Last week in the land of Facebook the question was asked, “What does decolonization mean to you?”. Amidst the variety of comical and thought-provoking answers I wrote that for me colonization means the end of fast food and drive-thru. Although I have spent most of my life pondering the question, at that moment I couldn’t think of anything that sounded academic or scholarly. It made me think of a problem.
It is impossible to understand decolonizing unless you are aware of what colonization really means. For the Onkwehon:we the countries of this continent are mutated English and Spanish colonies and “us guys” have been caught in a multi-cultural whirlwhind that has devastated some aspects of our lives while greatly improving life in other areas (I’m thinking of general anaethsia). In the process, we almost lost our language, our land and our very lives.
The process of decolonization means analyzing our history and culture with the help of our elders and academia and then sorting through all the post-colonial garbage of our day to reach logical conclusions on what we should be doing as indigenous people, groups and nations. I decolonize everytime I ask one of my elders “Ok, so 500 years ago….” and I recognize that not everyone agrees in which areas we need to decolonize the most.
Which leads me back to my first thought. For me, fast food sums up the entirety of colonization in one ugly lump of calorie and carbohydrate. It’s like a perfect analogy for our lazy society. Unfortunately I am a huge fan of burritos from Taco Bell, Big Mac’s from McDonalds and Combo #1’s from everywhere! What a dilemma. To top it all off like many other “scones” out there my body type is ectomorphic which in layman’s terms means my physique is something like kermit the frog.
In my dreams I can think of our people strong again as we once were, with our socio-political frameworks back in place, our clans healthy and fully functioning with our territories back under our care. But the path to that special place is both forwards and backwards at the same time as we remember the ancient teachings while navigating the modern landmines along the way.
Last night I ate carrots and almonds for supper although my body was desperately crying out for the instantaneous gratification of the joy that is hamburger, fries and soft drink. I endured what some might call “pyschological pain and discomfort” and went to bed hungry. Taking the time to cultivate our own gardens and hunt our own Skawarowene and Oskennon:ton takes hard work and is rewarding but in the words of internet sensation Sweet Brown “Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!”.
And yet, that is the paradox. To truly decolonize ourselves and our bodies, we have got to make the time to live healthy and make the right choices. We hope you enjoy the information we have provided in this week’s special health section to assist you in making the right kind of choices for you and your family. Nobody said healthy living is easy, but it certainly is necessary!