Source: (2005) In Wanda D. McCaslin, ed., Justice as Healing: Indigenous Ways. Writings on Community Peacemaking and Restorative Justice from the Native Law Centre. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press. Pp. 29-53.
For Native Peoples, being dispossessed of our homelands through imperialism constitutes the greatest form of trauma, from which we have not recovered. Furthermore, colonialism–as a project of this imperialism perpetrated initially by Europeans and now Americans–remains a major cause of trauma for Native Peoples. Indeed, an honest view of the Native experience with colonialism can only be described in one word: holocaust. To argue otherwise maintains an important feature of the colonial project: outright denial. As recently as January 2003, many Americans, despite clear historical evidence to the contrary, thought that terms such as imperialism or imperialists, colonialism or colonialists, and occupation or occupiers did not to apply to them. But the unprovoked attack against the Iraqi people and the subsequent occupation of Iraq by the Americans changed that, piercing the bubble of denial. (excerpt)
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