What is a Land Acknowledgement?
"A Land Acknowledgement or Land Recognition is a formal statement, often given orally at the beginning of organized events, celebrations, or activities. It recognizes, respects, and affirms that there is an irreducible and ongoing relationship between Indigenous people and the Land. Land Acknowledgements are especially important in contemporary nation-states, like the US and Canada, in which the political structures are based on settler-colonialism and the expropriation of Lands from Indigenous peoples. Land Acknowledgements or Land Recognitions serve to illuminate ongoing Indigenous presence, as well as recognize and counter settler-colonial legacies of violence and Land expropriation."
Why do we recognize the land?
"To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory we reside on and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-existing history that has brought us to reside on the land and to seek to understand our place within that history.
Land acknowledgments do not exist in a past tense or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.”
From The University of North Texas’ Pride Alliance
Great Plains IDEA 2021 Kansas City Land Acknowledgement
We wish to open this conference by acknowledging that the land on which we most frequently gather, Kansas City, is the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of many Indigenous Nations, including the Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Kaw/Kansa, Osage, and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) tribes. These tribes have stewarded this land throughout the generations and we wish to honor the heritage of these Native peoples and what they continue to teach us about the safekeeping of the earth.
Kickapp [ kik-uh-poo ]
Kaw [ kaw ]
Osage [ oh-seyj ]
Očhéthi Šakówiŋ (Sioux) [ oh-chey-tee shah-koh-ween ]
Moving Beyond Acknowledgement
- If you haven’t already, learn about the history of the land your university resides upon. Native Land serves as a great tool to identify which Native tribes originally stewarded the land your university resides upon and which treaties have played a role in shaping its history.
- Reflect on the privileges you may experience as a result of colonialism and your own relationship with the land on which you live and work.
- Consider what role you can play in supporting local Indigenous tribes. Are there efforts that already exist at your university which you can become an advocate for?
- Make an effort to highlight the work of Indigenous people in your field of study, specifically when applicable in the classroom.
- If you have suggestions for how we as an alliance can better support Indigenous students, staff, and faculty, please let us know by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.