Gunalchéesh/Thank you for supporting Never Forget by contributing funds to acquire legal title to Native American homelands for Indigenous tribal communities.
All funds raised will go towards repatriating land back to Indigenous communities and to support the LandBack movement, to continue the acquisition of land titles for Indigenous nations to have legal standing under U.S.law to protect traditional territories. The LandBack movement is a regenerative, sustainable effort to center Indigenous knowledge and repair damages done to land and all people living here. The impacts of invasion, colonization, settlement and forced assimilation continue to have multi-generational impact upon us all. These impacts are varied, they are experienced differently and disproportionately, evident on the land and water, the changing climate and ecosystems. Reparations for what has been forcibly taken from Indigenous Nations must be grounded in ceding land; to end occupation and begin coexistence, with Indigenous leadership, to return to healthy and regenerative relationship with land.
Colonial entities, the U.S. Constitution, and the current U.S. government refer collectively to people Indigenous to the continental U.S. as Indian. Hollywood’s misrepresentations of Indigenous people reflect, and attempt to justify U.S. policy. The term Indian is a refusal to acknowledge sovereignty and attempts to erase the diversity of over 500 distinct nations preexisting the invasion of this continent by Europeans. Indigenous land and Indigenous communities remain unique, resilient, complex and beautiful; despite over 500 years of occupation by violent settler states.
Never Forget refuses to legitimize settler occupation, and reframes a word of generic reduction to call for collective action. It is a monumental invitation to landowners: to seek out in Indigenous leadership for land relationships, to center Indigenous knowledge in creating sustainable practices, to contribute to real rent initiatives, and to transfer land titles and rights to Indigenous nations and communities.
Land acknowledgements have become popular in the twenty-first century, with cultural and government entities paying lip service to Indigenous existence, without meaningful action of land return to Indigenous nations. Under U.S. law, Indian reservations are Federal lands, owned by the U.S. government. Indigenous people living on Indian reservations cannot, for instance, mortgage their homes, because banks won’t accept a mortgage on Federal property. Currently, the titles and rights to less than 3% of land within the United States belong to Indigenous people.
The Land Back movement is not about removing anyone who lives here from this land. It’s about recognition of, and respect for Indigenous knowledge and sovereignty, and returning what was violently invaded and occupied. Settler attempts at land management without adequate knowledge or understanding have resulted in many ecosystems pushed to the brink of collapse. Forests are burning, air quality diminishing, the earth and water are heavy with industrial waste threatening the lives of everything dependent upon them.
Governance of land titles, water rights, and other “resources” led and protected by Indigenous nations on their traditional territories benefits all people; ensuring sustainability and regeneration through specific knowledge gained since time immemorial. As Indigenous people we are responsible to the land we come from, to care for and protect it—for our grandchildren’s grandchildren, and for all life who would call this land home.
Never Forget marks what is. It is also a beacon for the future.
All funds raised go to the Acquisition and Land Management Funds of the Native American Land Conservancy (NALC). The NALC was founded in 1998 as an intertribal 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to acquire, preserve, and protect our sacred lands. The Conservancy has several endangered sites on its acquisitions list and is raising funds to acquire these sacred sites. Funding is also required to adequately manage and protect the lands held by the Conservancy in a responsible, Native way. See their website for more information on the important work of the Native American Land Conservancy.
*First Light Alaska has agreed to host this fundraiser, this project is larger than any amount or goal. All additional funds raised beyond this goal will go to Indigenous land rematriation organizations.