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Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional inhabitants of this land who have been dispossessed from the homelands upon which an institution was built and currently occupies. Acknowledgements serve to uplift and conserve the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.

We express gratitude and appreciation to those on whose territory and heritage we reside. We honor the Indigenous people who lived on and nurtured the land before us. And importantly, land acknowledgement is part of most (if not all) Indigenous protocol.

Though many of our ancestors may not have direct connection to the horrors of colonialism and missionization on this continent, it is our duty to explicitly name our implication in the ongoing injustices of Indigenous communities in North America and around the world. Original Peoples continue to resist and fight against genocide, white supremacy, historical erasure, land rights violations, environmental racism, and other human rights abuses that persist to this day.

How do we practice solidarity with Indigenous communities beyond writing a statement?

  • Acknowledgement is declared by the host(s) of major University events (graduation, anniversary, new building developments, etc.)

  • Practice saying the Nations’ name aloud

  • Seek to learn the histories and living cultures of Indigenous Peoples in the Bay Area, your hometown and across the world

  • Develop community partnerships in which Native voices are uplifted

  • Actualize your own roles in social advocacy to serve Indigenous communities

Palo Alto University Land Acknowledgement

"We humbly acknowledge that Palo Alto University campuses sit on the land of the Tamyen Ohlone-speaking tribal territory, including the unceded land of the Muwekma Ohlone tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. For our guests joining us in person and virtually from various locations across the world, I want to acknowledge we are all members of communities that are built on traditional territories of indigenous nations. We give thanks for the opportunity to work, study, and celebrate together in their traditional homeland. By offering this land acknowledgment, we affirm indigenous sovereignty. Forevermore."