Thursday, June 15, 2017
The Meaning of Land
Traditional societies around the world understood land in ways different from the modern interpretation. In many countries, especially the “developed” ones, land is considered to be a commodity—in other words, something having economic value.
Yet, such a definition of land is quite a modern phenomenon. A look back at the epics, , shows
They show a much more nuanced view of land than the dominant culture’s; one which includes spiritual, physical, social and cultural connections
Autrailian Aboriginal (Palyku) woman Ambelin Kwaymullina explains: “For Aboriginal peoples, country is much more than a place. Rock, tree, river, hill, animal, human – all were formed of the same substance by the Ancestors who continue to live in land, water, sky. Country is filled with relations speaking language and following Law, no matter whether the shape of that relation is human, rock, crow, wattle. Country is loved, needed, and cared for, and country loves, needs, and cares for her peoples in turn. Country is family, culture, identity. Country is self.” 
An increasingly global free market has meant disappearing borders, skyrocketing corporate profits and an increase in wealth for some. But not everyone has shared in the benefits of globalization. In every corner of the world, the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples are under threat as governments and corporations seek to dispossess the people and exploit their abundant natural resources.
Linda Bull, a Cree from Goodfish Lake First Nation says the problem of globalization is not new. According to her, Native people in Canada have been fighting it for generations under another word - assimilation. Globalization and assimilation both seek to separate indigenous people from the land, to make them disappear. The Cree people have not forgotten their connection to the place. Protection of the land is crucial for Native people because, according to her: "when our lands disappear, we too all will disappear."