A History of Developing An Introduction to Akimel O'othham Pi Vehsig c Vehsig

                                 In order for the struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity
                                 (which is a
way to create it), become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the
                                 humanity of both.'

This report presents "Developing and Introduction to Akimel O'othham Pi Vehsig c Vehsig," a community-based indigenous colonization and decolonization presentation created by the Akimel O'othham (The River People) of Gila River. It will describe the development of a descriptive yet simple way of presenting Pi Vehsig (colonization) and Vehsig (decolonization) theory to the O'othham, and how we sought to provide it in such a way that this knowledge and understanding could be easily embraced by the O'othham. More importantly, it was hoped that this knowledge would prove beneficial to the existence of our wonderful Hemajkam, our nation.

Years before giving our first formal presentation, myself and those O'othham who participated in developing this project concluded this work was long overdue. Understanding there would be opposition to this "new" way of thinking, we nonetheless felt there would be many who would become aware of a more positive way of viewing our tribal world.

This report will show how the presentation was dreamed, who was involved, what outside resources were utilized, the final documents used for the presentations to the villages of Gila River, and the future of the project we now simply call "Vehsig," or Balance.


Adrian Hendricks


Nancy Parezo





Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 H465h
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences