In modern civilization, everything has a price. But sometimes when you trade something for money, you can never trade it back.
In watching this short film from Patagonia about an indigenous nation in Alaska fighting to protect a far-north region from oil drilling, this reality becomes clear.
There’s a line where she says “I can’t go into the store and hunt. I don’t have any money to buy anything.”
They live on the land and with the land. Even if they did have all the money in the world to buy things, their livelihood would be gone.
It’s not enough to put a price tag on the caribou meat and the blue berries. Stealing the land is about stealing purpose and meaning, not just resources. No amount of money is worth losing ancestral lands and a sense of belonging for countless future generations.
Some trades can’t be reversed.