I want to say "thank you" to the People of the Land.
I want to say thank you for letting me dwell on the sacred ground of your ancestors.
I know what it feels like to have a Nation. But do I know what it feels like to have a Homeland?
Indigenous people dwell on homelands. Occupiers live in nations.
The conqueror invented the 'nation' to divide and occupy someone elses homeland. The conqueror invented borders. For indigenous people, there are no borders: only rivers, valleys, hills.
Whose homeland do I occupy? Have I ever thanked them?
Today I say "thank you" to the First People. Because it is the First People who remind me that the Earth is my mother, and I am only a pilgrim here, a grateful immigrant.
The First People teach me that we are all one Circle, no person is above another, no nation is above another, no species is above another.
The First People of the Land teach me the true names of trees and mountains, rain and soil. They teach me to listen to the song of the cedar and the golden mushroom and yarrow root. They remind me that no one owns the land. Only the Creator owns the land, for She created it.
Thank you, First People. Forgive me if I have displaced you in my greed to call your land my own. I had no right to take it. Will you let me stay here with you?
Thank you, All Our Ancestors. Peace.