Who Really Owns Turtle Island?
For Original Peoples, land is central to every aspect of life. Original Peoples’ lives and cultures are derived from the land they live on – which influences diet, cultural practices, ceremonies, spiritual beliefs, housing structures, patterns of land usage, and relationships with the animals and plants sharing that land. While Original Peoples have diverse cultures, they all share a foundational connection to the land. Original Peoples understand that without a balanced relationship with the environment, their very existence is at risk.
Land on Turtle Island was shared, prior to the arrival of the eastern explorers. People thought of themselves as caretakers or stewards of the land, rather than private owners of clearly defined areas. Geographical boundaries, like the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, and the Great Lakes, acted as natural border zones between Original Nations. For example, the Anishinabek (or Ojibwe) Nation lived north of the Great Lakes, and the Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois) Nation lived on the south side of the Great Lakes.
The private owner-’ship’ of land (as part of a larger system of wealth accumulation) is not an Original concept; in other words, the idea that land can be owned, monetized, bought, and sold is an idea that arrived under “Maritime-Law” of the Eastern continent settlers on Turtle Island.
- Distribution of Resource Products
- Green sustainable and renewable energy sources:
- Electricity Production dams, wind turbines, small scale home solar thermal and hydro energy production: fully functioning or as backup
- Protection of Original Peoples’ water, land and mineral resources:
- i.e. flint, obsidian, jade, quartz, etc., quarries and loads for traditional – non-commercial use only
- Original Peoples protectors and Beneficiaries of ceded land resources.
- Spring water sources to be managed and monitored by Original Peoples for distribution approval.
- Protection of old-growth forests and remaining habitats for ceremonial and traditional teachings.