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Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future

Patty Krawec

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Work through the tasks together with others so that when the difficult emotions come, you have somebody to sit with. Be with someone as you let the floodwaters of history—and your ancestors’ and your role in it—wash over you. That way you don’t need to fear the waters of guilt or loss or grief. With the support of others, you can trust that you will surface, still breathing and holding on to a handful of mud with which to imagine and create something new.”

“When we talk about demonizing or dehumanizing people as part of that destroy-and-replace process, we can take another important lesson from the wendigo. Although he sees beavers instead of people—as something he could consume rather than as humans, like him—the people are unchanged. They may appear to be beavers to the wendigo, but in the stories they remain human. It is the man who consumes them who is transformed. It is the man who consumes them who is dehumanized.”

“Ultimately what we inherit are relationships and our beliefs about them,” writes Aurora Levins Morales. “We can’t alter the actions of our ancestors, but we can decide what to do with the social relations they left us.” In order to understand these relationships, we need to listen to the histories that we were not told so that we can begin to remember the things buried beneath the histories we were.”

“Throughout the book, I offer Anishinaabe stories and Indigenous knowledge not so that you can claim them as your own but so that they can provide a lens through which you can see your own stories differently. That is part of what I hope to explore in these pages: how we can read these histories differently and find a way to live together in peace, honesty, and respect.”

“This is a story about a lot of different things. It’s about being lazy and trying to get something without working for it. But it’s also about our own willingness to keep our eyes closed to what is happening around us—to enjoy the things we have without paying attention to what they might be costing others.”

“This is a central theme in literature and movies; from Wagon Train to Star Trek, Americans admire this desire to boldly go and then bravely defend themselves from those who resent discovery.”

“These myths are packaged and sold to newcomers and working-class white people so that they will chase promises that were never meant for them.”

“The book Living in Indigenous Sovereignty, by Elizabeth Carlson-Manathara and Gladys Rowe, is a collection of essays and interviews written by settlers who are working through what it means to become kin,”

“Settlers are not immigrants. Immigrants come to a place and become part of the existing political system.”

“Settlers and migrants and the forcibly displanted get worried when Native people start talking about Land Back. What about their house? Where will they go? Unable to imagine any scenario other than what settler colonialism unleased on us, people assume that Land Back means evictions, relocations, and eliminations. In some cases, that might be appropriate... And although we are often, and I think reasonably, looking for change in ownership, at its core, Land Back means profoundly changing our relationship with land.”

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Book Keywords:

nationalism, land-back, indigenous-rights

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