The Land is Sore

…The white people (yapytu) never cared for the land or deer or bear. When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don’t ruin things. We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don’t chop down the trees. We only use dead wood.

But the white people (yapytu) plow up the ground, pull up the trees, kill everything.

The tree says, “Don’t. I am sore. Don’t hurt me.” But they chop it down and cut it up.

The spirit of the land hates them. They blast out trees and stir it up to its depths. They saw up the trees. That hurts them.

The people (Indians) never hurt anything, but white people (yapytu) destroy all. They blast rocks and scatter them on the ground.

The rock says, “Don’t. You are hurting me.” But the white people (yapytu) pay no attention.

When the people (Indians) use rocks, they take little round ones for their cooking. The white people dig deep long tunnels. They make roads. They dig as much as they wish. They don’t care how much the ground cries out.

How can the spirit of the Earth like the white man – yapytu? That is why God will upset the world — because it is sore all over. Everywhere the white man has touched it, it is sore.

– Kate Luckie


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