The piece below is excerpted from the book Building Belonging, written by Yana Ludwig...
One of the early inquiries in this book was about how we can ethically build community on stolen land. The Land Back movement is worth discussing here, even briefly. Land Back, like all movements, is diverse in its tactics and specific asks. The general idea though is that the relationship we currently have with land is one based in oppressive and often violent power dynamics that have been at play the whole time white people have been on this continent, and that it began with the forcible taking of land and claiming it as a possession.
Sustainability, resilience in the face of change, and living ethical lives all ultimately require a change in this most fundamental relationship. The land — the earth — is literally what gives us life and makes everything we do possible.
I know Land Back advocates who are literally asking that land be returned to the Indigenous tribes who are local to the place. I also know Land Back advocates who are challenging the relationship that people have to the land they occupy, regardless of formal legal ownership.
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