Why Occupy is not Decolonization

Two recent articles both of which are critical of the Occupy movement provide a compelling case for why non-Indigenous activists should take greater care in talking about Decolonization.

Tuck, Eve and K. Wayne Yang. (2012). “Decolonization is not a metaphor” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society.1: 1-40.

Barker, Adam J. (2012). “Already Occupied: Indigenous Peoples, Settler Colonialism and the Occupy Movements in North America” Social Movement Studies. 11:327-334.

Among their many contributions, both articles deconstruct and critique the Occupy movement’s use of the following two images:

Tuck and Yang point out that Land is wealth. A shift in wealth from the 1% to the 99% is simply a redistribution of land that is already stolen.

Barker notes a number of problems with this imagery including that Algonquin is a language not a people and that the “aesthetic is commonly appropriated by Settler people in constructing myths of pure, noble savages, implying an exile outside of contemporary events” (p 329: see also Adrienne, 2011 cited in Barker)

An alternative image:

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