Joel Holmberg was tired of seeing racist language against the First Nations on social media. So instead of allowing such prejudice to flourish, the 45-year-old took to Facebook with an offer of kindness and camaraderie.
Holmberg, who owns 5 acres of land near Barrhead in Alberta, Canada, offered to share his land with a First Nations family for free.
Holmberg writes: “Any First Nations family who just wants to live on the land, hunt, fish, grow foods, and spend their life immersed in their culture, raising their kids traditionally, should get a hold of me. I have space for a family to live here, lots of moose around, and plenty of space to grow foods.
The Alberta resident says that he had been playing with the idea of sharing his land for a few years now, but he finally became spurred to take action after social media became inflamed over a recent hate crime in Saskatchewan.
“My 5 acres – though it constitutes my life’s work and I’ll be paying for it another 20 years – in reality, it is stolen land and I know that.
“Our acreage can be a model of how things should go in Canada.”
Since making the post on Facebook, Holmberg has received over 100 messages concerning his offer. According to The Guardian, indigenous elders have contacted him about performing ceremonies on the land. Chinese, Sikh, and Muslim communities in Canada have also sent him messages saying that he had inspired them to take on similar initiatives.
The 45-year-old will be responding to messages and giving tours of the acreage to interested families during the coming weeks in hopes that he will find the right folks.
“If you are indigenous, have kids, are clean and sober, and want to be free on the land, we have a home for you here,” says Holmberg. “No rent, no bills, just live free, far from the big s****y cities.”
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