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.
For more information on the process of creating a Land Acknowledgement, please see the resources below:
A Guide to Indigenous Land Acknowledgement (via Native Governance Center): A suggested process and tips for creating an intentional statement.
Native Land Digital: A worldwide map of Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages across the world.
Practice the pronunciations of Native, Indigenous, and Tribal Nations. There are many resources online to assist with this and often audio clips or videos with examples.
ACPA23 Land Acknowledgement
ACPA–College Student Educators International honors with gratitude the traditional homelands of the Houma, Choctaw, and Chitimacha peoples upon which we gather today. Before New Orleans was New Orleans, and in fact, before Louisiana was Louisiana, this land was known to the Indigenous people as Bulbancha, “the place of other tongues”. This land was the traditional hunting, trading, and residential grounds of these Indigenous people. It is on this land that the Houma people established what is now known as the French Market, which still exists today. Furthermore, Bayou St. John, which runs through today’s City Park, was a major trading ground for the Houma people as well as other Southeastern Tribes. Moreover, the sacred ground of Congo Square is where the Houma people held their Green Corn Ceremony. These histories must not be forgotten.
We meet humbly today in the traditions of Indigenous trade on the Mississippi River; exchanging knowledge and resources with each other. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples who continue to cultivate relationships with this land on which we gather. By acknowledging the land and in recognition of modern and historical settler colonialism, including that perpetrated by North American institutions of higher education. The ACPA actively commits to supporting higher education in decolonizing their practice and the scholarship through our mission, values, and the Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization.
Houma [how-muh]; Choctaw [chaak-taa]; Chitimacha [chi-tee-maa-chuh]