Outen: We Stand Together

Imagining: Creating Spaces for Indigenous Ontologies, by Marisa Elena Duarte & Miranda Belarde-Lewis influenced me to imagine the people standing up as one against those who decide to destroy and leave out important information. This text states “much of our ways have been lost, subjugated, censored, and stolen from our communities, with no substantial return of documents, artifacts, institutions, or status in the foreseeable future.” This quote really hit home. I could not imagine my culture, land, and existence being deliberately obliterated, because of greed and cold-heartedness. Several of our class discussions have focused on those who have the power to hide, create, and delete information. In my African American and Diaspora class, we have talked about the Africans who were stolen from their lands and distributed to the Americas, Britain, France and so forth. Slaves were documented only to prove whether or not someone owned them. Furthermore, many of the slaves on the trading ships were killed and their deaths were not recorded, because employers of the slave trade wanted insurance money along with other brutal reasons. I could not imagine being deleted, or historically recorded only as property rather than a human being with a personality, culture, mindset, and ideas.

This text also states “as indigenous thinkers, in order to imagine, one must not allow the trauma of the past harms to cloud our future vision.” This quote takes the ideas right out of my head. I have always said “we should understand our history, but prevent ourselves from becoming hypnotized by it, so we can actually make positive changes.” Furthermore, I believe individuals who fight for their culture or history should not marginalize themselves from people who seem different from them. At the end of the day we are all human beings trying to find a purpose in life.

I feel the pain of those indigenous peoples who were forced to assimilate into certain societies, with the fear of being marginalized due to any resistance. If we, as a people, seek the truth where do we begin? Do we expose those who have hidden or created false information? Do we search for answers and debate which ones seem the most legitimate or accurate?

The picture below represents we as a people supporting each other on a quest for the truth. No matter where we come from or what we believe in, we have to stand together as a whole to make change. We cannot forget that the people are the majority and the most powerful. The minority need us to function. We are as in control as we want to be.


stand up for your rights

About Tionna Outen

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1 Response to Outen: We Stand Together

  1. Annie Kingman says:

    Tionna- I also never thought about the treatment of historical archives as an opportunity of colonization. I have taken history classes that focused on colonization throughout history, and I was under the impression that this was something we were moving away from in our modern world. The article suggests that this is not the case, and I completely understand why. When the Europeans came to America they colonized the land by forcibly removing the people who lived there (Native Americans). This is not unalike what we are doing today with their histories, forcibly removing their stories from the index of available knowledge. This is indeed an act of colonization. Makiah’s project for his summer internship (mentioned in his post) says it all. If a people’s history is not digitized, it is likely that it will cease to exist in the future. This is the reality we face- digitization is preservation. So, if we do not digitize the history of minorities like Native Americans, we may lose their histories forever, and we wont be able to get them back.

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