PUBLISHED IN LAND BACK | (2021) 1:2 ROOTED
Canadians need to connect these dots and then work on the relational accountability that they owe to the Indigenous Peoples. Land Back means to understand the history of where you live and also, how you get your livelihood. It means to understand what was stolen and what continues to be stolen to enable your gain. And then understand what has to happen to stop this ongoing theft.
Many discussions have taken place in the past few years on the need for Indigenous health transformation. Now, the COVID pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for this transformation. While the fact that our communities face inequitable social determinants of health is relatively well-known, an area that isn’t discussed nearly enough is the connection of our land to our health. By continuing to not centralize our Peoples and their land in tackling the emerging situation from the global pandemic, we perpetuate the cycle of land dispossession.
Our communities across Canada face significant issues of land encroachment and its misuse. Onerous evidentiary burden for asserting their rights and title is on the community and often times through expensive litigation process. As a result, restitution of Indigenous land and governance, in other words, nationhood, transcends all the issues our communities face today. Over the years, communities have struggled to effectively address these challenges due to lack of sufficient capacity in building and asserting their inherent rights.
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