The Yosemite Fires: Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Wisdom
After experiencing the Creek Fire firsthand, photojournalist and writer Aditi Mayer looks at the past and present of Yosemite National Park to understand its historical brushes with Indigenous wisdom, climate change denialism, and settler colonialism.
photographed and written by aditi mayer
“History has shown us countless incidents of settler colonialism that justified conquest by undermining Indigenous knowledge and humanity and European understandings of codified written property rights.
In Australia, European colonizers established the false notion of terra nullius, or “nobody’s land,” to describe the Australian landscape as deserted and uncultivated—despite the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait people belonged to the land for over 65,000 years.”