One challenge is to identify those premises of reality that are so taken for granted, so self-evident, that no one “ever gives them any thought.” What I am getting at, then, is the metaphysics of domination—being able to discern and clearly identify, for all to see, the structure and meaning of a reality of domination.
Such a reality is constitutive of what has been called Western civilization, the expansion of which occurred through the process of forcing of a cultural pattern of domination on other nations and peoples. Everywhere we look historically in the colonization of “the Americas,” we see this pattern of forced imposition and its destructive, deadly effects.
As a result of that centuries-long process, domination is now a world in which we live without noticing; it is similar to the way a fish lives in water without noticing. Yet, we have no theory to account for systems of domination and their consequences on humans and ecological systems. There is no Department of Domination Studies in your local college or university. Good luck finding a professor of Domination Studies. There aren’t any.
Rather than focus on domination, we as Indian people seem obsessed with “law.” In Indian country we constantly hear people discussing “Indian law,” even though it is a form of law that no Indians had a hand in creating, and even though the foundations of that idea-system were designed to be anti-Indian by working against the interests of Indian nations. What is being called federal Indian law is a product or result of a cataclysmic collision of worlds; a collision between the worlds of the dominators and the worlds of our original free and independent nations and peoples.
It is time to realize that the non-Indian law system called “federal Indian law” is nothing but a product of the Euro-American mental world. It is a result of and exists within the political context of a larger system of domination. In fact, the history of relations between the invading societies of Western Christendom and our original nations and peoples of this part of the planet is nothing but a history of domination.
This becomes immediately evident when we realize that words such as “conquest” and “invasion” are synonyms for domination. Conquest is domination; to conquer is to dominate; to invade is to forcibly enter or “penetrate” someone else’s country in an effort to dominate. What could be clearer?