Natalie Avalos is an Assistant Professor in the Ethnic Studies department at University of Colorado Boulder. She is currently working on her manuscript titled Decolonizing Metaphysics: Transnational Indigeneities and Religious Refusal, which explores urban Indigenous and Tibetan refugee religious life as decolonial praxis. She is a Chicana of Apache descent, born and raised in the Bay Area.
We are left with the possibility that this time of revelation can not only visibilize the harm that colonial relations have wrought but also enable a resurgence of counter practices and lifeways that actively build a new world out of the ashes of this one.
Native peoples in the Americas understand the universe as alive and sentient. All phenomena in it are understood to be a distinct expression of life force, or spirit. Since all persons – human and other-than-human – such as plants, animals, rivers, winds, and mountains are expressions of spirit, they are understood to be interconnected and contingent.