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View Diary: You are on Indian Land. (131 comments)

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  •  This is an excellent response (9+ / 0-)

    and an excellent response, too, to the common assertion that "we are all immigrants." To be indigenous is to know (through story, song, and other aspects of culture) that your people have been in a place for long enough -- so long that your people are not "from" anywhere else. In this sense, to argue that one's people did not migrate across the Bering Strait to North America, that they emerged -- or were created -- here is literally (not figuratively) true. It's saying that wherever their physical origins may lie, the people were created as a people at a specific site on the earth.

    You are also right to bring the treaties into this discussion. They are founding documents for the United States. To make an analogy to visual design, the treaties are a kind of "negative space" from which the founders carved the "positive space" of the Declaration and Constitution. The treaties must be honored, or we lose any basis and meaning for the United States as a nation. It might also be time to look anew at unceded lands, such as all of California, to draw up new treaties and then, by beginning to honor all treaties, to learn from Indigenous people about what Indigenous or Indian land is, and to correct some wrongs in the process.

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