A Test to See if You are Indigenous or Not

The Okanagan is an industrialized landscape. Note the cloned apple trees, the herbicide to kill weeds (80% of the available space), the poisonous fence posts, the wire supports to hold the trees up, the dark green leaves from a big load of nitrogen fertilizer, the vigorous messy tops indicating a great push of nitrogen to achieve large fruit size and a reliance on added chemical rather than tree hormones to regulate tree growth, the predominance of tractor space over tree space, the smokey air from forest fires in industrial forests and rangelands, and the hedge trimming to get some sun onto otherwise green and tasteless apples growing in shade on trunks compromised by graft incompatibility and incapable of delivering a full taste profile. Really, have a look.

Royal Galas in Vernon

Vineyards are industrial spaces, too.

Vineyard at the Rise

In the main, vineyards are either criticized as being monocultures that replace species diversity, or praised as expressions of the land, in the same way a multiplicity of species formerly were. Both of those are settler images, ways of replacing Indigenous land with settled land, and suppressing Indigenous life forever, both indigenous flora and fauna and indigenous people. That’s curious, because to “” Indigenous means:

Cars (to take you home?), a job at Home Depot, a foreign building supply store, and home technology sold as “spring,” that’s what we’re left with. Still, it all started with the notion that an Indigenous person was of a place. Originally, that meant that the place and human culture had grown together and were mutually created. Over the 200 years of settler culture in this land, this has come to mean “earliest known inhabitants,” as you can read above. In other words, Indigenous people are seen as only the first settlers in a long line of settlers, and thus subject to the same principle of replacement as any settler worker. Yeah, well, tell that to a tree.

Bella Vista

They are workers, too. If you cannot see that, you are not Indigenous. It’s as simple as that. If you can see it, it doesn’t mean you are Indigenous, but at least you have a fighting chance.

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