Dear Native Youth/Indigenous Scholar

Recently, I wrote a twitter thread titled, Dear Native Youth/Indigenous scholar. My intention of the thread was to call attention to the violence that we, youth, inherited because of colonialism and its continuous recycling. While also acknowledging that decolonization for us is messy and difficult and a call for critical inquiry for how we reflect colonial ideas, logics, and behaviors. Please feel free to read below in its text form, and link to the tweets are at the end. 

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Dear Native Youth / Dear Indigenous Scholar.

A thread.

(if you’re not Native/Indigenous, this thread isn’t for you)

We are capable of violence. We are capable of reproducing the violence against our ancestors, against our elders, against our families, against the future generations of Native youths.  

The trauma we have inherited, the violence we have been taught, it lives and breathes within us.

Colonialism isn’t a one-time thing. It is a continuous event that recycles itself, and occurs in every moment in our lives.

One of the most prominent spaces is the ‘education’ system.

The goal has and will always be “kill the Indian in him, save the man” – Richard Henry Pratt.  

We have been spoon-fed the idea that if we just succeed and achieve a certain level of prestige, we can fix all of our communities’ problems and decolonization will naturally occur.

Eve Tuck (2012) specifically argues that decolonization specifically requires the return of Indigenous land and life. It is not a substitute for social justice.

I’m not invalidating our attainment or completion of academic degrees, what I am asking is that we be critical of how we become trained in our everyday actions and reactions to reflect colonial ideas and behaviors.

We must recognize how we reproduce violence against ourselves, our communities, and/or other marginalized peoples/communities because of colonialism and the systems of oppression that were created since 1492 when “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”

Sometimes we feel like the world is against us, and in many ways it is. It’s exhausting fighting against every ignorance, and every wrong committed against our communities and our ancestors.

We do so much fighting that when someone checks in on us, and/or when someone tries to hold us accountable, we feel attacked – and we retaliate, in ways that reproduce violence and enact violence on everyone.

There may be times when we mess up, and that’s understandable. Decolonizing is a difficult and messy process, it requires a deep reflection of who you think you are and who the ancestors want you to be.

Be critical of the academia. Be critical of yourself. But most of all, be kind and listen to the wisdom and knowledge of the ancestors, who have always wanted the best for us.  

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Twitter Thread:

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