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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Land Acknowledgement

Before doing a land acknowledgement, please read this piece by Debbie Reese, "Are You Planning to do a Land Acknowledgement."

Listen to some indigenous land acknowledgements.

Use this Native Land App as a starting point, but then research more about people who moved in and out of a territory, or were relocated, etc. in local libraries, reservation maps, and even Wikipedia.

Then make it your own and challenge others to go on their own journey.

Here's one of mine:  
(After an Arawak greeting and acknowledgment of my ancestry).  

We need to un-erase indigenous people, voices, history, inventions, and ingenuity. We went from 100% of the population on this land to 2% in the United States. This country wouldn't be what it is without the past and present contributions of its indigenous people. For example: our trading and hunting paths became highways, our engineered crops become part of the triangular trade system that built the economy, and our political system became the model for a representative democracy. 

We can start un-erasing First Nations People by naming the indigenous people of every place in the U.S we are talking about when we mention a location. For example, when we say where we are born, where we went to school, and where we traveled over the summer. This includes naming nations as we study U.S. history, cite authors of novels and where they are from, and the list goes on. 

So, this summer I spent time in the land of the Northern Cheyenne, Crow, Mound Builders, and Choctaw. You may know these locations as Wyoming, Montana, and Missouri. Today, I want to acknowledge that my nation is from the Caribbean, but I have grown up here and been embraced by the nations of this land which include the Massachusett, Wampanoag, and Nipmuc. Other nations have traveled through this land, but the Massachusett have always been here, specially in this land they called Shawmut and you call Boston.