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Unsettling Ourselves: Reflections and Resources for Deconstructing Colonial Mentality
A Sourcebook compiled by Unsettling Minnesota
foreword by Derrick Jensen; texts and guides from Andrea Smith, Waziyatawin, Dee Brown, Ward Churchill, Elizabeth Martinez, Denise Breton, UM… Collective Members, and others

With this book we offer you, as a seed, a collection of readings about this land and the people who live upon it. We offer you this sourcebook in the hopes that it will serve as a guide in your own process of decolonization. We hope it will motivate and inspire you toward the necessary action for justice.

The sourcebook contains over two dozen essays about decolonization and the related themes of white supremacy, sexual violence, classism, heteropatriarchy, appropriation, restorative justice and more, spanning more than 200 pages

You can purchase hard copies of the sourcebook for a $5-$15 donation by emailing us. All funds raised will go directly towards a Dakota-organized land project for a traditional maple sugar bush and wild rice camp.

Or download it as a PDF here (but watch out – this is a BIG file at 48mb).

(Second edit, January 2010)

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Unsettling Minnesota         5

Introduction by Wicanhpi Iyotan Win and Scott DeMuth      6

Foreword by Derrick Jensen           8


Unsettling Minnesota Points of Unity         11

How Minnesotans Wrested the Land From Dakota People       12

from What Does Justice Look Like? by Waziyatawin

Working Definitions           42

Unsettling Minnesota

“Their Manners Are Decorous and Praiseworthy”        47

from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Desire to Belong: Reflections As a Settler Searching For Sense of Place 54


Little Crow’s War            57

from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

What is White Supremacy?           71

Elizabeth Martinez

Sexual Violence as a Tool of Genocide          75

from Conquest by Andrea Smith


This Is How It Seems To Me:           90


Mirroring Colonial Power Structures in Radical Organizing: Rape Culture    93

as Colonization and Community Accountability


Shut the Fuck Up            99

Dan Spalding

Unlearning: Thoughts on Allyship         104


From a Male-bodied Settler Moving Towards Allyship… 107


Anti-Classism            112

(Author Unknown)

What You Can Do About Classism         113

Class Action

Cultural Appropriation: Beginning Reflections from a Settler Standpoint    116


Spiritual Appropriation as Sexual Violence         118

from Conquest by Andrea Smith

Indians Are Us? Reflections on the “Men’s Movement”       127

from Indians ‘R’ Us: Culture and Genocide by Ward Churchill

Understanding Colonizer Status          151



Un-Settling Settler Desires           156

Scott Morgensen

Indigenous Feminism Without Apology         158

Andrea Smith

White Supremacy Culture           161

Tema Okun

Heteropatriarchy and the Three Pillars of White Supremacy:

Rethinking Women of Color Organizing         169

Andrea Smith, from The Color of Violence: the INCITE! Anthology

Talking to Settlers About Unsettling          173


Brainstorm: the Beginnings of Unsettling Minnesota       174

Decolonizing Restorative Justice          176

Denise C. Breton

Colonialism on the Ground           191



Additional Resources 200

Dakota Decolonization: Solidarity Education for Allies (syllabus)      202

Letter to the New Ulm Journal: Cherusci, Dakota Both Resisted Colonization   204

Watershed 207


Decolonizing Ourselves: The True Face Behind Minnesota’s History 208


One Comment leave one →
  1. September 13, 2013 4:33 am

    I have heard of decolonizing by my professor Chris Mato-Nunpa while attending SMSU in Marshall, Mn. I received a minor degree in Indigenous Nations and Dakota Studies. As someone of mixed race (Jewish, Apache, German, Russian, Mexican) I can say that decolonizing is not limited to Indigenous people. The mind-set of Anglo, or “whites” needs decolonizing. They (we) all have been brainwashed with lies and misconceptions about “American” History. Whose story,those white males in power’s history.

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