The Process of Memphis’s Land Acknowledgement: Part 1

Editors note: I relocated this information from a previous page after I realized I needed to have a page with links and general information about what a land acknowledgement is and why we use them.

Originally posted 5-Feb 2019, reposted as it’s own page on 23-July 2019

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.

One of the first steps for this project was to get situated in the history of the land. From there, we wanted to create something that could be shared with others, something that oriented every meeting of minds to our goals. To that end, territorial acknowledgement followed by a self-location exercise (the subject for the next entry) are our most useful and immediately implementable tools.

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, and what follows here is amended from their recommendations. I encourage anyone interested to download the entire guide, as this is not meant to substitute for it in any way. But since this is a blog about processes, I’ve decided to list the process by which we’re working on this acknowledgment.

Step 1: Identify the traditional inhabitants of the lands you are on now. 

We recognize that we are on Chickasaw territory. This map is a useful tool for identifying Native land in North America.

This land was acquired by the United States through a treaty known as the Jackson Treaty, the Jackson Purchase, and/or the Chickasaw Treaty. I am using the word “acquired” deliberately. There is much to study about the transaction between Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby (with John Overton and James Winchester as well) on behalf of the US and  Levi and George Colbert, Chinubby, and Tishomingo on behalf of the Chickasaw. One consistency across both stories is that Jackson told the Chickasaw that their options were 1.) sign a treaty now or 2.) be forced off the land by the US without compensation. By any measure of the imagination, that is coercion. However, this is an aspect of Memphis history still under research for the purposes of this project, so the word “acquired” remains for the moment.

Whether or not to incorporate the treaty into the acknowledgment is another question. On the one hand, the circumstances surrounding it suggest that it was not an actual agreement between two sovereign nations, but rather one nation acquiescing to another in hopes that it would preserve them. Perhaps it doesn’t deserve the additional legitimacy that inclusion would provide, nor should Andrew Jackson, architect o the Indian Removal Act, be in such a prominent place in what might be the public’s first (and perhaps only) engagement with Native history.  On the other, does not discussing the treaty hurt the spirit of the acknowledgement, and are we squandering an opportunity for educating others?

Step 2: Articulate the acknowledgement in a formal statement that can be used by others

We have a draft that I am happy to share upon request, but until we hear from the Chickasaw Nation regarding the acknowledgment, we won’t be publishing it.

In addition to my question about the treaty, I also wonder about incorporating other populations touched by colonialism?  Should all the peoples (native, settler, voluntary, involuntary) be acknowledged, even generally? This region was violently depopulated (ethnic cleansing) to make way for cotton plantations, and many people were brought into the area by force to work on the land. People continue to travel through Memphis for a variety of reasons. Decolonization is a process that affects all of us, and the University of Memphis is an institution with broad reach.

Step 3: Deliver this to the appropriate parties

To whom? To the president? The board? Staff and Faculty Senate? I’d like to get this completed and implemented sooner than later, but it could also be a part of Memphis’s bicentennial, and part of our push to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, and decolonizing Thanksgiving–as starting points.

Step 4: Beyond Acknowledgment–because this isn’t where things end?

How do we proceed, after agreeing to these terms? How does our moment of self-location translate into what kinds of actions we believe we can now engage in?

Shana Dion, assistant dean of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, also emphasizes that these steps must be taken meaningfully, and in conversation with others. She also emphasizes the importance of practice. Practice with unfamiliar terms. With unfamiliar phrasing. But also, studies show us that changing how we do things, and practicing those new methods, can become habits. Through repetition and practice we can retrain our brains to accommodate new modes of thinking and situating.

56 thoughts on “The Process of Memphis’s Land Acknowledgement: Part 1”

  1. Where are we? Senate for the Staff and the Faculty? I would really like to get this finished up and put into action as soon as possible, but it could waffle game also be a part of Memphis’s bicentennial, and part of our push to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, and part of our push to decolonize Thanksgiving – all of which could serve as starting points.

  2. Really interesting reviews about the games on your blog these are wise and updated. I’m sure the various people would able to explore and expand their knowledge about games. Keep going to bring resumesplanet com updates with us these would be trusted. Thumbs up with your work that is really wise and helping.

  3. Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a 2 perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info.

  4. Nadra Card Centre UK is the best online platform providing fast track services for Nadra card NICOP, POC & FRC to new and Nadra Card Renewal. Get fast delivery at your doorstep within 10 working days.

  5. Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! stumble guys

  6. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!. bizze

  7. I always read the articles about the land draft on your website, the content is very good and useful for the people reading it, I have also shared a lot of your articles to my friends and them. Everyone appreciates this content of yours, it would be great to join Dordle as it helps us to improve our computing power.

  8. Very helpful, thank you. Wow, I really enjoy reading your site posts. Your article is both informative and engaging.
    globle game

  9. Looking to earn more rental income from your vacation home? Look no further than Holiday Homes Dubai. Our expert team of vacation home management professionals can help you increase your rental income by up to 30% and more.

  10. Welcome to SMM Panel One, the one-stop solution for all your social media marketing needs. With our cutting-edge SMM Panel, you can effortlessly elevate your online presence and reach new heights of success. From increasing followers, likes, and engagement to managing multiple platforms in one place, our user-friendly interface empowers you to stay ahead of the competition. Maximize your brand’s impact and visibility with our comprehensive suite of services and analytics. Join SMM Panel One today and witness the power of social media marketing at its finest.

  11. I learned a lot from your blog, and you can learn more about older video games to have more engaging experiences. I look forward to playing with you in the past! word wipe

  12. Fantastic blog. Reading your articles was enjoyable. For me, this was a really enjoyable book. I have it bookmarked and am eager to read more things from it. Continue your wonderful effort! trap the cat

  13. Integrating lush greenery and vibrant foliage can transform the entire ambiance, elevating it to new heights Corporate Events Plant Rental offer numerous benefits, such as creating a welcoming and refreshing atmosphere that impresses attendees and boosts their overall experience

  14. Hire the top interior designers in Dubai for villas, apartments, or commercial spaces. Contemporary, Modern, or luxury interiors in UAE. Turnkey solutions. Within Budget. On-time. Call now!

  15. is a new emerging real-estate broker that specializes in displaying properties for both investors as well as end-users.

  16. I just like the valuable information you provide for your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and test again right here frequently. I am reasonably sure I’ll be told lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  17. Your blog is a must-read for anyone looking to add more positivity to their life, keep up the great work! I do have some recommendations for you to check out here-Nike Tech Suit

  18. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work; its hard to find good ones. I have added it to my favorites. Thank You. qq1x2

  19. What an exquisite article! Your post is very helpful right now. Thank you for sharing this informative one and If you are looking for luxury watches for men and women so The Watch Max is the best for authentic watches, The Watch Max offers a wide selection of quality watches at unbeatable prices.

  20. “Looking for a top-notch online shopping store in Pakistan
    for makeup and skincare? Look no further! This store has an amazing selection of brands, from drugstore faves to high-end goodies. Plus, the customer service is fantastic and the delivery is super fast. Game changer for all my beauty needs!”

  21. A lot of very useful information, in addition to being a very good article. I just wanted to let you know that I have started reading your site and that I have bookmarked it for future reference. Many, many thanks for contributing to this! fnaf security breach

  22. This subject has been bothering me for a few days now. The Slik Magazine But by happenstance, reading your essay resolved my issue! When would you like to visit my blog while I’m leaving it?

  23. Your meticulous exploration of the process behind Memphis’s land acknowledgment project is both enlightening and thought-provoking, Aksavage. The dedication to understanding the history of the land and the commitment to creating a meaningful acknowledgment resonate strongly.

    Your discussion about the acquisition of land through the Jackson Treaty sheds light on the complexities and power dynamics involved in historical transactions. The conscientious decision to wait for input from the Chickasaw Nation before publishing the acknowledgment reflects a commendable respect for the communities directly affected by this history.

    The consideration of whether to incorporate the treaty into the acknowledgment is a nuanced dilemma, balancing historical accuracy with the potential impact on public perception. The acknowledgment’s potential role as an educational tool adds another layer to this decision, highlighting the delicate balance between providing historical context and avoiding undue legitimacy to problematic figures.

    The questions raised about acknowledging other populations touched by colonialism demonstrate a keen awareness of the interconnected histories and experiences in the region. This inclusive approach aligns with the broader goals of decolonization, recognizing the multifaceted impact of historical events on various communities.

    The final steps outlined, including the formal delivery of the acknowledgment and the emphasis on moving beyond acknowledgment into meaningful actions, showcase a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach. Shana Dion’s insights on the importance of meaningful conversations, practice, and habit formation further enrich the discussion, emphasizing the transformative potential of these initiatives.

    Your detailed account not only provides transparency into the ongoing project but also serves as a valuable resource for others considering similar endeavors. Best of luck with the continued progress of this important and nuanced undertaking!

    New Builds Costa del Sol

  24. Shop our men’s leather jackets and coats. Buy real leather jackets and coats for men with custom-made to-measure options. Free shipping in USA & worldwide.

  25. Extremely inspired! Everything is extremely open and clear illumination of issues. It contains really certainties. Your site is extremely important. Much obliged for sharing. alexistogel slot

  26. I appreciate you sharing this helpful knowledge. Many thanks. I enjoyed reading your essay, which was really intriguing. Keep up the fantastic work. I’m hoping you’ll post more intriguing content in the future. Play the dordle game online.

  27. I appreciate you sharing this helpful knowledge. Many thanks. I enjoyed reading your essay, which was really intriguing. Keep up the fantastic work. I’m hoping you’ll post more intriguing content in the future. Take advantage of your free time to play fireboy and watergirl and embark on a new journey!

  28. Information Process Solutions and Services (IPS USA) is a Result Driven Web Design and Digital Marketing Agency in the USA. With over 15 years of experience in website development and digital marketing, we bring a profound dedication to detail, result-driven strategies, and a unique value proposition.

    Our expertise encompasses WordPress website development, Shopify store design, SEO optimization, Google & Social Media Ads for Lead Generation and Brand Enhancement. What sets us apart is our commitment to excellence, offering free website and SEO (T&C).

    We stand behind our work with a free moneyback guarantee, ensuring your satisfaction and success. We’re not just a service provider; we’re your dedicated partner in achieving your online goals. Guaranteed 100% Return on Investment. Contact us with confidence for any such requirement. We are just a click away!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *