Decolonize Mainstream Politics: The Conservative’s Token Indian

Note: While my focus is on the USA, the horrors of colonization- then and now- occurred and still continue, all across Abya Yala.

mad-46338_640I 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.

Then it pissed me off.

You see, this is some assimilating bullshit. So, let’s consider Ms. Mikaela Lyrea’s political message and compare it to the facts; “as…Native American.” Continue reading

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Ayaca e’ Iguana: Decolonizing Indigenous Diets

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Cyclura nubila- Cuban Rock Iguana

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

Decolonizing Public Spaces: One Taino’s Perspective

columbus-866779_640There 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