Learning from the Land: a guide to anti-colonial nature connection workshops

  • Posted on: 27 June 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://knowingtheland.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/learning-from-the-land-a-... the Land</a>

Back in the Spring of 2011, the Knowing the Land is Resistance shifted its focus from writing to holding workshops, and since then, we’ve done more than two dozen in cities and towns across Southern Ontario. We are almost too excited to share with you the culmination of this work, the Learning from the Land guide. It is available for download as a pdf at zine library: http://zinelibrary.info/learning-land-workshop-guide-knowing-land-resist...

The most powerful part of these workshops for us was getting to know radicals throughout the region and to vision together a watershed-scale resistance movement capable of linking our local struggles. We are still glad to offer workshops and to participate in convergences, but the playful, collaborative workshops we offer can be facilitated by anyone — you don’t need any special knowledge to do it. Hopefully this guide can help spread the practice of rooting struggle in a personal connection to the land where you live.</td><td><img title="Mystical connection between alienation and imagination" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/purplewomanumbrella.jpg"></...

The release of this guide marks a transition for our collective back towards writing investigative ecological pieces with an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist analysis. We hope to continue though in the spirit of building strong links in our region with those who support the health of the land and who fight back against its destruction.


Goodluck to the polar bears.

Especially the bi-polar bears, they have it bad.

Only because they've forgotten how to stomp on seals, but they'll rewild eventually.

A beautiful metaphore, the bi-polar bear represents alienated urbanised populations, the stomping is rebellion against neo-colonial authority, and the seal their sovereign occupancy of land.



You are incredibly foolish, so much so that my head is metasore!!!

and "neo-colonial" means..?

That shitty urban sprawl of plastic houses near your place. Assuming you don't live into one of these already. If so, die!

Hey, you really hurt my feelings! Can't you please stop, think and consider before you write something? I know it must be hard, but seriously, every time I ask a question on this website I am attacked as if people are trying to push me to suicide.

Anyways, neo-colonialism is a lie. Assimilate or destroy is the story of human society. It is grasping onto a memory of what was once and now no longer is to impose this definition. There is no new movement to colonize what was already colonized, there is no break in history to say a new movement of people from another empire are coming to seize land.

These old hurt feelings are nationalism in disguise and though it may be painful to say, it is time to release the past and move into the present. Certainly there are other ways of living and I respect and desire to live in alternative ways, but to make claims that this nation has an occupying force implies we should return to where we came. I didn't come from anywhere but here, the generations have passed and I'm not going anywhere and I'm not imposing myself on others.

The Mongols in Russia aren't being told to return, nor are the huns that colonized traditionally Slavic areas. The English aren't being told to return to Germany, the Celts of Gaul aren't being chased back to Ireland. It is time we get real. Native Americans are not special, they just are late in joining the awful clusterfuck that is civilization. Sucks to be you. Time to end the pity party.

Who said anything about anyone going back anywhere? If you don't know what colonialism is, or what people who talk about decolonizing mean, well, luckily you're commenting on an article about that so you could follow one of the links and educate yourself. I can also understand the impusle to act defensively around issues of colonialism, and jump to an assumption that we must be talking about something unreasonable. Like unpacking any kind of privilege, looking at our identity and privileges as settlers can be hard to do, but it's pretty worth it I think.

Colonialism is an ongoing process, it is continuing to happen across north and south america in direct continuation of what has been going on since europeans first showed up here. Maybe that's what you mean by there is no clean break? Decolonizing means it's not about pity, but about responsibility and freedom, two words pretty central to anarchist thought.

As settlers, we are resonsible in that we start from acknowledging that we benefit from this ongoing destruction of both human cultures and wild nature. We seek freedom in that we build from there to support the struggles for sovreignty of Indigenous communities and stop the colonial destruction of their landbases, while fighting back against the capitalist, colonial system of domination, including building new lifeways for ourselves and unpacking the ways that we have been colonized too.

The definition of colonialism in the Learning from the Land guide is pretty good, if you are curious. But if by "get real" you mean consider colonialism to be natural and inevitable, then I don't imagine you're actually very interested, nor would I be very interested in talking further with you.

You didn't even challenge what I said. You only imposed your opinion of a dying way of life as special while everyone else's life must be shit dominator life? What a bunch of guilt moralizing bullshit. How about you examine global history and see that this has been happening since the beginning of history. Native Americans are not separated from that history. Perhaps we should attempt to retrieve every culture that was destroyed from time, send everyone else back to where they came from, even though that is impossible.

Your position is an enforcement of nonsense. We are all being destroyed by the same systems of domination in different ways. We can learn from the fading cultures of history, but this doesn't mean we need to create an ideology of it or paint a narrative of historic domination that was just late on arriving in the Americas. Get with it.

He didn't challenge what you said because you two are basically agreeing and pissing into the rhetorical wind. He is trying to sound more anti-colonial than you while you are trying to sound more on the side of rationalizing our existence, but neither of you is saying anything new or fundamentally opposed to what the other is saying. Now kiss and make up. Or don't. Why the fuck do I care anyway?

As if it weren't obvious, the key difference between the colonization of the American Indians and the earlier subjugations you mentioned such as by the Huns or Normans is that the colonization of the New World is more recent. This means that--along with other more recently colonized or subjugated peoples like Australian aborigines or Southeast Asian hill people--their assimilation has not yet been completed.

There's nothing that can or need be done about the ancient subjugations, they are nothing but history now. But the ones that are active and ongoing today...aren't they examples of exactly the kind of oppression anarchists fight against?

Just because oppression of this and many other kinds has been a continual part of human history, that doesn't mean we have to accept it forever. We can improve.

And as has already been pointed out decolonization in the neocolonial sense doesn't mean that anyone has to "go back" anywhere. It's about a change of attitude. A change in the way we treat each other. The same change that is part and parcel of anarchism itself.

I'm the author of the bi-polar bear metaphor and am grateful for you support during my absence from the debate. Yes, decolonization is important, and neo-colonialism could be redefined now as the recent globalisation of market investments and the hegemony of capitalist economic invasion.

To the above "get over it" @ who first invokes suicide to garnish civil responses to their trollesque comments, the fact that some of the most militant acts of resistance in north america have been carried out by those "pity partying natives" who just need to assimilate or die already, illustrates that a stand can still be made and solidarity/resistance is a must.


caledonia standoff

to name only 2 of many. The war for culture and against leviathan does not end until resistance ceases to exist....which is fucking never

I can't imagine why people want you to die. If that sounds harsh, think twice about who you tell to "get over" a genocide. All you do is make extremely ignorant and racist statements about topics you clearly don't understand. Nevermind that there is a real-life suicide epidemic involved here, I guess you're just more important...

Why did you have to say it like that? I've been fighting back my emotions since reading this! It is so hard! I want to smash my computer screen and just end it already! It is horrible the way you talk to people.

My people who aren't you already experienced their genocide and the Native American genocide, also not you, has been over for several generations. It is you who is racist and ignorant. You impose your values, which are white guilt driven nonsense. You wannabe fake ass faker.

Seriously think about it. The actual issue is old ways of life continue to be destroyed by civilization. Is life or ways of life more important? Think of the travelers, the train hobos, the drifters...has not their way of life also been taken or transformed? Think of the farmers, the manufacturers...is not their way of life being taken from them?

Ultimately culture is a bunch of fairy tales. Marx considered this the progressive nature of capitalism and Stirner considered grasping to old ways holding onto spooks. Yet you want to rally anarchists to the lies you spit at people. You would just as quickly spit on an Appalachian white for defending their mountains and culture, which is a colonialist culture that is also disappearing.

You want to destroy the social order? Find ways to unite people in a total war to destroy domination and not keep up this conservative losing battle as the old ideologies of capitalism have also moved on. Traditional conservativism, classic liberalism, welfare liberalism, state communism...all these forces are also disappearing. So much destruction as history moves on, yet here you are, keeping up the good faith, thinking the world might freeze for the people you feel responsible for. You are no Cain and they are no Able fucker.

It's a false claim when you say : -

'the old ideologies of capitalism have also moved on'

And then to assume that this lie justifies a logical reason for every other culture or way of life to progress to a non-sustainable future, which in your neo-Darwinist arrogance allows you to declassify capitalism into a nameless historical evolutionary process beyond reproach, which is a capitalist argument itself, lurking invisibly in the corridors of power. I hope a polar bear tears you limb from limb fucker.

The way pagans do it is by remembering the old ways without assigning blame. Have you ever noticed that? How a culture that has long been defeated can come back in a new form and recognizes that it isn't fighting a system of colonialism, but actually fighting the systems of domination that everyone else is?

How about nomads? They travel Asia and Europe still as nomads, yet the cultures that practice don't blame their predicament on colonialism should they seek a path of resistance. They've been persecuted since the Roman Empire, taken from their ways of life and forced to live as slaves, even exterminated by Nazis in genocide and by other European powers through forced sterilizations.

How about farmers in Russia? Thousands of years different ethnic groups have been dominated by Russian imperialism and colonialism, yet their rebellions aren't against either. They've modernized their viewpoints.

How about the Jewish? They've been scattered to the winds and when they rebel, they managed to actually win after overcoming massive genocide and people still label them as oppressor for only desiring the same things as Native Americans.

Yet here we are, this continued false narrative being shoved down people's throats. If Native Americans succeed at pushing back "colonialism" it will be with the blood of the colonialist and will resemble the ugliness of nationalism. Stop this nonsense. Stop this buuuuulllshit.

Anyways, now that I'm done pooping all over your neo-colonoscopy, what do we have? We have learning old ways of life and what kind of value they have. We have various people that are dominated. We have a desire to live in a different way than we currently do, perhaps taking old traditions and learning from them on how to make new traditions.

Those that still hold to old traditions can attempt to convince their own communities of how anarchy or communism or whatever expression for an egalitarian way of life is preferable to the present one they have. Expose how their leadership, though often posing as an opposition force, is really just helping keep the dominant order in power, even taking part in how the dominant order controls their community so it doesn't rebel. I mean, srsly guise.

Meanwhile, we can study and learn what other cultures have to offer, perhaps even learning those that our "culture" has forgotten and how that might have something egalitarian to it. Or not. The relationships of the future, those we wish to create to destroy the present order, will always fail if they are based on merely emulating the past.

I'm putting 50 dollars on the polar bear dude :)

This actually makes me really happy, I thought workerist stuff like linchpin and common cause were the only things going on in these parts.

There's always been a wild streak in these parts, probably larger than "the reds". We just don't put out as many newspapers.

Or hold as many meetings. Hopefully future workshops and skill shares will change that though. I'll keep an eye out for them.

this and the KLR collective seem super super awesome. build autonomous territory. <3

I have been musing about the indigenous mythologies, how they emerge from a real land existent, and are not therefore illusionary in a plastic artificial sense, and therefore are exempt from the usual critique that modern myths deserve, which are based on monetary values and disparate relationships. Therefore hierarchy or a division of labour is a taboo if there is a collective desire for egalitarian distribution.

Whoa - there are still watersheds in Ontario? Joking! Luv yuuuu

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