Good to see #IdleNoMore jumping colonial borders here in Cascadia. Free Tlingit Aani! 1300 Indians strong in Seattle. And I’ll be damned, but Free Missoula too! Hey, does anyone remember “Defenders of the Land” that started in Winnipeg in 2010? It is many Indigenous Nations coming together to fight together with non-Indigenous support? I bring this up because it certainly seem that #IdleNoMore is just on more tremor leading up to the Big One, where rights aren’t demanded, but autonomy is established. I think the time has come….
In the international popular imagination, Guatemala in December of 2012 was defined by two events: the much-hyped and misappropriated end of an era in the Maya calendar, and to a lesser degree, John McAfee’s abortive attempt to win asylum following his flight from neighboring Belize. While both have been treated superficially in mainstream discourse, they are interesting for the windows they opened, at least momentarily, to more complex social and political dynamics touching on issues of indigenous rights and impunity.
Reception of the “2012 phenomenon,” in particular, revealed the depth of colonial attitudes towards indigenous populations. The general lack of understanding that Maya populations continue to exist and maintain spiritual and cultural practices is the most telling example of these prejudices, though more extreme examples of racist belittlement circulated among flippant and ironic references to the “End of the World.” This media and social network fervor, however, may also reveal…
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