Solidarity With American Indian Land Recovery: unfinished ideas on the decolonization of colonial descendants
Author’s note: Many of the writers I mention are not anarchists, but there is more in common between the anti-industrial and anti-civilization movement and them than the majority of the anarchist movement or the entire leftist movement.
This is not a final thought; it is an idea of how to start looking at the necessity and possibility of decolonization of colonial descendants. It is also meant as a call for white activists within the anti-industrial and anti-civilization movement to start doing solidarity work and learning from indigenous people here in the colony of North America (as well as indigenous people in other colonies). My goal in writing this is not only to see authentic growth within this movement and have individuals become active in the land recovery movement, but also I hope we as individuals from western civilization can decolonize ourselves; our decolonization and the destruction of our culture is the only way to create the society we desire.
My focus may be our decolonization, but this does not mean that I don’t think involving ourselves with land recovery for its own sake is not important; I feel there are better sources for this information besides myself (Ward Churchill’s Struggle for the Land is a good starting place as well as many other indigenous writers). There are many fears that activists have about working with the land recovery movement; these fears not only need to be overcome, but it is in our best interest to work with this movement.
Decolonization of Colonial Descendants:
Many people object when I discuss the decolonization of colonial descendants; to these people we are the colonialists, or we at least benefit from the colonial system. All of this is true, but as Edward Said pointed out in Beyond Orientalism, when the colonizer created the colonized, they created themselves. This does not mean we are victims of colonization; it means that if we are to destroy the colonial system we live in, we must rid ourselves of the colonial ideologies and mindset we have. The colonialist ideologies are embedded in us from birth: religion, science, the work ethic, all of the isms, and economics based on profit to mention just a few; the process of us unlearning this, and the process of us listening and learning to other cultures so we can find a new way to live is what I call “the decolonization of colonial descendants.”
It’s Time to Listen:
If we look within the anti-industrial and anti-civilization movement almost all the theorists who are writing or we read are from western civilization; it is time we start reading and listening to people outside of the this culture. This is not to say these writers are not important, but we must look to people of other cultures as well. There are a lot of teachings from people who are living or are still connected to a way of life that is in direct confrontation with our colonialist culture. We need to start listening to those who can teach us a different way to view the world that we are a part of (a good start would be reading Vine Deloria’s books on science vs. traditional knowledge). We cannot forget or ignore our own theorists, but we must broaden our outlook by listening to other cultures as well. Often an outsider can shed light on a situation that one living within it may not have seen.
It’s Time to Act:
Reading is only one way to learn; the other and more important way of learning is through experience. This is where I think the land recovery movement can teach us. Just getting involved in the land recovery movement to topple the U.S. colonial structure is, in my mind, important, but by doing this we would have a great opportunity to learn different life ways in the process of helping indigenous people free themselves and the land. This also could evolve into working with people in other colonial settings where they still live traditionally, and all they want is to be left the fuck alone. By giving solidarity to this movement we would be answering the question we are always asked “How do you expect to get from our society to the society we desire?”
Where to Go from Here:
This was a short piece intended to get the ball rolling in regards to these ideas. Individually we can start listening to other cultures teachings and get involved if that makes sense to us, but most important of all we must start exploring and actualizing our own decolonization. I invite anyone interested in this exploration to contact me at Feral: A Journal Towards Wildness, PMB 321, 530 Divisidaro, SF CA 94117. Hopefully we can find old paths to explore and carve some new ones in the process.