Live Oak is currently offering Introduction to Decolonization as well as Principles of Decolonization Module Series to various organizations and businesses as well as developing online module series for individual and organizational decolonization trainings.
Contact us for more information on current training offerings.
What does it mean to “Decolonize”?
Decolonization has become a buzzword. It’s important to know the origins of the word, the Native scholars whose work first grappled with it and how it is understood today–so as to not trivialize the work and meaning of term.
Colonization as defined by Michael Yellowbird and Waziyatawin, “the formal and informal methods (behavioral, ideological, political, and economical) that maintain the subjugation and or exploitation on indigenous peoples, lands and resources.
Decolonization is the meaningful and active resistance to the forces of colonialism that perpetuate the the subjugation and/or exploitation of indigenous minds, bodies and lands. Decolonization is for the ultimate purpose of overturning the colonial structure and realizing indigenous liberation.”
There is a current movement in academia and public policy to recognize indigenous peoples and invite them into conversations about land use, ‘resources’ and conservation. Even more encouraging are efforts by national and international science organizations to include indigenous peoples in discussions around adaptation to climate change. Because of the cultural and philosophical differences however, these conversations often fail or become one-sided. Our work recognizes the pitfalls inherent in unequal and historically traumatic relationships between the descendants of a settler population and indigenous peoples.
The rewilding, permaculture and environmental movements, while aligned with many indigenous philosophies and practices have been historically non-indigenous and therefore unintentionally marginalize Native people. By their very nature, as movements about reconnecting to place, rooting oneself, and returning to pre-industrial solutions, practitioners unknowingly erase/ignore/overlook important local land knowledge, vital histories and thwart real community and environmental healing.
Our workshops seek to educate and engage through multiple modalities (or strategies) for uncovering foundational misunderstandings, alleviate unnecessary tensions and pave a way forward, aligned with Native values and conscious of Native presence and pasts. Our goal is to provide attendees with background, context, and resources to meaningfully and respectfully collaborate with local Native people where appropriate, and awareness and humility to know when/where it’s not.