Acknowledging the Original People of this Land

Please note: Originally this blog post used the term “Native Land Acknowledgement,” but at the guidance of Native leaders, we are now using the term “Original People Acknowledgement” to more explicitly honor the tribes and people impacted by practices of genocide and colonization. You can read our newest blog post about this practice here

LJIST partnered with Shilo George of Łush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting, LLC, to do an acknowledgment of the Original People of  the land at a recent Transforming Relationships Workshop in Portland, OR.

What we now call Portland, OR and Multnomah County were the traditional lands of the Cowlitz, Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tumwater, Tualatin Kalapuya, Wasco, Molalla, and Watlala bands of the Chinook, and many other nations of the Nch’i Wána (“The Big River”), also known as the Columbia. [1] Today, people from these bands have become part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, as well as the Chinook Nation and Cowlitz Nation in Washington State.

Original People Acknowledgements are a simple, powerful practice that demonstrates respect by making Indigenous people’s history and culture visible. It is also a small step along the path toward healing and repair.

Original People Acknowledgments are a contemporary practice reflective of indigenous protocols to honor the land and to open spaces with reverence. In its modern context, this practice:

  • Acknowledges the ancestors that were here before us and counters the “doctrine of discovery”
  • Gives visibility to indigenous people who are part of our community
  • Recognizes tribal people as their own sovereign nations
  • Spreads awareness about the historical context that has led to this moment and supports truth telling
  • Provides space to reflect on the ways non-Natives currently inhabit the land, dominate resource consumption, and exist within a still-active process of colonization
  • Creates space to build relationships with indigenous people and communities and with the land
  • Inspires ongoing action and relationship

Anybody can do an Original People Acknowledgement. To learn more about LJIST’s practice please view our more recent blog post here.

Interested in beginning your healing journey on a path toward reparation? Join us at  our Giving and Receiving Just Apologies Workshop, August 17-19, 2021.

[1] Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable. Making the Invisible Visible.