While catching up on stories at my fave Indian news site i ran into this op-ed that just made my day! And it got me thinking about my journey out of colonization. But first let me share a couple of awesome paragraphs out of this essay, but please go over and read the whole thing on the website! :D
The quotes that rock:
Decolonizing essentially means to start thinking like an Indian. When you think like an Indian, you get rid of all the colonial brainwashing, you reclaim tradition and go back to our roots. Reclaiming tradition and decolonizing does not mean that we have to give up dressing in jeans and go back to dressing like our ancestors. But it does mean reclaiming our ancestral ways of governance and giving up the systems and procedures we adopted from our colonizers. Decolonizing does not mean we have to go back to living in the woods. But it does mean reviving our ceremonies. It does mean restoring our cultural values. It does mean emphasizing group welfare—the welfare of people in our tribe—and giving up the focus on individual welfare.
Decolonizing does not mean that we reject everything that the US stands for. But is certainly means adopting traditional value systems like the integrity of our ancestors and rejecting the materialistic, capitalistic and self-centered attitudes we have internalized from our colonizers. It does mean educating the US government about how to respect people elsewhere and how to value human life and dignity in different parts of the world.
For me my journey out of colonization began when i decided to start ticking "other" on the race boxes and forms. It picked up speed when i spent a couple of weeks learning the language of my ancestors. I'm still working on decolonizing other areas of my life, hopefully at some point i'll be able to explore Native American theologies in Christianity. I also hope to live near my grandmother's tribe and participate in their ceremonies in the future.
So how do you practice decolonization in your life? Please share your stories below! ETA: You don't have to NA to decolonize, feel free to share if you're from a different culture!!!