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Decolonizing British Columbia – The Importance of Settler Relationalities

Territorial Acknowledgement

This essay was written on the unceded traditional territories of the WSANEC Nation, specifically the Tsawout and Tseycum peoples. The thoughts herein have been developed through spending time on many nations’ territories, including the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht, T’souk, Songhees, Esquimalt, Cowichan, Tseshaht, Sinixt and many more. This essay is meant to be distributed far and wide and will hopefully pass through all of these territories and more, as it seeks to build relationships and understanding between settlers, Indigenous people, and the Land. I thank these nations for allowing me to learn from the Land, and all of the connections therein. I thank them for preserving these beautiful places for thousands of years. I thank them for never ceding their responsibilities to the Land and for the example they set for settlers to live up to. The debt will always be mine.

This essay is by no means a complete strategy guide to decolonization, and in fact leaves out many fundamental tenets, such as the liberation of women, prison and police abolition, questions of power dynamics and hierarchy, and many more. Rather than being a comprehensive manual for decolonization, it is meant as an attempt to begin reconciling Western revolutionary traditions with Indigenous worldviews, and to frame decolonization as not only the foundation, but also as the method and end goal of the environmental, feminist, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist struggle across Turtle Island.

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