Landback’, let’s talk about it. Because “It’s Always Been About the Land.” (2023)
‘Landback’ means Indigenous hold the stewardship, responsibility and jurisdiction to protect the land. While westerns demand rights, Indigenous teach responsibility.
The way settlers have asked, “well, where would I go?” thinking that they will get ethnically cleansed from the land is a fascinating case of projection. Land Back isn’t about giving land back because that implies someone has to own it.
It’s accepted that Canada is a legitimate country that has jurisdiction over all of these lands. The legitimacy of Canada is never questioned. Many people don’t really understand that a lot of the territories that Canada occupied were never actually given up. In some territories, Canada and Indigenous Peoples signed treaties to share the lands and waters. In other territories, Indigenous Peoples did not sign treaties. In these territories, Indigenous Peoples made no legal agreements with Canada to share responsibility of the lands and waters. In essence, Canada took governance of these lands and resources without consent.
Indigenous Peoples had laws and systems of governance long before Europeans landed on what is now called Canada and imposed their own, colonial laws. Colonialists viewed nature as property to be owned or resources to be commodified. In contrast, many Indigenous Peoples speak of inherent rights accompanied by inherent responsibilities to the natural world.
‘Landback’ seeks to reestablish Indigenous sovereignty, with political and economic control of our ancestral lands.
‘Landback’ is about Indigenous peoples confronting colonialism at the root. It’s about fighting for the right to our relationship with the earth. It’s about coming back to ourselves, as sovereign Indigenous Nations.