-oppressive and anti-capitalist street art.

This second convergence is starting on August 14 and runs until August 23 in so-called Montreal, unceded Kanien’kéhá:ka and Algonquin territories.

UNCEDED VOICES : Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence will organize its activities around two different axes. The first artistic axe will bring together the street artists to create art pieces on the streets of Tiohtià:ke, so-called Montreal. The works will differ in medium, subject and relationship to the public sphere. The second community axe will foster the idea of creating spaces to discuss political issues related to colonialism between the participants and organisms devoted to the urban native community of Tiohtià:ke. There should also be activities specifically designed to involve Indigenous youth.

The  Convergence is a completely grassroots effort, with absolutely no state or corporate funding. We need money to finance the project this year again. We rely on donations to meet our expenses, which is predominantly travel and art materials (paint, paste, scaffoldings, printing costs,etc.). To finance a part of our spending with the project, we ask for $5000.

If you want to support us, we offer perks (patches, prints, posters, sticker packs, mixtape) made by the artists participating in the project.

Throughout the Anti-Colonial Street Artists Convergence, visiting and local artists will be creating art pieces on the streets of Tiohtià:ke between August 14 until August 23. Some of these collaborations will be open to the public: visit the facebook and website of the Convergence frequently for updates. There will also be several events open to the public (workshops, panels, screenings, etc.)

Nia:wen/Thank you /Merci for your support !

gofundme.com/uncededvoices
decolonizingstreetart.com
facebook.com/decolonizingstreetart

Can We Live – And Be Modern?: Decolonization, Indigenous Modernity, and Hip Hop

Originally posted on Decolonization:

by Kyle T. Mays

Quite frankly, living as an Indigenous person in the United States of Amerikkka is difficult. For me, adding my blackness to the mix makes it even more challenging. But this essay is not about the difficulty of living in a settler colonial society, where we live in a constant state of occupation/colonialism/racism and other forms of violence; that is a fact of life for all of us (to varying degrees): Indigenous, Black, white–everyone. Instead, this essay is specifically about how we–Indigenous people–relate to one another, and how we understand ourselves living in contemporary society, as modern subjects.

Our cultures are an important part of decolonizing ourselves in a settler colonial society. By highlighting culture, I am not excluding the material reality of the everyday needs of Indigenous communities, including land, water, food, education, housing, etc. Decolonization is a process whereby we work to cleanse ourselves of…

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Remixing: Decolonial Strategies in Cultural Production

Originally posted on Decolonization:

by SCZ

Hip Hop has always been more than the narrow space of the boom bap; it’s reach extends past the designs of coloniality; its power lies in its unpredictability. As scholar, cultural producer and emcee, Bocafloja argues, “At root, we must recognize Hip Hop as a consequence of connected historical processes that transcended the official transcript.” What then becomes the role of the deejay or producer in disorienting this “official transcript”; how, in fact, are we “flippin’ the script” and positioning our narratives at the front of these cultural productions?

As a deejay, i become that sonic archivist, a reclaimer of histories and transcommunicator of knowledge. Through the remix we are able to signify the past as a means of informing the present, and provide a frame for the future. The information being communicated through mixing is a complex web of signifying, coding, reclaiming histories, and remembering…

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Towards an anti-colonial anarchism

Eurocentricism, re-colonization, and settler colonialism

By , Intercontinental Cry

Unnamed anarchist from Europe [interviewer]: Particularly in Canada, the term “First Nations” is frequently used to describe Indigenous societies. This tends to confuse radical Europeans who consider all references to “nations” as necessarily conservative. Can you shed some light on the Indigenous usage of the term?

Taiaike Alfred from the Mohawk Nation of Kahnawá:ke [interviewee]: Europeans should not transpose their experience with nationhood on others. I myself do not think the term accurately describes our people – only our own languages and words can do that – but it is useful in a sense; it conveys an equality of status in theory between our societies and that of the colonizer. And it reiterates the fact of our prior occupancy of this continent (Alfred, 2010).

The languages that we speak build walls. The English language, for instance, is noun-based, territorial and possessive by nature. Behind this language, however, is a distinct way of relating – one that is exemplified by the interview excerpt above. Sharing a language does not imply consensus or commonality. In this case, although Taiake Alfred does not agree in full with the term ‘First Nations’, he does differentiate First Nation and Indigenous Nationhood from European, Westphalia conceptions of nation-state. He dually describes why, from his perspective as a member of the Mohawk Nation from Kahnawá:ke, this terminology resists Eurocentric impositions of governance but also responds to colonial power-imbalances. Social movements, especially in North America, often fall carelessly into colonial traps of Eurocentric thought and colonial universalism, as exampled above[1]. On the surface, though, it is clear why anarchist movements and anarchic theory may be attracted to anti-colonial struggles.

Opposition to the state and to capitalism, to domination and to oppression, are at the core of anarchist and autonomous movements; they are also at the core of anti-colonial struggles that see the state, and by mutual extension the capitalist system, as de-legitimate institutions of authority that ‘Other’ and colonize by way of white supremacist notions of cultural hegemony (see Fanon, 1967; Smith, 2006). Anarchist movements, however, often fail to account for the multiple layers of power that are at play, both contemporarily and historically. As Barker (2012) critically contends, many of the Occupy sites, for example, recolonized by uncritically occupying already occupied lands. The settler privilege of autonomous organizers within these movements upheld hegemonic/colonial territoriality. Romanticized for stewardship and place-based relations to land, Indigenous peoples have even been idolized as the ‘original’ anarchist societies (Barker & Pickerill, 2012). Indigenous Nationhood Movements actively seek to rebuild nation-to-nation relations with settlers by re-empowering Indigenous self-determination and traditional governments (Indigenous Nationhood Movement, 2015). Nation-to-nation, though, cannot be taken in its settler colonial form; indeed, this assumption concerning a homogenous form of government was, and is, at the core of colonialism: “modern government…the European believed, was based upon principles true in every country. Its strengths lay in its universalism” (Mitchell, 2002: 54). Respecting Indigenous Nationhood as a culturally, politically, and spiritually distinct movement propelled by and for Indigenous peoples is integral. Reasons for and tactics in support of these movements may vary, however they inevitably overlap in many offensives with anarchist anti-authoritarian agendas.

With Eurocentric understandings of an anti-colonial anarchism at the core of many activist oriented renditions of such thinking, activists and scholars alike have heeded words of advice to those amidst struggles against colonial forces in settler colonial contexts. As stated by Harsha Walia in discussing autonomy and cross-cultural, colonial-based struggle:

“Non-natives must recognize our own role in perpetuating colonialism within our solidarity efforts. We can actively counter this by… discussing the nuanced issues of solidarity, leadership, strategy and analysis – not in abstraction, but within our real and informed and sustained relationships with Indigenous peoples.” (2012)

By respecting difference, even spatializing autonomy, settler peoples would do well to not transplant – to settle – their perceptions of autonomy, of solidarity, of leadership, and of strategy onto Indigenous movements. Alternatively in settler colonial contexts, anarchist struggles against colonial authority, and thus capitalistic systems, invariably require respectful engagement with Indigenous movements. This is integral if re-colonizing tendencies of anarchist movements–oftentimes primarily driven by European settlers–are to be prevented. Anarchist actors, especially when operating in settler colonial spaces, must understand the nuances of place specific histories and colonial processes. As Lasky suggests, there is “potential for directly relating to each other and changing our relationships with each other in ways that withdraw consent from ‘the system’ and re-creates alternatives that empower our collective personhoods now” (2011: np). As Alfred mentions however, Eurocentric tendencies have oftentimes perpetuated colonial relations of power. As a result, the very structures of oppression that anarchic thought starkly opposes, but also stemmed from, creep into relational geographies.

References

Alfred, T. (2010). Interview with Gerald Taiaiake Alfred about Anarchism and Indigenism in North America. Retrieved from http://www.alpineanarchist.org/r_i_indigenism_english.html

Barker, A. (2012). Already Occupied: Indigenous Peoples, Settler Colonialism and the Occupy Movements in North America. Social Movement Studies, 11(3-4), 327–334. doi:10.1080/14742837.2012.708922

Barker, A. J., & Pickerill, J. (2012). Radicalizing Relationships To and Through Shared Geographies: Why Anarchists Need to Understand Indigenous Connections to Land and Place. Antipode, 44(5), 1705–1725. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8330.2012.01031.x

Fanon, F. (1967). Black skin, white masks. New York, NY: Grove Press.

Indigenous Nationhood Movement. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://nationsrising.org/about/

Lewis, A. (2012). Decolonizing anarchism: Expanding Anarcha-Indigenism in theory and practice (Masters thesis). Queen’s University, Kingston, ON. Retrieved from http://qspace.library.queensu.ca/bitstream/1974/7563/1/Lewis_Adam_G_201209_MA.pdf

Mitchell, T. (2002). Rule of experts: Egypt, techno-politics, modernity. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.

Smith, A. (2006). Heteropatriarchy and the three pillars of white supremacy. In Incite! (Ed.), The colour of violence: The INCITE! anthology (pp. 66–73). Cambridge, UK: South End Press.

Walia, H. (2012). Decolonizing together: Moving beyond a politics of solidarity toward a practice of decolonization. Briar Patch, January/February. Retrieved from http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/decolonizing-together

[1] Adam (Lewis, 2012) explores this topic in depth.

Renewal, Remembrance, and Resistance for Decolonizing People of European Heritage

By Ana Oian Amets and Christine Blachly, Awakening the Horse People (also available in printable PDF format).

We offer gratitude to our Iladurrak asabak as well as our Lakota, Anishinabek, Chichimec – Comanche, and Ch’orti’ Maya family who have shared their love, homes, and understanding with us along bizibideak – the path of life. We look to Amalur and the ahaikoak of our european home places and Turtle Island whose freedom and resilience inspire us to carry on…

Openings

As a small family of decolonizing white settlers on the Indigenous lands of Turtle Island, our stories are full of evolving contradictions.

Our direct ancestors were early colonizers of Turtle Island or the Island Hill, known to most by its colonial name of North America. As adventurers, profiteers, or refugees from religious or political persecution, they left europe to join the overlapping waves of settlement that blanketed the Atlantic shoreline in the 1600s. Regardless of their reasons for coming to Turtle Island, our immediate families directly participated in, and continue to profit from, the ethnic cleansing of Atlantic coast and eastern woodland Native peoples including the Haudenosaunee, Lenape, Reuckowacky, Merockes, Matinecock, Massapequas, Quinnipiac, Matinecock, Pequot, Wompanoag, Massachusett, Nottoway, and Powhatan nations, as well as the forced labor of Indigenous Afrikan peoples removed from their homelands.

To reconcile the complex, inter-generational stories that shape who we are, we have committed to movements of decolonization and ancestral recovery. By growing deep togetherness with our ancestors and relatives, we are remembering and revitalizing our common culturous roots from the Indigenous Aquitanian peoples of southern france, survived today in Eskual Herria. We also recognize our diverse heritage from other peoples such as Gaelic Celts, Pictish Scots, and Germanic Suebians. What was dormant in us is renewing itself again.

As a consequence of our commitment to decolonizing movements, we find ourselves an invited part of Indigenous resistance with the Tetuan Lakota Strong Heart Warrior Society known as the Cante Tenza Okolakiciye. We have become family to members of this society. In togetherness with our Strong Heart family, we share the dream of returning wholesome lifeways that reflect the sacredness of creation and allow all beings to thrive in their natural embodiment as relatives enriching the interconnected web of life in a place.

With our own stories in mind and with encouragement from our Strong Heart family to, “hold white people accountable” we would be grateful if the following article can invite real and lasting conversations among white settlers of european heritage regarding the role of resistance within movements of ancestral remembrance and decolonization.

While we believe Indigenous peoples have clearly communicated their needs to decolonizing white settlers, we find a shortage of supporting settler narratives that are strong, thoughtful and originating from direct experience. With these thoughts we hope to share clear, heart-felt, and provocative perspectives that may aid healthy integration of resistance into movements of decolonization by people of european heritage.

While this particular conversation centers settler relationships with Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and Abya Yala (the american continents), we acknowledge the tangled web of settler relationships that include displaced people of Afrikan descent and other Peoples of Color who have been coercively brought inside of the colonial settler-state as a consequence of its militarism, economic desires, and nation building. This is just one decolonizing conversation of many that settlers must face in order to clearly see the consequences of euro-centric colonialism and grow deep understanding that allows collective resistance against colonial assaults on life.

Note: We have included provocative quotes from Native people regarding decolonization and resistance. These quotes are separated out as much as possible from the main body of the article to respect their sovereign voice. Links to the original source have been provided when available (at article end) and readers are encouraged to center these and other Native perspectives in this conversation.

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