History of Begbie, from Social Coast.
When the terms used are English ones, defined in English and seen through the colonial lens, much is lost. If some of our hunting activities are being defined as ‘trapping’ and this definition results in the erosion of our indigenous rights, which has indeed been the case, then it is important for us to challenge these terms.
Perhaps what has hit me the hardest as the Idle No More movement develops, is the reminder that I still can’t answer that question with confidence. Nin-gagwe-nitaa- anishinaabem. I’m trying to learn Ojibwe. I was raised in Ottawa, and my mother was adopted during the Sixties Scoop and raised in a non-Anishinaabe household. My kookum attended Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, and she passed on years before anyone in my family could find her. All of her children were taken from her. Nobody in my immediate family speaks the language fluently. Bangii eta ni-nisidotam. I can understand only a little. I hope that my relations living on and near Obishikokaang hold onto the language. Reconnecting with our extended family is an ongoing, long-term process, and there are many relatives I have yet to meet. Many other Indigenous people can share similar stories on how the Canadian state has implemented strategies to rip apart their families and impede the transmission of language between generations. Residential schooling, adoption, hospitalization. Enfranchisement, marrying out. You hear these words and terms over and over again. These are all strategies of colonization, and they have been very, very effective.
Read to the end– they collect multiple translations.
Decolonization is not a metaphor, Eve Tuck, K. Wayne Yang in Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society.
Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools. The easy adoption of decolonizing discourse by educational advocacy and scholarship, evidenced by the increasing number of calls to “decolonize our schools,” or use “decolonizing methods,” or, “decolonize student thinking”, turns decolonization into a metaphor. As important as their goals may be, social justice, critical methodologies, or approaches that decenter settler perspectives have objectives that may be incommensurable with decolonization. Because settler colonialism is built upon an entangled triad structure of settler-native-slave, the decolonial desires of white, nonwhite, immigrant, postcolonial, and oppressed people, can similarly be entangled in resettlement, reoccupation, and reinhabitation that actually further settler colonialism. The metaphorization of decolonization makes possible a set of evasions, or “settler moves to innocence”, that problematically attempt to reconcile settler guilt and complicity, and rescue settler futurity. In this article, we analyze multiple settler moves towards innocence in order to forward “an ethic of incommensurability” that recognizes what is distinct and what is sovereign for project(s) of decolonization in relation to human and civil rights based social justice projects. We also point to unsettling themes within transnational/Third World decolonizations, abolition, and critical space-place pedagogies, which challenge the coalescence of social justice endeavors, making room for more meaningful potential alliances.
Angry Papuan leaders demand Jared Diamond apologizes. West Papuan leaders respond to Jared Diamond describing their culture as warlike and lucky that a state government showed up to bring them peace. (Background: West Papua has been violently oppressed by the Indonesian state government for decades.)
Benny Wenda, a Papuan tribal leader, said to Survival, ‘What he (Jared Diamond) has written about my people is misleading (…) he is not writing about what the Indonesian military are doing (…) I saw my people being murdered by Indonesian soldiers and my own Auntie was raped in front of my eyes. Indonesia told the world that this was ’tribal war’ – they tried to pretend that it was us that was violent and not them – this book is doing the same. He should apologize.’
Markus Haluk, a senior member of the Papuan Customary Council, added, ‘The total of Dani victims from the Indonesian atrocities over the 50 year period is far greater than those from tribal war of the Dani people over hundreds of thousands of years.’
This bit at the end really got me. What a contrast between two people’s experience of ‘peace’ and ‘freedom’, and what a contrast in how much they get heard. A white settler published his ideas in a book, and one of the indigenous people he was talking about had to smuggle a message out of prison in order to respond.
Dominikus Surabut, currently jailed for treason for peacefully declaring West Papuan independence, described the relationship of indigenous West Papuans and the Indonesian state as political apartheid. In a statement smuggled out of his jail cell, he said, ‘This is the very nature and character of colonial occupation of indigenous peoples, where they are treated as second class citizens whose oppression is justified by painting them as backwards, archaic, warring tribes – just as suggested by Jared Diamond in his book about tribal people.’