The original people of this land moved or settled in particular areas with specific reasons. Some nations moved, some stayed closer to settled lifestyles. The common understanding between the original nations has been to live “with the land”.
This concept of “living with the land” is advanced in that the original people understood the interrelatedness of all things and the necessity to maintain balance. Maintaining this balance ensures not only the survival of the land, waters, plants and animals but leads to life for all human being as well.
This is why the original people or very few tribes have no concept of property or ownership of land. In order to maintain balance, it was necessary to take “only enough”. Many original people see accumulating or greed as wrong. Various nations established ceremonial processes such as the give away for two purposes. One purpose was to distribute items without causing shame so that a clan, tribe or people would have “enough”. A second purpose was to establish honour or prestige. Those that accumulated or gave away were deeply respected. The giving to all showed the concern for the community was greater than the individual or family.
Can this worldview be equated to values in today’s society?
Many settlers and colonial people thought it showed weakness or stupidity when the original people freely shared of their food, lodgings and teachings. The original people were applying their laws. The original people were respecting the settler newcomers as fellow human beings. The original people also understood the importance of territorial agreements.
Sacred sites or specific territories might need to be accessed by all but if there was an area used for hunting or harvesting, it was necessary to engage with other nations to establish peaceful laws and interaction. Therefore, the original people viewed the newcomers as their relations. They believed that an agreement to share the land and resources would be respected by the newcomers because the spoken words had gone into the cosmos. Creator had heard.
The original people had no understanding that the taking of land meant that another group could willfully hurt, ruin or destroy an area that was for all people, plants and animals’ usage. The original people did not understand this “ownership” but they did understand that using the land and resources responsibly would ensure the survival of all.
If we fast-forward 500 years later to this current time, we begin to see the repercussions of this short sightedness.
The original nations flourished for thousands of years, living with an understanding of the true and sacred laws that exist on this planet. The laws of nature apply to all creatures. Human beings are not exempted from this law.
Currently in North America, the original people are preparing for battles. The battle is not for an ideology or to take over a territory or to correct some mainstream wrong. This battle is to protect both sides who, are battling.
The original people have tried to live and respect the newcomers but the ways of the newcomers directly contradict our teachings and responsibilities.
If an original teaching is to share, our people have done this.
If an original teaching is to respect others, our people have done this.
If an original teaching is to protect the land, waters and animals, our people are trying to do this.
In current Mainstream case law, and governance or policy structures throughout North America, resource and economic development are shaping “society”. Therefore, decisions are not based on what is right for the land, plants or animals. Decisions are made based on what is right for a select group of society.
In the original people’s approach, there was a respectful approach to taking or using resources. However, it was unfathomable to the original people that the newcomers would not have this same understanding. Here, again, we see the reconciliation breakdown. Ownership and all this entails form a significant body of law for the newcomers. Property is seen as wealth or the way to equalization for all societal members. The original people see continued existence as wealth or the purpose of life.
Numerous categorizations have been made about the original people and their primitive ways that are without “progress”. What is progress if it destroys the land and waters?
What is progress if a handful of people have monetary wealth at the cost of the land, climate and water?
Right now, wildfires are threatening human beings throughout the planet. Other natural phenomena such as hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes are beginning to wreak havoc on the planet. There is imbalance in the world.
Original people have held long teachings, prophecies and warnings about this time. The survival of all people now depends on heeding these teachings, prophecies and warnings.
Weekly there are reports in mainstream media of tainted water, elevated levels of sickness among the original people and disease clusters that show that those people living close to the land are suffering. The original people who have maintained contact, harvesting, hunting and traditional lifestyles are the first indication that the planet is hurting.
Weekly there are also counter reports of the original people taking a stand against further land, water, plant and animal degradation. This stance is not only exercising stewardship, this stance is upholding the ancient law that has always existed.
The original people feel so strongly about this threat that they have expended what scant funding they have to fight this onslaught in the oppressor’s court systems. It is frustrating to know that the original people are fighting for planetary survival and the tainted manmade legal system only sees limited “rights” that can be infringed when justified.
Is it justifiable to allow one segment of society to plunder the land that is responsible for clean air, drinkable water and manageable climate for all species’ survival?
Is it not more justifiable to learn from the older brother on this island about protecting the air, water and climate for all?
Canada stands on this precipice. It can continue to attack the original people or after five hundred years, the newcomers can finally, finally learn the lessons and teachings they came to receive.