Indigenous Frame

We asked Dr. T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss the following question: “Can you tell me what you feel and think about Indigenous sovereignty in digital spaces?” Here’s what she said:

When I think about Indigenous sovereignty and digital spaces, I think about the long journey it’s taken to get there. But more than anything, I think about what it is: a place that many Indigenous people have journeyed to. It’s almost like a virtual hub that we’re all ascending to, in a really positive way. And what it looks like, to me, is a lot of freedom. Freedom to speak our mind, and what comes from our heart, because to me, sovereignty is knowing who you are, having a hold of your identity, and owning it. 

To think of Indigenous sovereignty in digital spaces, it’s about seeing, it’s almost a promised land in a sense, because we go there, and we know that we all know who we are as individuals, and that collectively, we also know who we are, and where we all come from. And it’s not, and why I can see it in a virtual space, is because there are so many Indigenous nations and there are so many people fighting for sovereignty. 

So, to have a virtual space that we all go to, it brings us into a place where we feel our freedom or freedom of thought or freedom of identity, especially freedom of identity – to really know who we are, and to really be able to speak from our hearts and minds about who we are, and to share that identity with the world and to let them know we are who we say we are. We are definitely in a place where we can finally recognize that it is not only ourselves that know who we are, but it is others, even other people not in our culture and not in our community, but others that understand the importance of sovereignty, and how without it we are stripped of everything we own and that we could own. 

To summarize, Indigenous sovereignty in digital spaces, is a space of true freedom, of reclamation of spirit identity, and of direction.