Beyond a Land Acknowledgement

ASHE is committed to disrupting the entrenched nature of settler colonialism and engage Indigenous Peoples in the places where we gather every day and annually. Through the work of the Strategic Workgroup on Land Tax (listed below), in October 2023, the ASHE Board of Directors voted to build upon land acknowledgments that only consider or acknowledge the implications of settler colonialism in superficial ways to cultivate meaningful and authentic relationships with Indigenous Peoples that are rooted in truth-telling, respect, and reciprocity. The ASHE Board of Directors acknowledges that this work started with ASHE through the Land Acknowledgment Working Group and the establishment of the Local Community Engagement Committee (LCEC)

We recognize the complexities wedded to the privatization of Indigenous lands, property taxes, tourism, and capitalism. Our intent is not to exacerbate the making of Indigenous lands into private property or associate reciprocity with capitalist exchanges. Moreover, we acknowledge that material resources do not serve as absolution and are inadequate forms of reconciliation for addressing past and ongoing injustices endured by Indigenous Peoples. Nevertheless, we find these initiatives to be an initial step in raising awareness, addressing the harm, repairing relationships, and experimenting with paths toward sustainable futures that may advance the cultivation of equitable education systems for the 21st Century.

The ASHE Board of Directors has committed the following:

  1. An annual budget allocation of $10,000 to the Conference Local and Community Engagement Committee (LCEC) to support engagement efforts with local Indigenous nations and/or communities on behalf of ASHE, including connecting these communities to LCEC, Indigenizing ASHE members, and conference attendees.  This has been added to the ASHE Budget, Finance, and Compliance Policies.

  2. An annual budget allocation of $5,000 to be gifted to a named local Indigenous community. This has been added to the ASHE Budget, Finance, and Compliance Policies. This is often called a "Land Tax" by Indigenous communities, albeit not universally. “Land taxes” or real rent are an emerging practice across the U.S., specifically the West Coast. The  Sogorea Te Land Trust in Oakland, California, Real Rent Duwamish in Seattle, Washington, and Wiyot  Honor Tax in Humboldt, California are three examples of Indigenous-led land tax or real rent efforts,  wherein individuals voluntarily pay a given amount to a Native nation or organization as a recompensation for the participation in ongoing Indigenous dispossession. Additionally, professional associations such as the American Educational Research Association and the Society for the Study of  Social Problems have committed to acknowledgments, local engagement, and giving to local Indigenous  Peoples. Engaging in a land tax offers an effort on behalf of ASHE to recognize the enduring relationship between Indigenous Peoples and their homelands, the reality that all lands are Indigenous lands and that the onset of colonization and settler-designed education disrupted these relationships (Indigenous Peoples of the Americas SIG, 2022).  

  3. The opportunity for ASHE Members to donate to the group(s) selected to receive funding.

2024 Gift

The group for 2024 is to be determined pending identification and relationship building by an ASHE committee of five which will include at least one graduate student and at least two Indigenous members. More information will be available as we approach the conference.

ASHE Members are able to make a contribution to this gift through their conference registration or through the form below:

Thank you

ASHE is grateful to the following members of the 2023 Strategic Workgroup on Land Tax who worked to develop a proposal for these initiatives to happen:
  • Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn (Chair)
  • Chris Nelson
  • Theresa Ambo
  • Noah Drezner
  • Rachel Wagner
  • Dave Nguyen
  • Jameson Lopez
  • Jamaica DelMar
  • Angela Hoffman Cooper (Previous ASHE Staff Partner)
  • Jason P. Guilbeau (ASHE Executive Director)