Francesca Maximé – ReRooted – Ep. 22 – Decolonizing From The Inside Out with Dr. Michael Yellow Bird

Francesca Maximé - ReRooted - Ep. 22 - Decolonizing From The Inside-Out with Dr. Michael Yellow Bird

In this episode of the ReRooted Podcast, Francesca Maximé shares a conversation with Dr. Michael Yellow Bird about decolonizing from the inside out.

Michael Yellow Bird, Ph.D., is a Professor of Sociology and the Director of Indigenous Tribal Studies at North Dakota State University. Dr. Yellow Bird uses neuroscience research to examine how mindfulness approaches and traditional Indigenous contemplative practices can train the mind and positively change the structure and function of the brain. Learn more about Dr. Michael Yellow Bird and his work at

Being Too Big Fails

At what point do our communities become too big and complex to be sustainable? Francesca and Dr. Yellow Bird look at the history of indigenous cultures as an example of how we can change our relationship to nature and to one another. They discuss the key role that colonization has played in the way that societies evolve.

“When you look at most indigenous cultures around the world, you find very clear similarities around their belief systems and their connection to the world around them. Many of them having learned, in different ways, how to be with the earth.” – Dr. Michael Yellow Bird 

Beyond Evidence-Based Medicine (19:00)

How can serving the unique needs of particular populations result in a better quality of life for everyone? Dr. Yellow Bird speaks about how cultures differ at the genetic level, and how scientific and medical communities can better address these differences.

‘What works for certain populations does not work for others.” – Dr. Michael Yellow Bird 

Decolonizing From The Inside Out (28:00)

Francesca and Dr. Yellow Bird talk about how we can address trauma by decolonizing from the inside out. They look at different ways that mindfulness practices can help in the process of inner decolonization.

“Your sleep has been colonized and your diet has been colonized. The brain and its thinking have been colonized. Your movement has been colonized, sitting at a desk all day. These are all things that begin to effect other systems in the body.” – Dr. Michael Yellow Bird 

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Images via Indigenous Mindfulness