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.
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." The university continues to publicly. share the Acknowledgement in the following ways:
The Land Acknowledgement will be read aloud at each of the university's three annual Convocations and at Commencement. It will be read by a member of LUNA (LU Native Americans) or another current student, faculty, or staff from our LU campus community.
The Acknowledgement may also be included at the start of other official university ceremonies, events, and performances. It is appropriate for the host of the ceremony or event to read the Acknowledgement, unless a specific person has been requested to share it. Before reading, the host or person should understand the importance of the Land Acknowledgement.
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.
Posters & Programs
The following statement will be printed on all Convocations and on Commencement programs:
We collectively acknowledge that Lawrence University is situated on the ancestral homelands of the Menominee and Ho-Chunk people.
Other official university ceremonies, events, and performances across campus are welcome to include this statement on programs. The Land Acknowledgement can also be visually displayed at events.