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Oops! I Did It Again! (with two comments)

(re-blogged from: Awakening the Horse People blog, link at bottom; my comments below)(note that the the title the blogger picked seems to be coming from a post i made on their blog previously, and thus, it’s easy to assume that their challenge was meant for me, and that they would be interested in some dialogue with me! So far, tho, it looks like i was wrong!)

Avoiding Recolonization While Decolonizing

One of the biggest challenges people of european heritage face as we are called to engage in decolonizing and reawakening movements of life, is to maintain awareness of how we do things.  What are we really creating as we decolonize?  Are we authentically connecting to life and healing ourselves, or are we doing something else?

As we decolonize, it is so easy to take the beautiful understandings that we learn, and then process them, use them, convert them – back into colonized thought forms – into colonized acts.  We re-colonize ourselves. These acts might look like:

  • BOLSTERING INDIVIDUAL EGO to prove we are special or unique. For example: “Because I had a strong vision or spiritual experience, I must be a shaman.”  Having a strong dream, vision, or experience doesn’t make you shaman – it means you are alive.
  • FILTERING AND TWISTING INTUITIVE KNOWLEDGE like dreams and visions into colonized forms.  One example of this might sound like. “I had a dream about the Lakota people, therefore I should adopt Lakota culture and spirituality.”  Without the ancestral knowledge to interpret dreams, we twist their meanings into some pretty silly things.  This is one reason why decolonization must involve communities of people, so we can help each other limit detours and dead-ends.
  • CREATING ‘SYSTEMS’ THAT PACKAGE AND COMMODIFY  living, intuitive knowledge into colonized teaching systems. You can see an example of this with this workshop:  Ancestral Legacy & Personal Healing Workshop…Cost: $90- $144 per day.  This website is apparently the result of a fairly popular “recovery of the Indigenous mind” program.  Clearly, something wasn’t recovered.
  • COMMODIFYING SACRED KNOWLEDGE,  relationships, and life forms. Examples of this include  selling ceremony, healing, or spiritual knowledge. These kind of sacred understandings do not belong to us. We borrow them from our ancestors and relatives to share freely with others, not turn them into careers or money making ventures.  Do you really believe your ancestors want their knowledge shared only with those privileged and wealthy enough to afford it?
  • CLAIMING SETTLER NATIVISM through the shallow belief one may recover enough Indigenous-ness to earn the entitlement of living on stolen Native lands in America (or elsewhere) without dispute.   This may arise when people seek to reclaim an “Indigenous mind”, learn a level of “primative” or wilderness skills, seek neo-tribalism, or learn their ancestry without connecting those ancestors to a home place and way of life.  An example of this might sound like, “I live wild with primative skills in the woods of Oregon and feel connected here. I deserve to be here.“   These kinds of attitudes merely perpetuate colonization and resettlement. We can do better.

As decolonizing people of European heritage, we benefit by holding each other accountable with compassion and understanding so these shallow movements that lead to re-colonization, resettlement, appropriation, and commodication can be addressed.

We also have a responsibility to the Indigenous people of the Americas, Australia, Afrika, etc. to hold our own accountable when they behave in harmful ways so Native people don’t have to.

Just remember, some of the people who make these diversions are likely related to you – they are your relatives.  Connecting to what’s alive means everyone counts.  If we cannot help our own people grow and heal authentically into deep movements of decolonization, who will?




The idea of “perfectly imperfect”, anyone? And how about….watching how we project on others/ourselves.

More comments, by me:

Following are two posts, out of three I attempted to post/publish in response to this article. Sorry if I say the same thing over more than once.

Note that this blog bills itself as a place that promotes dialogue between unsettling settler people. But for whom and when? Must one be “known” amongst them? Must one be viewed as having similar-enough views shared by the moderator to be “worthy” of dialogue?? I don’t know. But maybe they should start saying that. So not to mislead. M’kay?

Anyway, I’m pissed right now because my second reply post (which i posted, having forgotten my previous one of the 12th, since it wasn’t posted) seems to have been lost…. In it I called for processing ceremony between all of our likely diverse interpretations of what it is to be respectful towards decolonizing Indigenous folks. One processing ceremony idea was also mentioned. One thing I would also like to add, if i didn’t say it below, is to promote the value of escaping from the tendency we all have to hierarchize.

Below are the two posts that are still in moderation as of this writing:

ethicalartservice says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I see some dangers in what appear to me to be rigid thinking in some of the thought this post. Sorry if i seem to make this more complicated, but that’s where i’m at! {;

Take the tendency of many people to assume that “ego” is a problem that has to be crushed, instead of a possible gift in its symptom-ing reality. You are not doing that, and yet i’m feeling that you are judging “ego” as always bad, in your call to stop “bolstering” it. And i think that is to not see its value in the process many of us cannot help but to be in! A truth of who we tend towards being in the context of a deeply imprinted colonialism which wants us to focus only on ourselves, in an alienated position. And yet there’s a reason it keeps coming back up and challenging us (in our champion intuitions that know we are each unique and special, regardless of others’ seeming desire to “shout it down”). i see such as a power that can be explored more deeply via creatively intelligent processes we mutually engage in, instead of only deriding it!

What is so wrong with “silly” things? Again, i see the value of process here being disregarded, while someone sits on what feels to me like a “high horse” (heh). i say, let people be where they are, while continuing to creatively confront, as we/others feel the desire! Not merely writing “rules” in stone, so to speak. Anyway, what is community without the power of each of its people, no matter how imperfect??!! The reality is that many of we unsettling settler people ARE without community, and we have found strength to continue on individually, as a survival mechanism (or something like that). We do seek meaningful community, but are we going to find it by being castigated like this? Maybe…or maybe not, or maybe some grey area….since, hey, we ALREADY are saddling ourselves with these UNSETTLING ideas!!!!

Finally, on Claiming Settler Nativism, the key there for me is “dispute”. That works both ways, y’know. The problem here, as i see it is, a Dick Wilson (of anti-AIM fame) can come in and Tell a re-wilding settler that she’s Out of Order –and you want us to uncritically subordinate? i say, watch out for the hierarchy of that one. Yes, we all should respect you all for the truths, and yet, how can we live in friendship, best? By tactics which insert hierarchies? i don’t think so! Only authoritarians will buy into that uncritically! And do you REALLY WANT that kind of reflection????

i DO like this one: “…we benefit by holding each other accountable with compassion and understanding…” And as for settlers holding other settlers accountable? i say, watch out for the fine line of how that can turn into fascism, or as some anarchists have called it (and i don’t totally “get” that), bureaucracy.

(btw, i look forward to any attitude adjustment you think i may need to have!)

Wow, that’s interesting to find out that my Feb 13 post is STILL in moderation. Guess you learned about my pariah status, huh? Yep, not only am i politically incorrect for daring to dance outside of the unsettling settler meta corral, but there are OTHER truths which the internet will help you quickly “reveal” (not that i’ve ever really hidden!) Question is, will any of you have the courage to ASK ME about my side of the story/truth you’re no doubt being hyped-up to fear and …hate? Or will you merely go along with the neo-colonial reality, which reproduces the same old hype games, while Nice Leftists (not that Rightists are any better) will play along…in their perennial hope for “more” conscripts…while working hand-in-hand with the neo-colonizers to suppress naughty upstarts like myself!

Ah, well, all this is part of why i do as i do; i do not identify with my “fellow” decolonizing settler folks, most of the time! We all have our processes, and too many of us are forever trying to curtail such “bad” diversity so they can, i guess, stomach all the other stuff easier. Ay?

Anyway, when I signed in to post my last post (feb 24), having forgotten about the feb 12 post, i see that my latest post (which is still relevant, i.e. the mention of the value of Thunder Dances) was not even apparently put into the cue. Hmmm. Is that true? And will any of you even try to contact me about it? (yes, your mail may well be bounced; i’m one of those damn creative visionaries who HAS TO BE kept as isolated as possible! But you cannot imagine it, so thus I am a fucking wingnut!

To wingnut power!!!!


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