A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. (Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group, Ontario, Canada)
Naming is an exercise in power. Who gets the right to name or be named? Whose stories are honored in a name? Whose are erased? Acknowledgment of traditional land is a public statement of the name of the traditional Native inhabitants of a place. It honors their historic relationship with the land.
Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationships and informed action. But this beginning can be an opening to greater public consciousness of Native sovereignty and cultural rights, a step toward equitable relationship and reconciliation. Join us in adopting, calling for, and spreading this practice.
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you 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-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land and to seek to understand your 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 the mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol.
Campus Stakeholders are encouraged to use the land acknowledgment listed above. The acknowledgment should take place at the beginning of the event. Individuals are also encouraged to learn more, build relationships and take action.
- Canadian Association of University Teachers. “Acknowledging Traditional Territory.”
- “Historic Princeton.” Town of Princeton, NJ.
- “Honor Native Land: A Guide & Call To Acknowledgement.” U.S. Department of Arts & Culture.
- “Land Acknowledgement.” Native Land.
- Michigan State University Land Acknowledgement
- Northwestern University Land Acknowledgement
- Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group, Ontario, Canada
Updated: April 27, 2023