First Nations know these lands and want to preserve them – by Doug Cuthand (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – November 27, 2021)

The land back movement is one of the most important and fundamental changes occurring in Indian Country. It is at the heart of the push for land claims, opposition to resource development in traditional lands and the reclaiming of landmarks and sacred sites.

It scares the uninitiated and they assume we want the country back. Actually, we do, but the reality is that we want to share the land, as was promised during the treaty negotiations. Our leaders were told that settlers only wanted to farm the land; access to other natural resources was never discussed.

But land back is more than simple ownership. It refers to our connection with the land. It is the connection with the land, nature and the Creator that are all rolled into one when we refer to the land. For our people, land is more than real estate — it is our soul.

This traditional knowledge is being passed on through our education system. One of the fastest growing courses in Indigenous education is land-based learning. It is a way of bringing the young people out into the land that our ancestors treated as their mother. Land-based learning reconnects our young people with the knowledge and traditions of our ancestors.

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