Add new comment

"It must not be seen as a necessary precondition for decolonization that settlers develop relationships (spiritual or affective) with land that we occupy. Settlers deciding to prioritize building these new relationships with the land does not bring us closer to decolonization. Focusing on settlers’ spiritual or affective relationships to the land as an important part of anti-colonial struggles sidetracks and warpsour ability to focus on the much more central problems of settler colonial Canada. The dispossession of Indigenous peoples’ lands is a partial but crucial piece of struggling against settler colonialism and climate change. Regardless of the politics of the settlers, our relationships with land are most often built through a tactic of land ownership, due to the relative ease of access to the financial means or social connections that allow for this. I am thinking, for example, about the many collective land projects that have been initiated by radical settlers in so-called Quebec, which all involve owning the land. To think of building a land-based spirituality on a foundation of land ownership does not make sense, these relationships would be colonial, not revolutionary. In other words, the relationship between settlers and land must change primarily on a material basis, not a spiritual or affective one. Indigenous peoples have articulated that “Land Back” will give them the power to rebuild knowledge, languages, culture, and autonomy. This is the substance of decolonization; it is crucial that Indigenous peoples be free to develop and regain their relationships with the land rather than settlers taking it upon ourselves to do it in their stead."

There's a lot in this. I'm not sure it is so clear that unlearning being-settler is a wrong move. But I also see it centers settlers.

Elsewhere in this, the idea that land-back will mitigate climate change seems like asking Natives to clean up our mess.