Monday, July 11, 2011

Susan Witt on Winona LaDuke's land trust model for the White Earth reservation

"The White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, in the turn of the century a group of well-meaning quakers said to the poor dears, you don't understand about private ownership. Let us help you survey this land and divide it into individual lots and give private ownership so you can have the experience of it. But the Ojibwe culture is to use multiple parts of the land -- so there're the lakes where the rice is harvested, there's the brush with the best raspberries, there's the timberland for the hunt -- so the community as a whole, as an integral community, moved through the whole of the land.

"Suddenly it was divided up into little lots, and with the consequential mortgaging of the land and losing the land to outsiders, their once intact reservation got divided up with holes in it, so people couldn't travel across it. LaDuke has used the community land trust model... the goal is to recreate the land intact, and then give long-term lease rights, so that people actually can own their buildings, own their homes."

~ 1h14m here.

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