Brothers and Sisters Around the World – Idle No More Teach Ins in New Zealand
Stepping into a country with a distinctly diverse history from one’s own, different Indigenous knowledge, and a separate oral tradition can seem quite daunting. Yet, one thing remains certain; ceremony dissolves those fears of judgement, those uncertainties of incorrectly following traditional protocol, and the ideologies of self-doubt. Because the reality is, things will unfold the way Creator wants it to.
Being in New Zealand, on Maori territory, to discuss the Idle No More movement and the assimilative legislation that has affected Indigenous peoples in Canada was nerve-wracking to say the least. Yet, seeing the solidarity, support, and knowledge of the movement within New Zealand provided a sense of how integral this movement is to Indigenous peoples globally. This movement has formulated a connection that grasps ceremonial roots and redefines the Indigenization of colonial tactics on the global stage.
The settings with the teach-ins which occurred in New Zealand had the familial atmosphere that I felt within the rallies in Canada of 30 people and rallies of up to 8000 people. The smiles around the room demonstrated the true, heartfelt, support that thrived within our Maori brothers and sisters. Most importantly, the understanding of how integral it is for the people of New Zealand to support the movement showed how united we truly are, even though we live on opposite sides of the globe.
The most interesting component of the teach-ins held in New Zealand was the collective understanding and importance of decolonization methods in a so-called “post-colonial” time. The ground-breaking research done by Indigenous peoples globally shows just how integral the expansion of Indigenous knowledge, with effective traditional protocol and Indigenous knowledge protection, truly is to fully implement our sovereignty. By educating one another and engaging in conversations that promote similar future goals, a united front can begin to formulate, showcasing how detrimental any legislation pertaining to Indigenous peoples, without consultation and consent, within specific countries truly can be. The research agendas that benefitted and mobilized Indigenous academics in New Zealand can benefit and mobilize Indigenous academics here in Canada, and vice-versa. This knowledge can then be transferred into social movements, such as Idle No More, placing a strong sense of Indigenous methodologies which align with traditional realities. The bridge between educational tools and traditional mechanisms can redefine the movement into one that hold both, education and traditional power. A force to be reckoned with.
By educating one another we gain support, yet without traditional education, a movement cannot progress. Always hold onto traditional knowledge, whether you’re hosting an Idle No More event on your home traditional territory, or half-way around the world, because it’s through this that we remain grounded, connected, and in relation with our ancestors and with prophecy.