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I need to clarify and change one word I used in the essay. I stated I was exploring what it means to be “indigenous” to my home. I believe the correct word would be “naturalized” to my home. As Robin Wall Kimmerer states so clearly in the book, Braiding Sweetgrass, “I want to envision a way that an immigrant society could become indigenous to place, but I’m stumbling on the words. Immigrants cannot by definition be indigenous. Indigenous is a birth-right word. No amount of time or caring changes history or substitutes for soul-deep fusion with the land.”
What would the right word be? Naturalized? As I pursue learning and loving the land, the more-than-human world, I am developing a history but I realize I have just arrived and will need many life-times, or generations, a different culture and still it would be a continuing process as the world continues to change.