A year ago, we started the series with the following statement of intent:
The ship of global imperialism and colonization has hit an iceberg. While the majority of the world's inhabitants suffer the consequences of runaway capitalism and globalized war-making, the very few on the upper decks continue their party with business as usual, blissfully ignoring the realities.
In this series, "Indigenize or Die," we deconstruct the myths of the dominant culture, explore a more truthful historical perspective and how that manifests today. Then, through the lens of decolonization and re-indigenization, we explore together possibilities for an ecologically sustainable and socially just way forward. We ask, how can we ensure the survival of complex life on this land in accordance with its legitimate laws and the laws of Nature?
The intent of the series is to weave an understanding of history and current reality into developing a practical "go forward" plan for this land.
Looking back, we’re happy with where the series took us last year in pursuing this intent.
Many would say the year has been filled with darkness. But it has also brought out huge expressions of solidarity from across many divides, like the world-wide support for the water protectors at Standing Rock and the millions who walked together in the recent Women’s March. We think that Indigenize or Die and both of these events are fires of hope in a bleak world.
We have heard Indigenous voices, reconnected to land, and in the last months seen an inspiring potential emerge for a collaboration between settler/allies and indigenous rights holders in Toronto.
We also have come to recognize there there are significant challenges to becoming authentic settler allies and to the process of reconciliation in Toronto.
We’ve taken the turning of the year to retreat and reflect. Two main questions emerge for us:
How can the expression of indigenous rights protect the Earth in Toronto?
How do those of us immersed in the dominant colonial culture overcome our conditioning to become authentic, effective allies in this process?
And so we are turning to you, the community who have gathered around the series, who have important insights and experience to help guide and inform the process. For our inaugural session of 2017 there will be time for deeper dialogue and sharing to listen deeply to each other in our emerging community, to engage in authentic sharing of our own processes and gain insight into where we need to go in reconciling with the Earth and her Indigenous protectors.
- How can the expression of indigenous rights protect the Earth in Toronto?
- How do those of us immersed in the dominant colonial culture overcome our conditioning to become authentic, effective allies in this process?
From there, we broke into small circles of 5-6, each with a designated facilitator and a talking piece. The invitation was to share in a personal way about our own process with the "Indigenize or Die" series and what was percolating in each of us, with a view to thus inform how the series unfolds over the coming months.
Four of the five groups harvested notes and shared a report in the closing plenary: