Why is Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Important?
Lately I've noticed some environmental groups I belong to starting meetings with a moment of gratitude and Indigenous land acknowledgement. It feels good and right to be part of that, so I decided to do a little research about Indigenous Land Acknowledgement and why it's important for me and my business.
As a person with a lifetime of white privilege, I could never speak for an Indigenous person. While walking alongside our Indigenous brothers and sisters to stand up for water and land rights, I heard their voices when they called for white allies to not stay silent - but to use white privilege to amplify THEIR voices that have often been spoken over or ignored. I've compiled the below information with this good intent.
What is a Land/Territory Acknowledgement?
Territory or land acknowledgement can be a way for people to think about Indigenous presence, ancestry and land rights in everyday life. Indigenous writer Salina Mills states, "Land acknowledgements are an honest and historically accurate way to recognize the traditional First Nations or Territories of a place." It can be a way to begin to acknowledge our Indigenous connections, as well as the moral obligation to critically reflect on the histories of dispossession and forced removal of First Peoples from their ancestral territories. A land acknowledgement is "a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories." Northwestern University
Some Reasons to Make a Land Acknowledgement Statement:
- Acknowledge and respect longstanding history that has brought you to reside on the land.
- Honor Indigenous connections and ancestry.
- Moral responsibility to acknowledge and critically reflect on the histories of dispossession and injustices that have happened - and are still happening today.
- Open discussion about how land is seen and talked about. Important for audiences to grapple with the idea of the inherent right to land and implications.
- Help people redefine how they place themselves in relation to First Peoples.
- Inspire others to take action to support Indigenous communities.
Want to Write a Land Acknowledgement Statement?
Native Governance Center has a great Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgement!
Read this because there are some definite DO NOT'S!
Framed Chic Land Acknowledgement:
FRAMED CHIC - INDIGENOUS LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: We acknowledge that our home and business are situated on traditional homelands of the Coast Salish, specifically the Puyallup Tribe. The Puyallup people have lived on and stewarded these lands since the beginning of time, and continue to do so today. We recognize that this land acknowledgement is one small step toward true allyship and we commit to uplifting the voices, experiences, and histories of the Indigenous people of this land and beyond.