Already here, still her

The United States of America is a country geographically located on the North American continent. The founders of the country arrived on the continent in 1607. The founders survived with support from the native Americans. The native Americans understood family, religion, freedom the one concept that the native Americans seemed to not understand was land ownership. Native Americans do not treat the land as commodity, the land and nature is not a commodity that can be bought sold and used.

Humans and the the land lived together in harmony.

Currently the earth is in a major climate crisis. I have no doubt that land ownership and treating land as an individual commodity contributes to climate change and poor health for all the humans on the land.

Land should be treated as a member of the community.

Our land is more valuable than your money.  It will last forever.  It will not even perish by the flames of fire.  As long as the sun shines and the waters flow, this land will be here to give life to men and animals.  We cannot sell the lives of men and animals; therefore we cannot sell this land.  It was put here for us by the Great Spirit and we cannot sell it because it does not belong to us.  You can count your money and burn it within the nod of a buffalo’s head, but only the great Spirit can count the grains of sand and the blades of grass of these plains.  As a present to you, we will give you anything we have that you can take with you, but the land, never.

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Crowfoot, chief of the Blackfeet, circa 1885

I wish all to know that I do not propose to sell any part of my country, nor will I have whites cutting our timber along the rivers, more especially the bark.  I am particularly fond of the little groves of oak trees.  I love to look at them, because they endure the wintry storm and the summer’s heat, and–not unlike ourselves–seem to flourish by them.  

Sitting Bull, Lakota warrior, quoted in 1932

The idea of ownership is actually pretty foolish and detrimental to society instead of owners we as a person and society would be better served if we were stewards. The harm of land ownership far outweighs the benefits.

The best way we can honor the native Americans would be through understanding how the Native Americans understood the relationship with the land and their values. The current relationship with our land is broken and doing harm to everyone.