Monday, November 13, 2017

How to decolonize our minds and actions

Waziyatawin, Michael Yellow Bird For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook (intro) via Unsettling America; Xochitl, Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Native American Paiutes under colonization of the Americas, wearing western hats and garb mixed with traditional items, becoming like the killers who came to kill (

Introduction and Background
For Indigenous Minds Only features Indigenous scholars, writers, and activists who have collaborated for the creation of a sequel to For Indigenous Eyes Only (SAR Press, 2005). The title reflects an understanding that decolonizing actions must begin in the mind, and that creative, consistent decolonized thinking shapes and empowers the brain, which in turn provides a major prime for positive change. Included in this book are discussions of global collapse, what to consider in returning to a land-based existence, demilitarization for imperial purposes and re-militarization for Indigenous purposes, survival strategies for tribal prisoners, moving beyond the nation-state model, a land-based educational model, personal decolonization, decolonization strategies for youth in custody, and decolonizing gender roles. As with For Indigenous Eyes Only, the authors do not intend to provide universal solutions for problems stemming from centuries of colonialism. Rather, they hope to facilitate and encourage critical thinking skills while offering recommendations for fostering community discussions and plans for purposeful community action. For Indigenous Minds Only will serve an important need within Indigenous communities for years to come.Eight Indigenous intellectuals created the volume For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook to offer hands-on suggestions and activities for Indigenous communities to engage in as they worked to develop decolonizing activities.

Beginning with the belief that Indigenous Peoples have the strength, intelligence, and wisdom to develop culturally-specific decolonization strategies to pursue our own strategies of liberation, we attempt to begin to demystify the language of colonization [invasion followed by settler colonialism] and decolonization [the process of undoing the internal harm].

COOKBOOK: Decolonize Your Diet
Through a step-by-step process, we hope to help Indigenous readers identify useful concepts, terms, and intellectual frameworks to assist us all in our struggle toward meaningful change and self-determination.

The handbook covers a wide range of topics including Indigenous governance, education, languages, oral tradition, repatriation, images and stereotypes, nutritional strategies, and truthtelling.
“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Steve Biko
US, UK, and Israel versus the World (
In this volume new Indigenous scholars, writers, and activists collaborate for the creation of a sequel to The Decolonization Handbook.

The title For Indigenous Minds Only reflects an understanding that decolonizing actions must begin in the mind. Creative and consistent decolonized thinking shapes and empowers the mind, which in turn primes us for positive change.

Undoing the effects of colonialism and working toward decolonization requires each of us to consciously consider to what degree we have been affected by not only the physical aspects of colonization but also the psychological and spiritual aspects.

Kenyan intellectual Ngugi wa Thiong’o, in his book Decolonising the Mind, describes the “cultural bomb” as the greatest weapon unleashed by imperialism:
The effect of the cultural bomb is to annihilate a people’s belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from that wasteland. It makes them want to identify with that which is furthest removed from themselves; for instance, with other peoples’ languages rather than their own. It makes them identify with that which is decadent and reactionary, all those forces that would stop their own springs of life. It even plants serious doubts about the moral righteousness of struggle. Possibilities of triumph or victory are seen as remote, ridiculous dreams. The intended results are despair, despondency and a collective death-wish.
Planting and igniting this “cultural bomb” by the colonizing forces has been essential to the colonization process, for if our minds are contaminated with self-hatred and the belief that we are inferior to our colonizers, we will believe in both the necessity and virtue of the colonization forced on us.

We will begin to diminish the wisdom and beauty of Indigenous ways of existing and embrace the degrading ways of the colonizers who call themselves inherently superior. When we believe in their self-proclaimed superiority, and our motivation to fight for our own liberation is splintered and eventually seriously damaged.
However, we do not believe that our spirit can be killed. Destiny lies within each of us. Still, if we accept the cultural bomb, why would we fight for something we perceive to be undesirable? Working toward decolonization, then, requires us to consciously... More (Comments)

UC Berkeley (Cal): Thanks for the protection of NAZI sympathizers. Good work! (AP)

No comments: