Empty rooms refers to the concept of terra nullius, the belief that land that was not actively occupied was considered to be “vacant” and, therefore, available for settler ownership. The Doctrine of Discovery stated that the land was not being “properly used” according to European and American law.
Through this dispossession in removing Indigenous peoples from their homelands also uproots the interconnectedness, cultural teachings and sustenance the land provides. Through acts of resistance, Indigenous peoples seek to ensure the safety of the land from further harm in order to secure a future for the next seven generations. Empty rooms reflects on diaspora and the continued resilience of Indigenous peoples.