Decolonization For People of the Euro-centered or “white” Mind
Non-indigenous persons may wonder how they can be helpful in the healing of colonial genocidal violence. From an Indigenous perspective the primary need is dialogueing about epistemic violence. Confrontation with the history of genocide and colonization is urgent. Structural violence must be addressed.
Persons who are working with Indigenous peoples should reflect critically on the context in which they are working, whether their work explicitly or implicitly is continueing colonial violence.
Persons who are invited to work with Indigenous people need to work particularly on the unconscious forms of epistemic violence their mere presence may perpetrate. Helpers of European descent need to be willing to face the impact of Euro-centered dominance in their personal history and to talk openly about its dynamics with the willingness to work toward positive change…
…Working with Indigenous peoples in the process of decolonization means that people who are not Indigenous are willing to decolonize themselves and to confront their own historical Indigenous and ancestral origins. This is a difficult task that goes to the core of reality. In this way there can be a gradual interruption of the cycle of genocidal violence.
From “Healing the Impact of Colonization, Genocide, Missionization, and Racism on Indigenous Populations” by Betty Bastien, Jürgen W. Kremer, Rauna Kuokkanen, and Patricia Vickers (download pdf)