Understanding Colonizer Status

The Indigenous voice is not lost! We will make sure of that.

Unsettling America

By Waziyatawin, Unsettling Ourselves

“Colonial relations do not stem from individual good will or actions; they exist before his arrival or his birth, and whether he accepts or rejects them matters little.” -Albert Memmi

Colonization v. Oppression

Many oppressed people around the world identify with the oppression experienced by colonized people. Often, if they live in a colonized society, the poor, oppressed, disenfranchised, and marginalized individuals or classes have difficulty identifying with the colonizers and thus seek to identify with the colonized. Because they live in a society in which colonization is ongoing, they begin to see themselves as colonized.

This discussion is designed to help differentiate between oppression and colonization, and to clearly demarcate colonization as a distinct historical, political, social, and economic relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. In our volume For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook (Santa Fe: School of Advanced Research Press, 2005), Michael…

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