Once upon a time we all lived in tribal societies. We all knew the value of acknowledging our interconnectedness with the ancestors, land spirits and our ancestral Gods. We understood that life on Earth is a delicate balance between all these forces and that, while humanity plays a significant role, we are not at the top of the spiritual food chain. We understood that we are more than our egos, more than mere personalities: our power comes from understanding that we are representatives of our ancestral lines inhabiting the planet with responsibilities and ties to all generations, past and future. In short, we knew what it was to be indigenous people living on the land in a respectful way.
Then came the conquest and we were conquered violently. The European tribes fought but fell one by one; Gauls, Celts, Saxons, Angles, Scots and Norse. With the Christianization of Europe these cultures and their indigenous religions were ravaged. The Inquisition created thought crimes for which individuals could be burned: many were martyred for trying to hold on to the memory of who they were. The memory was so completely eradicated that a few centuries after their collective indoctrination Europeans were ready to become colonizers and decimate other indigenous peoples. A genocidal war was begun on the American continents as new tribes were added to the list of the fallen: Taino, MicMac, Cree, Apache, Lakota, Aztec, Maya, Inca. In Africa colonial powers pillaged and more tribes fell, with millions sold into slavery: Yoruba, Ewe, Limba, Fon and Igbo. At one time or another we all met the imperial machine and were trampled. Our inability to recognize our brethren damaged the bonds of our shared humanity.
In this time of crisis where we do not remember our obligations to the coming generations and live unsustainably, where we turn away from our fellow humans and tolerate atrocities as a matter of course, our dead cry out for the restoration of our shared humanity. They and the land spirits and the Gods cry out to restore the balance that was once broken, the balance that allowed us to live on the Earth without destroying it. Indigeny is our birthright as is the reclamation of our pre-conquest mind. We can choose not to perpetuate the divisions that disempower us.