Land Acknowledgement and Reflection on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Three spires of cornflowers reaching toward blue sky and sunshine in my backyard. Photo by me, 2021.

It is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and perhaps a good time to acknowledge that I live, work, and pray on Haudenosaunee land. I am always learning and striving toward a better tomorrow, and while I know that simply saying that is never enough, it is a step in the right direction. If you are not Native, take time to learn about the land on which you live. If you live in North America, you live on tribal land on Turtle Island. Learning and reading are always a start, but never the end.  

This is a photo of the corn I’m growing in my garden with the Three Sisters method. Indigenous people taught this companion planting to the original colonizers here. I think about this whenever I work in that garden bed. That skill helped some of my ancestors survive, but I also know many of my ancestors did not treat the Indigenous people well in return. I don’t know the specifics in my case, but I know (and continue to relearn) the country’s history. I know people who look like me hurt and oppressed Native People while others let it happen. I know I benefit from that system and enjoy a lot of privilege. 

Every day is the start of a new opportunity to right past wrongs and heal past wounds. It will likely take generations, but seize the moments. 

I’m listening and trying, and I will continue to try. It’s hard, and we’ll make mistakes, but it’s important work.

Let’s respect the treaties. Let’s stop Line 3. Let’s listen to our Indigenous neighbors. Let’s no longer celebrate monstrous colonizers who get all the credit. 

(To learn about whose land you live on, check this site!)

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

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