The Fifth World

About the Fifth World

Decolonization

Decolonization means


Far too often, our society imagines indigenous people as relics of the past, rather than living, breathing, modern people. It imagines colonialism as a terrible atrocity recorded in history books, rather than a present, ongoing crime. Indigenous people have begun insisting upon a final end to colonialism and the restoration of their land and their sovereignty — on true decolonization.

The Fifth World imagines a future where this has come to pass — perhaps not through political processes, and not as neatly as some might hope, but a future where indigenous people have regained land and sovereignty, nonetheless.

For settlers the journey beyond civilization means rewilding, but for indigenous people it means decolonization. The Fifth World imagines a future where these paths may converge. Indigenous nations persist in this future long after today’s colonial settler states have fallen. With the world changing so quickly under the pressures of climate change, mass extinction, and ecological collapse, decolonization will call for as much invention and ingenuity as rewilding. Indigenous people will possess several key advantages in such a world, though, including strong community bonds, a more vigorous connection to a more-than-human world, and even the resilience and skills learned from centuries of survivance. As such, indigenous people will have a greater presence and significance on the Fifth World than their numbers in the current world might suggest.


Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools.

Eve Tuck & K. Wayne Yang, “Decolonization is not a metaphor,” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society