With permission, I’m re-blogging an entry from one of my students who is of Abenaki heritage on the class readings for the week. I loved it and hope you do as well!
After reading Laenui, I attempted to relate the process of decolonization to my life, specifically to my history, experience, and culture as Abenaki.
My people are a lost people with a lost history. We first encountered colonialism in the early 1600’s when French then English settlers moved into the regions of Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Canada. There was reciprocity of resources in those years when European immigrants would rely on First Peoples for survival and trade. There was peace with the French as resources were abundant.
Then, as is the experience of most indigenous people, the Abenaki experienced biological devastation when exposed to diseases, and the population decreased by 75% in the late 1600’s. Additionally, we were pawns and soldiers in territorial disputes between the English and French; the Abenaki sided with the French immigrants.
Slowly, as the English pushed French settlers out of New England, the Abenaki and…
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