Lawrence University’s Appleton and Door County campuses are located on the ancestral homelands of the Menominee Nation. Currently there are 11 federally recognized Native American sovereign nations in Wisconsin. We acknowledge these indigenous communities who have stewarded this land throughout the generations and pay respect to their elders past and present.
- Adopted October 2018
What is a Land Acknowledgement?
According to the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture's Honor Native Land website, an acknowledgment "is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth."
The Purpose of Our Land Acknowledgment.
Consistent with the mission of Lawrence University, this land statement is intended to promote knowledge and understanding of the complicated relationship between the Indigenous Peoples of North America and those who later occupied this region and other parts of what is now the United States. It provides opportunities to explore the current impact of the colonization of the Americas, including the many troubling historical events associated with it. This statement is part of an ongoing effort to promote and enhance meaningful, mutually beneficial engagements and collaborations between Lawrence and Indigenous Peoples, engagement which began with the enrollment of members of the Oneida and Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nations at Lawrence University in the mid 1800s. Lawrence continues to work towards building relationships with Indigenous Peoples through academic pursuits, partnerships, historical recognitions, community service, and enrollment efforts.
When to Use the Land Acknowledgement.
It is appropriate to include the Land Acknowledgement at the start of official University ceremonies, events, performances, or in documentation or signage. President Mark Burstein shared the Land Acknowledgement for the first time on October 23, 2018 in his introduction to Katherine Cramer's convocation, "Listening Well in a World That Turns Away."
It is common practice for the host of the ceremony or event to perform the Acknowledgement, unless a specific person has been requested to share it. Events where it may be appropriate to share the Land Acknowledgement include:
- Community-Focused Lectures, Readings, or Relevant Performances
Regardless of the event, the Acknowledgement is read aloud as the first order of business or at the opening of an event. An acknowledgement should be part of a larger conversation about important topics, including privileges many currently experience as a result of colonialism, how to work toward developing an understanding of ongoing trauma from colonialism, and to further deeper understandings beyond acknowledgement, as recommended by Native-Land.ca.