In a recent article for an anti-racism newsletter, my friend Harley Eagle stated some truths concerning the current presidential election, that have resonated in my soul and mind. He said: ..for many descendants of the original people of this land typically it has not mattered much who is in power at the White House. Ignoring treaty rights, continued land loss, high poverty levels, poor health care, corruption, and in some cases little access to basic human rights, remains with us regardless of who is in power. We remain living under occupation conditions. Later he proceeds to go deeper into that line of thought as he says: Sadly even though there are efforts to thwart the effects of occupation, the purpose of colonization is having its desired effect, to not only take the land and subdue the people, but to change the worldview of the Indigenous folks so they become agents of colonization themselves.
Harley is a Lakota descendant and has never forgotten who he is or where he comes from, and I think that‚s what gives him the ability to look beyond the everyday game of appearances that current politics and policies make us think that there is a change.
The peoples from the Americas have been under colonization for centuries now, and through őeducation‚ and őacculturation‚ society has tried to change the minds of the colonized people to make them believe that the only right way is the one used by the people in power.
I cannot name my tribe, but the color of my skin tells me that my language and traditions have been erased and changed to a homogeneous culture that only recognizes merchandise and equates progress with accumulation of goods.
The claim of human beings to their land, their food, clean water and the right to follow their own spirituality has been mocked and considered as savage or ignorant.
The same system that has created mono crops that kill the native seeds, has also taken away the means to survive on the land unless you sell yourself into the system.
But the system is crumbling and people are starting to awake from a fictitious dream where everything is plastic and make believe, and are reconsidering going back to the land and to natural ways of relating to each other and to the earth itself.
I am not referring to a hippy‚ like posture of naturism, instead I am talking about realizing that something must be wrong when nature has been faked and abused to a point in which daily food is a dangerous game of not getting poisoned and where you find that every piece of clothing, cosmetics, and even the water are loaded with toxic industrial waste.
In the same way, the minds of children on have been taught to be productive‚, to buy without thinking or needing, to try to fulfill the needs created by advertisements that make them believe they are less if they have less.
Yes we have been colonized; it is up to us now to find our way back to the ancestral knowledge that is engrained in every culture and is linked to their piece of land. When we ignore those who surround us, and we do not acknowledge that their need must also be our concern, then we are buying into the commercial mentality of providing just for ourselves.
If we truly honor the piece of reality that we have, then we will be honoring our relationship to each other and becoming citizens of the world in a territory where borders are marked only by natural boundaries that dictate a mode of life.
It is an individual and collective challenge to find how we have been colonized and break away from the spell.
It is an individual and collective challenge to find how we have been colonized and to make our journey a whole move from our colonial mentality to the conscience of the universe in which we live.