By Tara Houska
Throughout this work for our children's futures, a deeply problematic thread continues to weave itself into the conversation. I recognize that many are only now waking up to the notion of including impacted communities when advocating for protection of land and resources. I recognize that many are unfamiliar with indigenous rights and struggles, that our complexity and trauma are unfamiliar. I recognize that the colonial narrative has done its very best to ensure indigenous peoples are almost entirely erased from social consciousness.
Too often, I see indigenous rights treated as a talking point. Too often, I face those who would speak over indigenous peoples, who believe they can advocate for our rights better than we can. Too often, I hear non-Native NGOs and allies decrying the "aggression" and "intimidating behavior" of indigenous peoples. I've heard suggestions that these "aggressive" Natives should be cast aside as outside agitators. Outside agitators. Let that sit for a moment. "Stolen land" isn't a catchphrase on a t-shirt, it is a reality Native people live each and every day. "Indigenous" isn't a...