Foods We Gave to Europe (AKA Foods the Colonizers Stole from our Ancestors)

Maize (from Taino, mahiz)

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Tomato (from Nahuatl, tomatl

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Papaya (from Carib, pawpaw)

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Potatoes (from Taino, batata; from Quechua, papa)

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Squashes (from Narraganset, askutasquash

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Tobacco (from Taino, tobaco

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Vanilla (from Latin, vaina)

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Chilli Peppers (from Nahuatl, chilli)

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Pineapple/Ananas (from Guarani, nana nana

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Avocado (from Nahuatl, ahuacatl

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Peanuts/Cacahuate (from Nahuatl, tlalcacahuatl)

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Pecans (from Ojibwe, pakan/bagaan)

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Chocolate (from Nahuatl, xocolatl/chocolatl)

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#DecolonizeHistory is about interrupting space, addressing colonial roots and undoing processes of white supremacy.

Historical narratives are most often presented without the context of colonization, slavery and imperialism despite the huge role they play on all aspects of life. 

Hoping this project raises awareness about injustices towards Trayvon Martin, subject to a system of racism that never served to protect his life, Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen arrested and detained in Guantanamo Bay when he was only 15 years old, and Assata Shakur & Huey Newton, labelled “terrorists” for actively resisting systemic racism on stolen land. 

This is the beginning, there are so many more narratives to be shared and #DecolonizeHistory aims to illuminate the role that processes of colonialism continue to play out in society. 

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"From these examples we learn what tattooing meant for these women. They were seen as not only more beautiful, but also possessing emotional and physical fortitude to endure pain and hardship, including the pain of childbirth. A woman’s tattooing was an affirmation of her strength and inherent spiritual power, procreative endowment, and as a form of clothing, an enhancement of beauty and a proclamation of her status. Finally, the tattoos were a form of recognition that allowed the soul of a woman to pass into the afterlife and join the glorious chain of her ancestors."

-Lane Wilcken, Filipino Tattoos: Ancient to Modern


Women from the Philippines from various ethnic groups were also known to showcase their tattoo’s along with men, not just for beauty purposes but because also because it was a form of clothing.

Unlike men who had to earn their first tattoo by doing some brave deed such as killing their first enemy during a raid or war, women received their first tattoos at puberty as a symbol and representation of their coming-of-age and their transition from a young girl into womanhood. For women the tattoos she received represented meanings of fertility, bravery, and strength, meanings that represented her as woman and her gift of life and what she would need for childbearing.

By enduring the pain of getting tattooed from the needles tapping and piercing through ones skin it was symbolic in that if she could endure this pain, she can endure childbearing. Those who weren’t tattooed were considered barren.

Some tattoo motifs represent different aspects of their lives and as a symbol of womanhood. Some were of seeds, rice plants, crosses and dashes put on ones face to mark her as a woman ready for marriage along with confusing bad spirits of enemies that were beheaded. Some were representations of the ancestors and their protectiveness over their kin, which were believed to keep the wearer safe from harm and prevent one from getting diseases. Other tattoo motifs were given as a type of medical tattoo which were to believed to treat an ailment.

Our tattoos were also not just for beauty purposes and representing our womanhood, but they also had spiritual meanings behind them. A belief shared among many of the ethnic groups who practiced tattooing was that one who wasn’t tattooed would not be accepted into the land of the dead, as the ancestors would not recognize them.

wanna Decolonize?

let’s start with a few basic questions

whose land are you on right now? What is the history of this land and the peoples who have occupied it since time immemorial? what names do those peoples have for this land? how have you come to be on this land? what are the processes that made this land available to you? what about the land you grew up on? or land your parents grew up on? etc.

One of the supposed characteristics of primitive peoples was that we could not use our minds or our intellects. We could not invent things, we could not create institutions or history, we could not imagine, we could not produce anything of value…we did not practice the ‘arts’ of civilization. By lacking such virtues we disqualified ourselves, not just from civilization but from humanity itself. In other words we were not ‘fully human’…Imperialism provided the means through which concepts of what counts as human could be applied systematically as forms of classification…In conjunction with imperial power and with ‘science’, these classification systems came to shape relations between imperial powers and indigenous societies.

The European powers had by the nineteenth century already established systems of rule and forms of social relations which governed interaction with the indigenous peoples being colonized. These relations were gendered, hierarchical and supported by rules, some explicit and others masked or hidden. The principle of ‘humanity’ was one way in which the implicit or hidden rules could be shaped. To consider indigenous peoples as not fully human, or not human at all, enabled distance to be maintained and justified various policies of either extermination or domestication.

- Linda Tuhiwai Smith | Decolonizing Methodologies

NATIVES READ TOO

NATIVES READ TOO

Browsing the internet, found some free PDFs to read:

You have here, writings that detail Indigenous topics covering or in the style of: manifestos, creative writings, political, cultural, “feminist”, environment/ecosystems, and Natural Law. 

Enjoy the readings!

Arguably, one of the most familiar memes of science fiction is that of going to foreign countries and colonizing the natives… for many of us that is not a thrilling adventure story; it’s non-fiction and we are on the wrong side of the strange-looking ship that appears out of nowhere.
—  Excerpt from preface to “So Long Been Dreaming”, by Nalo Hopkinson

Homeless tenters in Oppenheimer Park say they’ve received an eviction notice from the City of Vancouver.

However, the tenters say they have the support of First Nations leaders from the Downtown Eastside and they’re not going anywhere.

Today (July 20), they’ve issued their own eviction notice, effective immediately, to the city. It reads:

We, the indigenous people here today in Oppenheimer Park, do hereby assert our Aboriginal Title, as established in law by the Supreme Court of Canada in Tsilhqot’in v British Columbia. Our people have held title to this land since time immemorial, and we are exerting our right to exclusive authority, recognized as an inherent element of our title, over this land and this camp. The City of Vancouver recognizes the unceded and enduring existence of our Aboriginal Title here. Under this recognition, we now require that you leave this place and cease any attempts to remove people or their belongings from this place. Because we are the title holders to this land, we assert that you do not have jurisdiction over this place until such time as our title to it is lawfully resolved. Any actions against this camp are thereby unlawful actions against our title; we demand an immediate cease and desist of action or the threat of action against this camp or those within it.

A news release from the tenters and their supporters says that about 30 percent of homeless people are aboriginal due to the “effects of colonization and poverty”. It also notes that the 1,798 homeless people counted in Vancouver in March was the “highest number ever counted”.

Referring to the Downtown Eastside local area plan, the release also claims: “Vision Vancouver approved a plan for the Downtown Eastside that seeks to displace 3,350 residents.”

On June 25, city council voted to formally acknowledge that the city lies on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

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