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Land defenders who are part of the Diaspora and Ancestral Nations from Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Turtle Island and Milpamérica (Alaska, Canadá, USA, México, Guatemala, Salvador & Honduras) gathered to hack the narrative of land ownership, together they call to get Back to the Land as a global transition to liberate ourselves with Mother Earth.

12 October 2023

Today we celebrate the birth of the ‘Back to the Land’ Narrative Council, integrated by land defenders who call for an urgent cultural change, to start the transition to a more just and diverse world, where respect for the land is at the center of our relationships. We invite you to join us.

  • Read and share the 10 principles of #BackToTheLand
  • Join the debt strike to reclaim that #TheyOweUs land
  • Create intergenerational encounters with the #WeAreFromTheEarth guide
  • Reconnect with the earth trough ancestral foods #RecipesForRevolution
  • Break the borders to find your spiritual connection #AncestralPaths

Back to the Land principles

Land Back is the strategy, Back to the Land is the ceremony. There is a path to return to the land that was stolen, a path for the people who were stolen from their land. There is a path of justice for the heirs of the violence against the land and its peoples. All of them are paths for the land itself to return back to us. We light this fire, sit in a circle to sing and share stories with those who believe that the land is a condition of existence.

1 – We return to the land and the land returns to us.

Structural inequalities, social injustice, climate, social and spiritual polycrisis have at their foundation the separation between people and the network of life –  between communities and their territories, between our being and the earth. Can we think of ourselves beyond an individualistic and human-centric identity? Returning to relationships of interdependence with the land and all beings that exist on it, is the root of any cultural change.

2 – The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth.

We invite you to free yourself from the prison of private property, we must tear down the fences so that life can move freely again. Governments, corporations, churches, armies, the rich who have monopolized the land and created violent laws to privatize it, must return what was stolen. Can we reimagine the management and organization of life and territory beyond property? Can we create collective identities that recover our belonging to the earth?

3 – Privileges are proportional to uprooting.

The violence caused by systems of domination sever  the ties between the community and the planet, causing the loss of common sense, of common thinking, of our ways of communicating and relating to the land. Hoarded privileges bleed with the suffering of the territories and the beings that exist in them- they uproot us. How do we create restorative justice processes that heal from the root? How do we resolve the contradiction between privilege in our daily lives and the call to return to the land?

​​4 – Responsibility is proportional to privilege.

The global north, Nation States and corporations are mainly responsible for the environmental, social and spiritual catastrophe that has us on the brink of extinction. Are we going to wait for the guilty party to judge itself? Individual and collective responsibility begin by stopping to consume the territories and lives of others. Assume responsibility equivalent to your privileges and dismantle systems of inequality to Rematriate stolen land.

5 – Colonialism is a more than 500-year-old disease.

The fever we call global warming, pandemics, wars, famines, forced exile of millions of people are symptoms of a much older disease. The European colonial kingdoms infected the entire world with ecocide and genocide. For five centuries they have called this extermination progress and development. Today we wake up from our ancestors’ worst nightmare.   We must cure ourselves of the plague, melt the crowns, and free the earth from this cultural feud.

6 – Capitalism is a terricide algorithm.

 Today the technology that the heirs of the colonizer use to impose global dominance is an algorithm designed to dispossess and accumulate land to create private poverty, to enslave and wither the energy of everything that is alive. To grow infinitely on a finite planet because ‘capital is more important than life’ is the golden rule, and is imposed through laws, violence and an extractive culture that kills the earth to enrich the richest. Life on the planet and capitalism are not compatible.

7 – Radical Diversity instead of Western monoculture.

Capitalism and colonialism have sown a hegemonic narrative monoculture that does not allow us to dream of other possible worlds. To return nutrients to the land, we must weed the white and savior man and stop aspiring for his unsustainable consumption, reforest our hearts and seek ways of knowing and being beyond the binary. We must recognize local knowledge as legitimate knowledge and organize ourselves from our differences. Let’s stop narrating the linear history of the apocalypse and return to the cycles of the earth.

8 – Sow ancestral narratives to harvest the future.

80% of the remaining biodiversity on earth is protected by ancestral peoples, these cultures are living solutions to the polycrisis. Our ancestors encrypted the science of how to exist without destroying in their languages, stories, agriculture, spirituality and everyday practices of reciprocity. The greatest biocultural diversity on the planet is being massacred by the greed of extractivism. Defend it. Recover your ancestry.  Search the land you inhabit today for these seeds of hope – you have time to learn how to recover, sow and harvest the future.

9 – The cure of the body – territory – spirit is the Cure of the Earth.

Returning to earth is a lifelong journey. A wise woman warned us, “you can’t give what you don’t have.” What does that mean for those of us who are in permanent resistance? What does that mean for those with more privilege? How do we weave collective healing processes with the earth? In songs, in plants, in organization and in conflict resolution, in the patient times of care there is the delicate fabric that unites the body with the territory and the spirit. If we achieve balance, we are the earth healing itself.

10 – The fight for Mother Earth is the mother of all fights.

 Returning to Land is not a goal but a starting point, it is a horizon, a reason to keep moving. It is the intersection of various paths and the heart that beats in the center of the planet. Autonomous peoples and nations, diasporic communities, social movements, ancestral peoples, organizations that seek change and all people from all diversities who know that another world is possible, we invite you to weave this shared history with dialogues, alliances, direct action to Land Back and trans-territorial narratives that expand the boundaries of what is possible, to cut the barbed wires, to liberate Mother Earth and ourselves.


Narrative Actions

They Owe Us

Fuck paying your debt. They owe us land. Land became property, real estate to be bought and sold, people displaced from land and forced into labor. Out of the vast wealth produced through the exploitation and genocide of our peoples, came the banking and financial systems that own our debt. The real debt is with the land and our roots will always be more powerful.

We are from the Land

Braiding generations to return to the land. We seek to invite intergenerational dialogue between those who work the land and the youth who have emigrated to the cities. We created a “Guide to Reclaim the Earth” that anyone can use to organize intergenerational meetings. (In Spanish)

Reciepes for Revolution

The land which feeds us, heals us. The land which heals us, feeds us. We call on all who have the necessary ingredients for our collective recipe for revolution to join us with their contributions to a collection of indigenous recipes. We celebrate this collection of indigenous knowledge about land and food by coming together. The recipes for revolution are as diverse as our territories so we invite you to return to the land, share your recipes and join the feast!

Ancestral Paths

Quienes migramos dejamos la tierra donde nacimos, donde vivieron y yacen nuestros ancestros, dónde sembramos y cosechamos nuestro sustento, donde hacemos comunidad. Al migrar dejamos una parte de nuestra vida, pero no tiene por que ser un destierro. Creamos este mapa en espiral para compartir un pedacito de territorio con quienes van de paso. Les acompañamos en el camino desde nuestra espiritualidad y saberes, para que siempre encuentren rutas de vuelta a la tierra.

Join Us

Back to the Land is an open source narrative co-created by land defenders from many different cultures and territories. We invite you to join by creating actions and stories to amplify narratives and principles, by following the ongoing conversation, by connecting with us to liberate Mother Earth.

Stay tuned for more information about our narrative briefing and more news from the #BackToTheLand Narrative Council.


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Back to the Land was born after the ‘Territories of Transition’ narrative lab, where 28 land defenders from Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Alaska, Canada, USA, México, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador gathered to hack the hegemonic narrative on land ownership. We used the Culture Hack method to co-create this narrative and actions. #BackToTheLand is under Creative Commons Non-Comercial Share Alike 4.0.