This essay reveals the true history of my people. It demonstrates our highly developed social, spiritual, and political governance structures. Our use of the water systems underscores the ecological integrity of sustainable development that we fostered for thousands of years. Yet, due to colonization and oppressive policies designed to destroy Indigenous identity, culture, and history, Indigenous knowledge and governing systems have been put in jeopardy. Colonial policies intended to dispossess and oppress First Nations by depriving us from Indigenous lands, controlling all aspects of our lives, which created dependence by limiting Indigenous peoples’ abilities to provide for themselves. Furthermore, these policies had no Indigenous input or representation and were designed to eradicate or eliminate Indigenous rights, titles, and the right to self-determination to easily gain access to Indigenous lands for development and industrialization, such as in the case of the massive hydroelectrical dams that continue to alienate my home community today.

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