// hi im an indigenous person n land and national sovereignty for indigneous peoples is my field of study and i got some thoughts to add!
adding to point 3, indigenous peoples still have LOTS of land! in fact, specifically w/ canada for instance, all “crown land” is actually unceded (as in it was never given up) territory, that is still 100% indigenous. in fact the way many indigenous nations work (in the north) is while communities are often centralized on reserves/reservations, they still lay claim to their original territories AND are still the treaty holders/beneficiaries/inherent rights holders to the entire continent! the land is still ours, just under different occupation. it is in fact the settlers (non-indigenous peoples) who have less land, especially in a country like canada. 41% of crown land in canada is federally owned, and 48% is provincially owned- only 11% is owned privately. all that “crown” land is indigenous. so yeah. we have land lol.
( more info : crown land is unceded land meaning that Aboriginal Title has neither been surrendered nor acquired by the Crown. The Crown doesn’t own the land outright as the term suggests. In fact, in Delgamuuknw and Gisday'way, the Supreme Court of Canada actually stated that Aboriginal title represents an encumbrance on the Crown’s ultimate title. )
this is just in reference to canada, but across the world and especially on the north and south american continents, indigenous peoples still hold title and inherent rights to our lands! just because the settlers SAY they own it doesn’t mean they actually own it lol. there are also the different ways different nations view land and inherent rights and jurisdiction too to consider.
to add to point 4, yeah honestly as long as you’re respectful i dont think its the biggest problem- there is an entirely different convo to be had on whether based off the treaties which are the entire reason why countries like the usa or canada could even have people living here, would even have nation representatives (canada especially). definitely dont do the de-melanation thing its absolutely ridiculous.
to add to point 5, YEAH DON’T. unless they’re specifically of a nation wherein headdresses are used, and have been given that in the appropriate ceremony in whatever story you have, just don’t. honestly just do your research. don’t pan-indigenize different cultures and shove them on your characters, especially if they’re white. i think this goes for any fandom lol.
ultimately, when researching and creating a character that is supposed to be an indigenous rep or having anything to do with research, indigenous sources are your best bet. be respectful, don’t pan indigenize, don’t make up ceremonies or cultural things, and question your motives with this character/interpretation and what you intend to represent. don’t make indigenous peoples out to be some relic of the past, don’t write as if we aren’t alive today.
remember that indigenous nations are literally that- NATIONS. with different concepts of what national soverignty and nationhood is, yes, especially compared to europe, and with completely different and diverse governance structures and cultures, but indigenous peoples are apart of NATIONS. tribe is an antiquated word even, we are from literal nations no different than any other. the same way that europe has it’s nations, we have ours.
Kinda of a rant thing about aph/hws Native America ocs
So I just want to start off with, I’m not an indigenous person nor am I an expert. I am always learning (so like if I’m wrong correct me), but I do know that making just one oc to represent well over 500+ tribes in the North American continent is well…in poor taste to put it light. I know people have discussed this in the past, but I still see this. So I want to make this kinda of a quick an easy type of guide-ish?
1. “But they’re like the ancients? So that’s why they should Canada & America’s parent figure.”
No, indigenous people and their tribes still exist with an identity and a culture unlike let’s say Ancient Rome. You don’t see anyone claiming to be a Roman Empire citizen. That statement also implies that indigenous people don’t exist anymore, which isn’t true…and is a bit racist to say.
So usually I find in the parent figure claim, there’s still usually one oc that represents all of the indigenous people in the Americas- and that’s also an issue because they’re not all the same.
2. “They’re all like the same, so I’m just going to group them all together into one personification.”
No. This is also just ignorant. The Navajo nation is not the same as Mi’kmaq tribe. It’d be like saying Greece and Norway are the same place, or Egypt and South Africa, or Japan and the Philippines. They could be similar, but not the same.
3. “But don’t nations need land to be a nation?”
First of all, I just want to point out that there are nations that are really small and exist such as Liechtenstein. Secondly, Hima has personified a fucking oil platform. Many of these groups have been displaced from their traditional homelands (example: the Lenape people) but they may retain a very small amount of land through reservations (not saying they’re good, but it’s land).
4. “Okay, but what about making headcanoning Alfred/ Matt (or their 2ps & nyos) as indigenous.”
As long as you’re not making them like a substitute for just combining all indigenous tribes together, I don’t believe there’s an issue as long as you’re doing this respectfully. And you choose a certain tribe that’s fine. Also don’t do that thing where they de-melanate that’s…that’s kinda weird.
5. “I drew Alfred/ Matt with eagle feathers / a headdress.”
So from what I understand in plains indigenous cultures eagle feathers and headdresses hold a lot of significance. They are a mark of achievement, like a really great one, and I don’t find drawing canon Alfred/ Matt in one of those appropriate.
I don’t want to believe that anyone has done this out of malice, I just think it comes from a place of ignorance. And we all can grow and learn, there’s nothing wrong with learning (I’m always learning). Also if you have anything else to add on, you may. I just needed to get this off my chest.
thanks for this post OP, it’s something that doesnt get addressed enough. ik its just hetalia but lmao this is where my dumb little hobby and my actual field of study intersect.