THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING THE 2019 FOURTH INTERNATIONAL
LEARNING LAND, UNLEARNING EMPIRE:
RECOVERING “INDIGENOUS” ROOTS AND CREATING KAPWA RELATIONS IN THE SETTLER COLONIAL DIASPORA
Hosted by the Center for Babaylan Studies and Kapwa Collective
WAHTA KANIEN’KEHA:KA TERRITORY
YMCA Camp Pine Crest
Torrance, Ontario, Canada
September 20 - 22, 2019
“CFBS has connected me to a community of diasporic Pilipinxs seeking a connection and overstanding of our indigenous and decolonized selves. It has offered a space for spirituality, creativity, and critical consciousness rooted in a deeper liberation of the whole self. With its offerings come love, acceptance, and support from a rooted community inspired by Babaylan.”
Stephanie “Soultree” Camba, Poet & Activist
About the Conference
(Footage from the 2nd International Babaylan Conference)
Across intellectual, artistic, and practice-based communities, the term ”indigenous” has been taken up as a nexus-point that urges reflection and action. This deceptively simple question of the term’s meaning is especially pressing for diasporic and other allied communities who find themselves living on other native peoples’ lands. This includes first to third-generation citizen-subjects of a colonial state, populations increasingly enveloped in urban infrastructure, generations impacted by technology, and societies reduced in their capacity to live in balance with their environments (which is most of us!).
In this gathering we invite folks to explore the question: What does it mean to do “indigenous work” as diasporic Filipinos within these challenging contexts? How does an understanding of our impact as “settlers” on the indigenous lands we occupy in the diaspora guide us toward the intention of honoring what it means to be “rooted in place”? How do we move towards a way of being that aligns our own liberation work in collaboration and mutual accountability with the land’s Original Peoples and other historically marginalized and displaced peoples? How do we integrate this task with the related project of grounding ourselves in Earth Community and learning respectful co-existence with all living beings within our respective land bases? In figuring out a contemporary ethos based on what we can understand about ancestral spirit worlds and lifeways, generations of Native and diasporic peoples are coming together with a common interest in returning to wholeness and healing of wounds caused by historic and ongoing violence and our contemporary culture’s disconnection and isolation. Therefore we pose the question: How do we responsibly navigate the waters of remembering and work to recover our “Indigenous Spirit”? How do we draw from our Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices to find insights and wisdom?