Courtesy of Nadine and unsettlingamerica.wordpress.com

Courtesy of Nadine and unsettlingamerica.wordpress.com

Indians Counter Occupy Wall Street Movement With Decolonize Wall Street

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This artwork was created by Erin Konsmo, a Métis/Cree Indigenous Feminist from Innisfail, Alberta. She is currently an intern for the Native Youth Sexual Health Network and on the National Aboriginal Youth Council on HIV/AIDS. She is an Indigenous artist, focusing on art forms that incorporate traditional knowledge while telling stories of struggle, resistance, self-determination, identity and sexual and reproductive justice.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has taken root across the nation. Organizers say protestors are drawing attention to the 1% of the population who have destroyed the country and its values through greed.

While many people in Indian Country can sympathize with the protestors’ claims, there is also some growing criticism for the idea behind its name, which overlooks the first occupants of the Wall Street area. This has given rise to the response from Native bloggers and activists to not Occupy Wall Street but Decolonize Wall Street.

An excerpt of a blog post from “An Open Letter to the Occupy Wall Street Activist” published by JohnPaul Montano in Unsettling America: Decolonization in Theory & Practice. Montano describes himself on his Twitter account as a “Nishnaabe-language acquirer naïvely believing that multilingualism, JavaScript and respect for indigenous sovereignty lead to less crabbiness and more peace.

 I hope you would make mention of the fact that the very land upon which you are protesting does not belong to you – that you are guests upon that stolen indigenous land. I had hoped mention would be made of the indigenous nation whose land that is. I had hoped that you would address the centuries-long history that we indigenous peoples of this continent have endured being subject to the countless ‘-isms’ of do-gooders claiming to be building a “more just society,” a “better world,” a “land of freedom” on top of our indigenous societies, on our indigenous lands, while destroying and/or ignoring our ways of life. I had hoped that you would acknowledge that, since you are settlers on indigenous land, you need and want our indigenous consent to your building anything on our land—never mind an entire society.

The blog People of Color details the history of the occupation of Wall Street, in which enslaved African peoples constructed the wall “that barricaded the land white men had seized from native peoples.”

Courtesy Rebecca Coupchiak

Courtesy of http://pococcupywallstreet.tumblr.com/

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Indians Counter Occupy Wall Street Movement With Decolonize Wall Street

URL: https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/indians-counter-occupy-wall-street-movement-with-decolonize-wall-street/