Cowboys and Indians: Dismantling the Western, Settler-Colonial Worldview (PART I)

Cowboys and Indians: Dismantling the Western, Settler-Colonial Worldview (PART I)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This text on “The American Way” is the primary in a 4-part sequence to deconstruct the Western, settler-colonial worldview and to #ResurrectEloheh

The American, Western mind-set and residing, although replete with issues, will not be fully evil. Sadly, although, the “American Way” (the present social-religious-economic techniques in operation and the foundations that undergird these techniques) is incapable of main us previous the present main hurdles we face similar to local weather change, racial strife, and assumed patriarchies. What’s the root downside? The issue is ethical and non secular however much more, it’s one among worldview.

Our present American, settler-colonial, cultural morality and spirituality are developed from a specific worldview. For instance, how we perceive nature is firmly rooted within the explicit methods during which we view the world. From a Western worldview, nature is to be studied, harnessed, developed and exploited. From an Indigenous worldview, humanity is shaped by nature — not the other. In an Indigenous worldview we’re intricately associated to all different components of creation. This worldview, when it was the dominant worldview on Turtle Island (America), typically produced concord and a comparatively gentle affect on the earth, not less than up till the unfold of settler-colonialism and fashionable capitalism.

When contemplating the harm executed to Indigenous peoples by settler-colonialism, there’s an knowledgeable historic critique to be made. Colonial powers all through the world disregarded the human rights of Indigenous peoples, committing homicide, rape, and untold atrocities. Each the federal government and settlers alike stole our lands, extracted the earth’s sources, and framed the Indigene as both noble and naïve at finest, and as godless savages within the worst circumstances.

The tried genocide dedicated in opposition to Native People was rationalized and defended, oftentimes, from the Christian scriptures. Christians — each Protestant and Roman Catholic —
had been typically not solely complicit in these acts however even served because the engine driving genocidal crusades in opposition to Indigenous peoples. To say the very least, the church benefitted momentously from our Indigenous distress and justified all of it by way of the Doctrines of Discovery and different theological-social rationale similar to Manifest Future, Residential Boarding Colleges, and dangerous Indian coverage.

White supremacy and “cowboy theology” isn’t one thing simply of the previous. My household and I established Eloheh, an Indigenous studying heart, group and farm in 2004. We had been bursting on the seams internet hosting weekend colleges for about 50 individuals, operating job coaching for Native individuals, restoration teams, management, and many others. All that got here to an abrupt finish. Inside just a few years, we had been pushed out by a gaggle of white supremacists with a .50 caliber machine gun. We misplaced every thing and are simply now starting to completely recuperate, relocating once more, and restoring the Eloheh/Eagle’s Wings imaginative and prescient of an Indigenous studying heart, regenerative farm, and non secular group.

The weapon of colonization was pushed primarily by the sin of greed. Right now, with the identical genocidal tendencies, capitalism — particularly as fueled by fashionable business and the practices of company extraction on a worldwide degree — has been the popular weapon of warfare in opposition to Indigenous peoples all around the globe.

Extra so, this underlying anti-Christ philosophy has develop into a weapon of mass destruction aimed on the earth itself. Blaming an abstracted causality similar to humanity or blaming humanity by way of theological justifications similar to sin is well and infrequently flippantly executed. And maybe, in some methods, it’s simply as dismissive for Indigenous peoples accountable the church for its complicity. If concord is to be restored, all of us should assume duty.

What’s at stake now will not be one particular person’s downside nor one group’s process to repair; not the church buildings alone, nor even the duty of 1 particular person authorities. The issue to unravel now belongs to all humanity.

READ: How Making Pals with Indigenous Individuals Modified My Life

Humankind should rethink what it thinks it is aware of, and act in another way than it has previously. We should see issues as they’re; particularly, that the entire group of creation is our relative, as is every race and gender on earth. Our relationship and our issues go even deeper once we think about the current standing will not be one consisting primarily of affection, however one expressed by way of the acts of genocide, fratricide, patriarchy, and ecocide. These weaponized philosophies will not be acts of affection and don’t replicate the God of affection.

Humanity should cease denying our culpability in our current relationships and face actuality. To the earth and our eco-systems, for instance, we should start to just accept our present standing as it’s. Within the eyes of the earth and all her creatures, we’re criminals of the worst type. We’re the rapist of the earth, and we’re complicit within the murders of complete species of crops, bugs, birds, and animals at a widespread and unprecedented charge.

Males should deal with sisters as equals. White of us should deal with individuals of coloration with the identical dignity they afford themselves. The rich should give to the poor and empower them as wanted. This isn’t about socialism or capitalism or any explicit system; it’s easy love, and it’s what Jesus taught.

Whereas there’s a lot sufficient room for blame to go round, I don’t want to dwell on that; solely to say, the dire scenario calls for we should all settle for duty now if we intend to make a change. We should see past the self-reflecting mirror pointing to our culpability and be keen to see the monster standing behind us, particularly, the monster of the Western worldview.

Incremental successes will not be practically sufficient to make the drastic adjustments wanted now. We should search radical change and enact it instantly. With a view to not make the identical errors of the previous, we should study the DNA of the worldview that made us captive to our genocidal tendencies. We should ask ourselves, what monster would flip those that say they observe Jesus, these whose life and demise could also be understood because the very definition of affection, to kill, steal and destroy in his title?

Randy Woodley and his spouse Edith are co-sustainers of Eloheh/Eagle’s Wings, www.eloheh.org in Oregon. He has written a number of books together with Shalom and the Neighborhood of Creation: An Indigenous Imaginative and prescient. The Woodleys are at the moment in a marketing campaign to “Resurrect Eloheh” to allow them to buy land within the American Southwest for the brand new Eloheh Farm, Indigenous studying heart, and non secular group. Please think about supporting their efforts at www.gofundme.com/ResurrectEloheh

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