LAND BACK - what does it actually mean?

Last December Mandy and I went to a concert for one of our favourite bands, where the front man started the show by saying "this concert is taking place on stolen Indigenous lands".

 And I gotta say, I kinda rolled my eyes.  NOT because I am against the overall message, but it felt insincere, like he was jumping on the latest #trend.


I've heard a lot about the Land Back movement, but I still don't entirely understand it, so a couple months back I hopped on a TikTok live with @Deannehupfield, a Powwow Dance teacher from the Temagami first nation, and she provided  a more personal take on things like the Indian Act, The Residential School System and the 60s Scoop, which have all contributed to the recent push for the 'land back movement'.

 You see, as a kid Deanne felt stuck between a culture that hurt her and others from her community - sometimes literally hit by rocks - and her Temagami Nation that she didn't know because: 

 "My mom was taken from her home and made a crown ward... She was raised away from her community and her culture.” 

 And Deanne feels this disconnect led her on a path of poverty and addiction - bouncing between non-indigenous foster homes - and occasionally stealing just to feed herself.

 It was when she discovered powwow that she began to heal...

And I think this gets to the heart of 'land back' - connection and reconnection to that which was lost, to heal and thrive, now and in the future.

And when it comes to the land itself, Indigenous scholar, Lindsey Schneider, says that all First Nations communities tend to hold one common belief, that is:

"We come from the land, and that is what sustains us, and therefore, we have a responsibility to care for it... it's better off in Indigenous hands because we treat the land like it's a relative" Lindsey Schneider


So rather than looking at it as a Native Real estate scheme, where indigenous peoples seek to gobble up your property, it seems that it's more about enabling first nations to return to, care for, and have a say in the future of the land.

And while I am still at the very early stages of understanding exactly how it would work, I want to learn more because I just don't think our current system of 'extraction and exploitation' of the land is working, and so I'm starting with this CBC podcast.

Thanks as always for reading and learning with me.

 If you'd like to learn more about Deanne's programs, VISIT HER SITE HERE.

 And if you'd like to take a small action to reduce your emissions and plastic, CLICK HERE to visit the shop!

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