Wrestling With the Truth of Colonization Training

Launched in the winter of 2020, "Wrestling With the Truth of Colonization" (Wrestling) is a ten-hour virtual training educates our non-Indigenous leaders on the history, legacy and impacts of colonization and prepares them to come into respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples. Built on the process of truth and reconciliation, participants are confronted with the hard truths of colonization and their ongoing complicity in its legacy. They are shown how the “power over” forces of colonizationand racism more broadly–have been primarily driven by larger economic and institutional (not individual) interests, and therefore, systemic change around social, political, and economic issues and therefore needs to be addressed through organizing together“power with.” The training closes with a focus on Indigenous resistance and resurgence. 


In the video below, IAF Northwest Indigenous Organizer: Suzanne Dzus explains what is Wrestling With The Wrestling of Colonization.  


Affiliates follow-up the training with additional sessions led by local Indigenous leaders focused on ways the organizations can strengthen their relationships and act together. Wrestling graduates are equipped to become powerful accomplices in Indigenous-led initiatives to right the wrongs of the past and present. 

The global team of Indigenous leaders who created the Wrestling training include

  • Suzanne Dzus (Mohawk, Cree), Indigenous organizer for the IAF Northwest
  • Abriel Johnny (Cowichan, Tlingit), United Indians of All Tribes
  • D’Shane Barnett (Mandan, Arikara), All Nations Health Center
  • Nicky Laupepa (Gomeroi), Youth Off the Streets
  • Marilyn Zimmerman (Nakota, Dakota, Ojibway, Newe), University of Montana
  • Prue Kapua (Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Kahungunu), Māori Women’s Welfare League.

We couldn't have done this very important work without our partners: United Indians of All Tribes, Māori Women's Welfare League and the From the Heart Organization!

Learn more about our partners here: Our Partners

Wrestling Course Resources coming soon!