Decolonizing Our Minds and Actions

Unsettling America

For Indigenous Minds Only features Indigenous scholars, writers, and activists who have collaborated for the creation of a sequel to For Indigenous Eyes Only (SAR Press, 2005). The title reflects an understanding that decolonizing actions must begin in the mind, and that creative, consistent decolonized thinking shapes and empowers the brain, which in turn provides a major prime for positive change. Included in this book are discussions of global collapse, what to consider in returning to a land-based existence, demilitarization for imperial purposes and re-militarization for Indigenous purposes, survival strategies for tribal prisoners, moving beyond the nation-state model, a land-based educational model, personal decolonization, decolonization strategies for youth in custody, and decolonizing gender roles. As with For Indigenous Eyes Only, the authors do not intend to provide universal solutions for problems stemming from centuries of colonialism. Rather, they hope to facilitate and encourage critical thinking skills while offering recommendations for fostering community discussions and plans for purposeful community action. For Indigenous Minds Only will serve an important need within Indigenous communities for years to come.By Waziyatawin and Michael Yellow Bird, from the Introduction to For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook:

Introduction and Background

In 2005, eight Indigenous intellectuals created the volume For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook, to offer hands-on suggestions and activities for Indigenous communities to engage in as they worked to develop decolonizing activities. Beginning from the assumption that Indigenous Peoples have the power, strength, and intelligence to develop culturally specific decolonization strategies to pursue our own strategies of liberation, we attempted to begin to demystify the language of colonization and decolonization. Through a step-by-step process, we hoped to help Indigenous readers identify useful concepts, terms, and intellectual frameworks that will assist all of us in our struggle toward meaningful change and self-determination. The handbook covered a wide range of topics including Indigenous governance, education, languages, oral tradition, repatriation, images and stereotypes, nutritional strategies, and truthtelling.

“The most…

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If you make racist comments on my social media posts, I will treat you like a racist…because it is 2015.

Source: If you make racist comments on my social media posts, I will treat you like a racist…because it is 2015.


I made the #ReMatriate photo series. So awesome. Love these.

ReMatriate is an open group of Indigenous womyn. We want to take back what it means to be a wommon from where we each come from, mixed race or not and show that off with pride. We live in a society of images and it is a time of mass innappropriation of our distinct Indigenous cultures and identities. Rematriate is responding to the need to show diverse, positive representations of our women by dismantling negative stereotypes that dehumanize and devalue us. We want to put a stop to the illegitimate use and profit from our hereditary cultural identities, images, art forms and knowledge systems. We want positive images or our womyn in the media that express our complex, beautiful, identities. ReMatriate is a generative social media based platform that has an open call for submissions. If you would like to express what ReMatriate means to you, we welcome you to send images, including a bio, and the name of the person or people in the image as well as the photographer. ReMatriate has been interviewed by Red Man Laughing, CBC radio and tv in addition to Vice Magazine with panel discussions in Vancouver and the Yukon.

Potential x Effort x (Relevant to their Context) = Success NOT just Potential x Effort=Success

Relevance in learning is critical.

A school that makes sense to them. How does help them to achieve their dreams?

Curriculum: Evolution of the teacher.  For example: Literacy levels impacted by the constant corrections of spelling- does give context of why we need to spell, though

Roles that the children live, so different than what we set for them in the urban area.  The expectations, in the community is large. Make the connection of school learning back to all their other roles.

Listen to the families.

Skills and training and experiences come together to make sense.

The importances of connectedness & confidences.

Resounding questions:

What if we could make school relevant?

What if we could change the way we view success?

Move away from being “teacher directed”

Activities need to be relevant to the learners, to everyone, to each player.

Increased confidence. Magic happens. Students are going back to their communities talking about the school that makes sense to them. Meaningful work partnerships.

Justice is every child having a safe place to sleep every night,t

Judge John Reilly – My Aboriginal Education. Worldview. Toxic Stress. Neglect. Addictions. “Justice is every child having a safe place to sleep at night. Moreley. Cochrane. “Creating a program of women helping women so that every woman would have the resources to support each other”, #momstomoms

Excerpt from an arts based paper I wrote on Indigenous Mothering, 2011

“I grew up with many great people, and so close to Lake Superior that the sound of the water roar was constant. I maintained relations with my family in Pic River First Nation, and found freedom sunning in the sand dunes with sisters, smelling the cedar forests, and being with family on reserve for most holidays and other family events. I found joy growing up in northern Ontario. Like most of the others I grew up with, I think we were fortunate to experience a life so close to Mother Earth.”

The link to the paper is here

Indigenous Knowledge Market Vendor Listing

The Event was a great success. Lots of amazing people came through the doors of the Baggage Arts Building that afternoon and night.  This was Thunder Bay’s First Indigenous Knowledge Market. There was a lot of laughter, talking, networking and sharing of stories. It was a good vibe.



Cream Indigneous Market


-Two Feathers/Cocomis Crafts

– Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre

-Francis Family Crafts

-McKay Maple Syrup & Gift Products

-D & R Dreamcatcher’s

-Injunuity Gifts & Supplies

-Tamarac’s Crafts Moccasins & Housewares

-Sacred Elements Tea & Gift Products

-Thunder Bay Art Gallery

-beSuperior Consulting & stella & dot

-Gubber’s Creation, Art & Mayberry Leggings

-Walking with our Sisters

-The City of Thunder Bay

-The Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Ctr. &

-The Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT)

Orange Indigenous Mkt Sign

Events & Programs

Events are planned as follows. The objective is to network, share and build relationships in the area of Indigenous Knowledges. The focus is on learning.

  • Indigenous Knowledge Market – The goal is to bring together common vendors for networking and support in the area of co-ordination of IK.Indigenous Knowledge.
  • The “MyStory” Dibaajimo ( s/he tells; he relates [dibáájimo]) Indigenous Leadership Series will launch in the fall of  2016-17. The “MyStory” Dibaajimo Series are open to everyone.  These unique “series” will feature a special person in and around Thunder Bay and will have a distinct theme. The goal of these series is to build relationships, and network.Fee to attend. • Reflective, dynamic, and with a focus on deepening understanding around key areas that impact Indigenous learning, wellness, & abilities to share these concepts. • Paperless sessions: bring your own journal & favourite pen.
  • Creative  Circle: Foster a love of literacy, art, and other creative means of expression through sharing writing and coffee houses.

Epistemology and the way we learn and how and where Indigenous Knowledges fit into mainstream is a very important concept. How can we facilitate this? Is it possible? Additionally how do we talk with our children about decolonization? What does this look like? How do we even decolonize?

I’m interested in stories and how they help to shape our histories. I believe that stories can help us in understanding so much.  We need to share stories and to listen to the stories we tell, as well as understand how our own stories inform us about ourselves, our lives and about our strengths.

I have advised, visioned, planned, advocated, researched and prepared. I’ve been involved in art, justice, education, health and worked directly with both Elders and youth.

I’ve worked with most political territorial organizations in northern Ontario including  Nishnawbe Aski Nation,  Robinson Superior & Treaty 3 areas, and the Grand Council of Treaty Three through my work in other fields. I’ve worked with Lakehead University, Broland Tree planting, Outward Bound, and Rediscovery International and in the field of Outdoor education including with Outward Bound(Black Sturgeon, ON) for three summers, attended Rediscovery International’s Training in Victoria BC, and tree planted for one summer. (One forest planted by me in and around Manitouwadge ON with BroLand- traditional territories of Bigtigong Anishnawbe).

I am a qualified teacher, with an Honours degree from Trent University in Indigenous Studies, a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University, and a Masters Degree from Lakehead University. I have over 15 years of experience in Indigenous Research, facilitation, policy, curriculum writing, and program development.

I have contributed in the education, health, justice, & art sectors. Richmond-Saravia is a committed advocate in anti violence and in creating spaces for healthy activities, especially with Land at heart.

In my teen years, I became a National Lifeguard, a Red Cross Swim Instructor and coached swimming for about 5 years.  I worked at the Port Hole Pool in Marathon, ON for since the age of 14, where I started out as an assistant Swim Coach.  Being trained in the fields of lifeguarding is and has always meant I see a lot of the world through, well the lifeguard never leaves you, that’s for sure.