Please join us for a lecture by Natalie Avalos of Connecticut College.
Decolonization has often been understood in statist terms—as a project of national sovereignty and political consolidation by a formerly colonized nation. This talk focuses on decolonization as a religious, even ontological endeavor among ‘urban Indians’ in Albuquerque, New Mexico, specifically the diverse Native community associated with La Plazita Institute. La Plazita is a community center using Indigenous cultural forms to mentor and support Native American and Chicano youth who have become ensnared in the criminal justice system, due to on-going structural violence rooted in a history of dispossession. Avalos demonstrates that this center acts as a locus for an emerging pan-Indigenous identity, wherein religious revitalization heals/empowers these individuals, regenerating them as a united people.
Reception to follow.
Mount Holyoke College