Oct 24, 2013 - Decolonization For Your Momma- A Workshop Tool for #IdleNoMore by Clayton Thomas-Muller


Clayton Thomas-Muller, co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign, has put together the following workshop format/tool for communities engaged in Decolonization work.  It gives a framework for communities to start the process to engage in conversations to unpack oppression, “his” story, and to develop community based solutions to unlocking the potential of our peoples in today’s Movements.

Decolonization For Your Momma


Historically, Capitalism has been and is the motive for the Colonial and Imperialist policies that have disempowered and dispossess Indigenous people around the world. It generally happens in three big phases in this country: Genocide, Removal/Termination, and Assimilation. Systems of Oppression were used as a means of justification for exploiting people, the earth, and its resources. You know the rest …

Colonialism: European Nations exploiting native people and natural resources in order to make European Nations and European people rich.

Colonization: The process of devaluing and dehumanizing native people in order to justify exploiting them and their homelands.

Colonial Mind: The mindset the colonizer(s) must create amongst indigenous people in order to enable, force, and trick Indigenous people to allow and or participate in exploiting themselves, other indigenous people, and mother earth.


Classism/Capitalism: The system in which rich people get richer at the expense of poor people

Racism/White Supremacy: The system that gives white people power and privilege at the expense of people of color.

Sexism/Patriarchy: The system that gives men power and privilege at the expense of women.

Homophobia/Heterosexism: The system that gives heterosexuals power and privilege at the expense of gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and transgender people.

Oppression affects us on three different levels


Internalized: Within ourselves when we believe the lies and misconceptions about our own group

Interpersonal: Between people…of the same oppressed group, of different oppressed groups, or of an oppressed group and a non-oppressed group.

Institutional: By institutions such as governments, schools, prisons, corporations, etc.


What does the Colonial Mind look like Historically? What sent this cycle into existence?

What does the Colonial Mind look like today? What is not so clear-cut and overlooked?

Where does the Colonial Mind exist?

How does this affect us? Brainstorm affects and their purpose… revisit colonization… dis-empower, dis-possess…

How can we combat the colonial mind? Brainstorm what is and what we want i.e.: schools, curriculum…etc.

De-colonization: The conscious process of unlearning the colonial mindthat has been forced on Indigenous people.


Why it is important…


*Environmental racism is a human rights violation and is a form of discrimination caused by government and private sector policy, practice, action or inaction which intentionally or unintentionally, disproportionately targets and harms the environment, health, biodiversity, local economy, quality of life and security of communities, workers, groups, and individuals based on race, class, color, gender, caste, ethnicity and/or national origin.

Clayton Thomas-Muller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation.  Clayton is the co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign of the Polaris Institute as well as a volunteer organizer with the Defenders of the Land-Idle No More national campaign known as Sovereignty Summer.

Last Real Indians