One way that colonization manifests in our bodies is through a sense of inferiority, incapability, unworthiness, and vulnerability. Oftentimes this occurs regardless of how much evidence and logic we possess on the contrary. A constant, pulsing siren in the back of our heads telling us that we’re not good enough, and that we might never be good enough.
(And of course, this is true in one sense; as Indigenous people, even our greatest achievements will never win us validation in a colonial system. That’s a condition built into the foundation of the system.)
This is something I experience, particularly when I’m at the university, with the daily reminders that even the presence of my body in certain spaces is still considered an aberration. Some days these reminders are more intense, blatant, or difficult to dismiss than others.
Living in bodies that transgress (equipped with beautifully transgressive minds to match) gives us access to experiential knowledge that others may never grasp, but it’s also physically and emotionally exhausting.
I’ve found that a lot of sleep and hugs can counteract some of the exhaustion. I also accept donations of pumpkin pie.
“We must be generous with ourselves, and kind as well… We must patient with each other as we learn to live in a decolonized way.”
– Patricia Monture (“Thinking About Aboriginal Justice: Myths and Revolution“)