Decolonize First is a call to, first, peel back the layers of neocolonial oppression and work through our complicity in colonial bias and benefit. It responds to the rationalized harm towards Indigenous Peoples, including me & my family, that I hear about and witness everyday.
There’s a rush to reconcile and indigenize that is multiplying unchecked colonial violence faster than most of us can figure out what to say or do about it.
This is self work first, then organizational, then structural. It’s decolonizing how you see, how you think and how you act before thinking you’re in good relations. And then it’s sticking with it and getting stronger together even though it’s hard.
This workbook is a beginning conversation with tools to go deeper. It’s based in two years of decolonizing dialogues and my MA thesis and personal ongoing journey. It’s a matriarchal approach, choosing care over criticism, with tough talk grounded in love.
It’s not one or the other, it’s not anyone else’s job, it’s Decolonize First then we can talk about reconciliation, indigenization and self-actualization (which is actually derived from Blackfoot teachings) \o/ They all fit together with equal importance, like a Medicine Wheel.
I’m grateful for any contribution this work can make towards safety for Indigenous Peoples and stronger relations for everyone.
Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee, Squamish