Land Acknowledgements

A lot has been written about the use of territorial acknowledgments. Even when questioning their effectiveness most people still agree that land acknowledgment is a good starting place for honoring the process of truth and reconciliation. The problem is when territorial acknowledgments are both the starting and finishing line for what should be an ongoing process of decolonization and reconciliation.

There are several places to find more information regarding how to create a territorial acknowledgement for your organization. The US Department of Arts and Culture , a grassroots activist movement, recommends a four step plan that might be the most accessible.

If you’d like to read more about our process in Memphis, you can start here: Land Acknowledgement Part 1

Further Reading and More Information:

ACPA Land Acknowledgement 2019

Centering the Land: The Importance of Acknowledging Indigenous Land and Lifeways

Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples & Traditional Territory

Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement

LSPRIG: Know The Land Territories Campaign

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement, Explained

Land Acknowledgements are a good first step, there theres a lot more work to be done

Understanding Territorial Acknowledgement as a Respectful Relationship

How to do a Territorial Acknowledgement

A List of US College and Universities with Land Acknowledgments:


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

UCLA American Indian Studies Center

University of San Diego

Undoubtedly there are others, this will be updated as we find them. Other faculty use statements on their syllabi that are not adopted by their universities, and are therefore not represented on the list.

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  11. It’s encouraging to see discussions around the importance of territorial acknowledgments, recognizing the indigenous land on which various institutions are built. Acknowledging the land’s history and its original inhabitants is indeed a crucial first step towards truth and reconciliation processes. I agree that while territorial acknowledgments are essential, they should not be the sole focus but rather the beginning of an ongoing journey toward decolonization and reconciliation.

    The resources you’ve shared, especially the four-step plan recommended by the US Department of Arts and Culture, provide practical guidance for organizations seeking to create meaningful territorial acknowledgments. The links and references you’ve provided offer valuable insights into the topic, enabling individuals and institutions to delve deeper into this important subject.

    It’s heartening to see universities and organizations, such as Northwestern, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UCLA American Indian Studies Center, and University of San Diego, taking steps to acknowledge the indigenous lands they occupy. This recognition is a testament to the growing awareness of the need to honor and respect indigenous peoples and their histories.

    Continued dialogue, education, and action are vital to moving beyond acknowledgments and actively working towards decolonization, fostering respectful relationships with indigenous communities. I appreciate the effort you’ve put into sharing this information and fostering awareness around this important issue. There is undoubtedly more work to be done, and I hope these discussions continue to inspire meaningful change and progress.

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