COLONIZATION & RACISM COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY
Geoffrey Nelson and Isaac Prilleltensky
COLONIZATION & RACISM
The goals of this chapter are to:
■ show how psychology has developed within a colonial, racist context
■ introduce decolonization work in two societies shaped by colonization
■ communicate the urgency of self-determination and social justice for indigenous peoples
■ suggest ways in which psychologists can support decolonization, including practical examples and student exercises.
In this chapter an Australian Aboriginal woman, a Maori and a pakeha (white) New Zealander draw on their life experiences and work as psychologists to discuss colonization, racism and decolonization. Concepts essential to the pursuit of well-being and liberation for communities affected by colonization, such as self-determination and social justice, are explained and discussed. Case stories describe practical ways in which decolonization is being pursued in Australia and New Zealand. The authors discuss emerging issues and suggest ways in which psychologists can support decolonization and indigenous self-determination.
The emergence of European capitalism, from the 1500s onwards, depended upon systematic exploitation of environmental and human resources in other lands, usually termed colonization or colonialism. Still continuing today, colonization follows standard processes whereby control over spirituality, land, law, language and education, health and family structures and finally culture itself pass from the indigenous people to the colonizers (Nairn, 1990). The outcome for indigenous populations has been poor health, social disruption, low educational achievement and suppression of culture, language and spirit.
When the inevitable end is the killing of the Wairau (spirit)
We are dead living.
Racism means to kill us living. Racism is death.
(Tangata whenua workshop group, Auckland College of Education, 1983, in Nairn, 2002)
Three forms of racism underpin colonization:
■ Personal racism, where an individual's negative stereotypes and attitudes towards other racial groups cause him or her to discriminate against those groups.
■ Institutionalized racism or structural racism, where the policies and practices of organizations deny members from an oppressed group access to resources and power.
■ Ethnocentrism or cultural racism, where the values, beliefs and ideas that are embedded in social representations endorse the superiority of one group over the other (Howitt & Owusu-Bempah, 1994; Jones, 1997).
Institutional and cultural racism 'privileges members of the dominant group in that the whole society is structured in ways that are familiar and natural to them' ( Nairn & National Standing Committee on Bicultural Issues [NSCBI], 1997, p.133). As the Australian Psychological Society's position paper on Racism and Prejudice: Psychological Perspectives (1997) claims, 'It creates an atmosphere in which a group finds itself in a devalued position' and this in turn leads to personal racism so that 'those who are assumed to be inferior are treated differently and less favourably in multiple ways' (p. 10). Through a combination of these forms of racism, European colonists ensured that their own ethnic group was the primary beneficiary of colonial capitalism, leading to a dominant culture in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere often called 'western'.
European Ethnocentrism and Assumed Universality
Because of its origins, colonization is deeply intertwined with European worldviews. The institutions of the colonizing culture, which uphold and promote European worldviews, intentionally replace indigenous systems and come to dominate colonial society. Europeans have downplayed the role of disease, violence and treachery in this process and instead have attributed their cultural and economic dominance in other lands to their cultural 'superiority'. Western science has been used to construct the notion of race, which was used to construct the notion of the aboriginal (including Maori) as inferior. Thus, racism and colonization have been supported by western scientific theories of human evolution, eugenics, biological inferiority and cultural deficit models.
However, western science went one step further than cultural racism to assume universality for its worldviews. As a standard part of colonization, the European scientific paradigm was introduced as the only valid system of knowledge. Howitt and Owusu-Bempah (1994) describe the orientation of European social sciences as more than ethnocentric or culturally racist. They propose the term Eurocentric to capture the universality assumed by European worldviews.
Decolonization attempts to address the impacts of colonial capitalism, racism and Eurocentrism, in particular by making visible how colonization privileges the colonizers and exploits and disadvantages all others. It can refer to structural as well as psychological work and usually begins with making visible the processes and outcomes of colonization. Used in a psychological sense, it has links to processes such as 'conscientization' (Freire, 1972) and the 'liberation of consciousness' described by other practitioners such as Ivey, Ivey and Simek-Morgan (1993) or liberation psychology (Comas-Diaz, Lykes & Alarcon, 1998). Both indigenous and colonizer people have a part to play in effective decolonization work.
Decolonization is a process that assists indigenous people to identify as members of a racial group that has been systematically oppressed by a dominant culture; it enables them to take action towards social transformation. Facilitating an understanding of oppressive processes and affirming the legitimacy of a people's ancestral culture encourages cultural renewal (Dudgeon & Williams, 2000). Members of colonizer groups working on decolonization come to acknowledge their personal participation in the structural and cultural racism that maintains their group's economic and cultural dominance (Nairn, 2000) and to join others in collective work for change.
COLONIZATION AND RACISM 333
Decolonizing Australia and New Zealand
Colonization and Change in Australia
To understand the contemporary culture(s) of indigenous Australians and New Zealanders, both pre-contact and contact history needs to be considered. The indigenous people of Australia consist of two different cultural groups: mainland Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal people have been in Australia for 50,000 or even 150,000 years (Broome, 1994; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, 1998). For Aboriginal people land was not only a source of sustenance but also the materialization of the journeys of the ancestors from the time of creation. Land was not owned, but one belonged to certain areas. Groups and individuals had rights and obligations to their 'country'. These obligations included looking after the country, maintaining sacred sites and performing ceremonies to ensure the country's well-being. Attachment to land is very powerful for Aboriginal people today. Even for those not living in their country, there are still spiritual, psychological and familial bonds with places of origin (for a brief history of the impact of colonization in Australia, see Dudgeon et al., 2000).
Deeply entrenched cultural myths about Australia as terra nullius (empty land), about Aboriginal people bowing submissively to white settlers and about Aboriginal people inevitably dying off still inform many people's understanding of history in Australia. These myths, and this historical perspective, function to legitimize colonization and naturalize white interests. Over the past three decades or so, a history is emerging that challenges such Eurocentric myths and narratives and, from an indigenous Australian standpoint, identifies the genocide, denial of human rights, alienation from land and assimilation to European models of society.
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating was the first national leader to publicly acknowledge the devastation of Australia's colonial past that has been masked beneath triumphal nationalist accounts of 'discovery', pioneering spirit and Christian civility. In his launch of the International Year for the World's Indigenous People, Keating (1993) declared that European Australians had dispossessed indigenous people: murdered them, taken their land and smashed the culture, removed children from their parents in the assimilation process and practiced discrimination and exclusion.
Amidst a fluctuating political climate in which more conservative forces describe such revisionist histories as 'black-armband' accounts, cultural renaissance has emerged as a key goal for indigenous people — celebrating survival, taking pride and joy in culture and identity and revitalizing language and cultural practices. Since citizenship was secured in the 1967 Referendum, there has been considerable social and political change, marked by such milestones as the goal of self-determination for indigenous Australians; Aboriginal land rights legislation; the formation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC); the 1990 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody's focus on underlying social, cultural and legal issues; the establishment of the 1991 Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation; and the Mabo case and resultant Native Title Act of 1993.
In this wider context of change, constructions of mental health informed by indigenous people began to emerge. There was a move away from the disease model towards a focus on wellness, concepts of holistic health and culturally informed and appropriate approaches (Hunter, 1997). An increasing number of indigenous mental-health professionals began to contribute, participate and reclaim the authority to speak for, contextualize and determine indigenous mental health. As a result, a national consultation report, Ways Forward: National Consultancy on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health (Swan & Raphael, 1995) emphasized a philosophical approach of empowerment and self-determination in the provision of mental health services for indigenous people (Swan & Raphael, 1995). Mental health training courses for indigenous people were initiated and mental-health professionals were required to conceptualize mental health in different ways. Terms such as `self-determination', `quality of life' and 'well-being' have recently entered the vocabulary of mental-health professionals working in indigenous settings ( Hunter, 1997).
Colonization and Change in New Zealand
The Maori migrated from Eastern Polynesia around AD 1000 or 1100 (Te Awekotuku, Neich, Pendergrast, Davidson, Hakiwai & Starzecka, 1996). Ancient Maori society was essentially tribal, with each iwi (tribe) being a nation unto itself (Te Awekotuku, 1991) and holding political authority as tangata whenua (people of the land) in their region. Colonization began in earnest in 1840, after The Treaty of Waitangi was signed by over five hundred tribal leaders. The Treaty allowed for the establishment of a settler government, guaranteed that iwi would maintain their tino rangatiratanga (sovereignty) and guaranteed protection over property rights and taonga (cultural and social properties) (Durie, 1996). The Treaty promised that Maori would have equal citizenship rights to other New Zealanders, implying equal opportunity and access as well as spiritual and cultural freedom.
An account of the impact of colonization from a Maori perspective can be found in Walker (1990) and from a pakeha (white settler) perspective in Nairn and McCreanor (1991). In contravention of the Treaty, white settlers established a national government excluding Maori and used the British army to force land sales and seize land. Overt legislation and policy destroyed the economic base and undermined the Maori spirit and culture. For example, the Tohunga Suppression Act of 1907 forbade the role of tohunga (people with superior knowledge in a particular area) and enabled Christianity to supplant the ancestral gods or spiritual guardians (Roberts, Norman et al., 1995). Following the Maori rural to urban shift in the 1950s and 1960s, tribal structures were discouraged on the grounds that they obstructed the assimilative process. As a result, third or fourth generation urban migrants were effectively cut off from any tribal links (Ratima, Durk, Potaka & Ratima, 1993). Today, Maori are over-represented among the unemployed, the poor, the ill and imprisoned.
Maori have been undergoing a process of decolonization. Past damage is being documented and acknowledged. Maori knowledge that has been submerged, hidden or driven underground is being revived (Smith, 1999). Different interpretations of the Treaty are still being debated, but the process of token reparation is underway. Principles (that is, of partnership, protection and equity) have been drawn from the Treaty and promoted as essential to the relationship between Crown agencies and Maori. Three developments have accelerated the move towards Maori sovereignty (Dude, 1996):
■ The worldwide move by indigenous people towards self-determination and greater autonomy.
■ New Zealand's reaffirmed commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi in the 1980s and the subsequent inclusion of the Treaty in the obligations (if not legislation) of Government.
■ Recognition, by 1980, that Maori worldviews and Maori understandings of knowledge were themselves distinctive.
There is a higher level of awareness and debate of Maori tights in New Zealand now than in the 1970s. In this context, most professional associations (including the NZ Psychological Society) include in their ethical guidelines the rights of Maori people to culturally appropriate service; and many public services have attempted some form of organizational change to provide for Maori aspirations and needs.
Founding Concepts for Self-determination and Decolonization
The following concepts have their base in the activism of indigenous groups and their supporters, rather than in the western academy.
Indigenous Authority and Self-determination — Tino Rangatiratanga
A central concept around which change efforts have clustered in New Zealand has been tino rangatiratanga or the 'unqualified authority' of the indigenous people. Guaranteed in the Treaty of Waitangi, this means that Maori tribes have self determined political power to define and resource their priorities. It means that the indigenous peoples are not just another minority group with special needs (Te Pumanawa Hauora Id Te Whanganui-A-Tara, 1993).
Australia, New Zealand and most western countries are signatories to the UN Charter that defines the collective rights of all peoples as the inherent 'right of self-determination' by which 'they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development'. Thus, indigenous peoples have the full right to self-determination that all other peoples of the world have under international law, including all rights to decolonization and permanent sovereignty, as expressed in UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) of 1960.
Case Story: Kaupapa Maori Research
In the New Zealand context, traditional and new Maori paradigms and theoretical frameworks compete for recognition in a research environment dominated by western knowledge’s. Kaupapa Maori research is an emerging methodology that seeks to facilitate and support decolonization and Maori development. The term kaupapa means to lay down the philosophy, thus kaupapa Maori establishes Maori epistemology and culture as that foundation. This case study outlines the key principles by which a growing number of Maori researchers are choosing to work.
Kaupapa Maori research is distinguished by Maori control and is frequently described as research by Maori, for Maori and with Maori. It takes for granted the validity and legitimacy of Maori, the importance of Maori language and culture (Smith, 1999, p.185). Emancipatory aims are a significant component: 'Intrinsic to kaupapa Maori theory is an analysis of existing power structures and societal inequalities. Kaupapa Maori theory therefore aligns with critical theory in the act of exposing underlying assumptions' (Pihama, 1996, p.16). However, there are differing views on the value of critical theory. Bishop (cited in Smith, 1999) disagrees, saying instead that critical approaches to research have 'failed' to address the issues of communities such as Maori and that the development of alternative approaches by Maori reflects a form of resistance to critical theory. Smith argues that kaupapa Maori is a 'local' theoretical positioning (p.186).
Maori control over the research extends to 'control over the agenda for research' (Smith, 1996, p.25).
Priorities for research are most often defined by pakeha professionals rather than by the communities being studied. 'As a result, the key issues (as seen by the community) have often not been addressed and the research has often been primarily of academic value' (Pomare, 1992, p. 8). Further, most of this research on Maori has been 'obsessed with describing various modes of cultural decay' (Smith, 1999, p.87) and the common practice has been to measure Maori by comparing Maori with non-Maori (Kilgour & Keefe, 1992). There is an expectation that Maori outcomes will be the same as non-Maori outcomes and that nonMaori strategies can achieve the same level of effective outcomes for Maori as non-Maori' (Watene-Haydon et at, no date, p.492). This is an assumption that is rejected by some Maori. For example, Dude (1996) said this goal implies that '... the same measuring rod can be used for all people or that similar outcomes are desirable. That would be an assimilative device, totally unacceptable to Maori and, more to the point, inconsistent with the finding that health and culture are Inseparable' (p.7).
Research, instead, should focus on and celebrate progress (Glover, 1996). It should benefit Maori (Te Awekotuku, 1991). Research offers an opportunity to set right past impacts. Research can support social change, particularly kaupapa Mood research that, located within the wider struggle for Lino rangatiratanga, openly 'addresses the prevailing ideologies of cultural superiority which pervade our social, economic and political institutions' (Smith, 1995).
Kaupapa Mend research is noted for its commitment to the involvement of Maori research participants and their communities throughout the various stages of the research (Ngawhika, 1996). Attending to ethics and accountability is a key requirement of researchers. Consultation with iwi authority structures may be conducted to determine research needs and priorities and to negotiate permission and access to communities.
Kaupapa Mend research is conducted in accordance with Maori tikanga (protocols) and upholds the mana (power and dignity) of all involved. Different relationships or interactions have specific cultural protocols that apply to them, For instance, 'there are cultural protocols that relate to the integrity of whakapapa (geneaology), which we see inextricably linked to the physical gene' (Mead, 1995, p.3). For Maori, knowledge itself is tape (sacred). This tape is put at risk when knowledge is shared, especially if the result is commercialization. If this happens the 'sacredness' and 'fertility' is lost and the knowledge becomes 'common' (Roberts, Norman, Minhinnick, Wihongi & Kirkwood, 1995).
For the reasons listed above, Maori regularly express concerns relating to the use of research data, security, control and ownership of data. The concept of kaitiaki (guardianship), rather than ownership, is important to Maori. As Jackson (1996) explains 'ownership which is a very Pakeha capitalist view' is designed to protect commercial interests (p.10).
How information is analysed is as important as the other issues already discussed. Analysis done in accordance with a Maori worldview uses a broad, holistic approach. The re-emergence of traditional Maori frameworks for assessing, monitoring and promoting evaluation has been paralleled by the development of new and appropriate models from which Maori may work.
'True' Histories for Colonized and Colonizer
Another founding concept of decolonization and anti-racism work in Australia and New Zealand has been the retelling of history. In the process of moving towards self-determination, indigenous people need to focus on an appreciation of them, prior to colonization, and an understanding of what happened during the time of colonization. Rethinking history is an important part of the process, as Smith states:
Coming to know the past has been part of the critical pedagogy of decolonization. To hold alternative histories is to hold alternative knowledge’s. The pedagogical implication of this access to alternative knowledge’s is that they can form the basis of alternative ways of doing things. Transforming our colonial views of our own history (as written by the west), however, requires us to revisit site by site, our history under western eyes... Telling our stories from the past, reclaiming the past, giving testimony to the injustices of the past are all strategies which are commonly employed by indigenous peoples struggling for justice. (1999, pp. 34-5)
Box 16 . 2 Case Story: Decolonization in Australia by Pat Dudgeon
Indigenous people have been actively discouraged from education. The first official indigenous graduate from an Australian university was in 1968. Hence, participation in higher education is extremely challenging but empowering in a number of different aspects.
Curtin University has a twelve-month course that prepares Aboriginal students for tertiary studies. Called the Aboriginal Bridging Course, it has been operating for about 20 years. Hundreds of people have undertaken the course. Of those who complete, some have gone on to mainstream degrees, while others have gone into employment. For all, participation in the course has been a signpost in their lives. Like the birth of a child the experience is one that changes their lives.
Until recently, the true history of our people was riot available to us. There were stories told by the elders of families and cultural ways that were practiced and spoken about privately, but the dominant society did not acknowledge these. Many of us grew up being taught a history at school that ignored the presence in Australia, or rise painted a negative picture, of our culture and idle. We were told we were savage, uncivilized and we did riot deserve the country as we did not put it to od use'. We were told that our people did not fight for land, so even the pride of defiance was denied to us.
The Aboriginal Bridging Course teaches Aboriginal Indies from an indigenous perspective. For many dents this is the first lime they are offered a different Ow of their history and culture. The colonial past is i.e. for Australians. Most families have living members t grew up on missions and reserves, were forcibly Moved and lived under the various Aborigines Acts ere standard human rights were denied and one had seek permission from authorities to move location, and marry. Many older people still have their exemption papers that gave them conditional Australian citizenship. Until the 1960s, assimilationist’s policies towards Aboriginal people prevailed; hence many students grew up in hostile and racist environments, where cultural ways were hidden and not celebrated.
At the beginning of the course, students are someti mes hostile towards our approach and resist the process. They say that they do not want to be 'political' or become 'radical blacks'. However, in the process of learning about their history and identity, they often reframe life experiences they may not have previously defined as outcomes of racism or segregation. Some have an identity crisis causing them to rethink who they are, what happened in their families arid how they have been 'lied to' by white society. The process of understanding their positioning in white society clarifies and explains why they have been feeling negative, angry, inadequate, disillusioned, marginalized and uncomfortable identifying as an Aboriginal.
After this introspective period, students go through a radical stage of anger and fierce pride in their cultural history and identity. During this period some students dislike white people as they are symbolic of the oppressive history and current inequity that our people have suffered. They often make negative comments about white society and white people, which can be difficult for non-Aboriginal lecturers; One of our indigenous lecturers decided not to come to the defence of white people and recommends that non-Aboriginal lecturers do not take these comments personally or become defensive. As she explains it, this is part of the decolonisation process for students. Becoming aware of their history and how they and their people have been oppressed assists in their healing and affirms the positives of their cultural identity.
Relearning history is a key process for the colonizing group also. Treaty education for pakeha in New Zealand re-tells the process of colonization from a less selfserving perspective than the standard story of a 'fair fight' won' by the colonizers and resulting in the 'best race relations in the world' (Nairn & McCreanor, 1991). As colonizer people learn, for example, of the relentless array of legislation passed by their settler governments to break down indigenous education, health and community support systems, they may experience critical shifts in their beliefs and feelings about local social justice.
Social Justice and the Role of Power in Colonization
Social justice is a core concept in any process to redress colonial injustice. There cannot be any reconciliation or decolonization to a position of injustice, that is, to accept and collaborate in an ongoing state of inequality, oppression, marginalization, poverty and powerlessness (Dudgeon & Pickett, 2000). Michael Dodson, former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner (Council for Reconciliation, 1995) says:
Social justice must always be considered from a perspective which is grounded in the daily lives of indigenous Australians. Social justice is what faces you in the morning. It is awaking in a house with an adequate water supply, cooking facilities and sanitation. It is the ability to nourish your children and send them to a school where their education not only equips them for employment but reinforces their knowledge and appreciation of their cultural inheritance. It is the prospect of genuine employment and good health; a life of choices and opportunities, free from discrimination. (p. 22)
Social justice means that the history of our nations is recognized and, within this, the political and cultural oppression of indigenous people is acknowledged.
The Australian Council for Reconciliation endorses the following principles in the achievement of social justice for indigenous Australians:
■ Equality not just before the law, but in the processes of living together at all levels.
■ Respect for differences, without imposition and interference.
■ The right to live as the cultural group chooses.
■ Control of indigenous destinies and over social processes insofar as indigenous people wish to engage in them.
■ Empowerment and self-determination and the resources to put this into effect (Council for Reconciliation, 1995).
In New Zealand, the Waitangi Tribunal hears any claim by a Maori group (including land claims) that some action of the Crown has been prejudicial to them and is in conflict with the principles of the Treaty (Temm, 1990), thus providing a process for redress for injustice.
Addressing Structural and Institutional Racism
In New Zealand, there has been a focus on structural and institutional racism rather than on personal racism or prejudice. Maori activism and the terms of the Treaty encouraged pakeha anti-racism groups to address structural racism in the 1970s. As pakeha Treaty worker Humphries puts it: 'overt personal racism is well understood.
Despite its potential for hurt, this is not the form of racism that undermines the very essence of Maori existence. Rather, it is the denial of difference in ways of being human — imposed by pakeha, over and at the expense of those Maori...' (Kirton, 1997, p. 3). Making structural racism visible usually involves analyzing the power structures in an institution and attending to which cultural group is making the decisions. Comparing the intentions of an institution (such as 'education for all') with its outcomes (Maori student achievement falling behind other groups and Maori students dropping out) reveals social injustice. Placing the responsibility for the disparity on the institution itself (`Education system fails Maori') helps to highlight how our institutions benefit the cultural group who designed them and imposed them on indigenous people.
Box 16.3 Case Story: Pakeha Debate the Treaty by Ingrid Huygens
In response to Maori calls for dialogue about colonization, pakeha anti-racism groups in New Zealand launched a national campaign in 1986 to educate our own cultural group. The aim of Project Waitangi was for pakeha 'to study and debate the Treaty of Waitangi in order to understand Pakeha commitments under the Treaty'. Targeting government, community and other public service organizations, pakeha educators used adult education methodology to present a more critical view of colonial history and to encourage participants to consider the complicity of their organizations in ongoing structural and cultural racism. Wherever possible, we would facilitate a sense of collective responsibility among staff for the racist outcomes of their institutions' services, and support actions for institutional change. Maori monitors observed and guided our workshops and led separate Indigenous caucuses when they deemed necessary.
Evaluating the contribution of Treaty education to changes in institutional practices and outcomes is complex. Government services and charitable organizations, almost without exception, make reference to the guarantees of the Treaty in their charters, aims or.,, constitutions. On the other hand, only a modest number of organizations, notably feminist and other values based organizations (f1uygens, 2001 h) have attempted structural change to give expression to tiuo rangati iatanga, or unqualified indigenous authority.
We organized a national conference, drawing together representatives from tertiary educational institutions, local bodies, libraries, women's and church organizations to present their attempts to implement the guarantees of the Treaty in their organizations (Proceedings of Treaty Conference 2000). Their accounts covered time spans of three to 16 years, during which all the workplaces had been exposed to education about the Treaty and some had restructured to give expression to indigenous authority. The following discursive themes arose from an analysis of the accounts:
1. All the pakeha organizational representatives Involved In Treaty implementation accepted and affirmed indigenous political authority — they used language that Implied a sense of accountability to this authority and a sense of commitment in relation to it.
2. Many described dissonance, tension and struggle in the process of organizational change.
3. Most had adopted a collective or team approach on the journey of attempting change.
4. In those few organizations where constitutional changes had given rise to Maori authority co-existing with pakeha structures, pakeha described a sense of 'right' relationship with Maori people (Huygens, 2001a).
Reflecting on these themes, It may be that affirming indigenous authority is a crucial shift in the thinking and practice of colonizer peoples who become active in decolonization work. As the constitution of the NZ
Women's Refuge states, 'we consensually affirm the right of approval try Maori caucus;;; [in all organizational decisions)' (Campbell, 2000, p. 61). Experiencing the new relationship arising from dual and co-existing authority held by colonizer and indigenous groups may also be significant:.. ,a relationship between Pakeha./ tauiwi (non-indigenous) and Tangata Whenua... Is based on the two groups maintaining their individual sovereignty' (McNamara & Moore, 2000, p.119). Finally, adopting a collective approach among the colonizer group may be critical, since the target of change is shared cultural institutions and practices in colonial settings.
Emerging Concepts and Issues
The concepts and themes in decolonization work by indigenous people have remained constant, since most features of colonization have continued. However, the exploitation of indigenous resources and denial of the legitimacy of indigenous worldviews have taken new forms, as follows.
` We are still being colonised (and know it) and ... we are still searching for justice' (Smith, 1999, p. 34). One example of continued exploitation is 'genetic mapping projects' which attempt to map the genetic diversity of isolated and threatened indigenous communities. Research of this type has deep implications in terms of Maori beliefs about the sacredness and inherent power of whakapapa (genealogy).
Indigenous beliefs continue to be overlooked as for example, when blood from the umbilical cord and the afterbirth is 'farmed' to be used in treatments for certain sorts of diseases. Blood and the placenta are regarded by Maori as highly sacred and subject to protocols to ensure the well-being of the concerned family is protected (Smith, 1999, p. 100). This ongoing exploitation of intellectual and genetic property, as well as the continued exploitation of land and peoples is sometimes termed `recolonization' and, when applicable to vulnerable people in all countries of the world, 'globalization'.
The commercializing and commodification of culture is another ongoing colonizing practice, whereby the indigenous culture comes to exist as an exotic commodity to sell and indigenous activities are practised on terms controlled by the colonizing culture, such as for tourism (Nairn, 1990).
The New Assimilationists
When working in collaborative ways and working for indigenous people to establish indigenous paradigms, non-indigenous professionals need to be careful not to engage in disempowering practices. Their well-intended help and theories are someti mes elevated as 'the Indigenous Way'. Although it appears positive and supportive to the indigenous community, it may be a form of new assimilation whereby indigenous people serve as the vehicle for having the non-indigenous person's intellectual, emotional and political needs fulfilled. As Cram (1995) says 'many Pakeha researchers have built their careers on the back of Maori — their research satisfying the criteria set by Pakeha institutions but offering nothing back to the Maori community in return' (p.7).
Non-Maori control over and involvement in the conduct of Maori research remains a contentious issue (Smith, 1999). Some Maori are absolutely opposed to pakeha conducting research on Maori (Cram, 1995), believing non-Maori involvement is unnecessary and counter-productive. It is not only because of their poor record, or because their different historical, social and cultural view inhibits an accurate understanding of Maori, but also because their work can prevent Maori researchers from gaining access to the same funds and data (Glover, 2001).
Indigenous people themselves must remain vigilant as they are still co-opted to continue colonization. Maori have a word, kupapa, which means traitor, to refer to Maori people working for the Crown in a way that continues rather than deconstructs colonization.
Endorsing the Unique Status of Indigenous People
As a result of colonial capitalism's disruption to population groups over the past 500 years, including the creation of widespread economic refugeedom, colonial societies are composed of many cultural groups. However, the racism of Eurocentric societies creates a sense of competition for 'cultural space'. This situation is often used and manipulated by dominant as well as minority cultural groups to deny indigenous rights. Typical arguments are that 'multiculturalism leaves no room for biculturalism (or indigenous rights)' and that 'indigenous people are just another minority group'. In decolonization work, it is crucial to endorse the unique status of indigenous peoples while working with the complex histories and rightful claims of numerous cultural groups.
Individuality and Collectivity in Framing Human Rights and Responsibilities In working towards social justice, a focus on both collective and individual rights is important because, although people are unique individuals, their humanity depends on their social and cultural context. Western democracy reinforces the notion that human rights arc held by individuals and that one's political power is derived from individual citizenship granted by a nation state. Indigenous and tribal peoples are struggling to retain a basis for their rights as collectives, as well as to retain a nonderivative notion of political authority — the notion that their political authority is self-determined, collectively, by them. For example, the western process for obtaining informed consent to participate in research is highly individualized. Some information, such as genetic information is collective. Mead (1995) asserts that where the outcomes of research affect families and communities, they should have a role in determining consent.
Addressing Cultural and Constitutional Racism
Developments in European philosophy and science, such as feminism and postmodern social science have helped the western academy to embrace the notion that all human knowledge and social interaction relies on language and cultural understandings about the world and that all people have a 'culture' — the dominant group included. However, typical terms used for the culture of the dominant group are `mainstream' and 'public'. Such usage renders invisible the Eurocentric basis of the dominant culture while pointing to everyone else as 'ethnic' or 'diverse'.
Dominant group members can contribute to reducing their cultural dominance by negotiating (rather than assuming) the legitimacy and authority of institutions and processes. In structural terms, this involves `depowering' themselves (Huygens, 1997) and renegotiating with indigenous people the constitutions of societal structures, such as governments, organizations and services. New processes of accountability may be agreed upon whereby practitioners are monitored by indigenous supervisors and authorities (for example Huygens,1999). The affirmation of indigenous authority has implications for all aspects of colonial life — for the status and methodologies of colonial law, philosophy and science as well as for constitutional, economic and social systems. In cultural terms, reducing Eurocentrism involves revealing and questioning the cultural values of the colonizers (for example Black, 1997; Kirton,1997) so that the dominant group can learn to 'other' themselves and their culture (for example Huygens & Sonn, 2000).
The Role of Psychology/ists in Decolonization
The discipline and practice of psychology has emerged and grown within a colonial framework and has played a role in legitimizing European dominance and assumed universality in colonial settings worldwide. Many authors, such as Fox and Prilleltensky (1997) and Dudgeon and Pickett (2000), describe psychology as an example of a practice grounded in Eurocentric culture that purports to be objective and apolitical. Two fundamental assumptions underlying the discipline have particularly excluded indigenous people and indigenous realities. These are the assumption of universal applicability and a preoccupation with individualism.
Psychology has underlying assumptions of 'truth' based on collecting facts about human nature, without regard for cultural, historical and political contexts. This notion of universal truths supports the notion of 'progress' that, as time goes on, we will move closer to the 'truth'. Furthermore, the image of humankind is a homogenized one, with the differences between peoples as individuals and groups regarded as peripheral. Thus psychology proceeds to focus primarily upon the individual rather than the interactions between individuals and makes little reference to the cultural and historical context of individuals and groups. This decontextualized image of humanity has assimilationist implications as diversity, particularly cultural diversity, is ignored. As a result, there is inherent racism in all aspects of psychology:
in its philosophical foundations, practices, training and in the mindsets of the professionals who collectively make up the profession. At times, psychology has directly collaborated with racist ideology and practice. As Howitt and Owusu-Bempah (1994) point out, academic discussions of race have frequently been incorporated into adverse and oppressive policies for those of other races.
Psychologists can progress the decolonization of psychology, or at least work to minimize the harmful impact of a colonizing psychology, at a number of levels.
Below we suggest ways in which psychology can be decolonized at a fundamental theoretical level, at the levels of individual and community practice and within the broader political arena.
Deconstructing and Critiquing Dominance and Injustice
A range of psychological perspectives and approaches provide critiques and alternatives to the approaches used in dominant mainstream psychology. Some of these include critical psychology, CP, narrative and discursive psychology, feminist psychology and liberation psychology. Dudgeon and Pickett (2000) propose that these approaches can be inclusive of indigenous realities and endorse indigenous rights, because they challenge the dominant mainstream, they work towards social change and value the marginalized in their own cultural and political right.
Learning to Practise 'In the Presence of History'
Nairn and NSCBI (1997) propose that psychologists 'must be aware of the cultural preconceptions, both those of the discipline and their own, that shape their practice'.
They must be able to practise 'in the presence of history' (Awatere-Huata, 1993; Tamasese, 1993) with a 'strong awareness of the social context' (Nairn & NSCBI, 1997, p.134). They should be aware of the sociopolitical systems in society and how these affect the client's cultural group (Sue & Sue,1990). Psychologists need to be aware of their own assumptions, values and biases and have a critical awareness that acknowledges that they have grown up in a racist society.
Similarly, indigenous people need to be supported to identify positively with their own culture. For example, to support decolonization Maori researchers need to 'have some form of historical and critical analysis of the role of research in the indigenous world' (Smith, 1999, p. 5).
Affirming Indigenous Authority, Expertise and Self-determination
Dudgeon and Pickett (2000) urge that psychologists be prepared to engage with the indigenous client and community as novices on cultural matters, with a willingness to take and heed advice. Mechanisms need to be developed for collaboration and direction from the client groups, so that indigenous people themselves direct the engagement, whether in interaction between a psychologist and a client or in establishing services and developing policy. The aim is to enable 'culturally just encounters' within which there is 'an active balancing of the (cultural) needs and rights of those involved that appropriately includes their peoples' (Nairn & NSCBI, 1997, p. 134).
The Maori Nursing Council's work on cultural safety recognizes inequalities within professional interactions as representing in microcosm the inequalities that have prevailed through history (Ramsden, 1991). The cultural safety approach enables safe service to be defined by those who receive the service through accountability structures that put non-dominant groups in the position of monitoring the outcomes of cultural safety training and practice (Nursing Council of New Zealand, 1996).
Further along a perceived continuum of attendance to indigenous needs is the Bicultural Therapy Project. In this example, a Department of Justice Psychological Service developed a relationship with local tribes and enlisted their participation in extending the range of practitioners to include Maori experts in healing. Maori clients could work with a Department psychologist, a Maori expert or both. The psychologists did not become experts in Maori psychology, but rather learned to recognize the limits of their own expertise and to refer appropriately (Glover & Robertson, 1997; McFarlane-Nathan, 1996; Roger & White, 1997).
344 COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY
Nyoongar elder Wilkes (2000), patron of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University in Western Australia, recommends that mental-health professionals should never be afraid to approach Aboriginal clients to give them the option of seeing a cultural healer, thus demonstrating respect for the status of such people; and that Aboriginal healing experts need to be recognized with appropriate remuneration equivalent to that paid to white mental-health professionals.
As he asserts, 'the well-being of Aboriginal clients depends upon the use of Aboriginal healers' (p. 522).
Listening, Protesting and Advocating
Indigenous people and their allies have used a variety of strategies and tools to facilitate change. Advocacy groups have formed and reformed to organize rallies, marches, petitions, sit-ins and land occupations. Arts, crafts, song, dance, storytelling and theatre have been utilized to educate and motivate change. Political lobbying, upskilling and infiltrating 'the system' to work from within are popular modern-day tactics. Whether tribal elders meet with Government officials to negotiate across the boardroom table, or Maori protestors cut down flagpoles or behead statues of colonizers, all of these actions are legitimate social change avenues. They have succeeded in gaining attention for desperate and urgent injustices, such as black deaths in custody. Psychologists can make an important contribution by aligning themselves with indigenous goals and becoming advocates for change.
In conclusion, although there are promising examples of psychology used in the service of indigenous rights, it remains to be seen whether the decolonizing approaches described in this chapter become part of a psychology agenda for wellbeing and liberation. We conclude with the words of Wilkes (2000) to psychologists in Australia:
Reconciliation cannot take place until the mean spiritedness of the nation is itself healed .... All healers know that it is no good just treating the symptoms. Together we must deal with the cause .... As healers together, black and white, we are responsible for healing the mind, body and soul. (p. 522)
COMMENTARY: Decolonizing Community Psychology Ra na'olph Potts
An examination of the history of racism and colonization is essential in understanding and acting against social problems faced by oppressed peoples around the world. It is especially important for community psychologists and others seeking to impact systemic problems among 'racial minorities' (such as poor health, school failure, substance abuse and so on) to view these problems in their historical, political and cultural contexts. Furthermore, we need to be aware of how psychologists have participated in sustaining structural inequities that have engendered these very problems. This important and informative chapter originates very far from me geographically, but resonates intimately with major aspects of my own story as a person of African descent and a black psychologist in the United States of North America. I will comment briefly on three ideas presented in this chapter that I find particularly relevant for those engaged in intervention research
and teaching: the importance of re-telling 'true histories' in working against processes and outcomes of oppression; resisting assimilationist pressures in research and pedagogy; and expanding the horizon of psychology to include anti-racism, social justice and liberation.
COLONIZATION AND RACISM 345
Pat Dudgeon shares a story of being taught in school a history that ignored or presented negative images of the Aboriginal people of Australia. Racist pedagogies have presented a variety of negative caricatures of indigenous peoples. These representations have ranged from demonized to docile and inept and in most cases present a people with no significant history or contribution to humankind prior to European contact. Martin-Bard (1994) identifies 'the recovery of historical memory as one of the urgent tasks of a Latin American liberatory psychology. Recovery of historical memory means 'recovering not only the sense of one's own identity and the pride of belonging to a people but also a reliance on a tradition and a culture ... rescuing those aspects of identity which served yesterday and will serve today, for liberation' (Martin-Bard, 1994, p.30). A similar message is presented in Hilliard's (1998) excavation of elements of African history and philosophy in service of black liberation.
Hilliard provides examples of how the answers to major problems presently encountered by people of African descent may be found in the wisdom teachings of our ancestors. Retelling true histories helps in deconstructing the distorted images of indigenous peoples and distorted accounts of transactions between colonizer and colonized.
Providing students with the tools for deconstructing misrepresentations of the African experience, reconstructing knowledge of African history and philosophies and constructing a better life for African people are what Akbar (1998) identifies as three critical methods for black psychology and education.
Another critical issue addressed in this chapter is one that is often raised in closed-door meetings of students of colour in CP, but scarcely, if at all in published literature in the field. The authors address a problem termed new assimilation', in which non-indigenous researchers use collaborative or 'mentoring' relationships with indigenous people for advancing the non-indigenous person's professional status and enabling the non-indigenous person to claim that their work represents 'the indigenous way'. Psychologists' appropriation of data from communities of people of colour, then 'processing' this information into manufactured commodities (books, articles and so on) from which political and economic benefits are reaped by the psychologists, has been called 'scientific colonialism' (Nobles, 1991). Another metaphor for new assimilation might therefore be 'scientific neocolonialism', where colonizing methodologies continue but with indigenous people overseeing the mining of data. We see that struggles for selfdetermination also occur in institutions of higher education and in community research. Indigenous researchers are not always kaupapa but may often be confronted with pedagogy and mentoring that convey the idea that the more one masters the models and discourse of the dominant group, the more secure one's position as a researcher. The authors of this chapter point out that there are valid non-European methods of inquiry and conceptualizations of the human condition, as well as valid non-European critical voices against dominant paradigms in research. Marewa Glover's case story of kaupapa Maori research theory and methodology provides an example of research that is grounded in Maori epistemology and culture; requires Maori control over research involving Maori people; and includes a critical analysis of power inequities.
The discussion of new assimilation juxtaposed to kaupapa Maori theory and methodology touched upon some important questions that need to be further explored. First, what is (or should be) the relationship between kaupapa Maori theory, critical theory and CP values related to system-level change and empowerment?
Second, given CP's expressed interest in 'incorporating diversity' and facilitating the entry of indigenous people and racial minorities into the fi eld, is there a possibility of mentoring relationships that do not include pressures for assimilation? We see in this chapter that there are those who see kaupapa Maori theory as aligned with critical theory, given its critique of existing power asymmetries; those who see kaupapa Maori theory as resistance to critical theory, as critical theory has failed to adequately address cultural racism and the politics of culture; and those who see kaupapa Maori theory as possibly a 'local' critical theory. I believe that kaupapa Maori theory may be all of the above — a critical theory based in Maori culture that addresses the history of racism confrontingMaori people and the history of Maori resistance.
Similarly, critical theories grounded in and speaking to the African American experience have been termed 'critical race theory (Ladson-Billings, 1997) and 'critical Africanist theory' (Murrell, 1997). Unlike other critical theories, kaupapa Maori and Africanist critical theories explicitly identify their cultural and historical origins and do not present themselves as 'universal'.
I have been very fortunate to have as mentors people with whom I share the same cultural space.
Is there a possibility of mentoring relationships with members of hegemonic cultures that do not include pressures for assimilation? Freire (1997) puts the question more generally and bluntly, 'can one be a mentor/guide without being an oppressag (p. 324). Freire responds to this question by offering his definition of the role of a mentor. 'The fundamental task of the mentor is a liberatory task.
It is not to encourage the mentor's goals and aspirations and dreams to be reproduced in the mentees, the students, but to give rise to the possibility that the students become the owners of their own history (p. 324).
The authors of this chapter provide practical ideas on the political actions and self-critical work required for one to be able to take on the role of mentor or researcher as a liberatory task. A tremendous value of this chapter is that it very thoughtfully, clearly and with specific examples and suggestions, addresses the role of dominant group people in working against institutional and cultural racism, supporting decolonization, selfdetermination and social justice. The case story
of Ingrid Huygens focuses on anti-racism work among the dominant group, working to dismantle structures of domination and supporting unqualifi ed indigenous authority. In this story a fundamental problem is seen as racism. This is a radical departure from the typical story within US CP where the focus is mainly on prevention or skill/competency building. That story may acknowledge the presence of social injustice, but actions target skilVcompetency deficits and risk factors on the part of the person, family or community 'at risk'. Indigenous peoples and racial minorities have extensive histories of resistance and resilience, wisdom teachings and other cultural resources relevant to overcoming injustice and traditional systems of healing individuals and communities. I join with the authors of this chapter in calling upon CP to expand its horizons, confront racism within and around it and learn from indigenous expertise.
And even as community psychologists we often come into the community mounted on the carriage of our plans and projects, bringing our own know-how and money. It is not easy to fi gure out how to place ourselves within the process alongside the dominated rather than alongside the dominator. It is not even easy to leave our role of technocratic or professional superiority and to work hand in hand with community groups. But if we do not embark upon this new type of praxis that transforms ourselves as well as transforming reality, it will be hard indeed to develop a Latin American psychology that will contribute to the liberation of our peoples. (Martin-Barb, 1994, p. 29).
With all participatory work to raise awareness of racism and colonization, it is important to create contexts in which indigenous people are not exposed to further racism. You may want to consider the most appropriate groupings or caucuses in which to undertake these exercises so that participants can speak and share safely with others in their group.
■ Using a self-reflective process, consider how you personally, professionally and politically, on a daily basis, contribute to, support or undermine: colonizing acts, redress of disparity and re-establishment of the centrality of indigenous life to indigenous peoples. Are you an ally? (See Dudgeon & Pickett, 2000; Dudgeon & Williams, 2000).
■ Plan a program evaluation which attends to and critiques the disparity between universal intentions for all and differential outcomes for indigenous and colonizer service users. Show how your plan is an example of 'practising in the presence of history' and takes account of historical processes and social context.
■ Create a research design that validates indigenous epistemologies and methodologies.
Show how you have incorporated your own role in a way that is appropriate for your cultural background and how you would ensure your accountability and safety.
■ Design a multi-level intervention to achieve constitutional and cultural changes in a service as well as improving service delivery to indigenous service users. Show how your intervention would support self-determination for indigenous people and contribute to 'right' relationships and 'culturally just' encounters.
assimilation attempts to remove cultural differences by having the indigenous or minority group discard their own culture in favors the culture of a dominant group
colonization a process whereby a dominant group assumes control as over the land and the economic, political, social and cultural institutions of an indigenous or pre-existing people
cultural racism the values, beliefs and practices of one culture are favored by the dominant group while other values, beliefs and practices are ignored or suppressed
cultural renewal also cultural renaissance revival and revitalization of the suppressed •
cultural practices, language and knowledge
cultural safety mainstream delivery of services to a cultural group In a way which does not perpetuate colonization or cultural racism, that is, where the safe service Is defined by those who receive the service
decolonization process of undoing or healing the ill effects and changes implemented with colonization
genocide policy and practice aimed at eliminating a race of people
indigenous the tangata whenua people of the land or original inhabitants of a country
pakeha white settler in New Zealand
reconciliation a movement to bring • Justice and equality to Aborigin al and Torres Strai Olandor pet) pies in Australia
self-determination/ tino rangatitatanga sovereignly autonomy, the 'unqualified authority'; or political power of the indigenous ; people to define and resource their priorities
social justice a situation in which all social and cultural groups have ttle power to define and resource their priorities
universal applicability notion of universal truths where differences between peoples as individuals and group are regarded is peripheral
1. The Canadian Labour Congress has an extensive website with resources on human rights, racism and aboriginal issues. Visit at http://www.cIc-ctc.ca/human-rights.
2. The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission has extensive information on the plight of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people in Australia. Visit http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/.
3. Native Web Resources contains links to many useful sites dealing with colonization and aboriginal issues around the world. Their website is at http://www.nativeweb.org/resources/.
4. There is a very interesting world wide web for Maori organizations in Aoteroa New Zealand. http://www.maori.org.nz/.