Land Back: Returning U.S. Federal Lands to Tribal Sovereignty

As Thanksgiving rolls around, there will no doubt be many land acknowledgments made across these stolen territories known as the “United States.” When these statements are comforting and self-congratulatory, they are not serving their purpose. What they usually lack is the uncomfortable recognition of what must come next – the restoration of Indigenous lands and tribal sovereignty. This isn’t an unrealistic fantasy. There are many ways to take restorative measures and give land back. While a small but growing number of private landowners have taken such steps in recent years, more pressure must be applied to the federal government as the body responsible for negotiating treaties with tribal nations, and which controls almost 30% of the U.S. landbase. Since 1976, nearly half of the Northern Territory of Australia has been returned to Aboriginal peoples. There is traction and precedent for Land Back. We must be the generation to make it happen.

Returning U.S. Federal Lands to Tribal Sovereignty Map by Jordan Engel. As always, the Decolonial Atlas’ original media can be reused under the Decolonial Media License 0.1.



  1. Yes, eventually all of the land will be given back. It is part of a great prophecy. All of those people upset right now about their supposed “property” will have to work with the Indians here. All of the “chaortic”militia entities will have to bow to the true caretakers of this continent. Everyone is going to have to put their boots on and “climb the mountain” so to speak.


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