Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

Community land trusts build power through collective land stewardship. Instead of enriching few, community land trusts restructure land as an asset for community-wealth building.

However, on Turtle Island (also known as North America), the land in question has been stolen from Indigenous peoples, who previously stewarded it since time immemorial.

To date, Indigenous rights and sovereignty have not been fulsomely addressed by the community land trust sector. Challenging conversations and actionable commitments to reconciliation and decolonization are long overdue.

As the community land trust sector enters a new stage of growth, we encourage non-Indigenous community land trusts to learn and take creative action to support Indigenous sovereignty.

Indigenous-led Community Land Trusts

While there is a precedent of Indigenous-led environmental land trusts, Indigenous communities are developing community land trust for a variety of aims specifically to each community.

Established 2012, Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is an “urban Indigenous women-led land trust based in the San Francisco Bay Area that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people”

Established in 2020, Dishgamu Humboldt Land Trust is “designed to facilitate the return of Wiyot ancestral lands to Wiyot stewardship, putting land in trust for the purposes of affordable housing creation, workforce development, and environmental and cultural restoration.”

See California’s Wiyot Tribe gets land back and builds foster youth housing

Established in 2018, the Aboriginal Land Trust Society (est. 2018) is part of the Vancouver-based Lu’ma Group of Companies. ALTS acquires and steward land for the purpose of permanently affordable housing development.

See:

The Indigenous Home-Lands initiative at Ecotrust Canada offers support to First Nations partners interested in establishing a CLT within their territories

Suggested Resources

Learning about the Land

Building Respectful Relationships

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