Honoring Gaswentah: A Racialized Settler’s Exploration of Responsibility and Mutual Respect as Coalition Building with First Peoples

  • Min Kaur
Part of the Explorations of Educational Purpose book series (EXEP, volume 27)


This chapter explores the essence of relationships and alliances of healing through traditions, involving ceremonies of water. Using the teachings of a Sikh prayer which focuses on our responsibility to land and all of creation, I reengage with the meaning of this prayer as the grounding for relationship development between and among racialized and Indigenous communities as it relates to our relationship and therefore our responsibility to land. I explore, through Donna Goodleaf’s (Who we are – the Kanienkehaka, In: Goodleaf D (ed) Entering the warzone: a Mohawk perspective on resisting invasions. Theytus Books, Penticton, pp. 5–28, 1995) interpretation of the Two-Row Wampum’s (Gaswentah) sophisticated message of coexistence and the possibility of relationality between these two teachings. I will take up how intellectual and intercultural relationships between my relationship to land—both my homeland in Southeast Asia and the land and traditional territories of the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, where I currently reside—can be the basis of relationship and coalition building with First Peoples and constitute a lived antiracist practice.


Indigenous People White Supremacy Coalition Building Grieve Process Traditional Territory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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