dissent

 

 

 

 

 

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“Dissent was also a normal and a critical part of decision-making processes in all levels of social organization. A plurality of individual truths within a common context provided people with the ability to express themselves and their opinions in a way that simultaneously protected the experience of the individual within the consciousness of the collective. In this way, individual dissent could easily and respectfully be encoded within Indigenous political and intellectual traditions. The oral traditions of Indegenous nations are rich with stories of a single dissenting being, influencing and mobilizing the masses…hearing and considering the opinions of others, even when they differ from those of the collective, is important because often important interventions come from people close to the spiritual world – women, the elderly and children – coming to us through dreams, visions, and ceremony.”

 

“This is a movement, a mobilization, and a migration towards continuous rebirth…This movement in Nishnaabeg thought is expressed through the structure of the language, which utilizes verbs to a far greater extent than nouns. In the pre-colonial daily life of Nishnaabeg people, movement, change and fluidity were a reality. Family groups and clans travelled cyclically throughout their territories based on the thirteen moons of the year, the seasons and their knowledge of cyclical change in the natural world. At certain times of the year, clans would gather for governance, ceremonies and social activities. Leaders emerged as issues did. Society and clan structure expanded and contracted like a beating heart, or working lungs. Centralized government and political structures are barriers to transmotion; this static state is never experienced in nature. Aligned with the natural word, Nishnaabeg people created political, intellectual, spiritual and social lifeways that enabled them to align themselves individually and collectively with the life forces of their territories.”

 

Leanne Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, pp. 88, 89

 

 

 

 

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