Oh Canada, you're the world's sweetheart. More like... Whoa, Canada. <3
When Joel Holmberg grew tired of seeing racist language against the First Nations on social media, he took to Facebook with an offer of kindness and camaraderie. As is the Canadian way.
Holmberg, who owns 5 acres of land near Barrhead in Alberta, Canada, offered to share his land with a First Nations family... for free.
In a Facebook post, he wrote:
"Any first nations family that 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.
Seeing as how 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.
I would be happy to share this quiet wild place in the woods with a native family that wants to be free and have their kids grow up free.
Our acreage can be a model of how things should go in Canada. I'd like to live in a village of tipis, and have cool folks to do sweats with.
So somebody should hit me up and we can work together on feeding families without stores.
I feel like it's not safe in cities.
I will keep people safe.
If you are indigenous, have kids, are traditional, and want to be free on the land, we have a home for you here.
No rent, no bills, just live free, far from the big shitty cities."
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.
Joel at age 14 (centre) seen with his First Nations 'uncles' and elders where he grew up near B.C.'s west Kootenay region. He says they spent time helping him to know the history of their tribes, and their culture. 'Their love and kindness, as well as that of the people of Red Pheasant, has been my inspiration in wanting to share our tiny piece of stolen land with a First Nations family, and find freedom and self sufficiency together.'
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.
A good man, indeed.