“To hold alternative histories is to hold alternative knowledges.”
—Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies1
History is an important element of a people’s culture. History is what gives a people their identity, their autonomy and their continuity.
Losing any or all of these fractures a people. The colonizer’s most effective method of destroying a people’s culture is to take away their history and impose the colonizer’s history upon them. Once a people has lost their own story, they are rendered a subjugated people.
Decolonizing history names the lies, confronts the delegitimization and eradication of entire histories and peoples. It rejects the oppressive tyranny and implied supremacy of the colonizer and re-embraces the histories, the cultures and the worldviews of the colonized.
Restorative History seeks to reclaim, restore and recentralize the many histories that have been pushed to the margins and erased. It seeks to see the world through the many lenses of our many stories—equally true, equally paramount. Restorative History seeks to reclaim our humanity.