We need Indigenous land stewardship to save our planet.
I want to share my optimism with you: we can and will save ourselves.
Instead of throwing coins into fountains for empty wishes, we as a society are creating real change -- one example is the increasing momentum of the #LandBack movement.
Land back, aka land restitution, aka secure land tenure, aka a million other terms, is the movement to return land to its original stewards. Colonialism has displaced Indigenous people around the world; people who were not only maintaining the Earth but perhaps improving it. #LandBack is a climate justice solution that pays back what colonizers stole while giving all living creatures better, more experienced caretakers. Kiddos, move out of the way.
🎯 Action step 1 of 4: READ — Let's start by looking at a few articles together.
Today, I'd like for us to read this article from National Geographic about forest gardens.
If your lineage has never been colonized, it might be hard to grasp why #LandBack matters so much. Some people might see it long overdue; some might see it as unfair. So let's start with climate-related evidence: Native land stewardship can outdo nature. Climate change is exponentially worsening, and if we know that Indigenous people are much better at managing land than colonizers have been for the past couple centuries, well... there's only one logical conclusion.
Here are some key takeaways from the article so we can understand why LandBack is necessary:
We have to stop waiting for Western scientists to catch up with what Indigenous people have been saying for decades. Native land stewards have been watching out for the Earth before the scientific method was even a thing. It's time for #LandBack.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 1 of 4: READ.
🎯 Action step 2 of 4: LISTEN — we'll watch a short video or listen to a podcast to further expand on our topic.
Ok so maybe everyone knew this except for me, but today is the first day of my life that I knew Canada is actually a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II calls the shots (ok not really because that's not how things work. But still...).
The video I'm sharing in our LISTEN module today dropped such shocking knowledge in just 4 minutes, and it's helping me understand the extent of the problem that #LANDBACK is trying to solve.
(Editor's note: this article was published in 2021 before Queen Elizabeth's death. Read on!)
Today, watch this 4 min video explaining why LANDBACK matters. This vid focuses on Canada and we have a global readership, but I chose it because it's a solid, historically-based explanation for how big of an issue land theft is.
3 key takeaways from today's video:
So to summarize, Canada is owned by the queen basically and land theft is still ongoing. What a world we live in!
Less cynically, our fireside chat speaker, Sara Calvosa Olson, who's a Native food writer in California, said the #LANDBACK movement is the biggest source of hope and optimism for her. Next module, we'll talk more about the actions we can take.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 2 of 4: LISTEN.
🎯 Action step 3 of 4: ACT — Now it's time to do something. Let's go!
There are only 3 easy homeworks for you for this module, and the 2nd one has brought me a lot of joy already.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 3 of 4: ACT.
Before we go any further, it's time for you to pledge your commitment. It takes less than 30 seconds to pledge and we can bother you about it in a friendly way, so we can hold each other accountable. Pledge here!
🎯 Action step 4 of 4: REFLECT — what can you commit to? What fresh perspectives can we look at?
As we wrap up our #LandBack module, we should think about how to make land stewardship and restitution a meaningful, ongoing part of our lives.
Here are three places to start:
Thanks for joining us on this action journey.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 4 of 4: REFLECT.
Check out our membership community for more resources like free weekly events with social justice experts, sustainable product discounts, pre-written email templates, a social impact job board, and in-person hangouts with new friends. Thanks for taking action with Soapbox Project!
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