Don’t give up customary land fight

Dear Editor,

Re: Govt. accused over customary land fight 

These Matai are the real leaders of Samoa. The ABD is not the only institution that cannot look at land and only see how much value it has as a commodity. My European people are all like that. 

It is very hard for my people to conceive of land as customary lands in the Samoan tradition. This is how the first people of Canada lost their lands and have been forced into substandard living conditions on non fertile reservations. 

To this day the government just expropriates reserve land whenever they want to put a railroad or a pipeline through because the first people still don’t have autonomy over their lands. The UN needs to change wording like “consultation” with First Nations people regarding their land to “consent”.

 Consultation is too vague a term, but that’s how the non indiginous people like to word their treaties. The more vague and open to interpretation the better for those with all the power. 

No one outside of Samoa will respect this relationship that Samoans have with their land. It is up to the people to listen to what these Matai are saying and protect what is their heritage. These men are the true leaders of Samoa. There will be global food insecurities in the near future because of climate change.

China will need land to feed its people. California is already suffering severe droughts. Soon irrigation will not be enough to allow California to grow food. Already rain is falling less in places that used to get lots of rain.

Samoans must not lease their lands because these Matai are correct. Samoa will lose their customary lands if they do. This is the truth whether people want to believe it or not.



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