Transformative Praxis

The historical dividing issues between Indigenous people and the State system are a reality that is being relived by the descendants of indigenous nations. The lack of will to address the indigenous issues has led to reactive politics, which has become an obstacle to change. There is an erroneous perception which assumes that all indigenous issues have been resolved through the process of ‘decolonization.’ This simplistic and yet arrogant approach has the tendency of putting the colonizers at the center of attention and stifles all other processes that seek to empower indigenous peoples to take effective control over their destiny. 

There is therefore a pressing need for a transformative praxis that would enable indigenous people to begin a reawakening of the indigenous imagination that had been diminished by colonization processes. This implies a shift away negative motivation to positive motivation that involves raising a consciousness in which indigenous people rather than waiting for things to be done for them begin to do things for themselves. In other words the chains of dependency must be broken free to liberate the human mind. 

By accepting increased responsibility for transforming their own existential conditions and subsequently removing themselves from under the influence of the reproductive forces of the dominant society, indigenous people will find a direction in nurturing the development of their lives. This demands disengaging from the colonial strategy that distracts and diverts indigenous pursuit towards trivial self-abuse. It is time for indigenous people to self-examine the state strategy of distraction by critically conscientizing the elements of colonization and to diminish its impact by actually empowering the indigenous imagination of freedom. Thus, it essentially is a struggle for the liberation of the indigenous mind from the grip of hegemonic worldviews.  

A transformative praxis would be incomplete without erasing the unhelpful gap between indigenous aspiration and the academic worldview. For a very long time, indigenous struggle has been relegated by academics as ‘tribal wars’ and ‘ethnic conflict’ creating an overwhelming sense of distrust and lack of participation that causes marginalization. This dislocation and misplacement of issues inevitably seeks to delegitimize indigenous aspiration for a dignified existence. To reclaim legitimacy and genuineness of the struggle, indigenous people need to evolve and affirm their own ways of knowing and being so that indigenous knowledge system is acknowledged as a relevant body of production and reproduction. 

Perhaps through this praxis the State would realize that the status quo is detrimental to its own existence and therefore be persuaded to understand and engage mechanisms that compel shifts towards addressing indigenous issues. Indigenous struggle are called to move beyond its homogenizing stand of locating its demands as a single entity and are required to adapt and develop numerous strategies with the capacity to create space that contradicts and challenges and the existing accepted way.