As Daily Kos has covered, Indigenous tribes continue to face discrimination, suffering, and overall shortcoming of autonomy both globally and specifically in the United Nation. There is a long, agonizing autobiography of abuse toward Native folks–take, for example, the recently discovered remains of 215 Indigenous children at a residential school in Canada–as well as systemic topics, like need of access to drinking water supply and poverty, that face kinfolks today. On a very fundamental level, numerous Indigenous kinfolks still live under the effects of colonialism, with little by way of substantial reparations.
One example of widespread colonialism? The long, long biography of( literally) stealing Native people’s districts. As Daily Kos has covered, some tribes have been able to “buy back” their land once wrested from them( though even that win come here for a law caveat in regard to actually being able to govern the land ), which is certainly a step in the right direction. Albeit an expensive, wearying, and eventually biased process, in that the property never should have been stolen, initiated with. As recently reported by The Guardian, the Passamaquoddy tribe, bought back Kuwesuwi Monihq( also known as Pine Island )– a 150 -acre island off of Maine in Big Lake that holds a penetrating history for the tribe. Reacquiring land that should never have been taken from them has taken 160 years.
How did the tribe achieve this? Chief Williams Nicholas told the Guardian that on the fourth of July last time, he realise small island developing had been registered as for sale for $449,000. Pine Island, knowledge you, was renamed White’s Island on the leaning but Nicholas recognized it regardless.
“The land was stolen from us and it’s been every chief’s goal ever since to return it, ” Nicholas told the outlet. The tribe raised $ 335,000 after working with First Light, a collective of conservation radicals, material business, relies, and generosities founded in Maine with the intent of returning tribal territories to rightful owneds.
“This is about keeping our headings down and centering tribal articulations, ” First Light member Peter Forbes told the outlet. “If the arrive hadn’t been stolen, they wouldn’t need to buy it back in the first place.” In the big picture, this is the affection we should all have when it comes to allyship in general.
“Our concept of land ownership is that nobody’ owns’ land, ” the tribe’s historic preservation officer, Donald Soctomah, added to the Guardian. “Instead, we have a sacred duty to protect it.” He added that this process was like “finding a lost relative.”
As attorney and tribal citizen Michael-Corey Francis Hinton told the Bangor Daily News, the island was originally used as a place for the tribe to store food in root cellars. In addition, when European colonizers wreaked smallpox, the tribe used nearby space to quarantine polluted kinfolks. “Pine Island is a part of that narration of existence and resilience, ” Hinton told the outlet. “We were literally opened small-minded pox coverings . … So that’s how this island truly took on this really substantial, sacred implication, through existence in a pandemic.”
Hinton told the Portland Press Herald that the reacquisition of land is so much more than exactly a symbolic make. “It’s a sign of the growing relationship between the tribal community and the conservation community, ” he told the outlet. “This land was so important that after the Passamaquoddy defended in the American Revolution they were told that they could have hunting and fishing rights in perpetuity.”
One simple way you can help support Native tribes? Read, promote, and share Native art, like books, movies, and other media sources. And as always, check out our exciting interview with schoolteacher Prairie Rose Seminole, individual citizens of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota and descendant of the Sahnish/ Arikara, Northern Cheyenne, and Lakota Nations about how to be a good ally.
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