• Colonization experiences of Alaskan Iñupiat and model for decolonization

      Okleasik, Ukallaysaaq Thomas R. (2016-12)
      This project explores a potential method for examining American, Alaskan and Iñupiaq colonization with a process for decolonization to help restore authentic community self governance that addresses modern socioeconomic challenges and opportunities on terms that will best work in indigenous villages sustainably and effectively. The focus is on Iñupiaq peoples; however, it can be adapted for use by other indigenous peoples. The six-step decolonization process begins with building awareness and understanding the many layers of colonization - both from the colonizer’s perspective and perspective of those subjected to colonization. The decolonization process continues by encompassing healing, revitalization, vision, strategy and action, and leads to sustainability and growth. Decolonization is an individual and group choice that involves questioning, examining and analyzing political and economic relationships. Overall it can offer a contemporary paradigm shift that empowers cultural revitalization and restoring modern Iñupiatun self-determination. The social-cultural-economic costs of colonization to Iñupiat are significant historically, today and in the future. Examining the impacts of colonization puts an honest discussion on the table to identify and assess the damages, realize the ongoing costs to society, and build awareness of the systems for effective change. It could also help to create new decolonized political-economic responses that could aid in achieving equitable lives today to authentically achieve democracy, liberty and justice. Keywords: decolonization, colonization, self-governance.