Sam McCullar, Decolonize: Identity

Sam McCullar (Citizen Potawatomi Nation)
Decolonize: Identity
Documentary Teaser (2:13) link here

The inspiration of this piece comes from the seven fires prophecies in Anishinaabe history. The seventh fire states that there will be a time of cultural reawakening and revitalization. I believe that time is now, and I have a duty to be part of the seventh fire. Indigenous identity is very important for me, as I am a white-skinned Indigenous person. Exploring the contradiction of such identifiers is a hard thing to understand. Indigenous identity cannot be explored in peace, there is still a lot of intergenerational trauma that has not been healed yet. We can all feel this daily.

My goal is not to focus on the trauma that is a constant in our lives, but to show hope and provide healing. There are a lot of young people who are finding their way to their ancestors by way of culture. Speaking for myself, learning my ancestral language has been medicine. Language revitalization as a method of decolonization has been on the minds of indigenous people for a long time and we can see this knowledge being reclaimed.

Our ancestors smile as they see us wear regalia with pride or cook traditional meals that taste like home or when speaking a familiar language or even just being at peace. I am proud to be Potawatomi, and I’m proud to be a decolonizer.



As Seeds, We Grow: Student Reflections on Resilience Exhibit Catalog Copyright © 2023 by Elise Boulanger; Shenay Atene; Kirbie Bennett; Paige Brown; Keo Crank; Ana Henry; Hannah Jacks; AJ Lopez; Camela Manheimer; Sam McCullar; Destiny Morgan; Desirae Bernice Rambler; Andrea L. Rogers; Eugene Rogers; Maddie Sanders; Kaitlyn Sebwenna-Painter; and Rexine Williams. All Rights Reserved.

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