DEAR EDITOR, as a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and the eldest member of my sub-tribe, I am writing to express my concern about how our legal system (SI) came up with a judgement against my sub-tribe on a court case regarding customary land.
It is hard to believe that it is possible to lose a customary land to a non-Guadalcanal person.
A customary land in a Guadalcanal society is a traditional valuable inheritance that has been handed down from the first woman from whom you traced your genealogy, up to the present.
So, how can you lose it through the legal system?
I strongly believe that the law should protect the truth, not a fraud or a mistake.
Our customary land at Titinqe/Tasahe has been passed down from my grandmother, who through our migration route settled and established herself and family there.
Thus, our sub-tribe, in our desire to hand down this same block of land to our current and future generations in a clear from problems and transparent ways, met up with this non-Guale person who acquired land at the site through deals with other people that we have no knowledge of.
We are a third party with original heritage of that land that got caught through this foreign legal system that does not recognise our indigenous law and rights.
It’s about time we look into our legal system that best protects the indigenous right of the ownership of land by the rightful landowners.
We are not grabbing any extra piece of land, no; we just want our 35 Ha of land to come back to us: NO MORE, NO LESS!