Living in such times accords us a certain responsibility and Wielding the Force is a tool rich in ancient wisdoms and new sciences that can help us sculpt out those better, kinder ways of being here, all together, as relations.
Of African-American, Cherokee, and European heritage, Zainab Amadahy is an author, singer/songwriter, and educator. Among her publications are “Indigenous Peoples and Black Peoples in Canada: Settlers or Allies” for Breaching the Colonial Contract: Anti-Colonialism in the US and Canada. She also contributed to Strong Women’s Stories: Native Vision and Community Activism and authored the feminist science-fiction novel Moons of Palmares. Zainab’s new book Wielding the Force: The Science of Social Justice explores the mind/body/spirit connection and its relevance to Social Justice, activism, and community building.
As we gear up for what promises to be a busy #NativeSpring and action filled #SovereigntySummer Wielding the Force: The Science of Social Justice is a must read for Indigenous organizers and allies alike. Uplifted by the flurry of Idle No More actions this past winter it could serve us well to take some time to grapple with the important questions Zainab raises: “do some of our activities as activists make sense? Do they prevent burnout and enhance wellbeing? Do they help us grow our movements? Do they serve our families, friends and colleagues? Do they role model healthy, sustainable lifestyles? Will they build sustainable communities? Will they help us achieve our goals of creating a socially just world?”
In my experience they often don’t. While we may organize amazing events and carry out powerful actions towards movement building, too often we forget to practice healthy self-care and nurture our relationships with each other. We spend too much time on email and not enough sitting in the kitchen together or on the ground around a fire. We get caught up in the stress of it all, our egos kick in and we forget the power and necessity of compassion.
Yet we are living in important times, times in which the Zapatistas came down from the mountains while we round danced in shopping malls and major thoroughfares across Turtle Island. Living in such times accords us a certain responsibility and Wielding the Force is a tool rich in ancient wisdoms and new sciences that can help us sculpt out those better, kinder ways of being here, all together, as relations. Chi migwetch Zainab for your thoughtfulness, clarity, and most of all your message of hope!
Audrey Huntley, mixed European and Indigenous ancestry, writer, producer, wanderer, storyteller, co-founder of The No More Silence Network dedicated to ending the disappearances of Indigenous women and girls.
For more information on Zainab’s work: www.swallowsongs.com