From Lynn Gehl:
1. A colonized ally stands in the front. A decolonized ally stands behind.
2. A colonized ally stands behind an oppressive patriarchy. A decolonized ally stands behind women and children.
3. A colonized ally makes assumptions about the process. A decolonized ally values there may be principles in the process they are not aware of.
4. A colonized ally wants knowledge now! A decolonized ally values their own relationship to the knowledge.
5. A colonized ally finds an Indigenous token. A decolonized ally is more objective in the process.
6. A colonized ally equates their money and hard work on the land as meaning land ownership. A decolonized ally knows that land ownership is more about social hierarchy and privilege.
7. A colonized ally projects guilt. A decolonized ally knows it is their work to do.
8. A colonized ally projects emotions. A decolonized ally knows Indigenous people have too much to deal with already.
9. A colonized ally has no respect for Indigenous intellectuals. A decolonized ally knows Indigenous people have their own intellectuals.
10. A colonized ally has no idea they need to decolonize. A decolonized ally understands they have to continually decolonize.
11. A colonized ally has no idea of the concomitant realities of Indigenous oppression. A decolonized ally understands the many, layered, and intersectional oppressions Indigenous people live under.
12. A colonized ally speaks for Indigenous people. A decolonized ally listens.
13. A colonized ally takes on work an Indigenous person can do and is doing. A decolonized ally takes on other work that needs to be done.
14. A colonized ally makes things worse. A decolonized ally understands.
15. A colonized ally says, “It is time to get over it.” A decolonized ally realizes one’s relationship to the harm is subjective.
16. A colonized ally appropriates another nation’s Indigenous knowledge. A decolonized ally does the hard work to uncover their own Indigenous knowledge.
17. A colonized ally will loath this truth offered. A decolonized ally will recognize the hard work telling this truth is.
Lynn Gehl is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe from the Ottawa River Valley. She has a section 15 Charter challenge regarding the continued sex discrimination in The Indian Act, and is an outspoken critic of the Ontario Algonquin land claims and self-government process. She recently published a book entitled Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts, and her second book, The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin of the Algonquin Land Claims Process, will be published in March 2014. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and see more of her work at www.lynngehl.com.