October 20, 2017

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson Quote


Coming to know also requires complex, committed, consensual engagement. Relationships within Nishnaabewin are based upon the consent – the informed (honest) consent – of all beings involved. The word consensual here is key because if children learn to normalize dominance and non-consent within the context of education, then non-consent becomes a normalized part of the ‘tool kit’ of those who have and wield power. Within the context of settler colonialism, Indigenous peoples are not seen as worthy recipients of consent, informed or otherwise, and part of being colonized is having to engage in all kinds of processes on a daily basis that, given a choice, we likely wouldn’t consent to. In my experiences with the state-run education system, my informed consent was never required – learning was forced on me using the threat of emotional and physical violence. In post-secondary education, consent was coercive – if you want these credentials, this is what you have to do and this is what you have to endure. This is unthinkable within Nishnaabeg intelligence. In fact, if there isn’t a considerable amount of demonstrated interest and commitment on the part of the learner, learning doesn’t occur at all. Raising Indigenous children in a context where their consent, physically and intellectually, is not just required but valued, goes a long way to undoing the replication of colonial gender violence.

- Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Land As Pedagogy: Nishnaabeg Intelligence and Rebellious Transformation


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