Where we live says a lot about who we are. To a certain extent, our identity is based on where we live and where we come from. When introducing ourselves, we often tell others the name of the nearest big city so that people have a frame of reference. Frequently we often use this (albeit limited) information to make a snap judgment about a person because we correlate locations with characteristics. Likewise, we also have the tendency to stay in places that feel like “home” or seem to environmentally embody certain ideals. Someone who identifies as a “New-Yorker”, for instance, probably feels more at home in a big city than someone from rural Kentucky. That same individual from Kentucky would probably feel more at home in Montana than the “New-Yorker.” I may be oversimplifying a complex situation, but I certainly believe that places have feelings, and we identify with those locational vibes.
Alternatively, we may feel separated or alienated when we are someplace different than our accepted “home.” I believe that refugees, immigrants, and other at-risk or transient groups demonstrate this concept. Thousands of displaced persons are forced from their homes and familiar environments and must travel hundreds (if not thousands) of miles from the area of their birth against their will to a foreign environment. It must be a terribly dissonating experience.
The Native Americans are some of the greatest victims of unjust eviction. Many of whom also had spiritual ties to their homeland, making the forced separation from their home even more painfully linked to their identity as a people and culture. My hope, with this piece, was to sympathize with indigenous tribes that once lived on the land that I now call home, and to consciously remember the history of my environment.