What is Decolonization?

The word “decolonisation” was first coined by the German economist Moritz Julius Bonn in the 1930s to describe former colonies that achieved self-governance. 
Decolonisation is now used to talk about restorative justice through cultural, psychological and economic freedom. (Reference:

Decolonization is about “cultural, psychological, and economic freedom” for Indigenous people with the goal of achieving Indigenous sovereignty — the right and ability of Indigenous people to practice self-determination over their land, cultures, and political and economic systems. Colonialism is a historical and ongoing global project where settlers continue to occupy land, dictate social, political, and economic systems, and exploit Indigenous people and their resources. It is a global endeavor. (Reference:

Decolonization is more than thinking, it calls for action to deconstruct systemic violence! 

It calls (instead) for deconstructing settler-imposed systems that continue to oppress Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. Moves of settler innocence domesticate decolonization’s demands of undoing colonialism, eliminating its gendered and racialized hierarchies, and establishing Indigenous sovereignty. The danger of the decolonization metaphor (such as ‘decolonize your mind’) is that it prevents us from actually decolonizing. “It recenters whiteness, it resettles theory, it extends innocence to the settler, it entertains a settler future” rather than recentering Indigenous futures and sovereignty (Tuck and Yang 2012, 3, 35).(Reference:

To read more about decolonization and links to articles and tools:

Watch a short film called Land Back about the movement to reclaim Indigenous lands here
Read about Decolonizing academia in South Africa here