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Month: February 2020

What is settler colonialism and who is a settler?

“For too long the depth of racism in American life has been underestimated. The surgery necessary to extract it is necessarily complex and detailed. As a beginning, it is necessary to X-ray our history and reveal the full extent of the disease… Our nation was born in genocide, when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on…

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BKI.1 — What is the Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute?

I recently attended a conference called the Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute. The BKI, as it is called, was held on unceded Chumash territory in what is colonially called the Ventura River watershed of California. The leadership of this conference was comprised of local indigenous tribal chairpeople and educators, more geographically dispersed indigenous elders and leaders (Cree, Dene/Laguna Pueblo, Wakka Wakka, Oglala Lakota, Nadleh Whut’en), and Christian leaders Elaine Enns and Ched Meyers. The…

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BKI.2 — Rights vs. Responsibilities

At the BKI, facilitator and educator Dr. Jonathan Cordero (Chumash/Ohlone) said, “White people talk about their rights a lot, but not so much about their responsibilities.” Indeed, I myself often adopt a mentality of “I’m entitled to x ” — low-cost health care, being in a place at whatever time is convenient for me, filling up with organic peanut butter in the bulk section but labeling it as conventional, flying on airplanes,…

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