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Acknowledging Native Land

LJIST partnered with Shilo George of Łush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting, LLC, to do a land acknowledgment at a recent Transformational Communication Workshop.

What we now call Portland, OR and Multnomah County were the traditional lands of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Cowlitz bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla and many other Tribes who made their homes along the Columbia River. 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 Tribe in Washington State.

Land acknowledgment is 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 reconciliation and repair.

Land acknowledgment is a contemporary practice reflective of indigenous protocols to honor the land and to open spaces with reverence. In its modern context, land acknowledgment:

  • Acknowledges the ancestors that were here before us and counters the “doctrine of discovery;”
  • Gives visibility to Native 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 Native people and communities and with the land;
  • Inspires ongoing action and relationship.

Anybody can do a land acknowledgment. For more information, including a step-by-step guide for starting this practice with your organization, visit the US Department of Arts and Culture to download a resource created in partnership with Native allies and organizations.

Interested in learning more about Native Liberation and reconciliation? Join us at one of our Just Apology workshops.

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