This writing is dedicated to the Native Americans derived from, or residing in, the teritorries designated as "Latin" America. This writing is dedicated to those who have grown with me, and learned with me the past few years, as we shake off the residue of our former colonized identities, and take the steps to re-indigenize our generation, and our future generations. Thank you all, and may we all continue to decolonize and unify.
Not Latino! Not Hispanic! The hashtags which flourished in the year 2014, which spread with a new spirit amongst our generation, should not be attributed to online activism, nor to any one person or movement. Though the terms Latino and Hispanic have not always explicitly been used for our people, colonial identities like "Mestizo" have allowed us to see that Hispanicization of our heritage has been rejected for as long as it has been violently imposed on us. Yet it is our generation, who have enjoyed the luxury of a digital era, which has allowed us to share, discuss, and critique the ideas and concepts of the decolonization movement, to more clearly define what we shall pass on to the next generation. I know that my children, and those of my peers will grow up knowing their heritage, customs, and perhaps even language better than I did as I grew up. The importance of rejecting these colonial labels, is better understood if the consequences of such labels, are better understood. By dividing us into categories of "First Nations", "Native Americans" and for us, "Latinos" or "Hispanic" we are looked at with a disposition of compromised or inauthentic indigeneity by our relatives of U.S and Canada. Similar to the Myth of the Disappearing Indian, we are told that all the Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas were wiped out, and only "Hispanics" exist in their place. If the colonizers have convinced the Indian to take their name "Latino", that is to say, the invader and conqueror of their own homelands, what reparations, dignities, and sovereignty are we owed? We reject these labels because they disenfranchise us, and they do not tell the truth of our history. Our ties to the land are ancient. Our blood is ancient.
Written by: @IndigenousPride