I did ungrad studies in cultural anthropology and at that time it became clear that you can't study people without studying their relationships to nature. Over time I developed a mix of romanticism around "indigenousness" (coupled with some complicated white guilt, being a white American etc), as well as an intense anger around colonialism and the cultural belief systems that have allowed certain peoples eradicate others in the name of creating the kinds of societies we're all comfortably reading this forum post from. Not many people would disagree in 2014 that peoples who have lived in the Amazon forest for a thousand years deserve to continue living in that forest despite industrial civilization's demands for the raw materials there. The U.N., in theory at least, has even written up a very long and serious declaration of the rights of indigenous peoples. This concept has even evolved into concepts such as nature's rights and community rights. All these concepts are beautiful and I'm glad large nation states are being pressured to at least symbolically support the rights of people who live sustainably within their means. Amazonian cultures are one of thousands examples of such people who aren't hurting anybody (at least not on the scale we do) and who deserve to be treated with dignity and a lack of militaristic and corporate bullying. Then I look at the leftist decolonization movements/rhetoric/trends in the U.S. and it becomes less beautiful and a bit more scary to me. I have friends who originally studied permaculture design, ecology, environmental studies, who have since dropped out to join indigenous resistance movements. They constantly post things on social media and elsewhere that such-and-such place (say, New York) is in fact, actually called such-and-such place, and is actually such-and-such tribe's land. Be aware, they say, this is stolen land. A post I saw today by one dear friend who is doing a hip hop tour in Canada (she says: KluKluxKanada) said something like, We don't respect any laws but indigenous laws, this government is not legit - something like that. But I wonder how far the concept of indigenous rights goes. In theory, perhaps, I do not have the right to live as I do on this continent because my ancestors are from elsewhere and the only reason I am privileged in the ways I am are because of war crimes and things I and most compassionate, smart people in 2014 consider to be horrible historical events that do not justify much of anything. I suppose the ultimate question is about what is fair and just, and how to go from here to there. These are some thoughts I have about this. I want to know what other peoples' thoughts are. I expect some pretty bigoted perspectives based on assumptions about human nature being wretched and essentially evil, and life not being fair so let's not strive to make it moreso. That's fine, just try not to make those statements by insulting me or others. Maybe frame it in terms of questions.