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How to Make a Land Acknowledgment Statement


Protesters hold a sign that says "Colonialism is Indigenous genocide"

A land acknowledgment statement is a formal recognition of the Indigenous Peoples as the traditional stewards of the land on which an event or organization operates. It acknowledges the violent history of colonization, and the ongoing struggles of Indigenous communities- while honoring their connection to the land.


These statements are important for several reasons.


  • Acknowledging Indigenous Sovereignty: Land acknowledgment statements affirm the sovereignty and rights of Indigenous Peoples over their ancestral territories, promoting respect for their autonomy.

  • Cultural Respect: By acknowledging Indigenous Peoples' presence and contributions, land acknowledgment statements demonstrate cultural respect and recognition of their heritage.

  • Promoting Reconciliation: Land acknowledgment statements contribute to the process of reconciliation by raising awareness of historical injustices and fostering dialogue about decolonization and Indigenous rights.

  • Educational Tool: They serve as educational tools, increasing awareness of Indigenous history and ongoing struggles, especially in contexts like classrooms and workplaces.


To create a meaningful land acknowledgment statement for your company, follow these 6 simple steps:


  1. Evaluate Purpose: Determine why you are making the acknowledgment and what you hope to achieve with it. Ensure your intentions are sincere and respectful.

  2. Ground in Honesty, Positivity, and Respect: Approach the statement with honesty, positivity, and respect for Indigenous Peoples and their land. Avoid tokenism and ensure genuine respect for Indigenous sovereignty.

  3. Research: Conduct thorough research on the Indigenous Peoples and territories where your company operates. Learn about their history, culture, and current issues to ensure accuracy and relevance in your statement.

  4. Write with Sensitivity: Craft the statement with sensitivity, acknowledging the ongoing struggles of Indigenous communities and the impacts of colonization. Use inclusive language and avoid romanticizing Indigenous culture.

  5. Consult with Indigenous Communities: Whenever possible, consult with local Indigenous communities or organizations to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of your statement. Respect their input and incorporate their feedback into your acknowledgment.

  6. Regular Review and Update: Review and update your land acknowledgment statement regularly to reflect changes in your company's operations or evolving relationships with Indigenous communities.


I do my work from the ancestral homeland of the Lenape, also known as the Lenni-Lenape or Delaware Indians, who have stewarded this land through generations.
We recognize that our presence here today is the result of the ongoing exclusions and erasures of Indigenous peoples, who were the original inhabitants of this territory.
​We acknowledge the legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and disease that bring us together here.
We are committed to the ongoing understanding of our role in this history and to supporting these displaced indigenous communities in whatever way possible. 

Consider getting to know the displaced peoples who once occupied the land where you live and work. Adding a well-crafted land acknowledgment statement to your organization's profile is a respectful way to acknowledge your commitment to decolonization. Donating part of your proceeds to the restoration of their culture is even better!


Speak kindly to yourselves,

Nicole

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