About Ana

beavtreecreekNire izena Ana Oian Amets da, ingelesez esaten Naomi Archer. Aquitanian Iladurrak (I know them as the Moon-Revering People), Etsekoak Ontz naiz. Nire Euskal senide eta arbasoen esker eskaini nion. Etxera itzultzeko nire herrian lur eta ohiturak nahi dut. Hau nire bihotza bizi da.

I’ve been immersed in movements of decolonization and ancestral recovery for over 15 years– reawakening connection to the lifeway of my ancestral Aquitainian (proto-Basque) people from the area known as southwest France. I’m also grateful to my ancestors from northern France, the Laggan in County Donegal Ireland, and the Rhine River valley.

I believe the unique and evolving story of who I am and how I came to share this blog may be helpful for those involved in movements we give names like “ancestral recovery”, “reindigenization”, and “decolonization”.

I was born a white settler of european heritage on the stolen lands of Turtle Island or the Island Hill. Recognizing the privileges of my skin color and upbringing, I’ve spent the large majority of my life working for human rights and the health of Amalur – Mother Earth.

Over fifteen years ago I began to be uprooted from the progressive and anarchist communities I was involved with by a call from my ancestors so profound it could not be ignored. I’ve followed the dreams and callings of my ancestors across two continents. By risking in this way, I have found opportunities for deep listening to Native elders and activists, walked and listened in my own ancestral home places, and grown relationship with my ancestors and the living natural world in the ways traditional people describe. I’ve committed to embodying my gifts and roles as an “ana” third gendered person in relationship with all life.

bolivianembassymeet416

Independent Lakota Nation meeting at Bolivian Embassy, 2016

Over 10 years ago I became the sister, through customary kinship, to my Lakota brother Canupa Gluha Mani. I am an adopted and active member of the the Lakota Cante Tenza Warrior Society, helped to organize the 2007 Lakota Freedom Delegation to Washington DC, and work on provisional government systems as a member of the Independent Lakota Nation. I’ve centered the resistance and survival of my Indigenous relatives of Turtle Island by forming the Four Directions Solidarity Network in 2005 and more recently – the Lakota Solidarity Project.

Despite a robust online misinformation campaign to reduce the impact of this work, I continue to act with integrity and heart for my relations, apologizing for the mistakes I make along the way. Through all of this I have never asked for, or received, Lakota culture or spirituality. Nor have I used elders for personal gain. And I stand strongly opposed to “playing indian”, cultural appropriation, and the commodification of cultural knowledge and practices.

Instead, I embody my own cultural understandings and grow in my own Indigenous thought and philosophy as an individual of a people from a place. This is recognized by my Native family who honor my recovering indigeneity.

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Strong Heart Decolonization & Independence Presentation, 2016

Recognizing the unique place I find myself, I’ve been humbled by the invitation to share decolonization and cultural recovery practices in North America and Europe for groups and classes including at Haskell Indian Nations University,  Thunder Mountain Lenape Nation, Slavic Sorbian people (Germany), 2010 U.S Social Forum in Detroit, National Conference on Organized Resistance, 2013 Tear Down the Walls National Gathering, and many others.

As the creator of this blog, I am grateful for the opportunities to discuss what I’ve learned with others who are seeking a deep understanding of who they are, where they come from, and the consequences of this unknowing. I believe we are connected to each other and to all life, and that healing ourselves, and our world, is impossible without this movement. Please consider decolonization and ancestral recovery not just for your self, but out of love and respect for all your ancestors and relatives. Eskertasun.

7 thoughts on “About Ana

  1. Wow !!!
    I’m in quebec on a self sustaining farm
    I want to develop a grass root relay point for like minded people.
    We also have a primitive techniques school.
    I’ve been working at this for years and, bingo !, there you are !
    I can send you picts of the farm…

  2. Thanks Ana.

    I am the descendent of mostly British people, many of them sent in chains as convict slaves to what’s now called australia. I work in trauma and really appreciate the way you have conflated widespread trauma with the last few centuries of colonization. How many people of all backgrounds could be free to name and heal their patterns of pain if this perspective was digested. You have helped me.
    Thank you, David.

  3. Let me also add my gratitude for what you are doing on this blog. In spite of my “advanced” age :o), it is only in recent times that I encountered the term “decolonization” and I have begun to understand that that is what I have been trying to do for most of my adult life. In that time I have been blessed to work in Canada during the 70’s for First Nations peoples and to learn from them. I have also spent considerable time (forty years plus off and on) living and working in West Africa. There were often times where I have been drawn to and embraced traditions and rituals and spiritual practises from those people in whose midst I was living. I was aware of my position of “settler privilege”. At the same time I experienced a sensation of disconnect but I did not realize that it stemmed from my unconscious appropriation of other’s cultures. It is only very recently that I have come to understand why this had happened – that my own indigenous self has been lost and I was trying, unsuccessfully for the most part, to fill that void. I know now that it is incumbent upon me to re-discover my indigenous self in ways that are authentic, for my personal well-being and for the well-being of following generations.
    These modern times then raise new challenges for those who are following. In the case of my children, they are the offspring of a settler father living currently in Canada and an Indigenous (African) mother living once again in Africa. Their circumstances are far from unique – in Canada, they are seen to be “black” and in West Africa, they are seen to be “white”. It remains to them as individuals to decide how to self-identify, and how to avoid either perpetuating a colonial mentality or being victim to one. Discussions such as the ones found on this blog are of great assistance as we all find our way forward. Thank you again, Ana. Rod

    • Thankyou for sharing a bit of your story and process of self discovery. There is alot to learn from your story and I hope more people read this.

  4. Hi Ana,
    I was wondering if you would be into reviewing/critiqueing a zine I just finished writing. I appreciate this website a lot and thought your opinions would be valuable.
    Here is a simple write up for the zine:

    “elflocks & the polish plait : a european history of locked and matted hair.

    looking into varied histories of locked and matted hair throughout europe between 1285 and 1920 drawing from old medical journals, fairy tales, recorded anecdotes, mythology and dictionaries.

    while asking critical questions of white folks wearing locks in a white supremacist society, this zine seeks to challenge colonial mindsets entrenched in christendom, medical practice, the enlightenment, and attempting to re-member pagan european landbased histories.”

    if you are into the review/critique, or just want to read or whatever, please get in touch!!!

    byron.

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