Category Archives: Decolonization

Wikwemikong residents restart traditional wild rice harvest

People from Wikwemikong harvest wild rice near Killary in northern Ontario.

People from Wikwemikong harvest wild rice near Killary in northern Ontario.

“We lost harvesting it, we lost the practice,” program facilitator says

CBC News Sept 25, 2014

The traditional practice of harvesting and processing wild rice is being revived in First Nations on Manitoulin Island.

The practice had almost died out, but five years ago community members from Wikwemikong started a Wild Rice Restoration Program, said Mary Ellen Kitchikake, the program facilitator.

A crop of Mnoomin, as the rice is traditionally known, was planted. It was recently harvested and processed using traditional methods.

“We lost harvesting it, we lost the practice,” she said. “Some of our people lost the language. It’s the same thing.” Read the rest of this entry

Guts and Grease: The Diet of Native Americans

Buffalo hunting 1by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD,

The hunter-gatherer’s dinner is front page news these days. Drawing from the writings of Dr. Boyd Eaton and Professor Loren Cordain, experts in the so-called Paleolithic diet, columnists and reporters are spreading the word about the health benefits of a diet rich in protein and high in fiber from a variety of plant foods 1,2. It’s actually amusing to see what the modern food pundits come up with as examples of the “Paleolithic Prescription.” Jean Carper offers a Stone Age Salad of mixed greens, garbanzo beans, skinless chicken breast, walnuts and fresh herbs, mixed with a dressing made of orange juice, balsamic vinegar and canola oil.3 Elizabeth Somer suggests wholewheat waffles with fat-free cream cheese, coleslaw with nonfat dressing, grilled halibut with spinach, grilled tofu and vegetables over rice, nonfat milk, canned apricots and mineral water, along with prawns and clams. Her Stone Age food pyramid includes plenty of plant foods, extra lean meat and fish, nonfat milk products, and honey and eggs in small amounts.4 Read the rest of this entry

American Indians are embracing the ‘decolonized diet’

Daniel King and Reike Blue Arm worked on their plot of vegetables on the Little Earth community garden in south Minneapolis.

Daniel King and Reike Blue Arm worked on their plot of vegetables on the Little Earth community garden in south Minneapolis.

by Allie Shah, Star Tribune, September 2, 2014

Bit by bit, the farm at Little Earth is growing.

So, too, is a movement among American Indians in Minnesota and elsewhere to improve their health by rediscovering ancestral foods and connections to lands once lost.

Far from access to natural maple syrup, wild rice and game available Up North, the residents at Little Earth of United Tribes — a south Minneapolis low-income housing complex — are finding new old ways to grow crops that existed long before European settlers arrived.

Some adherents even have a name for this concept: the decolonized diet.

Read the rest of this entry

Canada’s rejection of Aboriginal passport an insult of the highest degree

Australia aboriginal passportby Aboriginal Provisional Government, Intercontinental Cry, August 5, 2014

In mid-August, four young Aboriginal people [from Australia] will fly into Vancouver to begin their month long journey of meeting with the Native peoples of Turtle Island (Canada).  Secretary of the Aboriginal Provisional Government Michael Mansell (Pakana) advised Canada’s Consulate General of the delegation’s intentions to travel on Aboriginal passports. The Canadian government responded on the 4th of August, stating the delegation “Cannot enter Canada on Aboriginal passports”.

The four members of the delegation are Meriki Onus (Gunnai), Callum Clayton-Dixon (Nganyaywana), Pekeri Ruska (Goenpul) and Bogaine Skuthorpe-Spearim (Gamilaraay).

According to Melbourne based lawyer Pekeri Ruska, using Aboriginal passports would “Show Aboriginal independence from the Australian government”.

Read the rest of this entry

Navajo Nation Turns to Plant-Based Foods to Reverse Diabetes

Vegetable boxby Lee Allen, Indian Country Today, July 30, 2014

Diabetes in Indian country is an on-going theme—as are the efforts to combat the disease. One of the most recent steps forward took place recently (July 18-19) at the inaugural International Conference on Diabetes where global researchers weighed in on a surge in Type 2 diabetes—and the role of dietary intervention as a first-line treatment. Nearly three dozen researchers from six countries and leading research institutions presented the current-day status of their investigations involving risk factors and lifestyle interventions as a starting point toward better health.

Read the rest of this entry

Copper broken on Parliament Hill in First Nations shaming ceremony

The copper in Saskatchewan, June 2014, during its cross country journey to Ottawa.

The copper in Saskatchewan, June 2014, during its cross country journey to Ottawa.

Western Canada First Nations representatives want government to address troubled relationship

By Martha Troian, CBC News, Juyl 27, 2014

A traditional shaming ceremony held today on the steps of Parliament Hill is meant to challenge the federal government to renew its troubled relationship with First Nations, says a prominent West Coast artist.

Beau Dick, 59, a master carver and hereditary chief from the Namgis First Nation, says the ceremony involves cutting or breaking a large copper shield.

“Breaking copper is a challenge, it is also a shaming, and it is also about banishment,” Dick explained. Read the rest of this entry


“Be a Good Girl” by Tania Willard
“Be a Good Girl” by Tania Willard

by Chelsea Vowel, Guts Magazine, July 24, 2014

Indigenous women and two-spirited* people are leading a resurgence movement in iyiniwi-ministik, the People’s Island.* They draw on their traditional roles as protectors of the land and water to inform their work in our communities, and root themselves in their specific socio-political orders to counter colonialism and to revitalize language and culture. Rather than being defined as a struggle against patriarchal gender roles and the division of labour, Indigenous women and two-spirited people’s work combats the imposition of colonial barriers. The goal is not to attain gender equality, but rather to restore Indigenous nationhood, which includes gender equality and respect for gender fluidity.

Read the rest of this entry

First Nations rights and title claims: Is it legitimate to call it class struggle?

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First Nations Target Copper Shaming Ceremony At Canadian Government

Awalaskenis copper cutting 1by Stephen Hui, Georgia StraightJuly 3, 2014

When Haida copper is smashed on Parliament Hill on July 27, the ancient shaming ceremony won’t just be sending a message to the federal government.

On the first day of the Awalaskenis II journey from Vancouver to Ottawa, Kwakwaka’wakw hereditary chief and carver Beau Dick told the Georgia Straight that he sees performing the copper cutting ritual as a “challenge” to all Canadians as well.

“It’s about consciousness and about waking up to realize that, as human beings, we have a lot of things to sort out,” Dick said on Wednesday (July 2), as he marched with about 40 people on West Broadway. Read the rest of this entry

Survivor’s Totem Pole to symbolize resistance, persistence, and inclusion in Vancouver

Haida carver Skundaal.

Haida carver Skundaal.

By Matt Kieltyka, Metro Vancouver,

Like the Bear Mother at the base of a totem pole, a Vancouver artist hopes her latest community project will provide strength to the Downtown Eastside.  Skundaal, Bill Reid’s only female apprentice, and three apprentice carvers have been whittling away on a survivor’s pole dedicated to communities that have struggled for survival in Vancouver.

After the totem’s completion, it will be installed somewhere in the Downtown Eastside (the location has been kept secret) as a lasting symbol of inclusion between Aboriginals, Chinese Head Tax survivors, victims of Japanese internment during the Second World War, the homeless and those currently facing gentrification and other issues in the DTES. Read the rest of this entry


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