Unsettling America is a new political project and an outgrowth of the Unsettling Minnesota, a collective of non-Dakota people working in solidarity towards decolonization in the Dakota homelands in Minnesota. The goal of Unsettling America is to document the praxis of decolonizing the “Americas,” with an particular eye towards the land that are colonially known as “Canada” and the “United States.”
Although very new I believe that they have a lot of promise, based on the work of the original collective.
Unsettling America’s Points of Unity (Adapted from Unsettling MN‘s Points of Unity):
- All people not indigenous to North, Central, and South “America” who are living on this continent are settlers on stolen land. We acknowledge that Canada, the United States of America, Mexico, and Central & South America were founded through genocide and colonization of indigenous peoples–which continues today and from which settlers directly benefit.
- All settlers do not benefit equally from the settler-colonial state, nor did all settlers emigrate here of their own free will. Specifically, we see slavery, hetero-patriarchy, white supremacy, market imperialism, and capitalist class structures as among the primary tools of colonization. These tools divide communities and determine peoples’ relative access to power. Therefore, anti-oppression solidarity between settler communities is necessary for decolonization. We work to build anti-colonial movements that actively combat all forms of oppression.
- We acknowledge that settlers are not entitled to live on this land. We accept that decolonization means the revitalization of indigenous sovereignty, and an end to settler domination of life, lands, and peoples in all territories of the so-called “Americas.” All decisions regarding human interaction with this land base, including who lives on it, are rightfully those of the indigenous nations.
- As settlers and non-native people (by which we mean non-indigenous to this hemisphere) acting in solidarity, it is our responsibility to proactively challenge and dismantle colonialist thought and behavior in the communities we identify ourselves to be part of. As people within communities that maintain and benefit from colonization, we are intimately positioned to do this work.
- We understand that allies cannot be self-defined; they must be claimed by the people they seek to ally with. We organize our solidarity efforts around direct communication, responsiveness, and accountability to indigenous people fighting for decolonization and liberation.
- We are committed to dismantling all systems of oppression, whether they are found in institutional power structures, interpersonal relationships, or within ourselves. Individually and as a collective, we work compassionately to support each other through these processes. Participation in struggle requires each of us to engage in both solidarity and our own liberation: to be accountable for all privileges carried, while also struggling for liberation from internalized and/or experienced oppression. We seek to build a healthy culture of resistance, accountability, and sustenance.
You can reach Unsettling American via email at unsettlingamerica (at) riseup (dot) net.
Also check out Unsettling Ourselves: Reflections and Resources for Deconstructing Colonial Mentality, a resource guide for settlers for understanding colonization and decolonization by Unsettling Minnesota. It features excerpts from the writings of Ward Churchill, Andrea Smith and Dee Brown, and has an introduction by Derrick Jensen.
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