'White is short for "socialized into a Eurocentered frame of mind." White is the name of forgetting. Forgetting so much of how we came to be where we are . . . Boxed into a box that likes to forget its name. I do not walk alone. Like other white men something walks with me. With me walks a shadow. Before me I project the shadow of forgetting where I came from. Behind me trails the shadow of the tears of native people. Below me I march on the shadow of the lands my peoples have raped. Above me looms the shadows of the spirits which I am blind to. All around me walks the shadow of domination, witchhunts, genocides, holocausts, sexism, racism. I do not walk alone.'
Lately I've been reading a few papers by students and advisors of the Indigenous Mind program of Naropa Univeristy. The founder of the program, Apela (Pam) Colorado, originally developed the program to help students with Native American ancestry connect with their heritage. But as a person of both Native American and European descent herself, she recognized that people of European and other ancestries had a need for such a program as well. Since then many people of Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Indonesian and other ancestries have completed the program, and they have made genuine connections with the traditions and culture of their ancestors, as well as breaking free from the cage of the Westernized mind.
What does this have to do with Rewilding? I posted about that on the Rewild.com facebook page recently, and I am going to repost it here:
" To truely Rewild ourselves, I believe that we cannot deny the baggage of our Western culture, which includes the same greed, assimilativeness, and taker-mentality we can see demonstrated throughout history by such groups as the Vikings, the Romans, the British Empire, and the warmongers of the USA military-industrial-complex. We are who we are because we inherited it from our ancestors. Until we admit the inner Viking or Roman or whoever that exists in our heads--in our Western-minded view of everything--we cannot possibly succeed in Rewilding. The monsters in our heads will simply follow us into the wilderness. If we want to truly ally ourselves with the Saami, the Native American tribes, the Maori, the Aboriginal people of Australia, the indigenous people of Africa, the native Hawaiians, or anyone else that still holds their original, tribal connection to the land, we cannot continue to deny our monsters, or claim that they are long gone. Tracing the monsters to their source though, is the first step of healing this."
What I called monsters, JÃ¼rgen Kremer calls shadows, and MartÃn Prechtel would call our burden of ghosts.
Here are some of the specific papers I have been reading:
Erin Langley, paper submitted toward Masters Degree in the Indigenous Mind Program:
Atava Garcia Swiecicki, paper submitted toward Masters Degree in the Indigenous Mind Program:
JÃ¼rgen W. Kremer, advisor to the Indigenous Mind Program:
If you would like to go even deeper, the following two books were recommended to me by my friend Paula who graduated from Naropa University with a Phd in "Recovery of Indigenous Mind".
Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, by Linda Tuhiwai Smith
Yurugu : An African Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior, by Dr. Marimba Ani
http://www.thisiskoi.com/2014/02/yurugu-african-centered-critique-of.html (free pdf)
and also at
I would love to discuss this topic further with people who are interested, but we might like to consider moving the discussion to a non-public forum.