In recent years, if you have been to a community event, especially in the nonprofit sector, then you have most likely experienced a land acknowledgement. A Land acknowledgment is a traditional custom that dates back centuries in many Native nations and communities. Today, land acknowledgments are used by Native peoples and non-Natives to recognize Indigenous peoples who are the original stewards of the lands on which we now live and work.
The land acknowledgement that was shared at the Rainbow Center’s Black & White Gayla event (and is also available on their website) is one of the best we’ve heard - it acknowledges the stolen land by settlers and recognizes Indigenous people not just of the past but of the present day as well.
As we approach Native American Heritage Day, it’s crucial to reflect on the significance of cultural education in our work. While verbalizing respect for the original inhabitants of a region is a positive step, making these acknowledgments meaningful requires a deeper commitment to understanding, research, and tangible action.
We welcome you to read this article by the CBC, that includes input from 5 First Nations people who share some ways to make land acknowledgments better and more meaningful and this article by the Native Governance on why land acknowledgments are important and tips for creating a land acknowledgement.