A yellow background with text that reads "The Mission Within Land Acknowledgement." A sketch rendering of groups of individuals is in the bottom left corner. A sketch rendering of a person in a wheelchair and a person behind them is in the middle on the bottom of the image. A sketch rendering of a family is in the bottom right hand corner.

[Note: This land acknowledgement was originally posted in the Rules of Engagement section, which can be found here.]

For starters, a land acknowledgement itself means a formal recognition of the original stewards of the land in historically colonized areas. This land acknowledgement is incomplete on purpose, and as such, let’s consider this a living page that will be updated from time to time.

Land acknowledgements have been common practice in Australia since the 1970s, and gained traction in the 2000s. Here in the U.S., also known as Turtle Island, this has gained popularity in recent years.

The genesis of this blog, as well as its continued existence, came to be on the unceded ancestral homelands of the Sauk and Meskwaki Nation (also known as the Meskwaki Nation, also referred to as the Sac and Fox Nation and Sac and Fox Tribe), the Baxoje Maya Nation (also known as the Bah Koh-je or Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, also referred to as the Ioway, sometimes referred to as the Ioway Tribe), and the Nations that comprise the Oceti Sakowin (also known as the Seven Council Fires, and once commonly referred to as the Sioux or Siouan, but it appears that the trend has shifted away from these terms). The Oceti Sakowin encompasses many Nations and reservations (or reserves), including (but not limited to) the Oglala Lakota, Standing Rock Sioux, Yankton Sioux Tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, Fort Peck Tribes, Rosebud Sioux Tribe (home of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate or Burnt Thigh Nation), Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe (or the Kul Wicasa Oyate), Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and the Prairie Island Indian Community.

Land acknowledgements are important for the following reason: to recognize the difficult and shameful parts of our history that often go unmentioned in schools and history books. According to the Land Acknowledgements link, this version of our history ultimately serves to create a nationalistic, idealized identity, and we saw how damaging that can be. While these parts of our history are upsetting and difficult to talk about w/ very young kids, this is something they deserve to know about in a way that makes sense to them. By omitting this side of history, it’s the same as saying it never happened, and we as a society need to take ownership of this in order to move forward and do better.

This acknowledgement recognizes that this blog and its author reside on unceded territory, better known as stolen land, from thriving, diverse communities with residents who had hopes, dreams, families, traditions, and spiritual practices. These communities are here today, and they always will be. The broken treaties, broken promises, harmful initiatives from institutions like Carlisle, cultural stereotypes, prejudices, and racism have the common goal of erasure. Our collective presence to this day and every day thereafter is the result of this erasure and ongoing marginalization of these and many other Native Nations.

The goal of this blog and its author are twofold: to recognize and honor the Native Nations as original stewards of the land, as well as their descendants, whether eligible for tribal enrollment or not, and to help contribute to mending the sacred hoop. By stating this acknowledgement, I hereby affirm and reaffirm these Native Nations, their cultures, their status as sovereign nations, their lives, their spiritual practices, their communities’ elders and spiritual leadership, and their ties to their homelands.

This acknowledgement stands as my commitment to uplifting Native communities, my commitment to pushing back on colonialist ideas, and my commitment to learning better in order to do better.

I ask that you do the same.

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