Nire 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.
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.
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.