Private Property is Theft.
The issues of stolen land and private property implicate us all. The history and laws surrounding land interweaves connections between us and it. Our personal and communal histories are etched onto the land. And it carries our spiritual scars while simultaneously healing and nurturing people, animals, and plants. Written into its text is a history of colonial ruin and agriculture, past hopes and dead bodies. The land carries all the secrets we give it, those ones we cannot tell another being. Land bears the injustice of being owned and turned into a commodity. The earth might be trying to accommodate a place for all of us, but on this land you must make an increasing amount of money to afford a home. Land connects us to one another and to our ancestors, while simultaneously telling stories about capitalism, environmentalism, and homelessness.
Land is especially important to indigenous people, though this has been largely hidden behind other issues. That the United States is predicated on “stolen land” is a common refrain, though nothing has been done to rectify it. Instead, the focus is on alcoholism, environmentalism, well-being, poverty, or language loss. In other words, the issue is anything but land while it is issues of land that connect to many of the present issues indigenous people face.
Native people are the inheritors of this land, we are the ones who come from it, who have undertaken the care for it. A give and take - the land cares for us and we care for the land. Indigenous care for the land is both spiritual and ecological, they're one and the same. The land gives us food, provides us with shelter. We gain spiritual, mental, and bodily sustenance from the land. Unfortunately, when indigenous people are not allowed sovereignty over lands we deem sacred, then we cannot care for the land nor can we (or anyone else) receive proper care from the land. We are dying and you are dying; because it’s not just indigenous people who gain sustenance from the land, it’s everyone and everything.
These three paragraphs are just the beginning of a longer piece. To be continued . . . .