A Taino woman of a certain age, exploring decolonization from the perspective of the First People to meet, and survive, Western invaders and Manifest Destiny.
What I share is true to me. I encourage everyone to research to THEIR OWN satisfaction.
With the presence of vegginism creeping into my social circles, I’m finding myself in these conversations more often. The response I usually get upon parting is the standard vegginist assumption of ignorance: that I should “look into the science”, make the time to “read-up on the more recent studies” and to “educate” myself on how the body works and what it needs.
We’ve been advised against making our own hand sanitizer by the news, the government and those who believe in “better living by consumerism”. We are told we are not chemists, that hand sanitizer is a drug with which we can harm ourselves or others if not properly mixed (true), and that we’re risking it all for something that in the end is just not as good as what’s commercially available (false). We are scared off and discouraged, made to feel inadequate, dangerous and foolish for even trying. Those in “authority” encourage us to wait for it’s commercial availability so we can buy “properly” made formulations.
Our planet is mostly water. We are mostly water. Water is Life. Water is a Healer. At least this is the understanding of many Traditional healers and the Elders I’ve sat with. They instruct us to speak to the Water, to ask the Grandmother for Her blessings.
The “scientific” argument used by vegginists is that since we are not made like carnivores, we are then herbivores. Meat eaters are encouraged to look to the science of our anatomy, to learn how our bodies work “naturally”. We are told that if we do, we’ll find we are an herbivorous species.
Note: While my focus is on the USA, the horrors of colonization- then and now- occurred and still continue, all across Abya Yala.
I received the video version of this post via social media. I got it more than once and from more than one Indigenous person. Its message, and the way my Indigenous relatives were lapping it up, broke my heart. The fact that the messenger is an Indigenous person, a woman, a Mother of Nations, only made it worse.
Most of the social and spiritual gatherings I participate in are composed of people from a variety of ethnicities and beliefs. Coming from a multi-cultural background myself, this is usually not an issue. Yet, as years have gone by, I’m finding myself feeling increasingly uneasy at the upcoming of any new event. We all have cultural blind spots and a certain amount of ethnocentricity, yes. Because of this awareness, I try not to look for offense in the ignorance of others; we are all working from our own programming and we are all in different spaces. But this discomfort continues and for the longest, I couldn’t quite pin-point what it was that bothered me so much about non-Indian guests in our gatherings. Continue reading “Ayaca e’ Iguana: Decolonizing Indigenous Diets”
There has been much said regarding monuments to confederate and colonizing “heroes”, on both sides of the debate. Some feel that removing the monuments is unwise: because we should revere history, because it cannot change the past, because it should remind Americans of our shame, because these monuments are public art and should cared for. Those who feel they should be torn down say it’s racist propaganda, it celebrates murder and destruction, the decimation of whole cultures. Both sides seem to have valid points, and I find myself, as a colonized Indigenous person, listening with 2 different sets of ears. It seems to me that the contrast here is the perspective from which these issues are being considered. Continue reading “Decolonizing Public Spaces: One Taino’s Perspective”
The film I share below is from the TED website. Although I have issue with some of the ideas they propose as well as some of the support they receive, they do have some wonderful presentations that open your eyes to thoughts and ideas you may not have been aware of. That’s what growth is all about- awareness- ennit?
The following is a presentation that touches on the history of the relationship between the US and the Indigenous people of the land they invaded and conquered, as evidenced by the relationships held with the Lakota.
This is not the history you were taught in school…
Every November, on the fourth Thursday of the month, the US celebrates Thanksgiving Day with food, drink, parades and sports. Families gather together, whether they like each other or not, to eat, drink and be merry. But this merry-making is not to be found everywhere for the day is not a celebration to many of the original peoples of this land. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Day: to Thank or not to Thank…”