I felt slightly sick when I heard Trump would be the next American president.
I have deliberately over the last 12 months tried to make no mention of the circus known as the American Election because I didn’t want to give air to it, didn’t want to give one single breath to the situation, didn’t want one ounce of my life force to contribute to it.
For me, it was a mixture of sadness and disappointment that a society had allowed for such ugliness to get that far. So I looked on mostly in silence and watched as the whole thing went down, and down it went…
I am part of many groups of indigenous academics, Maori development trusts and globally vision focused projects and initiatives, all who work incredibly hard to fight for empowerment, equality and freedom of the marginalised, the oppressed and the vulnerable and while this can be very heavy work, we, for the most part feel optimistic about the future and people in general. We believe in our work, and believe we have an impact. We work from a position that believes people are inherently good and when a country votes in a person who has openly expressed values of misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and racism – all the things we fight against on a daily basis, it starts to rock the foundations of those beliefs. Everything we have been told to stand up for and fight against, has been given a swift slap in the face by America voting in Trump. What the hell is going on? As a sane and ‘orderly’ person, you start to question your beliefs about the world you think you live in – you start to lose your sense of order and chaos is created.
Currently, with the huge sense of unrest and confusion, the U.S is likely to experience a time of economic turmoil and instability. Therefore, now is the time that Indigenous nations should look to fortify by forming connections that can help each other grow economically. We should encourage and develop trade relations with each other to build, create and develop a robust and vibrant united indigenous economy. To achieve this, it is imperative that we develop more cross-communications with each other, more connection platforms across tribal nations and to open up more networks into each other’s indigenous communities. We need a deeper understanding of each other’s assets, resources and capabilities so that we can identify opportunities and future possibilities to take advantage of and to further each other’s agendas.
As indigenous people, most of us come from chaotic colonial histories. We have been through and seen far worse. We know how to fight. We know resilience. We know survival. It was the philosopher Neitzche that said ‘out of chaos comes order’, which essentially means that in chaos people try to find order and I challenge us to find that opportunity and create our own Indigenous Order.