There is ongoing talk about the process of ‘decolonization,’ however the phrase may be outdated and a bit misleading.
The definition of the word decolonizing is: ‘to grant independence to a colony’. But Indigenous Peoples never surrendered our sovereignty. The term decolonize or decolonization has morphed into a revolution/movement about reaffirming our existence and our … everything: our beliefs, our culture, our land, our languages, our resources, our strength, our spirit, our treaties, our traditional governments, and even our (now) interdependence.
But there is a problem if we accept that ‘decolonizing’ is the answer to all of our problems. Within the healing patterns associated with decolonizing, the focus remains to be ‘them’ (the colonizers). Healing is to be provided to us by ‘them.’ This maintains the understanding that we are passive recipients of healing, we are waiting to be healed — by them — and creates the illusion that we are powerless.
There were 94 recommendations/calls to action listed in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission final report, released June 2015 based on interviews, healing circles, and an extensive review of the church and government documents (just limited to the documents that were released).
Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the commission made the recommendations directly to the Government of Canada and to the churches that participated in these acts of genocide. The recommendations were seemingly well received without any criticism. They called upon all levels of government found within Canada as well as the churches to implement the 94 ‘Calls to Action.’ The recommendations did not identify any ‘calls to action’ as the collective responsibility of individual Canadians. Nor did the report identify any recommendations geared toward us.
Although I understand who the target audience was and the purpose for the report, the recommendations did not acknowledge or empower Indigenous Peoples’ responsibility to actively participate in the re-strengthening of our communities. Not one recommendation was directed at us. Not one recommendation acknowledged that we have inherent strength, resilience and power that we can use to be contributors and participants in the self-determination of our (own and individual) healing as an integral part of (Native North America’s) collective healing.
Let’s call upon ourselves … we displace the term genocide with coloniocide (def. to put an end to colonization) then return to the mindset of our ancestors’ by ‘revillagizing!’
We call upon ourselves to Revillagize, the next collective step after coloniocide and replaces decolonize. Once Indigenous Peoples have become strong, have clear understandings of surviving within the modern world, and are no longer living in fear of outdated genocidal policies and legislation, we will then start the process to (psychologically) ‘revillagize.’ The people will have the frame of mind as our ancestors did while they were living in the villages.
Peace, Power and Righteousness will be an expectation of each member of this group. This will counter the current survival tactics of oppressed people, which are associated with lateral violence.