Land, water and food sovereignty make up critical places of primary concern for Native People. Land sovereignty is a critical piece of wholeness. both for the strength of Native community as well as
One example is the Shinnecock Nation, a tribe that has existed since time immemorial on the island that for the last 100 years has also housed one of the most elite white communities in the nation.
The Land and Water
A critical way that non-indigenous people can act in solidarity with their Indigenous neighbors is through climate justice and other environmental concerns. However, this will only work when done with the utmost respect for sovereignty. How many of us of European descent, had experiences whether at summer camp or elsewhere where we sang the Irving Berlin’s song “God Bless America”? Whether this song or the famous Woody Guthrie song “This Land is Your Land”, both reinforce the Doctrine of Christian Discovery by encouraging colonizers to pray for blessings from a Christian God or feel grateful for the land that was “made for you and me.”
“God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above”
“This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island,
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters;
This land was made for you and me.”
Many of us are aware that we are at a critical juncture so by respecting native sovereignty we can together enter into the work for the health of our planet. many of us sense that human survival is under serious, imminent existential threat. Indigenous communities have the ancestral knowledge to lead us through this crisis. They must be given their proper role of honor, respect and deference as the primary leaders of this effort. Racism makes this difficult as seen in the media position granted to Greta as opposed to Peltier. (Note that Greta has been doing her best to include and elevate her indigenous partners.) It is an “all hands on deck moment.”
Since time immemorial, indigenous people have lived on these lands, which today is called Plymouth. A territory carved by ancient glaciers, creating unique kettle ponds, while laying down layers and layers of profitable sand and gravel. These are lands that have evolved over millennia to become home to some of the world’s greatest and most fragile biodiversity.
The people who have occupied these lands are the Wampanoag, who continue today to retain ancestral rights to these rich unceded territories, having never been sold or signed away by treaty.
Learn how extractive corporations, like Pepsi Cola and Ocean Spray, threaten the water and Wampanoag sovereignty.
Click here for a A Standing Bear Network Exclusive, with Melissa Ferretti, Chairlady/President of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe.
It is the reclamation of everything stolen from the original Peoples.
- — Land
- — Language
- — Ceremony
- — Medicines
- — Kinship
It is a relationship with Mother Earth that is symbiotic and just, where we have reclaimed stewardship. It is bringing our People with us as we move towards liberation and embodied sovereignty through an organizing, political and narrative framework. It is a long legacy of warriors and leaders who sacrificed freedom and life. It is a catalyst for current generation organizers and centers the voices of those who represent our future.
It is recognizing that our struggle is interconnected with the struggles of all oppressed Peoples.
It is a future where Black reparations and Indigenous LANDBACK co-exist. Where BIPOC collective liberation is at the core.
It is acknowledging that only when Mother Earth is well, can we, her children, be well.
It is our belonging to the land – because – we are the land.
We are LANDBACK!
Native Land Conservancy was founded in 2012 in Mashpee, Massachusetts, and is the first Native-run land conservation group east of the Mississippi. After centuries of hardship and economic struggle, it is only now that we can finally attend to the important work of protecting sacred spaces, habitat areas for our winged and four legged neighbors and other essential ecosystem resources to benefit Mother Earth and all human beings.
Indigenous peoples have suffered and continue to suffer from historic injustices as a result of dehumanization and racism and the colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, preventing them from exercising, in particular, their right of self-determination in accordance with their own needs and interests, extending to their rights affirmed in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements entered into with the United States and its several States.
How do you fix broken treaties that you know will never be honored by a government that had no intention of being responsible? How can one believe that “all men are created equal” written by a man who owned many slaves?
The Apache Stronghold group argued in the suit that the planned destruction of Oak Flat would violate religious freedom protections. It also argued that an 1852 treaty between the Western Apaches and the U.S. gives the tribe rights to the site.
“The Oak Flat Parcel of the proposed Resolution Copper Mine Project is located right smack dab in the middle of the Western Apaches’ 1852 Treaty lands,” the lawsuit says. The treaty was “never amended, rescinded, nor terminated,” it adds.
This map tracks 222 Indian cessions within the Louisiana Territory. Made by treaties, agreements, and statutes between 1804 and 1970, these cessions covered 576 million acres, ranging from a Quapaw tract the size of North Carolina sold in 1818 to a parcel smaller than Central Park seized from the Santee Sioux to build a dam in 1958.