We’ve learned that we gain ownership over things and many of those things do belong to us and there are things that don’t. We don’t own everything we come across and just because we have it, that doesn’t necessarily mean, it is ours. You’re told to take care of many possessions that you are given growing up, such as clothes, toys, books, computers, cellphones, and most importantly yourself. You get it, there are a lot of things that we get and we are given responsibility when we are given these things. This responsibility matures along with us. The more responsible we are, the longer our possessions last. This is the same thing that is applied to everyday life. If we make responsible decisions we see the difference it has over our workplaces, life, environment, home, etc. Take for example instead of eating junk food, we purchase vegetables and fruits, this choice is better for our bodies and health. This can also be applied to recycling as opposed to garbage disposal. The choices we make are responsible for many things that we some times ignore or aren’t aware of. We are responsible for the land, the trees, the animals, and the water. We don’t own them, we borrow them and give them back. This is the power of decisions and responsibility and understanding what we own. The things that we do own are things that have been gifted to us through our birth into this world. Like, our bodies, mind, soul, and heart.
The idea of purchasing and owning land is a colonial thinking. When people are fighting for ownership of land, are they fighting for it because they want it back for mother-earth? Or are they fighting for it because they want to use it for their own benefit? Or are they fighting for it because of traditional reasons? When we fight for land, we must fight to have it preserved and nurtured and loved. Not for things as trivial as Mining, Deforestation, Oil, and other industrial projects. The lands that we possess through way of purchase or treaty should be used for ceremony, burial, preservation, and gardening. These are things that are beneficial to our people and the land.
I realize a lot of people don’t have this same way of thinking. They say that certain land belongs to them and their family only, but if we are to move from that kind of thinking we will be able to reconnect with the earth, our ancestors, and traditional teachings. We will be able to see what matters the most, the land. The land is always gonna be there, but the trees, the grass, the animals, won’t, they will eventually disappear and what good is land that has no life? Just as it is hard to live without knowledge, love, and happiness. When we start living without the care of possessing something or wanting to own something, we will have the ability to easily let go of ownership. We don’t own the land, we belong to the land, like a child belongs to a mother. When we are young, our mother takes care of us, and when our other grows old, we take care of our mother. This is the same thing with the land. We must return the things that we borrowed, such as the air we breath, the water that is inside of us, even our very bodies, all of these must be given back to the land, so that it can heal and give new life again.
I am still learning to let go and how I can help others do so too. We don’t let go of the land, but we let go of saying it belongs to us, we let go of colonial thinking and let go of profiting. The land doesn’t belong to anyone. There may be governments and corporations that say they own the land, but who did they buy it from? From the people who were there first. The people that were there first didn’t know that they were giving away their mother, their survival, their home, and their traditions. They knew they were benefiting, because they were taught that they owned it and that because they own it, they can give it away. We mustn’t give away what isn’t ours, as we are taught this is stealing, and stealing doesn’t do any good for anyone. If there is ever a time when all the land is gone and destroyed, we already know why, because colonialism.
You can share your home, your thoughts, your food, your knowledge. You can share the land, but you cannot sell it, buy it, or own it.