Whose Land Is This Anyway?


Tsilhqotin Justice © Jeremy Williams

RAVEN Takes a Fresh, Funny Look at Indigenous Rights

Welcome to Home on Native Land, a new, free self-guided online course about Indigenous justice in Canada.

Through a series of 10 videos, illustrative cartoons and lessons, participants are invited to take a walk down the back alley of history—and the frontlines of legal action.

While we may all have heard about Residential Schools, treaties, and reconciliation, how much do any of us know about the Indigenous laws that have been around for far longer than the Canadian constitution?

While Home on Native Land offers an unflinching look into the ways Canadian institutions have, and continue, to perpetuate injustice towards Indigenous Peoples, the course offers encouragement and guidance about the ways we can work together to build good relationships.

Through storytelling, interviews, and some very funny reflections, the course is designed to entertain, educate and hopefully change how people think about ‘our home on native land.’

home on native land

© Warren Leonhardt @digital_fr1dge

Learn, Laugh, Litigate

“We designed this course in response to the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), urging individual Canadians in general and businesses, in particular, to become educated about the legal realities of Indigenous Peoples in this country,” said RAVEN Executive Director Susan Smitten.

“What leading First Nations thinkers, artists and—yes—comedians reveal in their reflections is fundamental knowledge for anyone who is committed to living in a fair country.”

The course is also available to businesses, who can work with RAVEN to begin to fulfill TRC Call to Action #92. That call challenges the corporate sector to provide education and training for managers on the history of Indigenous Peoples, intercultural competency, and human rights.

Said Smitten, “Home on Native Land offers teams an introduction to key concepts, insights to foster discussion, and a pathway for ongoing learning. Whether you are a tech company with 500 employees, a neighbourhood coffee shop, or an online retailer, if you are doing business on Indigenous land, you’ve got work to do. Home on Native Land is here to help—and it’s designed to make the process feel creative, safe, and—importantly, unintimidating.”

Business leaders who want to lead the way in fostering better relationships between settlers and Indigenous Peoples are invited to reach out to RAVEN to find out how to use Home on Native Land with their teams.

Courageous Conversations

More than 2,500 people have enrolled in Home on Native Land since its release in mid-January. People are saying this free online course is “eye-opening,” “shocking,” “hilarious,” and “affirming.”

Said Smitten, “There has been a pretty wide spectrum of reactions, reflecting not only the amazing diversity of people’s understanding of Indigenous issues but also the skillful way in which esteemed experts take serious topics and illuminate them with eloquence and humour.

“The funny stuff is disarming, but it also takes some of the anxiety and intensity away from what are very contentious issues so we can look at them with an open mind and heart.”

RAVEN has been honoured to work with the likes of Dr. Glen Coulthard, Kukpi7 Chief Judy Wilson and John Borrows, O.C.—all brilliant legal thinkers who bring their own lived experience as Indigenous people to topics like Treaty Rights, UNDRIP, the Doctrine of Discovery, and the Indian Act.

Whether you’re someone who’s fuzzy on the details of Indigenous history or you spend your free time reading every book you can get your hands on, Home on Native Land is more than just a primer in Indigenous-settler relations. Thanks to patient explanations delivered through video dialogues, Home on Native Land breaks down complicated concepts so people can build their confidence and participate in the courageous conversations we need to have in this country.

Faces of Risk © Pauline Otylia

A Force of Nature

Though they’ve been ignored and often trampled over the past 150 years, Indigenous Peoples have ways of relating to the land and to one another that enabled humans to live on these lands and waters for thousands of years: without disrupting the ecological balance.

“By working in solidarity with Indigenous leaders, RAVEN uses the power of the crowd to fundraise for groundbreaking legal challenges protecting land, air, and water for future generations,” Smitten explained.

“Indigenous laws—and the very best parts of Canada’s constitution—are upheld by treaties and validated again and again in the country’s courts. This braiding of traditions offers a path forward not only for cultural understanding but for our very survival in a time of climate crisis.”

RAVEN encourages everyone to check out Home on Native Land and join forces to become part of putting reconciliation into action.

Sign up at homeonnativeland.com

To find out how your business can begin to tackle the TRC Calls to Action by using Home on Native Land, contact andrea@raventrust.com

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Guided by some of the most brilliant legal advisors in the country, RAVEN Trust work to enshrine environmental justice for all. The law is clearly on the side of Indigenous peoples: their victories protect us all.


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