This article urges altering the discourse around social change. Too often it is antagonistic and negative; it also overlooks continuing colonizing practices and how injustices to Indigenous peoples have helped to shape past and current injustices toward other groups. First, the article foregrounds the religio-political ideology of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and the boarding-school experience to remind readers about the broader criminal history of the United States toward Indigenous nations and peoples and how colonization is not a thing of the past. Any call for social change should remember this. Second, the article looks at three dimensions of Indigenous philosophy that would be good to affirm as we strive for a better world: relatedness, sustained peace, and an ethic of preservative care. Limited calls for justice that avoid continuing colonizing practices and that begin with negations and hate are not responsible and will help to continue the sustained violence we no longer want. For sustained peace, the strategy should be to begin with an affirmation (here an affirmation of Indigenous wisdom) and a broader historical understanding of the injustices that continue to bring harm to millions of people within the borders of the United States. By changing the subject in this way, it will not only make for more peaceful activism, but it will also create better allies to Indigenous nations and peoples.
Ruehl, Robert Michael
"Let's Change the Subject: Grounding Social Change in Indigenous HIstory and Philosophy,"
The Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal: Vol. 3
, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/sfd/vol3/iss1/8