Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hannah Gadsby Breaks the Comedy Industry with its Own Weapon of Wit

Hannah Gadsby has broken the comedy industry in a desperately needed and thunderously applauded way.


By making cruel cultural truths consumable without compromising an ounce of integrity.

In a culture that demands to be “entertained” and which consumes in a frenzied fashion, this is a huge win. Most especially because the content consumed is SOUL FOOD.

Microsoft PowerPoint - Hannah Gadsby quotes

I was thrilled and mesmerized as I watched (and continue to re-watch) Hannah Gadsby’s riveting comedy special called Nanette, released on Netflix on June 19th.

A snippet of the Twitterverse response to the show:

Hannah delivers deep insights into gender, homophobia, being an “incorrect” female, and art history (of the european variety, which needs to be noted because the term “art history” assumes and implies the idea that the ONLY art that matters/that is the best, is european art (and by men – which Hannah hilariously and incisively explains)).

Aja Romano summarizes the show in this Vox article:

Gadsby’s performance in Nanette is basically a three-part act of radical speech built around her physical presence: She confronts us with the reality of her physical identity; she asserts her own humanity; and she challenges the audience to interrogate its discomfort with that assertion.

Gadsby understands all too well that the point at which comedy breaks down is the point at which its abstract ideas have to contend with physical reality — with the identities and lived experiences of real people.

It is precisely in this understanding of comedy’s break down that Gadsby’s power shines through – she uses the very ‘rules’ of comedy to shed light on its radical hypocrisies when it comes to males and females – in the arts, in comedy, and in life in general. It’s funny because it’s true. Including a bit about lesbian humor (or lack thereof). 😉

Hannah Gadsby’s content and delivery is a HUGE act of courage and strength given how difficult and DANGEROUS it is for people who are on the margins of society to ‘put themselves out there’ due to being mis/judged and grossly misunderstood and mis-perceived.

Navigating the world as “different” is a breeding ground for inner anguish and self-contempt, especially when one is “sensitive” – which really means that one’s environment is INsensitive/not sensitive ENOUGH. It is only natural for “sensitive” people to internalize all that outer judgment/fear/hatred – how else does one take other peoples’ non-acceptance/judgment/fear and tension of them? To “just ignore it” is to go against human nature. The effects of internalizing hate are devastating. As Hannah shares in her show:

The only thing I knew how to do was to be invisible and hate myself.

It took me another 10 years to understand I was allowed to take up space in the world.

It is therefore amazing and inspiring to me that Hannah puts herself ‘out there’ and shares herself and her views with the world so honestly, because it makes her VULNERABLE. Especially because she shares some very traumatic personal stories. This is not to be mistaken for weakness or victimhood. As Hannah says:

Gosh does it ever. As does YOUR story. And all of OUR stories. It’s what binds us in collective humanity. It’s where our deepest learning and connection is. IF we pause long enough to receive eachothers’ stories.

Human beings are as similar as we are different. It is our DIFFERENCES that make us unique individuals of value and worth. And it is through our stories that we can convey these differences and add to the richness of life and RESPECT for our infinite diversity.

One of my favorite quotes is by transgender woman Lola Cola from the 2001 film Southern Comfort, who says:

Hannah similarly says:

Most striking to me about Hannah – besides the critical content she so eloquently explores – is HOW she so exquisitely embodies the difficult and beautiful balance of fierce power/strength AND fragility/vulnerability that makes us human.

This balance of being is THE essence of the human experience.

HOW to balance these two seemingly paradoxical ways of being is all of our individual journeys towards being fully human. I don’t know who it’s more difficult for, men or women, since both sexes are having a very difficult time being this way. And that’s not even getting into the sub-sub-categories (i.e. race/age/ability/sexuality/etc.)

But it’s not a competition of “who has it worse”. Quite simply, those with more privilege/luck have it easier in the hierarchy-climbing of life. But NOT in being human, because over and over, it is proven to me that the most marginalized people among us tend to be the most human and humane. This doesn’t have to be so. It only is because the privileged/lucky/self-appointed rule-makers (i.e. euro-colonist men and those who assimilate to their rules and values) have made it so. They can also undo it.

The point is for all of us to get to a state of balance between strength and vulnerability such that Hannah embodies in her show, if we want to create a better, safer, more enjoyable world for all.

We NEED to be fragile and vulnerable in order to individually and collectively sustain human LIFE. And we NEED to be strong and powerful and say NO to those who think that vulnerable = powerLESS. Because the opposite it true – it takes MUCH bravery and strength TO be VULNERABLE.

Hannah quote_weak to render others powerless

Hannah strikes this very difficult balance of strength and vulnerability, and probably not every day of her life, because those on the margins of the dominant culture deal with a lot of daily shit from those who fear difference. This fear is deeply embedded in the allegedly “civilized” dominant colonist culture which teaches us to be every which way BUT strong and vulnerable.

Hannah Gadsby is a deeply inspiring force of refreshing wind beneath my matriarchal wings. If you’re reading this Hannah, and any of this resonates with you, I would love to do some deep-diving chat with you some time via podcast (which I will get around to creating in between my own naps I need after navigating the exhausting euro-colonist culture).

Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your stories. Judging from the articles, reviews and Twitter comments I have seen, the world definitely wants to hear more from you. I can’t wait to read the book you’re working on.

Please take one hour and nine minutes of your life to experience the Hannah Gadsby Netflix show for yourself. Mere words can never fully capture the experience of human beings sharing themselves with us.

This Hannah quote speaks to what I believe The People are in most desperate need of – stories – because our stories are a most crucial part of being human, of sharing of ourselves and learning from one another and the world around us:

We ESPECIALLY need to hear from diverse voices of the ELDER women among us. I love and am thirsty for traditional indigenous matriarchy which was/is made up of post-menopausal women.

This is because this group of women – of ALL NATIONS – are incredibly strong, wise and insightful, making them perfect for the massive responsibility that leadership entails.

Hannah quote_need stories from older women

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Step 1: #MeToo, Step 2: #NoMore, Step 3: #DEcolonize


After reading Nine Deuce’s – one of my fave feminist writers – latest brilliant article about her own heartbreaking  personal adolescent experience with the misogynist colonist rape culture, and after seeing one #MeToo story after another after another after another, I felt moved to share some thoughts.

First, an illuminating excerpt from her article (and worthy of a separate analysis and some clinical studies of the phenomenon):

When I grew up in Southern California, it was palpably uncool to have feelings of any kind. You didn’t respond to cruelty with tears. You didn’t respond to a reciprocated crush with honest excitement. You maintained the empty, dead demeanor of a sociopath lest you be vulnerable to the terrifying emotional possibilities around every corner. It was also extremely uncool to be intelligent, emotionally or otherwise. You forgot highfalutin words on purpose to prevent the idiot arbiters of coolness from descending upon you with their brutishly stupid rebukes. Everyone was smoothly empty and dull on the surface, their interiority completely invisible if not totally excised.

Wow huh?

So heartbreakingly, soul crushingly true.

I quickly and deeply learned these lessons in my adolescence too, if not earlier in childhood. And what Nine Deuce describes is ever present among mainstream adult society all around me here in the colonist culture in Canada. What to call it? Normalized sociopathy? Socially acceptable inhumanity? How ’bout just BAU baby – Business As Usual.

The thing is, “unfeeling = cool” is the core nature of the colonist-patriarchal culture (CPC). It is not simply “men’s nature” because we do not exist outside of culture — culture shapes people in very profound ways; the culture clash between Indigenous cultures and the colonist culture underscores the profoundness of this reality. My last two articles discuss this culture clash in more detail.

The violent colonist-patriarchal culture – so “developed” devolved and “civilized” removed in its savagery – has become expert at dehumanizing itself, in wholly disconnecting itself from the pulse of life, because it is necessary in order to pursue this culture’s CORE VALUE, which is simply the relentless destruction and exploitation of ALL FORMS OF LIFE, at any cost, in the name of mindless consumption.

This way of life is given different Orwellian names such as “progress”, “the American dream”, “civilization”, “modernity”, etc. What is critical here is that this way of life HAS to make feeling so-called negative emotions “uncool” in order to make its harm OKAY and acceptable. And the more violent and disconnected people are, the more gleefully they will sustain this culture and its values.

This means that not only does feeling/having/expressing emotion become UNCOOL, the next natural step is to then PATHOLOGIZE this part of being human.

The People are led to beLIEve that:

  1. Emotion is bad/weak/not real/not important/etc, and
  2. This uncool, unsexy, “ugly crying”, unbecoming emoting belongs mostly to the female domain, which makes us unattractive and open for ridicule, infantilization and more harm (and of course drugging via psychiatry and slapping mythical “mental illnesses” on the natural human distress and trauma this shit produces)
  3. “Real men” don’t show emotion, so males are taught/encouraged/rewarded to bury those feelings DEEEEP down, which as we all know, results in shitloads of intense, unexplored feelings erupting in all sorts of harmful ways to BOTH sexes.

All of this ensures a cycle that creates and maintains layers of hate, distrust and disrespect towards females, further cementing the violent misogyny of the CP culture. Arnold Itwaru describes it well in the context of racism and imperialism, but it fits sexism like an intersectional glove:

 When people accept this sort of thing (and it takes a long time to happen, years and years, it doesn’t happen overnight), what tends to happen is people begin to suffer from various forms of psychic anguish, psychic torture.  People begin to feel, without any explanation, that they’re somehow inferior, that they’re somehow incomplete.

All that said, my kittens, it’s not ALL doom, gloom and hopelessness though, which the CPC would have us beLIEve.

Human beings who are plugged into their humanness know these ways of being are not sustainable or do-able, so we resist this slander. We decide to FEEL our emotions, TALK about them, talk about them some more, and however long we need to fully understand what is going on, and then we DO something about it.

The #MeToo movement is one example and a critical first step.

But let’s not make the mistake of looking to this same culture of hate for any kind of appropriate response, let alone answers, to our collective pain and anguish. The colonist culture doesn’t know HOW to respond. It is too dis-eased and lacking in heart and soul.

This same culture is a knee-jerk, reactionary one, with little thought (let alone heart) put towards a problem before jumping to fix it. And “fixing” usually results in drowning in the quicksands of judgment/shame/blame/punishment/revenge, which does NOTHING for healing or actual resolution, let alone prevention.

Nine Deuce says in her article that she has no hope for addressing the behavior of the culprits [of rape/assault/mass violence inflicted by the colonist-patriarchal culture]. Nor IS there hope for addressing any of it within the same dis-eased culture that creates dis-eased people.

As is the purpose of my whole blog, decolonizing our minds and reclaiming our traditional indigenous ways of life is THE ONLY WAY and our ONLY HOPE for reconnecting with our humanity and respect for Life (i.e. all living beings, including eachother).  This is as simple as it is complicated, since so many of us are so lost and disconnected from our indigenous roots.

Most of us in so-called “developed” nations live on stolen indigenous land, and we are so LUCKY that those who trampled over here before us didn’t completely annihilate The Original People (just more than 90% of them).

Because it is these Original/indigenous people and THEIR (traditional) cultures and ways of life that will lead us out of the cultural hell us non-indigenous people are stuck in. If we can just start looking at them as dignified humans with MUCH value to share, rather than drunken wastes who should “hurry up and assimilate” to the white people’s ever-so “evolved” way of living. HA!

The #BlackLivesMatter movement is an important one, but like feminism, and like the #MeToo movement, it is not enough, nor is it the full picture.

When we move from #MeToo to #NoMore to #I’mSorry to #TeachingRespect or #TeachMeDifferent (everyone’s responsibility), will we make big progress. Again, #MeToo is a good and important START.

It’s a starting point because of the overwhelming sea of pain and frozen-ness among the masses of girls and women (and males) who’ve been victimized by the misogynist colonist patriarchal culture – a very, very specific culture that many OTHER cultures are jumping on board with the mistaken idea that it is a preferred or superior way of life.

So this starting point of #MeToo pain is a place of beginning, and far from an end state of being. The critical truth-speaking that came from the great Andrea Dworkin reminds me a bit of the same collective state of being incited by the #MeToo movement – so many women resonated with and aligned with her because she spoke the truth of [colonist] male violence so eloquently.

Life doesn’t end at victimhood. People are more than what was done to them. AND, people are as fragile as we are resilient. But we MUST listen to the stories. Our stories are everything, and mean a fuck of a lot more than 10,000 peer reviewed studies.

All of that said, feminism (including the most radical of radical feminisms), Black Lives Matter, and #MeToo are the beginning.

It is only when indigenous lives matter, that ALL lives will matter. Female lives, Black lives, Brown lives, Disabled lives, non-human lives, and all of Life period.

Those who are quick to jump & dismiss the mere idea of respecting, listening and following traditional indigenous people and their ways of life as “noble savaging” or “romanticizing”, are a perfect example of colonized, mined minds, and why we so desperately need TO DEcolonize.

We have a lot of work to do, and we have to do it individually and collectively.

Understand that what is needed is nothing short of a radical CULTURAL SHIFT.

Taking in these words is a small step.

Another small step is hearing – really hearing – the words here.

This is all part of UN-MINING OUR MINED MINDS. That is the only way these links I’m sharing will mean something to you. If they don’t, then you have more work to do than others. That’s okay, everyone has to start somewhere. I sure started way behind some people.

The words and ideas shared here and here should be next.

If you’re still with me, and if you are able to take this speech in its entirety into your mind, heart and spirit, AND if we are able to fumble our way onto the same heart-mind-spirit page, only then will REAL answers to the very troubling colonist-culture issues emerge.

Remember, we must not knee-jerk up some bandaid solutions like the attention deficit-riddled colonist-patriarchy does; for example, its legal system – a cruel joke – which does NOTHING to stop or prevent the massive injustices around us.

DEcolonization takes years – I personally achieve different depths and degrees of understanding the more I decolonize myself, which has taken years, and which is a lifelong process.

And last but not least, as per these last few links I’ve shared above, true DEcolonization can only come from actual traditional indigenous people and cultures, not their wannabes OR academic “experts” on the subject.

Thank you for your time and interest. Peace and Love, my kittens. ❤




Tagged , , , , , ,

What Culture Clash Looks Like

I just came across this little infographic I made a while back that I didn’t get around to sharing here.

Microsoft PowerPoint - Culture Clash

As you process each cultural attribute, do you find your Self more embedded in the colonist culture, indigenous, or a bit of both? I think the latter for myself. It is a radical thing to DEcolonize ourselves, it does not happen quickly, easily or painlessly.

This is a mini post, but I’ll be back soon with more. Thanks for hanging around, I truly appreciate you and your comments.

Those who have privately reached out to me after reading my article about Laura Cooper and opiophobia, your comments and letters are by far the most heart wrenching I’ve read. If I have not personally written you back yet, I will try, the horror of the situation just renders me somewhat mute and I hate that I can’t do anything to help ease the physical hell you’re enduring, except to say you’re not crazy and you’re not alone and YES you clearly ARE underprescribed. So many like you are suffering in silence and ending their lives as the only way out of the pain. All I can suggest is to do whatever the hell you can and are able to do to ease your suffering, as creatively and safely as possible. ❤

Culture Clash: When the “Right” to be Greedy & Selfish Imposes on Existence & Being

Sorry for my absence. I was going to start vlogging a while back. Still want to. One day it will happen. Too much going on right now. As of this moment, its been one year since my last post. Wow. I’ve been deep in the throes of DEcolonization, with soooo much more to go. The process of DEcolonization is not easy or fun or fast. But it builds Strength and Sense. And when we have Sense and Strength (especially spiritual strength), we can actually do and BE some GOOD in this world.

Do you ever feel like you’re weak, or not as strong as you thought you were? If so, that just means you’re gaining strength, starting to understand what it is TO be a strong person (a wise and incredibly strong Indigenous land and water protector told me this recently). Many people with privilege/luck have no clue what it is to struggle, what REAL adversity looks or feels like. Indigenous people do. They fight for their lives every day, for the right to exist THEIR way. They’ve been resisting and fighting the monster of colonist genocide spiritually, physically, culturally, emotionally, mentally, and ecologically for the last 500 years here in the Americas.


Indigenous warrior land protectors & their allies @ Standing Rock North Dakota, protesting the earth rape that is Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Image from HuffPo

As I think and cry and rage about this and other Indigenous fights against genocidal colonialism, I draw on the brilliant and fierce Oglala Lakota activist Russell Means’ 1980 speech because he sums it all up so clearly, coherently and powerfully.

There is kind of a lot to it, but at the same time, not really. The thing is, colonized minds often get sidetracked trying to discuss or “debate” this kind of stuff because there are so many linear lines of divide made to complicate some pretty simple ideas.

So I share below snippets of Russell’s speech that so perfectly sums up this current Indigenous resistance and self-determination going on at Standing Rock as we speak, against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota. Back then he was talking of uranium mining, which is still a very serious and ongoing issue. This oil pipeline is not much different.

If you are white or a person of color and colonized in the mind/heart/soul, I ask you to read the below words carefully. If any of it pisses you off or confuses you, ask yourself WHY. The words below are more powerful DEcolonizing words than I could ever string together on my own from my still-colonized brain, which is why I’m sharing them with you. They’re important. They are literally life-giving or death-making, depending how you (mis)understand them. These are not some abstract words used to entertain me or you and be passively, half-heartedly consumed, discarded and forgotten until next time “boredom” strikes (I don’t believe in the word “bored”, I think it comes from the colonist concept of mindless, endless consumption and the constant demand to be “entertained.” There is a shit ton to do in this world, in our own backyards. Boredom is spiritual dis-ease…but I digress). Thank you for your time, attention and care. I appreciate you and welcome your comments/thoughts/questions.

The European materialist tradition of despiritualizing the universe is very similar to the mental process which goes into dehumanizing another person. And who seems most expert at de humanizing other people? And why? Soldiers who have seen a lot of combat learn to do this to the enemy before going back into combat. Murderers do it before going out to commit murder. Nazi SS guards did it to concentration camp inmates. Cops do it. Corporation leaders do it to the workers they send into uranium mines and steel mills. Politicians do it to everyone in sight. And what the process has in common for each group doing the dehumanizing is that it makes it all right to kill and other wise destroy other people [and their “right’ to exist on THEIR terms, specifically indigenous beings]. One of the Christian commandments says, “Thou shalt not kill,” at least not humans, so the trick is to mentally convert the victims into nonhumans. Then you can proclaim violation of your own commandment as a virtue.

In terms of the despiritualization of the universe, the mental process works so that it becomes virtuous to destroy the planet. Terms like progress and development are used as cover words here, the way victory and freedom are used to justify butchery in the dehumanization process. For example, a real estate speculator may refer to “developing” a parcel of ground by opening a gravel quarry; development here means total, permanent destruction, with the earth itself removed. But European logic has gained a few tons of gravel with which more land can be “developed” through the construction of road beds. Ultimately, the whole universe is open—in the European view—to this sort of insanity.

Most important here, perhaps, is the fact that Europeans [and other colonized folks] feel no sense of loss in all this. After all, their philosophers have despiritualized reality, so there is no satisfaction (for them) to be gained in simply observing the wonder of a mountain or a lake or a people in being. No, satisfaction is measured in terms of gaining material. So the mountain becomes gravel, and the lake becomes coolant for a factory, and the people are rounded up for processing through the indoctrination mills Europeans like to call schools.

But each new piece of that “progress” ups the ante out in the real world. Take fuel for the industrial machine as an example. Little more than two centuries ago, nearly everyone used wood—a replenishable natural item—as fuel for the very human needs of cooking and staying warm. Along came the Industrial Revolution and coal became the dominant fuel, as production became the social imperative for Europe. Pollution began to become a problem in the cities, and the earth was ripped open to provide coal whereas wood had always simply been gathered or harvested at no great expense to the environment. Later, oil became the major fuel, as the technology of production was perfected through a series of scientific “revolutions.” Pollution increased dramatically, and nobody yet knows what the environmental costs of pumping all that oil out of the ground will really be in the long run. Now there’s an “energy crisis,” and uranium is becoming the dominant fuel.

There’s a rule of thumb which can be applied here. You cannot judge the real nature of a European revolutionary doctrine on the basis of the changes it proposes to make within the European power structure and society. You can only judge it by the effects it will have on non-European peoples. This is because every revolution in European history has served to reinforce Europe’s tendencies and abilities to export destruction to other peoples, other cultures and the environment itself. I defy anyone to point out an example where this is not true.

Revolutionary Marxism is committed to even further perpetuation and perfection of the very industrial process which is destroying us all. It offers only to “redistribute” the results—the money, maybe—of this industrialization to a wider section of the population. It offers to take wealth from the capitalists and pass it around: But in order to do so, Marxism must maintain the industrial system. Once again, the power relations within European society will have to be altered, but once again the effects upon American Indian peoples here and non-Europeans elsewhere will remain the same. This is much the same as when power was redistributed from the church to private business during the so-called bourgeois revolution. European society changed a bit, at least superficially, but its conduct toward non-Europeans continued as before. You can see what the American Revolution of 1776 did for American Indians. It’s the same old song.

I think there’s a problem with language here. Christians, capitalists, Marxists. All of them have been revolutionary in their own minds, but none of them really mean revolution. What they really mean is a continuation. They do what they do in order that European culture can continue to exist and develop according to its needs.

European [colonist] culture itself is responsible. Marxism is just the latest continuation of this tradition, not a solution to it. To ally with Marxism is to ally with the very same forces that declare us an acceptable cost.

There is another way. There is the traditional Lakota way and the ways of the other American Indian peoples. It is the way that knows that humans do not have the right to degrade Mother Earth, that there are forces beyond anything the European mind has conceived, that humans must be in harmony with all relations or the relations will eventually eliminate the disharmony. A lopsided emphasis on humans by humans—the Europeans’ arrogance of acting as though they were beyond the nature of all related things—can only result in a total disharmony and a readjustment which cuts arrogant humans down to size, gives them a taste of that reality beyond their grasp or control and restores the harmony. There is no need for a revolutionary theory to bring this about; it’s beyond human control. The nature peoples of this planet know this and so they do not theorize about it. Theory is an abstract; our knowledge is real.

All European tradition. Marxism included, has conspired to defy the natural order of all things. Mother Earth has been abused, the powers have been abused, and this cannot go on forever. No theory can alter that simple fact. Mother Earth will retaliate, the whole environment will retaliate, and the abusers will be eliminated. Things come full circle, back to where they started. That’s revolution. And that’s a prophecy of my people, of the Hopi people and of other correct peoples.

American Indians have been trying to explain this to Europeans for centuries. But, as I said earlier, Europeans have proven themselves unable to hear. The natural order will win out, and the offenders will die out, the way deer die when they offend the harmony by overpopulating a given region. It’s only a matter of time until what Europeans call “a major catastrophe of global proportions” will occur. It is the role of all natural beings, to survive. A part of our survival is to resist. We resist not to overthrow a government or to take political power, but because it is natural to resist extermination, to survive. We don’t want power over white institutions; we want white institutions to disappear. That’s revolution.


When I use the term European, I’m not referring to a skin color or a particular genetic structure. What I’m referring to is a mind-set, a world view that is a product of the development of European culture. People are not genetically encoded to hold this outlook: they are acculturated to hold it. The same is true for American Indians or for the members of any other culture.

What I’m putting out here is not a racial proposition but a cultural proposition. Those who ultimately advocate and defend the realities of European [colonist] culture and its industrialism are my enemies. Those who resist it, who struggle against it, are my allies, the allies of American Indian people. And I don’t give a damn what their skin color happens to be. Caucasian is the white term for the white race: European is an outlook I oppose.

But there is a peculiar behavior among most Caucasians. As soon as I become critical of Europe and its impact on other cultures, they become defensive. They begin to defend themselves. But I’m not attacking them personally; I’m attacking Europe. In personalizing my observations on Europe they are personalizing European culture, identifying themselves with it. By defending themselves in this context, they are ultimately defending the death culture. This is a confusion which must he overcome, and it must be overcome in a hurry. None of us have energy to waste in such false struggles. Caucasians have a more positive vision to offer humanity than European culture. I believe this. But in order to attain this vision it is necessary for Caucasians to step outside European culture—alongside the rest of humanity—to see Europe for what it is and what it does.

This leads me back to address those American Indians who are drifting through the universities, the city slums, and other European institutions. If you are there to learn to resist the oppressor in accordance with your traditional ways, so be it. I don’t know how you manage to combine the two, but perhaps you will succeed. But retain your sense of reality. Beware of coming to believe the white world now offers solutions to the problems it confronts us with. Beware, too, of allowing the words of native people to be twisted to the advantage of our enemies. Europe invented the practice of turning words around on themselves. You need only look to the treaties between American Indian peoples and various European governments to know that this is true. Draw your strength from who you are.

END OF RUSSELL’S WORDS (these are all snippets of the speech; if you’ve come this far, do check out the full speech here, it’s well worth it, though about 80% of it I’ve shared here!)

Until next time my DEcolonizing Darlings!  (And I promise it won’t be another year til my next post!)

When Indigenous Lives Matter, ALL Lives will Matter

And last but certainly not least, this is one of my fave songs and vids by Klee Benally:

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You, Me, Us

all sexes

I am me

You are you

Let me be me

I will let you be you.

How we perceive & experience eachother is not for us to puppeteer.

When unmolested by the rattling din of past & present colonist chains & scripts,

Magical connections can happen;

Our Beings can truly and authentically experience eachother

…or two ships just pass in the night…

When you control perception,

You disallow me to be me,

You disrupt you from being you, and

A pure, unfiltered us cannot Just Be,

And we’ll never know what could have been.

Some Thoughts on Sex & Gender


Sex is a biological category. It is one way that we identify, understand and relate with one another, most especially when it comes to reproduction in that male and female chromosomes are necessary to reproduce.

There are three human sexes: female, male and intersex. If we have mostly female sexed body parts and genes, we are female. If we have mostly male sexed body parts and genes, we are male. If our parts and genes are a combination of male AND female, we are intersex. These three sex identities exist along a continuum of possibilities, meaning there are TONS of ways our sex parts and genes can look like, ALL of which are normal and natural because it’s what Nature produced. There is no such thing as being born in the “wrong body” when we are spiritually sound, because spiritual soundness = mind/body integration.


Wherever we land on this spectrum, nothing about our  bodies is in need of “fixing,” unless something about our biology disables us from day to day functioning, in which case medical intervention is necessary to live (e.g. if we are unable to pee or poop). Other than that and in conclusion, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Equally important, sex is also a physical expression of intimacy between people that bonds them. Despite what some religions believe, sex is not solely for reproductive purposes. Sex produces chemicals and emotions that strengthen the social and psychological bonds between people. The ceremonies and rituals surrounding the social aspect of sex bonding differs from culture to culture, and ranges from radically spiritually transformative & empowering to radically spiritually disempowering & damaging. More on this in future posts.


Gender is a set of ideas made up by cultures that people use to identify, understand and relate with one another. Gender ideas differ radically from culture to culture. In the euro-western colonist culture, gender is a HUGE mess that seems to be getting messier the louder the issue becomes. And lately, it seems that the issue is the loudest its ever been in “modern” times.

The problem begins in two critical places: 1) the fact that this thing called gender is “assigned” at birth, and 2) the actual ideas/rules/expectations behind maleness and femaleness, and then imposing i.e. “assigning” these rules on people – brand new babies (!) – before they get a chance to discover who they are and how they want to express themselves in the world.

As we grow up – and throughout life –  we see and hear a TON of messages about what girls and boys/men and women SHOULD look like, act like, be like, etc. Some kids accept these messages and conform to them, and some kids don’t. Of those who don’t, some don’t pay much attention to conforming to the crowd and just do their own thing, with no distress felt. Having open-minded, non-judgmental and supportive parents, teachers, doctors and peers helps hugely here. Of those who do feel distress around their sex and gender, often feel confusion or that they are misunderstood, not accepted, lost, and simply do not belong in this world (but more accurately, do not belong in/cannot conform to the colonist culture), and are different from everyone else. Within this distress is the colonist idea that difference is bad – the colonist culture reacts to difference with such fear and disdain that it’s as though the culture is allergic to it. So whatever expectations are placed on the child that s/he cannot meet, translates to “I am bad/wrong and don’t belong.”

And the knee-jerk, short-sighted, bandaid solution to this existential crisis embedded in the disconnected, dis-eased colonist culture? “Sexual re-assignment” which consists of radically invasive and extremely painful medical intervention, all in the name of conforming. Brought to you by the colonist psychiatric-medical industry “experts” who continually invent new mental disorders to “fix” by way of drugs and/or surgeries (and sometimes electro-shocking people, depending on the distress being treated).

The colonist culture goes to great lengths to do anything BUT treat people in distress respectfully and non-invasively, with the few exceptions to this rule only serving to prove the rule. Instead of respecting, encouraging and normalizing people who don’t conform to the rigid, narrow colonist notions of male and female, “experts” are normalizing and enabling their distress, disembodiment and dysphoria and scrambling to re-assemble the Natural Order of Things in order to bring these people some inner peace. The inner peace some people find after getting ‘sex reassignment” speaks to the depths of dysphoria felt. I am not advocating to stop giving people sex changes because people have the right to do whatever they please to their bodies. I am just speaking to the sex and gender crest of confusion & mess going on in the colonist culture. And it’s a real crisis when it comes to kids being taught that males can have vaginas and birth babies, that females can have penises, that indeed they are born in the wrong body if they feel that way and that it can be “fixed”, and the countless other (well-intentioned) distortions of Nature and Common Sense being imposed on kids these days having to do with sex and gender.

We must un-mine our minds and reconnect with Common Sense and the inherent intelligence that is Nature. We must DE-COLONIZE!

Tagged , , ,

Head in the Clouds

I did a word cloud generator on my blog out of curiosity about what themes dominate my writings.  This is what I got:

A clearer, less pretty version (from

It’s cool to see a snapshot like this, though I think these clouds just capture the articles that come up when you first pull up my blog rather than all my writings since inception. I think I’ll start doing this little exercise yearly.

Interesting to see that People is the most dominant theme in my writings, which makes sense because people and our ways fascinate me. Not far behind, and tied, are the themes of Spiritual, Indigenous and Colonist. Which makes sense being that I’m serious about Decolonization, have a lot of problems and grievances with the colonist culture, and that Indigenous ways of being and living are deeply spiritual. So I guess there’s no real surprise here between what I think I’m interested in versus what stuff actually takes up space in my head and blog expressions.

I feel that my intellectual ponderings and expressions are ultimately spiritual seeking quests, and so I think I will continue down this path and start/do more of actually naming the spiritual as an important aspect of my work and DEcolonization journey. Especially because the colonist culture only ever mentions the spiritual end of things as a passing after thought, if at all. And differs so radically from Indigenous ways in which spirituality (and respect for it) is deep at the core of everything.

I’m glad that both Women and Men came in about the same because although this blog is named as feminist, I am one of those people that feel that both females and males are harmed by the colonist culture, just in different ways, and both need to change to heal ourselves and the culture.

I got a chuckle that Things was a dominant theme of my writings so am going to be more mindful when I use this word and see if there’s a more accurate/specific word to name what I’m talking about when I catch myself typing ‘things’. Words weaving is so interesting.

So that’s all for now folks. I’ve got an article in the works right now about transgenderism, medical sex “reassignment”, and how it conflicts with DEcolonist, Indigenous ways of being and thinking. So stay tuned, and thank you for staying connected!

Tagged , , ,

The Being Part of Human is Where Our Power Comes From

A powerful speech (and awesome poetry) given by the legendary revolutionary thinker John Trudell.  I like how he explains that thinking in race and sex terms (as well as age, class, (dis)ability, etc.), are all part of boxing ourselves into a victim mentality and identity.  Of course race/sex/class/disability/etc. exist, but they don’t define us nearly as much, nor in the ways, that we are made to/have come to believe they do.  A snippet of the speech:

“I’m only human” is a very confused interpretation and recognition of Self because you’re only recognizing half of yourself. That’s the whole point of the [euro-colonist] industrial mining process, to get us to not recognize the BEING part of human, because the Being part of human is where our power comes from, the energy, the essence, the Being, Spirit. Spirit, Being. Our Being humans. Our relationship with sun, sky, universe. All things of the earth have Being. We are locked in a dimensional distortion when we only recognize ourselves as human through a victim identity, and we’re disconnected from the reality of our power, and we’ve been programmed to chase the illusions of power, like voting, accumulating wealth, etc.

Check out the full speech, it’s well worth it.  He talks a lot about the important difference between believing and thinking, and how things like judgments and expectations cripple our thinking. I know for me, I’ve never felt so liberated as when I gave myself permission to think, and slowly stopped living the scripts imposed on me without my consent, when I began to recognize what they were. The more I think, the more I realize I don’t know, but the more power I also feel that I gain, because the thinking and deciding is in MY hands, and no one else’s.  This is a huge thing in the euro-colonist industrial supposedly “civilized” culture which relentlessly works to mine our minds, eat our spirits, and distract us away from being human.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Illusions of Choice in Colonist Feminism

I saw this tweet while blog-browsing.  I think none of the listed options are real choices, they are all slavery and illusions of choice in a colonist world, whether filed under feminism or capitalism or patriarchy or whatever.

To “further one’s career” in the so-called “modern/developed/civilized” world is to partake in colonist slavery and genocide.  Whether it’s as a lawyer, architect, plumber, investment banker or hooker, all are positions of servitude to a master, unless you happen to work your way “up” to a slavemaster position, in which case you get to exploit others, all in the name of greed and selfishness because that is the nature of the colonist beast. Being a nanny is the least harmful because it is universally necessary and natural work to protect, nurture and sustain the lives of young ones, though it’s still slavery if you’re doing it for someone else.  And it’s even more of a mangled mess when we have to give up caring for our own kids in order to care for others just so that we can feed and house our own loved ones, such as the case with importing nannies from foreign places.  Hot spots in the past were the Caribbean and the Philippines, I don’t know what the hot spot nanny places are these days. These poor women leave their families behind “for a better life” (thereby opening the door to the trauma that is immigration), sending their wages back home and eventually, if “lucky”, migrating their families to wherever they work.  More colonization in motion — Indigenous people and ways ravaged and destroyed by colonialism, forced to abandon their home and family, move to a foreign (and stolen Native) land to babysit the kids of colonist slave/masters who go to their offices and participate in yet more colonization exploitation projects. Toil, toil, toil, keep upping profit for those useless widgets and gadgets and “services”, ever increasing quotas because last year’s profit MUST be beat, because enough is never enough!

Law cannot fix any of this mess because laws merely regulate slavery, giving (some of) The People a false sense of security and order.  The more colonized and enslaved we are, the more secure we feel and believe in laws and those who create and enforce them.  “The Law” is actually a colonist tool of social control that represses, oppresses and punishes/exacts revenge.  Laws are rules made and shuffled around by self-appointed leaders, punishable by more slavery (via fines) or violent punishment/revenge when broken (via imprisonment & death sentences).  As far as ‘leaders’ go, true leaders don’t need to put on elaborate dog and pony shows to win popularity contests because people naturally follow those who speak and behave with sense.  When s/he stops making sense, The People stop following that person, and look to others for guidance.  So solutions to any of this nightmare have never, can never, and will never come from the colonist legal system or colonized minds.

I used to think that “sex work”/”prostitution”, i.e. sex slavery was perhaps the most intimate kind of slavery, and therefore the most harmful. But the more I DEcolonize myself, the more I have to wonder, who’s to say sex slavery is “worse” or “more” harmful than mother earth being raped — by fracking, by trees clear cut and debarked, by the air being contaminated with industrial toxins, by mining processes poisoning fresh drinking water (with all these rapes dreamed up, organized and carried out by slavery (“jobs”), with many people trying to “further their careers” in whatever industry they’re in)?  Colonized minds scoff at – sometimes even take offense to – a comparison of human rape to land rape, but traditional Indigenous people cry and die resisting both because they see and treat humans and earth with equal importance.  Indigenous viewpoints do not place things in hierarchies or linear ordered assignment of value (e.g. humans being more important or more feeling than animals or forests or oceans), because ALL LIFE is valuable, and Indigenous ways see everything on mother earth, including mother earth herself, as being alive, necessary, and worthy of respect and care.  Therefore it’s equally bad when ANY of it is harmed.  Colonist attempts to hierarchically measure degrees of harm amounts to a mind-numbing administrative circle jerk, i.e. circles and circles of nothingness, instead of just STOPPING the madness, then listening to and following traditional Indigenous voices and ways.  Native people and their traditional ways of living are the rightful “owners” and leaders of the stolen land which all of us non-natives continue to occupy.  Colonist “green/alternative” solutions are often not thought out enough and end up creating different sets of problems to the same old colonist game. But the colonist ego is so large (fragile), the mind so narrow, the heart and ears so closed, the spirit so lost, to stop, really think about things, and give up the power it so obsessively hoards, wields and abuses.

We have to make difficult “choices” in an enslaved, colonized world.  We do the best we can, which changes as we change, and as our circumstances change.  Therefore I would never shame or blame or support efforts that deny a woman or man the “right” to sell sex, because it’s a privileged position of pure luck that keeps me and many others from having to make such a “career choice.”  And luck can change at any time.  For the selling of sex to no longer be a “choice”, a whole lot of other DEcolonist things have to happen.  Like no more money system, which is the currency of slavery.  Like people realizing that human bodies cannot be separated from the spirit and are NOT for objectification or commodification or separation into consumable parts, to be discarded when worn out or too “boring” to the “consumer.”

I dream of a world where sex slavery, and ALL other forms of slavery — whether physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, or ecological — are not just re-packaged, branded and sold as “jobs” or “choice” or “freedom” or “democracy” or “civilization” or “progress” or “evolution” and so on, but truly no longer exist other than as cautionary tales.  I dream of returning to our tribal, “primitive” ways of being, the Right and Intelligent way we ALL lived in our own homelands before losing our way.  Our ways are so buried simply because we’ve been colonized for SO long — much longer than still LIVING Indigenous people.  We’re lucky we didn’t wipe all of them out (only most of them) — and against all odds, these amazingly resilient people are throwing off their colonist shackles, UNassimilating, and reclaiming and reconnecting to their traditional ways of life.  These are the voices we must privilege, prioritize, learn from and follow if we ever want to live a Good Life.  And those who try to say this is “romanticizing”* Native people or noble savaging, well, that idea spring from a colonist/colonized mentality which disrespects things it doesn’t know or understand or RESPECT — in this case, different people doing things differently. Discredit, delude and deny the unknown & different are colonist culture ways of clinging to its perceived superiority, so take care not to fall into this trap. There is nothing “romantic” about a healthy way of life.  What IS unhealthy is that Indigenous/tribal ways of life are so disrespectfully dismissed/written off by colonist mental & verbal gymnastics.

Image respectfully borrowed from here.

* Funny how the concept of “romanticizing” has a built in assumption that the current order of things is some natural default and just The Way Things Are.  So from this incredibly narrow and arrogant perspective, to dream of/fight for better and different ways of doing things becomes outside the realm of possibility, especially if it has to do with Indigenous people and ways, which were supposed to have been wiped off the planet by genociders who invented the notion of “romanticizing” — great way to perpetuate the genocide in people’s psyches, to continue dismissing/devaluing/disrespecting Indigenous ways.  “Romanticizing” — what a limited imagination colonist/colonized naysayers have!  And what a miserable default worldview of life they have, if better ways of looking at and living life are a mere fantasy and “romanticism”, instead of simply the way things actually WERE for *everyone* before the dis-ease of colonization/industrialization/domestication began. Let’s bring Indigenous ways back and resist ALL forms of so-called (continued) colonization/globalization/”civilization”, not sink deeper into its quicksands.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Spirituality is the Foundation Upon Which Decolonization Must Begin

From this article by Giibwanisi: I was at this presentation the other week, and I listened to this doctor give his medical opinion on how to treat addicts and help them in their recovery. He went on to suggest different medications, treatment practices and even dancing around bureaucratic policies within the hospital he works at. I sat there and reflected on how almost everyone I meet outside of ceremony, whether they are in activist, academic or revolutionary circles, tend to see spirituality as a passing thought or a footnote. I beg to differ. Spirituality is the foundation upon which any healing or decolonization must begin. I can only draw on my own experience, but I have been to every recovery, self-help and therapy imaginable. I have been to AA, I have had thousands of hours of counselling sessions, I’ve been to church, I’ve been in psychiatric facilities, I’ve had outreach workers buy me meals, etc. I’ve done almost everything that western medicine and science can prescribe, and time after time I have failed. In AA, their perspective would be that “I didn’t work the steps to my best ability.” That might be true, but I also didn’t see anything uniquely distinct or Anishinabek worked into the writings. There was a component that I could hang on to. AA worked with me for a while, but it eventually stopped working, just like all the psychiatric medications and counselling sessions that I had been to. What I do give AA credit for is their recognition that there is absolute necessity for this “spiritual awakening.” Time and time again, my AA sponsors told me that if I ever wanted to get sober, I had to grasp the spiritual aspect to the AA recovery. But I’m a bit of an idiot, and if it isn’t directly spelled out most of the time, I have a hard time grasping it. It wasn’t until I had met Elder Vern Harper at CAMH (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health) that I actually had someone spell it out for me. Only he didn’t use a chalk board or any literature. He did it with some Grandfather Teachings, sage, a smudge bowl, and some prayer. What he was able to do for me, with that little gesture, did more for me than all those other things that had failed me all those other times. I don’t know how to explain spirituality to non-Anshinabek people. I don’t have those answers, as I have discovered that there isn’t a way to spell out spirituality for anyone. The seeker actually has to find it for themselves. For me, as an Anishinabek man, it was the return to the Red Road. Once I retraced my steps here, and listened to what the Elders were telling me, I had a better grasp on what it was that I had been missing my entire life, a connection to my spiritual centre that had been severed. It was only when I began to mend that broken and severed part of me, that I began to feel like I was recovering from that “hopeless and helplessness” that AA talks about all the time. In western medicine, they don’t teach spirituality in the universities of medicine, and unless the doctors come from some faith-based families or lineage (as my family doctor is Hindu), I tend to feel that it is mostly foreign to them. Science can’t describe it, or even prove it for that matter, so they have difficulty prescribing it, and using it as an effective treatment. Colonization can be viewed as a carcinogenic sickness that has eviscerated our indigenous interconnections to all things, animate or inanimate, including our ceremonies, governing political systems, and everything that is our Anishinabek Mno Bimaadziwin (Good way of life). Therefore, the cure, or the path towards decolonization must be, the reconstruction of all of these things, which includes the Grandmother and Grandfather Teachings, and the Anishinabek holistic approach, where Two Legged Humans, can be put back together using not only the mental, physical, and emotional, but especially the spiritual. The Anishinabek belief system holds that all things have a spirit, even our emotions, and the interconnectedness in which we relate to everything. There is a spiritual conceptualization to it all. Which is why, the path of decolonization or Biskaabiiyaang, must include the spiritual awakening and recognition. Our spirituality is the key to our identity, our strength and our very survival. Why else would the colonizers outlaw them? They knew that if they could take that away from us, they could more easily defeat us. But we have persevered, and we will continue to persevere, lest we forget our spirituality. I don’t know how to spell out spirituality for non-Native people. I don’t have the answers for you, nor should I be expected to find those answers either, but it probably isn’t the culturally appropriative ways of the New Ager hippie, “Rainbow Bridge Warrior of Peace” clans out there. But where there is a will there is a way. I know many non-Native people who have been adopted into some our communities and societies. That shouldn’t be taken as permission that you are entitled to seek out a societal role with our Anishinabek Nations, but it doesn’t exactly preclude you either. I will leave you with this thought. There was a teaching that I was given once, when I was asking an Elder why he was so helpful to White people, and why he chose to share knowledge with them. He said something that went like this, “There was a prophecy that came to the people of Turtle Island once long ago. It came around the time of the Seven Fires Prophecies, and it said that in the time of darkness that would be known as the Seventh Fire, many of the White people would come to us Anishinabek people seeking help. “They would have forgotten their original teachings, and they would become aware of this, and they wouldn’t know where else to turn but to us. It says in this prophecy that we would either help them or we wouldn’t. Our decisions of either helping them or not, would also decide the outcome of the Seventh Fire. “I choose to help them, because my teachings are that if you see someone with genuine intentions, then the medicine that we carry are not exclusive to Anishinabek people. If we are truly medicine people, then we understand that the medicine isn’t exclusive to us. If we see sick people who genuinely want to get well, then we have an obligation to help those people.” You see, people, it is the matter of intention. What is it exactly that you are seeking, and what do you intend to do with it? ——————————————————————————————————

I seek to learn more about the Right Way to Live so I can live it, and help others do the same, so we can all get busy living in Love, Health & Happiness.  Chi Miigwech Giibwanisi for the learning & lessons.

The upside down U.S. flag is an official signal of distress. It is not meant to be, and is not officially recognized as any type of disrespect when so displayed for the right reasons. As per the US Code of Laws regarding how to fly the flag when in distress:  THE FLAG CODE Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10 As amended by P.L. 344, 94th Congress Approved July 7, 1976 There is no group in more distress and danger of extinction than the original Indigenous People of the Americas who are still enduring & resisting the euro-colonist genocide inflicted on them for the last 523 years and counting.

The upside down U.S. flag is an official signal of distress. It is not meant to be, and is not officially recognized as any type of disrespect when so displayed for the right reasons. As per the US Code of Laws regarding how to fly the flag when in distress: THE FLAG CODE
Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10
As amended by P.L. 344, 94th Congress
Approved July 7, 1976
There is no group in more distress and danger of extinction than the original Indigenous People of the Americas who are still enduring & resisting the euro-colonist genocide inflicted on them for the last 523 years and counting.


Here is another excellent article by Johnny  Hawke discussing Decolonizing “Traditionalism” & New Ageism (see the site image of colonist stephen harper wearing a headdress and how blasphemous & way wrong it looks): “Traditionalism, the movement to restore the social, cultural, and political integrity of our communities by restoring ancient models of governance and social interaction, has degraded into a laughable form of self-centered New Ageism, a ceremonial show or smokescreen behind which the dark abuses of the colonial master on a personal and collective level continue.” –    Taiaike Alfred in his book Wasase Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom

The following article is by: Johnny Hawke:

Through my own Decolonization process I have been engaging in my Anishinabe Peoples own Institutions to remove the colonial influences in my life. One of these tools I have been using is through the healing approaches of our spirituality where I have come to identify colonial attitudes embedded in our own Indigenous institutions which are creating a synthetic resurgence of our collective Identity. I have established relationships and met many of our people who have been influential in the revival of the spiritual aspect of our Indigenous Institutions which has become an expressed ideology known as “Traditionalism.”  This Traditionalism is viewed by those who embrace it and those who oppose it as something that is separate to our collective day to day modern Indigenous identity. The attributing of our peoples way of life and all the things that make us who we are as being “Traditional” limits the goals of what we are continually trying to achieve. Traditionalism though it is centered on Indigenous Spirituality like everything within our communities still has colonial attitudes attached and we must acknowledge that “Traditionalism” is a significant approach to of our shared Decolonization Process but is not the whole movement itself. Traditionalism when used as an approach to replace existing colonial institutions in our communities mistakenly creates an illusion that something western has been replaced with something authentically Indigenous but most time those same colonial values still exist. This rant is a call out to those who are conscience of the illusions that are disguised as our own Indigenous Institutions and the attributed colonial behaviors that follow so we can create awareness for those who are ready to reclaim their identities and start their own Decolonization Process.

Things to be aware of within Indigenous Spiritual Institutions on your Decolonization Process:

Traditionalism, Hierarchy and Elitism: Spirituality is the center of our Indigenous Being and in our history our Spiritual Institutions were subject to changes where another world view was introduced which affected these things and also where our Spiritual Institutions made illegal by our oppressors which forced us to keep these things hidden underground, where these things were almost lost. Now we are seeing a resurgence of our Spiritual Societies and Ceremonies thriving. With this we should not be so ignorant to believe that our Spiritual Societies are not exempt of the colonial stains which have infiltrated our other Indigenous Institutions. We need to be conscience of this and correct oppressive behaviors within our various societies as we are seeing a majority of our people return to our ways where they are doing it through our Spiritual Institutions. Although our spiritual societies play a significant role in our decolonization process traces of colonialism is still entrenched in them instilling passive values which are making us submissive to our oppressor. We must also not make the mistake that “Traditionalism” or our Spiritual Institutions is the only thing there is to our Identity. We also have our own political, judicial, warrior, hunting, medicine, economic societies to reestablish. The Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge is a contemporary movement of the sacred Midewiwin Society of the Anishinabe. Historically the Midewiwin, sometimes referred to as the ‘Grand Medicine Society” or the “Good Heart Way” is the original spiritual institution that keeps the sacred knowledge, songs and ceremonies for the Anishinabe people. Members of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge are initiated into the various levels of the Midewiwin. Today the Three Fires Society is one of many leading spiritual institutions where Anishinabe peoples are returning to our own Anishinabek Identity. This returning to our spiritual ways is commonly known by various Indigenous Nations as “Traditionalism” My friend who has been involved with the Three Fires Midewewiin Lodge for most of his life and who is a prominent person who holds a specific degree in this society has helped me with some issues in my healing. He has helped me to understand some things with our Spiritual Societies. I didn’t ask to use his name in this article so I will leave it out in respect but will share what he described to me. “Our Midewiwin Society has undergone three major changes since it was given to us by Creator. The coming of the white people to Turtle Island introduced a whole different world view which is based on monetary values. This made some of our people within earlier centuries concern themselves with providing our spirituality  for the exchange of goods of the white man and not out of the good of the heart. The second major change was when we had to keep these things hidden and where some stuff was lost. However these ways can never be lost because Creator gave us the ability to dream where we can retrieve these things. We are in another major change where we are seeing our Spiritual Societies return to our people.” As he helped me to understand some things he also told me that there are two kinds of people who enter to the lodge. “Some people enter for the healing they need and some enter sincerely because the spirit calls them to do this spiritual work.”” This helped me understand a whole lot because through my own colonial values that have been embedded in my upbringing I automatically assumed all the people who followed this way were all healed as I put them up on a pedestal and attributed them as “holy rollers” because they were following these ways. These colonial thought patterns that mainstream society conditions us to make also make a small number of people involved in this work to place themselves up on that same pedestal as well. In our Indigenous worldview we are all equals and have our own roles to play within our community where respecting the free will of every entity in creation is understood. Today’s utilization of our spirituality is sometimes creating a hierarchy and elitism by some people who identify themselves as “traditional” or “initiated” or “sober” and some place themselves above others who may be on another level of their own healing journey, or who play a different role within the community. This egotistic attribute employed by some is a western value that is not based on Indigenous teachings of humility. Although ego is a human condition and affects all races, colonial thought patterns and values that our people have adopted through assimilating into mainstream culture seem to be intensifying such colonial behaviors which affect our Spiritual Societies. The individualistic ego behavior is creating elitism, hierarchy and belittlement which turn some of our people away from their individual decolonization process, healing and at times even against our own Indigenous Identity. In my experience and opinion some people who have certain issues who follow our ways make it seem that our ways are personally belong to them because of their seniority in the “Traditionalist” movement or because their families followed our ways longer than others. This creates a feeling that we need to seek them out for permission in everything “Traditional” that we invoke. Our Medicine Societies and Ceremonies entrap non-natives and even our own people in a small box believing that this romanticized “spiritual” world view is all there is to our Indigenous Identity. Sometimes the “Traditional Healing Movement” is a barrier itself to healing and Decolonization. These Spiritual Institutions also serve as a place where our people are flocking towards for healing and where a percentage of the people within these “societies” still retain deep internal unhealthy issues which affect their behaviors. Some of these people who are not well are giving the perception that they are spiritually healthy by belonging to these spiritual societies. They need to be told that they are representing these spiritual societies and are turning others a way. At the same time I would like to acknowledge and honor those spiritual people who are out there who are true to the teachings and are representing what it means to be Anishinabek having a Good Heart and who really have a connection with the Spirit.

Powwows:  Inter-tribal Gatherings that included Political, Military, Economic, Social and Ceremonial Societies of our Nations has now been replaced by the Pan-Indian Traditional Gathering of Powwow.  Powwow has become a “Traditional” Gathering that showcases and has been a benefit of the reemergence of our Songs, Dances, Arts and Crafts. Some Powwows serve as Competitions for Dancers and Singers involving prize money and some are Traditional centering on honoring communities through song and dance. As a “Traditional” Dancer and sitting with a few Drum Groups over the years I have noticed that other aspects of “traditional gathering” are not present.  I observe at Powwows  where community members who want to particpate by providing the “traditional” act of “giveaways”or other “specials” seems to be marginalized by the Powwow Community because it takes too much time away from the singers and dancers.  I have also observing Egotistic behavior and honorarium issues within drum groups and dancers which has also made me question if our values and teaching are being compromised just for the showcasing of our culture. Also Politics,  Militancy or too much Ceremony seem to be unwanted at Powwow but organizers allow Colonial Armed Forces and Police Agencies to participate.  At a few Powwows I have also noticed people who are coming from communities who are engaging in either an occupation or blockade or protest, who come to seek support are turn away from Powwow MC’s who tell them Powwow is not the place for Politics or Militancy. In Powwow there are many teachings. One of these come from the Grandfather Drum Teachings which is used at the Powwow by most Indigenous Nations. One founding teaching says that the “Big Drum” was given to all Indigenous Nations by a Woman.  During a time where all tribes we at war with each other  this Woman was given a vision. In her vision she was given a “Big Drum”  along with seven inter-tribal songs to teach to all the Nations so all Nations can sing and gather together to end the inter-tribal wars that was destroying the people. Teachings say that only Men can sit at the drum and Women are not because of the power of Creation that they hold. There is a new phenomenon happening where Women are sitting  and  singing  and carrying the Drum breaking this “Traditional” taboo. These Women Drum Groups who are doing this are being asked to leave Powwows  by a majority of “Traditionalists” involved with Powwow. The teaching that these Women Drum Groups are sharing to why they sitting at the “Big Drum” is that they are reclaiming the drum because most Men are forgetting their responsibilities. We are no longer standing up to protect our territories, the earth or are respecting our women or standing up to protect our Nationhood to defend the Peace. The Grandfather Drum is being carried by a generation of Men who are abusive to themselves or their people is the message these Women Drum Groups are sharing. If it was through Women that gave Men the Grandfather Drum in the first place to end inter-tribal wars to create peace between our Nations and are so powerful for being close to Creation, why we using “Traditionalism” to shut out a message that needs to be said? Is there acceptance of the evolution of a new kind of Powwow? or even the rekindling of the spirit of what our “Traditional” gatherings used to be about? We now divide ourselves in specific circles to gather as  Chief and Council, Medicine Societies, Powwow, Blockades, Ceremonies, Occupations, Fish and Hunting Camps, Economic Conferences.   How is Powwow reflective of what our culture is as a whole? How is it nurturing our spiritual reemergence if it only concentrates on only a certain social group within our Nations?

Traditional Elders: I often am told by “Traditional Elders” that my place is either silently standing behind the women, tending the sacred fire when protecting our people, rights and territories or that occupations and blockades are only a “Mohawk thing” and I must do things in a good way.  I choose to believe that our people’s responsibility to protect our people, rights and territories is not just a responsibility of the women. If our teachings tell us anything it is to walk beside and not in front or to place anybody behind you and if someone is a threat to your well being it is your right to defend yourself. Any direct actions that challenges the State authority is almost always opposed by “Traditional Elders”.  Our “traditionalism” then preaches on values that makes us complacent and passive which tells us not to be the physical warriors we once were ready to defend our well being. What is a “Traditional Elder” ? Many Old People in our communities are  not active in our spirituality but possess knowledge and have a background in Fishing, Hunting, Construction or fluent in Anishinabek Language and know our Rights.  This “Traditionalist” movement seems to identify and place certain people with spiritual knowledge in high regards over other “Elders” who are not spiritual. People use terms like I get my “teachings” from this “Elder” which creates unnecessary divisions and a childish possessiveness over “Elders” and “teachings”

Cultural Appropriation:   We are a part of a new Generation of Indigenous Peoples that has been brought up with “Traditionalism” where more aspects of who we are is now acceptable  within our communities. We are now in a time where we are regaining those things that were taken away from us but as we still retain colonial values we are now exploiting our cultural knowledge and relics. We are seeing  our communities use symbols and relics of our culture such as  Headdresses. In the past, some traditions required each feather to be earned until enough had been acquired to fashion a headdress. Nowadays, this type of tradition seems to be irrelevant and the main requirement for wearing a headdress is to take advantage of a good photo op. We have Indian Princess Pageants in a culture that never had theses things. We are using Teachings, Ceremonies, Language and placing Cultural logos on Colonial Institutions, Policies, Bureaucracy, Self Governance, Land Claim Settlements fooling ourselves that we are progressing and reclaiming our identity. We are now being are own oppressors by utilizing “Traditionalism” and placing it as a guise over Colonial Institutions. “Culture never comes into play with our current leaders. We did some small things, but it was just, how would you say, a display? Like we had elders opening meetings, but were they there to negotiate, or advise or make decisions? Of course not. The elders were just brought in to do their prayer song, and then they were escorted right back out the door.” – Wasase Indigenous pathways of action and freedom.

Superiority: As a new Generation of Warriors organize to defend our rights, territories and people there is a lot of criticizing from the older generation of Warriors. Some of our “Traditional” Elders in our Spiritual Intuitions were a part of the generation in the 60’s and 70’s that was a part of our spiritual resurgence and warrior societies where AIM was influential in this process. I have been told many times of these Elders that this was the last generation of warriors of moral standing. Although great work came from this generation which us younger generation are thankful and inspired by they must also acknowledge that we too are also a new generation part of a new warrior movement that has brought  hope and change through Oka, Gustufsen Lake, NYM, Ipperwash, Burnt Church, Grassy Narrows, Kanenhstaton and also through the many Artists who are bringing our message and truths out in the open through various mediums. The moral standing of our contemporary movements should not be criticized by our Elders who were of AIM generation. People who call themselves “Traditional” and judge our young generation of Warriors as being immoral need to for sure address their own colonial attitudes and stop placing themselves above others. Sometimes these Elders forget that they were too Armed for Defensive Actions .  AIM although they have their place in our history is not the beginning and end for our Decolonization or Warrior movements. Superiority is also an issue for those who have been participating a lot longer in the struggle. As our people begin to reclaim our Indigenous Identities “Traditionalism” which was initiated in a resurgence movement in the 60’s and 70’s where AIM was an influential force and centered themselves on Spirituality and where today’s Traditional Elders were a part of this generation we as a younger generation must learn and speak out from the mistakes and current colonial behaviors that are dividing us which sometimes comes from our Elders and Spiritual Societies as well. We must not exempt our Elders and Indigenous Institutions from colonialism because they are represented as being organically Indigenous.

New Ageism and the Non Native Experience: Non Anishinabek People from other races are participating in a movement of their own where they are learning from our ways and starting their own healing process as a people who are realizing their own Capitalist Society is destroying everything. Sometimes this movement is referred to New Ageism which is a melting pot of global spirituality because their own ways have been oppressed and lost. They are flocking to our Spiritual Institutions to learn from us which is a good thing but they are also bringing their colonial attitudes with them. I recently attended a sweat lodge before I went out fasting where I was seeking guidance from the spirit to help me in my own decision that my community is faced with. A non native participant of the sweat and an acquaintance who happens to be an A.A Sponsor to numerous people made some comments to me at this sweat as if I was one of his people who he sponsors and made me feel belittled. He vaguely knows who I am and what I am about and only knows me as an acquaintance through ceremony because his girlfriend is herself on a healing journey and involved within the Three Fires Midewiwiin Medicine Society. Anyways he told me that he was very worried about me and that he was glad that I attended the sweat and am back on the healing “path”. He was worried about me because of my apparent anger issues and prejudged my attendance at the sweat and my fasting with his own opinion where he suggested I needed the healing which offended me. He was referring my apparent anger issues to videos I posted on a social networking internet site where I shared some how-to videos on self defense trap maneuvers in guerella warfare which apparently offended him. In any Society some of the people need to be providers and some need to be warriors to protect the people and territory from threats and active training is a part of this. The resurgence of our warrior societies is just as important as our medicine societies. This non native person viewed my training as something angry which caused him to overreact through worrying which affected his wellbeing and where made it seem that he was above me. This is a perfect example how a narrow mindset can cause assumptions which causes problems. This person participation and preaching on Anishinabek Healing is a good step but is a waste of time if he still possesses and clings on to mainstream attitudes. He thought I needed healing for anger issues but choose not to inquire why those videos were relevant in my path. If those videos were on hunting which is also a violent activity I wonder if he would’ve thought I still needed healing for my perceived anger issues. Sill after explaining to him why these man-trap videos are important and speaking my peace with him he still chooses to force his belief system onto my free will. Non-Natives who want to cloak themselves in Indigenous “traditionalism” need to decolonize themselves of their western attitudes when choosing to take up our “ways” otherwise they are just playing make belief and can cause damage. Do I have to share what happened to the non-native capitalizing by conducting sweat lodge ceremonies in a New Age Texas Retreat? [suffering, harm & death, the holy trinity of the colonist way.]

Many issues are created when Non-Natives embrace “Traditionalism” where you can find numerous social impacts by doing a search on the internet all you have to do is type in, “New Age Healing.” In this article I just wanted to address some things that need to be acknowledge as we reclaim who our Indigeneous Institutions. Although critical on some aspects in “traditionalism” I am very spiritually centered. I now encourage those who are on a “healing journey” or Decolonization Process  if your are conscience of colonial values hiding within our own Institutions it is our responsibility to speak up and change it for the good of others and our future generations I will leave this article with a quote from Dr. Wendy Makoons Geniusz who is from the Anishinabek Nation and is director of American Indian studies and assistant professor of foreign languages at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. She teaches courses in traditional American Indian cultures and the Ojibwe language and is also an author. “Because of the colonization process, many of us no longer see the strength of our indigenous knowledge. Our minds have been colonized along with our land, resources, people. For us Anishinaabeg, the decolonization of gikendaasowin (Anishinaabe knowledge) is also part of the decolonization of ourselves.”

Tagged , , , , ,

Some Uplift for the Downtrodden

Hello kittens.  I’m sorry I haven’t written for a while, Life has been kicking my mental/emotional/spiritual ass a bit lately as I continue to navigate the cold, dark, turbulent waters of DEcolonization of Self.  It ain’t easy or fun or pleasant to be contaminated in the head, heart and soul by the colonist dis-ease — being enslaved by, and participating in colonization, and throughout it all deeply yearning to live Indigenously and tribally, while not seeing it anywhere around me.

I recently heard someone describe a person as “well-adjusted” in a positive light and I had to snicker at the absurdity of the notion.  To be “well-adjusted” to the dominant colonist culture is nothing to celebrate or aspire to, unless ignorance is bliss, which it never is because one person’s blissful ignorance is their neighbor’s painfully awake suffering due TO the ignorance next door.  Ignorance seeps out and effects much and many regardless of how much of a me-me-me bubble ignorant people operate from.  Something is Real Bad Wrong when we’re “well adjusted” to the colonist genocide, slavery, oppression and general deep disrespect of the planet and of eachother that is happening on so many levels and degrees.  I should know, since I was one of those blissfully ignorant people, a perfectly “well adjusted” idiot following all the rules I was taught and that I just picked up on implicitly and explicitly from schools, media, family, peers, all in the name of approval and acceptance by the lame-stream mainstream and its high and mighty colonist judgy-judgertons.

I call my move away from blissfully ignorant idiot to slowly and surely DEcolonizing myself, giving myself permission to think.  Which is pretty fucked up, that somewhere along the way I internalized the idea that thinking was bad and wrong.  I internalized this message quite early on, and the equation was something like:  Thinking = Difference of Opinion = Conflict = Bad = Rejection, which = Death to vulnerable young people before building up self-protective mechanisms, general confidence, and the idea that our role in life is not to please people (especially the case for females, though fear to speak up and express difference seems like a big allergy of the colonist culture regardless of sex, though females in particular are expected, encouraged and rewarded to be extra compliant, submissive and people-pleasing compared to males).

So yeah, some of us wake up and smarten up, and some of us never do.  For those of us who do, It’s hard and exhausting fucking work to stay clear, coherent and grounded in this colonist dystopic dysphoric hell.  BUT there are ways to endure, to cope, and sometimes, to fuel the spirit, which in turn incites CHANGE, such as Mz Staceyann Chin’s brand of speak-out.  Plus LOVE — the only reason to stick around and keep enduring the horror show that is the colonist culture.

I came across this rad spoken word video of Fuck You! kinda protest by the bold & awesome Staceyann Chin which I find so soul-filling and inspiring so I share it with you with eternal hope for a better world and the STRENGTH to resist the predatory, soul-sucking colonist energies and behaviors swirling and hurling at and around us 24/7.  For example, the hatred from a random colonized dude which Staceyann poetically responds to in this video.

I have new posts in the works, percolating and to be shared here with you soon.  Thank you for following and being in my world my lovelies. ❤

Tagged , , ,