What is a Land Acknowledgement?
A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
Why do we Recognize the Land?
To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose territory you reside on, and a way of honoring the Indigenous people who have been living and working on the land from time immemorial. It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought you to reside on the land, and to seek to understand your place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation. It is also worth noting that acknowledging the land is Indigenous protocol. (Text courtesy of the Laurier Students' Public Interest Group)
SUNY Old Westbury Land Acknowledgement
“As we begin, I’d like to acknowledge ‘where we stand.’ That we have the privilege of gathering here today in the ancestral lands of the Merrick and Matinecock, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. We honor their many contributions, strength and resilience in protecting this land, and aspire to uphold our social and environmental justice mission according to their examples.”