Land acknowledgement is a way to recognize the original and ancestral people of the land you are on.
There are many different practices and protocols around land acknowledgements. Historically, there are always Indigenous traditions around ways of acknowledging and entering other peoples ancestral territories. Today, many organizations, institutions, cities and every type of entity of all different backgrounds are beginning to practice land acknowledgement as a way to recognize a small piece of this history and present day reality.
Indigenous people are still here. Acknowledging the original people of every land you are on is important. Please do so in a respectful way. But just “acknowledging” occupation or presence on Indigenous lands with no other relationship or action, actually recreates extraction and erasure. We encourage our allies to engage their relationship to Indigenous land more deeply, move beyond performative displays and work towards transformative actions they can take to shift resources, access, power, and land back to Indigenous people.
Please note this is a living, ever-changing process, and that we can only assist with the implementations of land acknowledgements based in Lisjan territory (Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa and San Joaquin Counties). The information provided is specific to our own organization’s process, with the support of Confederated Villages of Lisjan representatives.
A key step in the process for implementing a land acknowledgement is research and reflection! We ask that prior to reaching out to us for a land acknowledgement consultation, or review, that you and/or your group:
- Consider your own positionality, privilege, personal/familial/group’s history.
- Do the research to find out whose land you’re on, the history of this land and it’s original people.
- Consider why you are incorporating a land acknowledgement. Who does it serve? Is it centering your own voice/experiences, or those of the land’s original people?
- Consider, are you able to compensate an Indigenous person of the land you are on, to present the land acknowledgment? Although we are often receiving a high volume of requests, and cannot meet each one, it is always recommended to prioritize the inclusion of the Native voices of the territory to present the acknowledgement.
- Check out our website for information about our work, Lisjan (Ohlone) history, Shuumi, and resources. Familiarize yourself with Indigenous issues and concepts. We have an extensive reading list featured on our website, with information about Rematriation, Decolonization, solidarity, and so much more!
- Pay your Shuumi Land Tax!
- Discuss with your team and/or consider for yourself, how you can transform this land acknowledgement into a genuine relationship.
- Take your land acknowledgment to the next level! Create a fundraiser for our organization! Donate land, housing, and assets! Spread the word about our work and Shuumi to your communities!
After doing this very important and vital work, provide us with a draft land acknowledgement (or multiple), and we can review and set up a consultation if needed.
Thank you so much for taking the time to recognize this, and please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Territory Acknowledgement from Native Land
Indigenous Land Acknowledgement from Native Governance Center
Land Acknowledgement Explained From Teen Vogue
Honor Native Land by he U.S. Department of Arts and Culture