This land is not our land.
When we took our family to the Poconos (“river between two mountains”) this summer, we talked quite a bit about First Nations and Indigenous people. We talked about how the region being called Shawnee (“southerner”) was the misappropriation of Indigenous people who lived there, who were actually Lenape (“original peoples”). We talked about the same river we canoed that day was traveled by people who were eventually forced out. We talked about kindness and theft, belonging and power. We talked about how the water had a story to tell if we dared listen.
It wasn’t as profound of conversation as you may imagine, but it was just that. We talked and acknowledged and learned together about where we lived and who used to call this land home before they were exiled out.
Every year, I am reminded of where we live and the Indigenous names often overlooked…and mispronounced. Again, this land is not our land.