An Education for Settlers on Indigenous Peoples Day
Yehuda Rothschild republished (with permission) a presentation by Lara A Jacobs, Mvskoke citizen and Native scientist, on settler colonialism - what is it, what is colonization, what happened when settlers (in North America) arrived.
The whole thing is excellent, and I hope there’s a video version, or one is done one day.
Some particular points I want to mention/synthesize:
Colonization is not a historical event, but a continuous process that requires ongoing support through social and legal systems and institutional violence.
Colonization doesn’t just mean moving in and kicking out indiginous people, though it definitely means that. It’s also continued occupation of their “lands, waters, and environments”, the forced breakup of families and communities through unjust and cruel laws and foster systems, the intentional obliteration of native peoples’ languages, cultural practices, and value systems (often through forced fostering and the original residential homes).
We (the White European Settlers) operated – and still operate – under a value system and ideologies that are manifestly destructive (the following is quoted):
- Conquer and defeat their surroundings
- Biases against undeveloped areas
- Associated uncivilized areas with evil
- Commodity-based utilitarianism (e.g., extractive practices)
- Extraction of ‘natural resources’ (e.g., forest products, marine fisheries, mining, etc.)
All of these in direct opposition to the beliefs, ideologies, and practices of Native cultures and communities, which had been existing largely in balance with their environments for many thousands of years before settlers arrived.
There is much much more in the slides that were shared and I’m grateful to Lara and Yehuda both for making these available.