We are on stolen land.
Ever felt invisible? Overlooked, discounted, like your story doesn’t matter and no one wants to hear it? We’re willing to wager that everyone has, in some setting or phase of life. And it just plain sucks.
A land acknowledgment is a very small way to let the Indigenous people in our community know that we are not ignoring the terrible things that the United States did to their ancestors in the name of colonization and “progress.”
This history matters, and so do they, both as historic people and as contemporary individuals.
The land that we live, work, and recreate on, this land that we have spent an entire magazine issue discussing and debating, is stolen. It is the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Salish (Sqelixw / Selis), Kootenai (Ktunaxa / Ksanka), Pend d’ Orielle (Kalispell/Ql’ispe), and Blackfeet (Amskapii Pikunii) peoples, who continue to live and thrive here, sharing their talents and gifts with the entire community.
A land acknowledgment does not solve the ongoing effects of colonialism and oppression. But we hope that letting our Native neighbors, friends, and fellow humans know that we recognize and honor this history—and that we won’t try to justify it or wish it away—is a small step in the right direction. Few things feel worse than being invisible. We see you, and we support you.
In our Winter 2020/21 issue, we published a literary retelling of the Kootenai, Salish and Pend d’ Oreille Nations’ history in the Flathead Valley, also featuring contemporary tribal citizens. It is titled “We Are Still Here” and is available via the link below.
Team Go Local (George, Elma, Jill, and Katie)
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