Knowing how to move large groups of people in the communities where you live and work is power. Power, hopefully, to advance the ideals of fairness, justice, and national liberation. It is this need for power that makes community organizing and building social justice change organization vital.
Realistically how dedicated are any of us to the idea building organization and the practice of community organizing? Dedicated to the belief political education and organizing is the main way for indigenous people in this country to take control of the resources in their communities.
The intentional brutality injected into indigenous existence over the last 500+ years by the settler system has successfully deprived our greater community of the will, and ability to mount a national movement that could build a spirit of resistance moving from settler colonialism to liberation.
How do we go about doing this? What can we do on a personal level to help ourselves, our children, neighbors, and people at the bus stop to envision resistance to settler colonialism?
First, we acknowledge settler colonialism is a real political, economic, cultural, and historical system and must be dealt as such.
It is clear many of the people directly affected by the settler colonial system don’t understand/believe/see how Indigenous lives do not have to be lived without history or sense of place. Many Indian people feel the world, however unfair it may be is unchanging and has existed this way forever we are trapped in a the colonizers history. Indigenous people recognized on intellectual level things are not right – but cannot seem to make things can change it seems inescapable.
Oppression and injustice are the byproducts of colonialism and capitalism all over the world. Currently, these twin miseries, colonialism/capitalism because of their totalizing nature are moving unchecked into a phase of global domination more devastating and inhumane than anything in the recorded history of humanity.
Second, we must awaken to the simple fact of our humanity. The day oppressed peoples accept they are fully human and deserve to be treated like human beings, a change begins.
From that moment forward there is realization the police have no right to beat us in the streets and take our lives indiscriminately. We have the right to decent housing, the right to live without disease and sickness dogging us because of where we live.
We acknowledge our youth are not prison fodder but potential revolutionaries. That their acts are rarely criminal in the anti-human sense, and overwhelmingly done in defiance of a system that has slated them for destruction through ignorance, incarceration or insanity.
It is this work of revolutionary education with the reclaiming of history and nation at the forefront those Indigenous peoples and their comrades intent on overthrowing settler colonialism must commit themselves to in this hemisphere.
If Indigenous people are to throw off the chains of colonial history, the same chains placed on us over the past 500 years – then we have to embrace the political. Develop an analysis of our historical situation so widely accepted, even those who support and work to uphold the current settler system must consider it in any discussion about Indigenous sovereignty.
When we talk about becoming political, it does not necessarily (but it could) mean getting involved with the Republocrat two party systems. These institutions exist to promote the status quo.
The type of politics we are talking about is community level dual power politics that build organization, move people to fight for better housing, stop police brutality, and end the widespread use of drugs in their neighborhood in humane ways with harm reduction (not incarceration) as the lead philosophy.
These are the politics of the people, the politics of national liberation, where Indigenous people take matters into their own hands and deal with problems in a manner responsive to other indigenous people and their nation; where the outcome is a byproduct of indigenous sovereignty rather than one dictated by a settler colonial government.