When You Steal the Land, You Steal the Stories


  • Sadie Quinn University of King's College


While considering various interactions between European colonizers and the Indigenous peoples of what is now North America, an important theme emerged for me – when you steal the land, you steal the stories. In my Western understanding of the world, stories are purely metaphysical, something that can be passed around but never quite pinned down. In many Indigenous worldviews, this is not the case. Land and stories are linked in such a way that it is impossible to strip a people of one and not both. The process of colonization often ignores this deeper value of land, preferring to view it as nothing but a source of material wealth. This commodification of land and natural materials leads to the simultaneous appropriation of the land itself and the stories contained within it. Using the framework of Lee Maracle‘s definition of appropriation, I will discuss two instances of the theft of Indigenous lands and stories – in the Canadian North as well as in my hometown of Vancouver.




How to Cite

Quinn, S. (2022). When You Steal the Land, You Steal the Stories. Anti-Colonial Science: A Course Journal, 1. Retrieved from https://ojs.library.dal.ca/ACS/article/view/11328