Home | About Us | Archive | Documents | Campaigns & Issues | Links | Contact Us

      Indigenous Struggle against Colonialism

      Howard Adams (Métis)

      Revolutionary Métis Marxist scholar and professor Howard Adams grew up in a Métis community in Saskatchewan. He was a leader in the struggle for Indigenous rights, self-determination, and socialism.

      Excerpt from Prison of Grass – Chapter 14 “The Failure of Native Leadership”

      One of the characteristics of oppressive cultural action that is almost never recognized is the emphasis on a local view of problems rather than on seeing them as parts of the larger whole. In community development, the more a region or area is broken down into local projects, the more alienation and powerlessness is intensified. The more isolated and individualized people are, the easier it is to keep them divided. Intensifying the local and individual way of life of the oppressed hinders the colonized in perceiving reality critically, and keeps them isolated from the common problems of oppressed people in all Third World areas. […]

      When cultural action, as a mass process, begins in a community from the bottom upward and not among its leaders, the former leaders go along agreeably with everyone else, or they are replaced by new leaders who emerge from the rank and file. The result is a new social consciousness of the total community. The oppressors do not favor promoting the community as a whole, but selected leaders, whom they pick. By preserving a state of alienation, they hinder the emergence of political consciousness. And, without this consciousness, it is difficult to achieve the unity of the oppressed as a class.

      Back to Article Listing