I’m speaking for Okanagan Indigenous peoples in terms of the way we think about land. We never have ever thought of it, I don’t think, as anything static. As anything physical. We’ve always thought about it as a process of interactions, a process of changes and a process that’s ongoing.... And so a lot of things that we think about as Okanagan people is how those systems should inform us, in terms of our interactions and the principles that we need to think about and adhere to. In the process of learning in our society, one of the things that we have come to understand is that there always needs to be that connection to and from the individual, and the connection of the family, and the connection to community, and how that intersects to the natural world."
For many Aboriginal cultures, land means more than property-- it encompasses culture, relationships, ecosystems, social systems, spirituality, and law. For many, land means the earth, the water, the air, and all that live within these ecosystems. As scholars Bonita Lawrence and Enakshi Dua point out using historical examples, "to separate Indigenous peoples from their land" is to "preempt Indigenous sovereignty." Land and Aboriginal rights are inextricably linked.
Aboriginal rights and title are not granted from an external source but are a result of Aboriginal peoples’ own occupation of and relationship with their home territories as well as their ongoing social structures and political and legal systems.
I feel the destruction of theses sacred relationships needs remedy. I feel the kins domains concept outlined in the Ringing Cedars of Russia provides a viable remedy for our Earth to be regenerated, AND we must honour those who were given original instructions and hold the wisdom of the land within them. We must look to the old ones who remember the lore of the land we live in, honour them, request they teach us. And go forward in strength with a vision of regenerating the Earth.