Our Lives, Our Land, Their Future

This summer, I drove across North America from Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron, through Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, then Kansas, and finally to Denver, Colorado. The morning we left the island there was this beautiful fog gently laying over the land. The rolled hay bales sitting quietly on the freshly mowed field felt so familiar and sad to leave. I was thinking about my my own connection to this land. Then I thought about the history of this island and how this was originally all First Nation’s land, it was even guaranteed by treaty in 1836. Like an echo all over North America, the familiar story of cultural genocide is woven through the dealings of the past, a treaty broken and land further fractured. It made me think, how different the land must look now…how the forests have been cut, glacial rocks removed, to make land available for ranching and growing the hay to feed the cattle for a small slice of our beef and dairy consumption. It occurred to me how the land is sculpted like a piece of clay depending on what we, as a society, demand.