An Historic Opportunity for Black & Indigenous Land Liberation

The Movement for Black Lives and the Water Protectors at Standing Rock have punctured public consciousness in recent years, calling for deeper recognition of the historical theft of land, dignity, and agency of sacred places and people across this continent by white colonizers, including the Catholic Church.

Sisters are already on the front lines of movements to right these wrongs by joining in solidarity with these movements. Naturally, we believe it is also critical to consider how the sale of sister’s properties might be seen as an historic opportunity to serve the work of reconciliation and reparations to generations of Black, Indigenous, and other historically oppressed communities.

Who will inherit these lands? We were given them; do we want to take them as a kind of one-time capital gain, or do we want to give them back in the way so many of us were given them?
— Sr. Barbara Harrington, Crystal Spring Center for Earth Learning

In many cases, doing this might be only be a slight variation or adaptation of some of strategies discussed above, such as:

An outgrowth of the southern Civil Rights Movement, the community land trust (CLT) was conceived originally as a mechanism for African-American farmers to gain access to agricultural land. It soon found many other uses, including affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization. It soon spread to urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the country.
— Lincoln Institute for Land Policy