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Decolonization

Jazz Musician Esperanza Spalding To Depart Harvard

Prominent jazz musician Esperanza E. Spalding, a professor of the practice in Harvard’s Music Department, will depart the University, she announced in an email to department affiliates this week that was obtained by The Crimson. Spalding wrote in the email that she has communicated with Harvard over “many months” about a proposal for a “decolonial education” curriculum she would like to implement as a course or initiative, but said what she aspires “to cultivate and activate in organized learning spaces is not (yet) aligned with Harvard’s priorities.” A five-time Grammy award winner, Spalding joined the Music Department as a part-time professor of the practice in 2017 and has taught courses on songwriting, performance, and musical activism.

Decolonizing Thanksgiving And Supporting Indigenous Peoples

This week, as some people in the United States celebrated the mythical 'Thanksgiving' dinner, Indigenous Peoples held a National Day of Mourning and continued their resistance to defend the land and water. As Native American, Matt Remle, writes: "Despite colonial efforts to exterminate, terminate, relocate, and assimilate Indigenous populations, Native communities continue to resist efforts to both desecrate Unci Maka and strip Native peoples of their languages, spirituality and communities." Settler colonialism continues to this day in the United States and around the world as do resistance efforts to reclaim what has been lost, including land, access to sacred sites, clean water, culture and sovereignty. Remle makes the point that non-Indigenous people benefit from this resistance. Around the world, Indigenous people are leading the way to end exploitation and build a better future for all of us.

Foluke Adebisi’s Book, ‘Decolonisation And Legal Knowledge’

Since 2015 and the Rhodes Must Fall movement in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as its counterpart student movement at Oxford, University in the UK, the question of the relevance of decolonisation to higher education has become quite prominent across Global North universities. Prior to this, my scholarship examined, inter alia, the effects of incomplete decolonization of African polities, for example, continued education dependency and humanitarian interventionism. However, with the increased focus on decolonisation in UK higher education, I became increasingly frustrated with what I saw as the inadequacy, misunderstandings, and misuses of decolonization as a practice and logic. In response, in Decolonisation and Legal Knowledge, I want to reposition the conversation, by taking a temporally and spatially wider look at the present state of law, its knowledge structure and its relation to colonisation-decolonisation.

A Guide To Decolonize Language In Conservation

Scientific evidence shows that Indigenous people understand and manage their environment better than anyone else: 80% of Earth’s biodiversity can be found in Indigenous territories. The best way to protect biodiversity is therefore to respect the land rights of Indigenous peoples – the best conservationists. Nevertheless, the mainstream conservation model today is still, just as in colonial times, “Fortress Conservation”: a model that creates militarized Protected Areas accessible only to the wealthy on the lands of Indigenous peoples. This “conservation” is destroying the land and lives of Indigenous peoples. But this is where most of the Western funding for nature protection is going. Why? Because the myths that sustain this model of conservation are reproduced in school texts, media, wildlife documentaries, NGO adverts, etc.

Building An Indigenous Agenda To Decolonize The United States

Today is Indigenous People's Day, still celebrated by some as the violent colonizer Christopher Columbus Day. Clearing the FOG speaks with Jean-Luc Pierite of the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB) and United American Indians of New England (UAINE) about the growing recognition of the trauma and murder of American Indian children who were sent to assimilation centers called residential schools across the US and Canada and how that theft of children's cultural heritage and identity continues today through the foster care system. A major Supreme Court case that could destroy the Indian Child Welfare Act is set to be heard in November. Pierite also discusses the campaign in Massachusetts to recognize Indigenous People's Day statewide, the Massachusetts Indigenous Legislative Agenda and the work being done in solidarity with indigenous peoples around the world and the Black Lives Matter movement to create a path to a better future.

Two Women Seek To Decolonize Thru-Paddle And Canoe

Lake Itasca, MN – Embarking on a voyage to feminize and “decolonize” the wilderness, two women in a canoe have started their expedition down the entirety of the Mississippi River. Immigrant Indigenous Latina, Cory Maria Dack, who’s also a transracial transnational adoptee, along with Espoir DelMain, a queer white woman are aiming to empower and inspire others to enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature.  On a sunny Sunday afternoon in August, friends and family gathered at the Mississippi Headwaters in northern Minnesota to witness the launch of Cory Dack and Espoir DelMain’s 2,552 mile thru-paddle of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. Dack and DelMain said they would like to “decolonize the concept of ‘thru-paddling’ to empower and inspire others from underrepresented demographics to see the wilderness as a place where they belong as well.” 

For People In Caribbean, Leaving British Monarchy More Than Symbolic

Born in the Bahamas in the late 1940s when the archipelago was still under the British rule, Niambi Hall Campbell-Dean’s mother was taught in school a version of colonial history that did not focus on the suffering of the slaves who were brought to the islands against their will. "Their version [of the history], I think, more than changing the story was the story of a mission. For example, my mother, who was born as a baby boomer, grew up learning that coal came from a certain part of England. But it was never about the archipelago of the islands of the Bahamas. Their focus of the education was really on creating good Commonwealth citizens. As citizens of this land, you learned about their history, their story, and all the wives that King Henry had.

Why The Climate Justice Movement Should Put Decoloniality At Its Core

We live in a world that is on track for a global temperature rise of 3.2 degrees celsius, at least.  We know that rich countries bear the biggest responsibility for the carbon in the atmosphere that is leading to this ecological catastrophe. We also know that the burden of the crisis is falling disproportionately on people living in the poorest countries in the global south who contributed least to the problem. Grappling with this reality, climate movements across the global North are increasingly putting justice at the heart of their fight for a sustainable world. This narrative, reflected in a term like ‘ecological debt’ has amongst others made climate movements to call for climate adaptation and reparations programs in the south paid primarily by the north.

US Government Plots To Break Up Russia In Name Of ‘Decolonization’

A US government body held a Congressional briefing plotting ways to break up Russia as a country, in the name of supposed “decolonization.” The participants urged the United States to give more support to separatist movements inside Russia and in the diaspora. They proposed the independence of numerous republics in the Russian Federation, including Chechnya, Tatarstan, and Dagestan, as well as historic areas that existed centuries ago such as Circassia. This is far from the first time that hawks in Washington have fantasized about carving up foreign countries. During the first cold war, the US sponsored secessionist groups inside the Soviet Union. In the 1990s, the US-led NATO military cartel successfully dismantled Yugoslavia. And Washington has long backed separatists in the Chinese regions of Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Decolonizing The Healthcare System

Mainstream healthcare is historically a twisted, uneven, financially debilitating, and constrictive path forcing incomplete ideals that do not always consider the person as a whole or the health of that individual in their totality. Specialties compartmentalize the body, concentrating on stabilizing a part without the care to follow through to care for the complete person’s needs. To often forgotten, emotional, and spiritual healing is often completely disregarded and not seen as necessary for a truly holistic recovery. The fact is today’s westernized approach of and on “holistic” healthcare is the colonizing of and plundering from many different cultures, fragmented, incomplete. Anything beyond the organ, bone, or system outside of the “specialty” team’s expertise is often given a referral or disregarded completely.

A Gesture Towards Decolonial Research Praxis

“I cannot sign anything that would permit extractive research”, a Nicaraguan Miskitu scholar- activist told us in response to our request for consent to use the information he shared and demanded a commitment to right relations. “I have given you not just my words, my analysis, my history and my experience, but that of the Miskitu communities I walk with. What do you offer us in return?” He needed a guarantee that we were not “extracting knowledge like others extracting timber and land from Miskitu communities.” After he spoke, seconds passed, seconds that felt like forever. We replied in our own way about our individual and institutional practices, highlighting our broader commitments to co-research, resource sharing, and non-extraction with other Indigenous and marginalized communities.

The Massachusetts Flag Glorifies Violence Committed By Colonizers

Given the violent history of English colonizers in New England, it’s a wonder why the state insignia of Massachusetts, fully emblazoned on today’s state flag, still includes a sword dangling over the head of a Native American. It was a little more than 30 years ago when the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority got rid of its offensive logo that featured a pilgrim’s hat with a Native American arrow shot through the middle of it. The state insignia still stands, and like many campaigns to rid schools and towns of demeaning mascots and public statues, the efforts to remove it starts with an accurate version of history. In the case of the Mass Pike logo, it started with a letter-writing campaign by second graders learning about the history of Plymouth Plantation in 1620.

Barbados Becomes A Republic

At midnight on Tuesday, November 30, Barbados, an island nation in the Caribbean, declared itself a republic. Sandra Prunella Mason was promoted from governor general to president after by Parliament. In a formal ceremony, attended by Prince Charles representing Queen Elizabeth II, the country ceased to be a constitutional monarchy, removing the queen from her position as head of state. The country, however, will remain part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Decolonization Or Extinction – Indigenous People’s Day 2021

In 2015, The Red Nation and a coalition of Native and non-Native organizations led a successful campaign to rename the second Monday of October Indigenous Peoples’ Day (IPD) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Albuquerque City Council issued a proclamation abolishing Columbus Day that was signed by Rey Garduño, Ken Sanchez, Klarissa Peña, Isaac Benton, Brad Winter, and Diane Gibson, with three council members abstaining.  The proclamation declared that the day “shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous peoples on this land.”  For the first time this year, the city and their nefarious initiative “One Albuquerque,” are hosting an alternative to our annual IPD march and rally, with Albuquerque’s Mayor Tim Keller as the keynote speaker. 

Is It Time To Create A UN Political Body For Climate Change?

United nations  - As a wisecracking cynic once remarked: “The sun would never set on the British empire because God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark“. Perhaps it was an uncharitable remark because most of the British colonies have long gone. But when i quoted this witticism to a British journalist, he countered: “I am sure it was told by a Scotsman.“ Since Scotland is not a colony, its demand for independence is not a matter of decolonization, which is virtually dead on the UN’s political agenda. The United Nations, at its very inception 76 years ago, created a Trusteeship Council, one of its main organs, with a mandate to supervise the administration of trust territories as they transitioned from colonies to sovereign nations.
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