The Stolen Generations

From a student in my Decolonizing Social Work course based on the movie Rabbit Proof Fence. Check it out!

I am a White Man

I watched “The Rabbit Proof Fence” about the stolen generations for an assignment this week.  I had known about the intentional destruction of the aboriginal peoples of Australia and Tasmania, but watching the story unfold in film drives home the point so vividly.  I think we as a culture we can more easily write off cultural oppression when we see it as accidental, versus organized annihilation as found in this story, jewish persecution, or Native American massacres at the hands of Europeans.  Stories like this one, however, leave little room for interpretation.  What is also saddening for me is to think of the moral causalities caused by bad science and misplaced faith.  In the earlier parts of the 20th century, eugenics was thought by many to be scientific fact.  Hitler credited part of the Nazi “final solution” to the American eugenics movement.  The children taken against their will, the families…

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Wk 2…heading down the rabbit hole…

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!

Decolonizing Alysa

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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Activist, writer Shaun King challenges notions of humanity’s progress

In front of a sold-out Rackham Auditorium, writer and civil rights activist Shaun King took the stage and told the audience he was not there to inspire them. ‘I believe that in a lot of ways, you’re already inspired — that you’re frustrated, that you’re angry, that there’s still hope in you. I don’t think you need me to inspire you. Tonight, I’m really here to teach you a lesson that I think will give you a new lens to see the world,’ he said Monday night. That lesson came straight from the philosophy of German historian Leopold von Ranke.

Source: Activist, writer Shaun King challenges notions of humanity’s progress