Land Acknowledgements

Resources and Recommendations for Creating Land Acknowledgements 

By: The Indigenizing ASHE Collective (2020)
 
The Indigenizing ASHE Collective, also known as the Indigenous Scholars Collective, developed these resources and guidelines for the ASHE community in hopes that ASHE community members will consult these resources as they strive to learn about and craft Land Acknowledgements at their institutions, go about working with Indigenous and Native Communities, and prepare for ASHE conference meetings. 
 
In developing Land Acknowledgements and working with Indigenous and Native Communities, please keep these guiding values in mind: 
  • Indigenous Peoples are present and alive, and not relics of history.
  • Find a balance between disparities and strengths found within Indigenous communities.
  • Land and our relationship to the land guide our process.
  • Tribal communities are diverse and should be consulted for cultural protocols of land acknowledgment and gift protocols.
  • Traditional homelands may include more than one tribal community.
In preparing to gather at ASHE conferences or other convenings, consider the following pre-conference practices: 
  • Encourage individuals to critically reflect how their upbringing (home-life, educational, ancestral) experiences inform their relationship to land, or what we call “Land Reflection.”
  • Encourage individuals to critically reflect how their roles on college campuses inform a land acknowledgment.
  • Encourage individuals to bring the practice of “land reflection” to their colleagues and organizations they work with.
  • Encourage individuals to critically reflect how the conference theme and conference location intersects with land acknowledgment practices.
  • Build relationships with community members that have experience in land acknowledgment. The building process should be reciprocal, do not see these individuals who you can extract knowledge from.
    • After building relationships, offer a stipend(s) and/or other forms of reciprocation to community members who participate in land acknowledgment practices.
 
Below, are several resources, including articles and podcasts, that can be used for learning more about the purpose and limits of Land Acknowledgements. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. 
 
Allan, B., Perreault, A., Chenoweth, J., Biin, D., Hobenshield, S., Ormiston, T… & Wilson, J. (2018). Understanding territorial acknowledgement as a respectful relationship. In Pulling together: A guide for teachers and instructors. Victoria, BC: BCcampus. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/indigenizationinstructors/chapter/understanding-territorial-acknowledgement-as-a-respectful-relationship/
 
Amnesty International Canada (2017, September 1). Activism skills: Land and territory acknowledgement. [web log comment]. Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.ca/blog/activism-skills-land-and-territory-acknowledgement
âpihtawikosisân. (2016, September 23). Beyond territorial acknowledgments. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from https://apihtawikosisan.com/2016/09/beyond-territorial-acknowledgments/

Asher, L., Curnow, J., & Davis, A. (2018). The limits of settlers’ territorial acknowledgments. Curriculum Inquiry, 48(3), 316-334.
Canada Association of University Teachers (nd). Guide to acknowledging First Peoples and traditional territory. Retrieved from https://www.caut.ca/content/guide-acknowledging-first-peoples-traditional-territory

Deerchild, R. (Host) (2019, January 20). 'I regret it': Hayden King on writing Ryerson University's territorial acknowledgment. Unreserved. Podcast retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/radio/unreserved/redrawing-the-lines-1.4973363/i-regret-it-hayden-king-on-writing-ryerson-university-s-territorial-acknowledgement-1.4973371

Flournoy, A. (2016, December 31). What does it mean to acknowledge the past? The New York Times. Retrieved from  https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/31/opinion/sunday/what-does-it-mean-to-acknowledge-the-past.html

Friedler, D. (2018, February 8). Indigenous land acknowledgement, explained. Teen Vogue. Retrieved from https://www.teenvogue.com/story/indigenous-land-acknowledgement-explained

Keefe, T. E. (2019). Land acknowledgement: A trend in higher education and nonprofit organizations.  DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.33681.07521

Luna Jimenez Institute (2018, October 8). Acknowledging the original people of this land. [web log comment]. Retrieved from https://ljist.com/featured/acknowledging-native-land/

Native Land (nd). Why acknowledge territory? [web log comment] Retrieved from https://native-land.ca/territory-acknowledgement/

Reese, D. (2019, March 9). Are you planning to do a land acknowledgement? [web log comment]. Retrieved from https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2019/03/are-you-planning-to-do-land.html

Robinson, D., Hill, K. J. C., Ruffo, A. G., Couture, S., & Ravensbergen, L. C. (2019). Rethinking the practice and performance of Indigenous land acknowledgement. Canadian Theatre Review, 177(1), 20-30.

2018 ACPA Convention (2018, February 15). Centering the land: The importance of acknowledging Indigenous land and lifeways. [web log comment]. Retrieved from http://convention.myacpa.org/houston2018/centering-land-importance/

US Department of Arts & Culture (nd). Honor Native land: A guide and call to acknowledgement. Retrieved from https://usdac.us/nativeland

Winsa, P. (2017, December 17).  Are Indigenous acknowledgements a step forward or an empty gesture? The Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2017/12/27/are-indigenous-acknowledgements-a-step-forward-or-an-empty-gesture.html
 
Many thanks to the Indigenizing ASHE Collective for this work:
  • Charlotte Davidson (Diné/Three Affiliated Tribes - Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara)
  • Karen Francis-Begay (Navajo)
  • Breanna Faris (Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes)
  • KaiwipunikauikawÄ“kiu Punihei Lipe (Native Hawaiian)
  • Robin Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn (Kiowa/Apache/Nez Perce/Umatilla/Assiniboine)
  • Christine Nelson (Diné/K’awaika)
  • Nicole “Coco” Reyes (Native Hawaiian)
  • Charlie A. Scott (Diné)
  • Tiffany Smith (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma/Muscogee (Creek)
  • Heather J. Shotton (Wichita/Kiowa/Cheyenne)
  • Amanda Tachine (Navajo)
  • Stephanie Waterman (Onondaga - Turtle Clan)
  • Erin Kahunawai Wright (Native Hawaiian)
  • Natalie Youngbull (Cheyenne & Arapaho/Assiniboine & Sioux).
If you have questions or updates, please contact ASHE Executive Director Jason P. Guilbeau at jason@ashe.ws.