Unsettling America

By Eve Tuck & K. Wayne Yang, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society, Vol 1, No 1 (2012)

Our goal in this article is to remind readers what is unsettling about decolonization. Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools. The easy adoption of decolonizing discourse by educational advocacy and scholarship, evidenced by the increasing number of calls to “decolonize our schools,” or use “decolonizing methods,” or, “decolonize student thinking”, turns decolonization into a metaphor. As important as their goals may be, social justice, critical methodologies, or approaches that decenter settler perspectives have objectives that may be incommensurable with decolonization. Because settler colonialism is built upon an entangled triad structure of settler-native-slave, the decolonial desires of white, non-white, immigrant, postcolonial, and oppressed people, can similarly be entangled in resettlement, reoccupation, and…

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Food Empowerment: The Muckleshoot Tribe Reintroduces Traditional Fare

Many years ago, members of Pacific Northwest tribes subsisted on a wide diversity of foods from the sea and land. More than 300 fish, shellfish, greens and berries graced their seasonal menus and shaped their cultural lifeways.

“The foods that were eaten here were a huge pillar of our culture,” says Valerie Segrest, a Muckleshoot tribal member and a Native nutrition educator at Northwest Indian College. “They’d follow the huckleberries. Twenty varieties grew from the seashore to the higher elevations; they would follow them as they ripened.”

Today, such a life has become virtually impossible. “First of all,” Segrest notes, “there was a loss of land and a loss of rights. There is the issue of environment toxins now, the cultural oppression around harvesting food, invasive species that have come into our environment and changed it. There’s a lack of time. Now in our modern world people have jobs. You have to have vacation time to go out and harvest. Areas for harvesting mussels are located on an island. You have to have money to put gas in your vehicle to get to the ferry, and pay for the ferry.”

As a result, Pacific Northwest tribes got disconnected from their traditional food sources. They came to rely on processed foods, some of which are provided through the dominant federal assistance programs and others that are front and center at grocery stores. Like many tribes across the country, the Muckleshoot and other tribes have begun to see epidemics of diabetes and heart disease.

But Segrest is doing her best to reverse that. Today, she heads up the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project, which aims to reintroduce traditional foods into the diets of tribal members. The two-year project is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and supported by Northwest Indian College’s Traditional Plants and Foods Program.

Before the project actually got under way, the Muckleshoot, Suquamish and Tulalip tribes, along with the University of Washington’s Burke Museum, laid the groundwork by investigating plants used by the tribes before European contact. They built a database of such foods, so people wishing to incorporate the traditional foods into their diets have a solid place to start.

Segrest’s program now offers a Native foods course at the college as well as community seminars centered on specific foods, such as deer, berries or salmon. The project has also yielded a Native berry garden at the college, an orchard at the Muckleshoot Tribal School and a widening “cultural landscape” including native plants at the new senior center.

Segrest’s efforts resulted from a combination of academic training, starting with her undergraduate years in the nutrition program at Bastyr University near Seattle, and her cultural education, whereby her elders taught her how to work with people and empower community health programs. She acknowledges her accomplishments are the result of standing on the shoulders “of many giants,” and she points out that her program is one of countless traditional foods movements that are springing up across tribal lands in the Pacific Northwest.

“There are so many things that are happening right now,” she says, “lots of food-restoration programs. There are community gardens coming up, community food banks that people are starting to organize. The Muckleshoot tribe is doing a lot of work around this, but so are the Tulalip, Suquamish and Makah. People are creating partnerships with local farms. There are agricultural harvest boxes being distributed to tribal members.”

One of the most problematic challenges is trying to incorporate traditional foods into modern lifestyles—or replacing some foods, like the camas root—that were once essential but are now difficult to find. Elk burgers, for example, have become a popular modern spin on traditional game. Segrest greets nearly every morning with a huckleberry smoothie. And many tribal members are perfecting recipes for kelp pickles, rosehip jam, nettle pesto and camas nettle soups.

Clearly, Segrest has found herself caught up in a powerful movement. But what has spurred it? Segrest’s best guess is a simple one.

“We’re sick of being sick,” she says. “We’re sick of heart disease and diabetes. We know that diabetes was nonexistent in our communities 100 years ago, because we ate these foods. I think it’s just this consciousness that people are becoming more and more passionate about.”

Read more:http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/02/28/food-empowerment-the-muckleshoot-tribe-reintroduces-traditional-fare-100414 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/02/28/food-empowerment-the-muckleshoot-tribe-reintroduces-traditional-fare-100414#ixzz27bSua2QC

Cascadia = No Father’s Daughter

Who has the fire,
Sweet Desire,
Has been tortured,
You are no fathers daughter,
No man has this much to offer,
Skin dark as sin,
Soft and when,
We took cover,
From the rain,
And the thunder,
Under stained glass we did slumber,
Till the sun came out to blind us,
Till we could not see anything,
So we knew at once we were meant to be,
And we heard the gods all rise and say,
The love we made is no lie.

And the 30 years of hopes and fears breathing down my neck,
Such a sad sad thing i set you free,
‘Cuz I can’t get you back.
You are fire, you are water.
When you dance, it is torture.
Maybe some night by the grey light of the dull moon we can meet.
Tangled, intwined, we have climbed, we have wrangled, shiny sequence sparked and spangled,
Our hearts iron cuffed and mangled,
We speant the night,
By the side of the water,
Passed the breakers and the markers,
We swam out into the darkness,
Till we could not feel,
The bottom.
Till we could not feel anything.
And the shoreline slowly drifted out fo reach,
As the moon shone down and the ocean heaved,
And darkness gave to light.

And with 30 years of hopes and fears breathing down my neck,
Such a sad sad thing i set you free,
‘Cuz I can’t get you back.
You are fire, you are water.
When you dance, it is torture.
Maybe some day on the bottom of the ocean we can meet.
Though we know if we do, we can never leave,
‘Cuz the moment that we turn away
The gods will say
The love we made
Was a lie.

by Crooked Fingers


TruthOut.org. Aug 30:

We’ve seen some pretty bold anti-authoritarian actions across the country in the last month. Police vehicles were vandalized in San Francisco, Oakland, Illinois and Milwaukee. Anarchist redecorators visited courthouses, police substations, sports car dealerships and more. Banners dropped in New York, Atlanta, Vancouver, Seattle and elsewhere echoed their graffitied sentiments: “Fuck Grand Juries”; “Solidarity with Northwest Anarchists.” Boldest of all, however (and the inspiration underpinning this spate), has been the action from a small group of anarchists in the Pacific Northwest: silence.

Two Portland-based activists, Leah-Lynn Plante and Dennison Williams, publicly announced late last month that they had been subpoenaed to appear in front of a federal grand jury in Seattle and that they would refuse to cooperate. During a grand jury hearing on August 2, Plante did just this – offering her name and birthdate only – and has been summoned to return for another…

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Unsettling America

Understanding Indigenous Anti-Colonialism

By Glen Coulthard[i], Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action, Vol 4, No 2 (2010)


This article examines the role that “place” plays in radical Indigenous activism from the perspective of my community, the Dene Nation. I argue that, although Indigenous peoples’ senses of place have been worn by centuries of colonial capitalist displacement, they still serve as an orienting framework that guides radical Indigenous activism today and offers a way of thinking about relations within and between peoples and the natural world built on principles of reciprocity and freedom.

In his groundbreaking 1972 text, God is Red, the late Lakota philosopher Vine Deloria Jr. argues that one of the most significant differences that exist between Indigenous and Western metaphysics revolves around the central importance of land to Indigenous modes of being, thought, and ethics. When ideology is divided according to American…

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Women’s March and Day of Peace Turns Violent– Protesters Arrested

American Indian/Alaska Native - Attack The System

Listen to the interview.

Vince Rinehart and Nahaan

Keith Preston interviews Vincent Rinehart and Nahaan. Topics include:

  • The experiences of Vincent and Nahaan as American Indian activists defending their tribal and cultural heritage;
  • The political model of the traditional clan system of native peoples in North America;
  • The centuries long efforts of the U.S. regime to destroy organic forms of social organization in native communities;
  • The role of the welfare state in preventing genuine self-determination by America’s Indian peoples;
  • Why the struggle for American Indian sovereignty necessarily involves a struggle for the self-determination of all peoples held captive by the Washington empire, including White Christians;
  • The compatibility of native sovereignty and self-determination with the anarchist and secessionist ideas offered by Attack the System;
  • How the decline of organic and traditional communities as a means of social cohesion and self-managed justice has led to the rise of the police state.

Vince Rinehart is a Tlingit…

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