Land Back: The Indigenous Fight to Reclaim Stolen Lands
By Cheyenne Bearfoot
April 21, 2022
Millenia prior to contact with Colonizers, Indigenous Peoples throughout what is now North America and other parts of the globe were the sovereign caretakers of the land; each tribal nation with their own sustainable practices for obtaining natural resources, and mindful preventative measures that limited the chance of environmental catastrophes. However, with the onset of colonization, Indigenous Peoples were forcibly removed from the picture, and racist policies were enacted to prevent tribal nations from carrying out such traditional practices.
But some Indigenous communities are reclaiming their power by continuing to demonstrate that humans can share a reciprocal relationship with nature that minimizes negative impacts on the environment. Current research shows that areas managed by Indigenous communities are as equally healthy as some protected areas, like our National Parks. With a consistent track record of meeting the needs of the land, why isn’t the United States giving the land back to Indigenous Peoples to manage? And what are Indigenous communities doing to not only combat climate change but reclaim stolen land?