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coming to understand Indigenous Perspectives

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Stacey Scott

on 31 March 2014

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Transcript of coming to understand Indigenous Perspectives

Unit 2
Contrasting Worldview: Why Decolonization Matters
Unit 6
Indigenous History in Canada and its Relationship to Decolonization
Unit 3
Anti-Racism & Decolonization: Examining Privilege, Oppression, and Structural Racism
coming to understand Indigenous Perspectives

integrating learning to enhance capacity
Unit 11
Decolonizing our Hearts and Minds
Acknowledging my social location is essential for effective anti-oppressive practice and my own role in decolonization. Bishop (1994) explains that the primary principle of educating allies is an "understanding of oppression as structural and historical" (p. 127), and it is embedded in Western views and culture.

The 'Spiral Model of Learning' helps to visualize anti-oppressive practice and consciousness:
(1) Place ourselves (2) Reflection (3) Analysis (4) Strategy & (5) Action
(Bishop, 1994, p. 126)

I have also created a collage to illustrate my understanding of
how my own racism operates and needs to be challenged.
It is important for me to understand my own worldview
in order to come to come to understand other worldviews.

Comprehending the dominant Western ideology helps to illustrate the importance of applying decolonizing approaches. Graveline (1998) explains that "in the contemporary era, our lives - experiences and voices - are contextualized by the immediate and daily interface with 'colonial mentality... It is necessary to continue to unveil the philosophies and pedagogies that were/are used to dominate us in order to better challenge them'" (p. 69).


*This will be life-long learning*
Learning from this course has helped to deepen my understanding of Indigenous history in Canada and learn more about decolonizing approaches in the social work context.

4 themes from the course will be explored.
Unit 2 - Contrasting Worldview: Why Decolonization Matters
Unit 3 - Anti-Racism and Decolonization: Examining Privilege, Oppression, and Structural Racism
Unit 6 - Indigenous History in Canada and its Relationship to Decolonization
Unit 11 - Decolonizing our Hearts and Minds

I believe that the 4 themes chosen demonstrate foundational learning for decolonizing social work and anti-oppressive practice.
To help demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of course concepts, I have integrated a variety of visual cues (pictures, collages, video).

Decolonization, enhancing consciousness and awareness are central to my overall artifact; and while it is important for me to recognize and admit that my
knowledge is limited, it is also important to acknowledge that my willingness to learn, grow and come to understand various forms of oppression
(and how this manifests in society) is sizable. Moving through the topics of worldview, anti-racism (examining privilege & oppression), Indigenous history
and practices to decolonize hearts and minds helps to illustrate my internal processing.

conclusion
Key Terms when exploring an Indigenous Perspective on Worldview
interconnectedness
relationship
Contrast between Western Worldview & Indigenous Worldview
Learning how to decolonize my heart and mind is a process of progress, not perfection.
Barker (2006) suggests that “the first step in becoming a decolonizing Settler is contesting against this colonial ignorance that allows Settlers to maintain thinly-veiled power and privilege” (p. 5). Moreover, “colonization is motivated by an implicit individualism, functionality similar to selfishness: colonial Settler actions, even when not intended as such, can appear as greed for power and privilege, insulation from conflict or fear, and the freedom to completely ignore problematic ‘others’ as well as the effects of individual actions” (Barker, p. 11). In turn, I must acknowledge my own selfishness, power and privilege .

Living a decolonizing existence means that I will continue to shift my values and principles, moving away from an oppressive dominant ideology. That being said, “decolonizing Settler people must first achieve an understanding of the meaning of respect both in Western traditions and Indigenous traditions and then experiment with manifestations of respect in relationship” (Barker, p. 22).

I have a lot of learning to do and I will definitely
try to decolonize my heart and mind!

Erasmus and Sanders (1999) explain Canadian History from an Aboriginal perspective, making Aboriginal sovereignty clear, while exploring broken agreements, the distortion of history by non-Indigenous people, the Indian Act and the journey of retaining First Nation's land rights (pp. 3-11).

A look at Indigenous history also helped me to clarify the need to be diligent about decolonizing approaches. When we come to understand what the past has been, we can better approach the present moment from a sensitive and informed perspective. Furthermore, it has been important for me to acknowledge my own white privilege, in addition to looking at the impacts of colonialism on the past, present and the future

Decolonizing dialogues in an effort to deconstruct dominant discourse are essential. Decolonization occurs when colonizers 1) Acknowledge responsibility (the need to fix the settler problem), 2) explore identity and myth (the socialization of colonization), 3) learn about the history of dispossession, violence, and the Indigenous-Settler relationship, while offering opportunity for Indigenous counter-narratives, and 4) construct a foundation of truths, through the action of truth-telling (Regan, 2006, p. 3).

I have attached a short video (an excerpt from the 8th Fire video series on CBC) that
offers approximately 500 years of history in 2 minutes.

inviting consciousness & awareness
...it is important to be conscious to Canadian history, the whole truth
My worldview informs the way in which I view the world.
My frame of reference is also influenced by socially constructed dominant ideology.
Introduction
References
Barker, Adam. (2006). From dversaries to allies: Forging respectful alliances between Indigenous and Settler peoples. Unpublished paper.

Bishop, A. (1994). Notes on Educating Allies. In Becoming an ally: breaking the cycle of oppression, Halifax, N.S.: Fernwood, pp. 125-145.

Erasmus, G. & Sanders, J. (1999). Canadian history: an Aboriginal perspective. In Diane Englestand & John Bird (Eds.), Nation to Nation: Aboriginal sovereignty and the future of Canada. Toronto, Ontario: Irwin, pp. 3-11.

Graveline, F. J. (1998). Revitalizing a traditional worldview. In Circle works: Transforming eurocentric consciousness. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, pp. 49-69.

Regan, P. (2006). Decolonizing dialogues & historical conflicts. Presented at First Nations Symposium, Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC. Nov. 22, 2006.

8th Fire Wab Kinew 500 years in 2 minutes. (2012, May 31). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmYu-Wpp


enjoy!
Navigating course concepts of worldview, anti-racism (power & privilege, including my own white privilege), Indigenous history and decolonizing practices has been essential learning as I continue to explore the meaning of anti-oppressive practice. I hoped to demonstrate my understanding of the contrast between Western worldview and Indigenous worldview, the realities of racism and need for social power for racism to exist and persist, the impact of Indigenous history and colonialism, and my own journey of integrating decolonizing practices and dialogues as I move along in my personal and professional life. Maintaining a level of consciousness and awareness, while staying present, helps me to be mindful of my own decolonizing efforts. I must continue to try to deconstruct oppressive (dominant) discourse and learn from my own mistakes .
Thank you!
continuing to enhance capacity
Full transcript