Why Decolonize?

spiritual-emptiness“Do you know the people you come from?”

This is the one question most commonly asked by the world’s Indigenous peoples to people of European heritage. For the large majority of us in America, Europe, and elsewhere, the honest answer beyond simple genealogy is,I don’t know.”

Unfortunately, this not knowing is part of a deep disconnection that has serious consequences for ourselves and others.

Traditional Indigenous people understand this unknowing lies at the heart of the political, social, and economic systems that have caused, and continue to cause, colonization and genocide of their people as well as destruction of life on Mother Earth.

At the personal level, the lack of being rooted in a culture of place brings spiritual disconnection, shallow sense of self, and historical trauma from the lost ancestral roots and lost ways of life that shaped our physical, emotional, and spiritual health for tens of thousands of years.

People of European heritage are often called  hungry ghosts  because we don’t know ourselves. This trauma of disconnection is profound, causing us to constantly grab for anything of spiritual meaning – even if it does not belong to us.  This taking leads to cultural theft and appropriation, spiritual materialism, and the silencing of authentic native voices.  Worse, we spread this dysfunction to others, including people of color, through the dominance of Western cultural values.

Indigenous people are asking us to heal ourselves, so we can redevelop a deeply rooted cultural identity that brings about respect for ourselves and our relatives on Mother Earth. This healing also builds the understanding necessary for us to listen with compassion and speak with integrity to Indigenous people as we begin the painful conversations necessary to grow healing between people. We must take responsibility for our past, so we can create a healthy future for all people.

In summary, decolonization is a powerful process that allows us to:

  • Re-connnect with the places we come from, and the ways of life that shaped our ancestor’s experience and continue to live hidden within ourselves;
  • Reawaken the identity of who we are in a line of people from ancient ancestors to future generations;
  • Restore a sacred way of life through relationships with the animals, plants, and other living relatives who made our lives possible;
  • Become more effective allies in anti-racist action, solidarity work, and resistance struggles of Indigenous people and other people of color;
  • Make healing of historic traumas possible for ourselves, and for Indigenous people who suffer from colonization and genocide.

One thought on “Why Decolonize?

  1. I believe we are all related in one way or another. People traveled long distances to find food, shelter, etc. Some lived with other people and cultures, women, men, it didn’t matter. We were all humans striving for survival on this Earth thousands of years ago. White men had children with black slaves. Whites and blacks lived in the same areas and there were multi-racial children born. The same goes for other cultures. We mixed races over many years, and we are still doing this. We are all brothers and sisters. God makes no mistakes. He put us all on this Earth to live and thrive together. We all look different, skin color, hair color, eye color, facial differences, accents, habits, religions, beliefs. Just like the animals are different, the birds, the fish, bears, fox…different shapes, sizes, defense systems. Carnivore, Herbivore, Vegetarian. We are all unique in our own way. If we are to survive on this planet we must learn to live together, work together, accept each other, respect each other and love each other. We all have our differences but that is what makes us unique. We don’t always have to agree on everything but we can accept and respect our differences. No one is better than the other.. we all need food, water and air to survive. We are Humans…all of us…..on this planet Earth. We need each other…children, youth, teens, elders, healthy, unhealthy, rich, poor etc. Rather we like it or not, that is how life goes. Lets open our hearts and our minds to our fellow sisters and brothers and make this world a better place….for all mankind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s