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Reclaiming Our Intelligence
Marilyn Robb

November 11 & 12

Knowing our

December 2 & 3

What I Learned at the Allies to Natives Workshop

The following is some of what I learned at the Allies to Natives Workshop [see previous article]:

  • All who are not from this continent [North America] are immigrants and need to grieve having given up their homelands.
  • We allies have our possessions because of genocide. We need sessions on “giving it back.” We can cut consumption by fifty percent, and give back the land.
  • People came here with hopes that the “American Dream” would become a reality for them, only to find it was an illusion. What were our grandparents told about coming to America?
  • We can be pulled to use counseling sessions just to discharge on “personal problems.” We also need to use them to think big and search for solutions. Our lives will be better and things will move faster if we put our minds on the bigger picture.
  • We all need to face the need for zero population growth. Given genocide and other oppressions, many constituencies are pulled to procreate.
  • Scientists predict rising coastal waters, and lands going under water. Without discharge, early hurts can pull us to stockpile and hoard and to push people out. When we are scared, we often become inhumane. We have to challenge our fears so that we can act humanly as new conditions due to climate change require cooperation. We have limited time to stop climate change, and over a billion people could be lost. We need a plan so that we don’t become frozen with fear. Native people plan for seven generations ahead. Allies need that kind of vision.
  • Systems set us up to be separate from each other. We can make contact and build friendships. How many people follow you? How will you lead them? Marcie is constantly thinking about, planning for, and organizing her neighborhood and community. As society collapses, the most important thing is having people around us.
  • Native peoples are at the forefront of environmental movements—we need to follow them. We need to back [support] the thinking and leadership of Indigenous peoples.
  • Each of us lives within an hour or so of Native people. We can make real friends with them—the kind of friends we eat with and celebrate birthdays with. (Ask where they want to eat!) We need to reach out, reach out, reach out—be persistent, but not urgent. Native peoples will not usually be “warm and fuzzy.” We need to be respectful and have sessions on not being welcomed. (What makes us “look funny” [look strange] to Native peoples?) It’s best not to offer one-way counseling, due to its similarity to paternalism.
  • Things are shifting in a good direction. More Native people are staying longer in RC. Every single day is a good day to be alive!

Joanne Bray

(with thanks for the notes others shared with me)

Stamford, Connecticut, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion
for RC Community members


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00