PreprintPDF Available

Land Acknowledgement: A Trend in Higher Education and Nonprofit Organizations

Authors:
  • Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
Preprints and early-stage research may not have been peer reviewed yet.
Preprint

Land Acknowledgement: A Trend in Higher Education and Nonprofit Organizations

Abstract

An emerging trend among institutions and organizations is the formal recognition of the traditional custodial relationship between native people and the land. According to Friedler (2018), a land acknowledgment statement can also raise awareness about histories that are often suppressed or forgotten.” Formal land acknowledgment may be as limited as recognition of a historic presence on the land or a more a clear rejection terra nullius and the Doctrine of Discovery. All land acknowledgment statements, however, share an expression of respect for indigenous peoples, recognize their enduring relationship to the land, and raise awareness about marginalized aspects of histories.
Land Acknowledgement: A Trend in Higher Education and Nonprofit Organizations
Thomas E. Keefe
Asst. Professor of Humanities | Head of Liberal Arts
Corresponding information: tkeefe@rmcad.edu
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
Denver, Colorado
An emerging trend among institutions and organizations is the formal recognition of the
traditional custodial relationship between native people and the land. According to Friedler
(2018), a land acknowledgment statement can also raise awareness about histories that are often
suppressed or forgotten.” Formal land acknowledgment may be as limited as recognition of a
historic presence on the land or a more a clear rejection terra nullius and the Doctrine of
Discovery. All land acknowledgment statements, however, share an expression of respect for
indigenous peoples, recognize their enduring relationship to the land, and raise awareness about
marginalized aspects of histories.
Background for the Study
The land acknowledgment movement is particularly strong in several former British
colonies. According to the New York Times (Burke, 2018), the movement has spread across
Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and is moving across the United States. In Canada, for
example, it is now common to publicly acknowledge Indigenous lands, treaties, and peoples
(Wilkes, Duong, Kesler, & Ramos, 2017). Dr. Amy Farrell-Morneau of Lakehead University in
Ontario pointed out “nearly every university in Canada has a land acknowledgment statement
(Farrell-Morneau, 2018). In his piece in the New Yorker on September 7, 2017, Stephen Marche
said, “you know a phenomenon has really arrived in Canada when it involves hockey.” Marche
continues, “both the Winnipeg Jets and the Edmonton Oilers began acknowledging traditional
2
lands in their announcements before all home games last season.” However, the movement is
not limited to higher education but is also trending in nonprofits throughout Canada, the United
States, and other former British colonies.
The Arts Community
In the United States, the movement has spread throughout the art community (Burke,
2018). The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Abrons Art Center, Performance Space
(PS122), the Danspace Project, and Gibney of Tribeca all have a land acknowledgment policy.
Land acknowledgment may be as minimally intrusive as signage in lobbies or a written statement
in organizational brochures or event programs. In other organizations, theatrical performances
begin with a brief verbal land acknowledgment. For example, the standard pre-show curtain
speech at PS122 in New York City states the theater “is situated on the Lenape island of
Manhahtaan (Mannahatta) and more broadly in Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland” (Burke,
2018). The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs have adopted a land acknowledgment policy and
provided resources for others to do as well.
1
The arts community in the United States has been
at the forefront of the land acknowledgment movement in the United States.
The land acknowledgment movement has spread to other nonprofits as well. In particular,
the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, “held a land acknowledgment ceremony to recognize that
it stands on the traditional homeland of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi tribes(Hautzinger,
2018). The American Library Association too has a clear land acknowledgment policy on their
website (ALA, n.d.).
2
Even municipal governments, including Collingwood, California, have
also adopted a land acknowledgment policy (Engel, 2018).
1
https://lmda.org/resource-map-land-acknowledgements
2
http://www.ala.org/aboutala/offices/denver-colorado-tribes
3
Religion and Land Acknowledgment
As non-Christian religions were not numerically or politically dominant in formative
periods of European-American history, it understandable that the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh,
Zoroastrian, and adherents of other non-indigenous religions have limited positions on land
acknowledgment. Some Christian churches, including the United Church of Christ with more
than one million members, have incorporated land acknowledgment into prayer and gatherings
(Goff, 2017). The First Congregational United Church of Christ on Manhattan, Kansas, has a
clear land acknowledgment statement on the church website.
3
Additionally, the Canadian UCC
Church, known as the United Church of Canada, has a clear document of land acknowledgment
and resources.
4
Episcopal Churches too, such as St. Anne’s Church in Sunfish Lake, Minnesota,
have adopted land acknowledgment statements.
5
And the Episcopal church in Canada,
specifically the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, has comprehensive resources for land
acknowledgment.
6
The Quakers, more accurately referred to as the Friends, even have a national
legislative coordinator who has established a position on land acknowledgment.
7
But while many
Protestant churches have rejected the Doctrine of Discovery (Miller, 2018), there are
denominations that have resisted land acknowledgment and the rejection of the Doctrine of
Discovery.
8
Regardless, the land knowledge movement is real, and it is spreading.
3
http://www.uccmanhattan.org/our-history.html
4
https://www.united-church.ca/sites/default/files/acknowledging-the-territory.pdf
5
https://saintannesmn.org/voices-of-saint-annes-blog/2017/7/6/incorporation-or-appropriation-native-
practices-in-christian-worshipby-fr-theo-park
6
https://niagaraanglican.ca/ministry/docs/Territorial%20Acknowledgement%20Resource.pdf
7
https://www.fcnl.org/updates/we-begin-with-acknowledgement-197
8
https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/doctrine-discovery-scandal-plain-sight
4
Higher Education in the United States and Land Acknowledgment
The movement has spread to colleges and universities across the United States. Small
colleges like Emerson College
9
in Boston, Goshen College in Indiana,
10
Washington University
in St. Louis,
11
and Seattle Central College
12
have all adopted land acknowledgment statements.
The University of Indian Bloomington incorporated a land acknowledgment statement into the
Native American Heritage Month observances in 2018.
13
Other top-tier institutions have
departmental or institutional land acknowledgment statements as well including Columbia
University,
14
Harvard University,
15
Michigan State University,
16
New York University,
17
Northwestern University,
18
Stanford University,
19
Syracuse University,
20
University of Illinois,
21
and the University of Virginia.
22
In Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst,
Smith College, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and Mount Holyoke College issued a joint
statement regarding land acknowledgment.
23
The land acknowledgment movement is spreading
coast to coast, to institutions and organizations, big and small, public and private. Even so,
Wilkes, Duong, Kesler, and Ramos (2017) laments that, this practice has yet to be considered
9
https://www.emerson.edu/intercultural-student-affairs/cultural-holidays-heritage-celebrations/honoring-
native-land-massachusett-indigenous-peoples
10
https://www.goshen.edu/about/diversity/land-acknowledgement/
11
https://brownschool.wustl.edu/News/Pages/Brown-School-Authors-Encourage-Native-Land-
Acknowledgment.aspx
12
https://newscenter.seattlecentral.edu/2018/11/02/college-institutes-land-acknowledgement-statement
13
https://diversity.iu.edu/news-events/news/spring-2018/18-nahm.html
14
https://universitylife.columbia.edu/blog/office-university-life-blog/2016/10/NAC-on-Lenape
15
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/social-and-behavioral-sciences/2018/05/24/acknowledgment-of-native-
land-and-peoples/
16
http://aisp.msu.edu/about/land/
17
https://as.nyu.edu/museumstudies/people/full-time-faculty/faculty-projects.html
18
https://www.northwestern.edu/native-american-and-indigenous-
peoples/about/Land%20Acknowledgement.html
19
https://nacc.stanford.edu/about-us
20
http://religion.syr.edu/about-us/land-acknowledgement.html
21
https://chancellor.illinois.edu/land_acknowledgement.html
22
https://kluge-ruhe.org/about/acknowledging-indigenous-owners/
23
https://www.fivecolleges.edu/natam/about-kwintekw
5
as a subject of scholarly inquiry. Subsequently, a review of the field of literature revealed
limited research on land acknowledgment. In this research, three peer-reviewed articles
(Bradford, 2005; Kantor, 2007; and Wilkes, Duong, Kesler & Ramos, 2017) were identified and
incorporated.
Colorado
In Colorado, there are four institutions leading the way in land acknowledgment. In
December 2018, Colorado State University (CSU) issued an institutional land acknowledgment
statement.
24
CSU President Tony Frank stated that for the last two years, students and staff in
our Native American Cultural Center (NACC) and Native American community members have
worked to develop a statement of land acknowledgment an official statement that honors the
ties that Indigenous people have to the land on which our University operates [and that] Last
spring, I gladly accepted a recommendation from Native American and Indigenous students that
we adopt the practice of land acknowledgment at university events as a statement of truth,
gratitude, and respect at Colorado State University.
At the University of Denver (DU) Morgridge College of Education Higher Education
Department, every academic convocation begins, “by first acknowledging that the University of
Denver sits on Cheyenne and Arapaho land, who are the original Stewards of this land.” DU
Higher Education Department continues, “We also wish to acknowledge all other Indigenous
Tribes and Nations who call Colorado home. It is because of their sacrifices and hardships that
we are able to be here to learn and share knowledge to advance educational equity” (DU, 2018).
24
https://president.colostate.edu/speeches-and-writing/land-acknowledgment-at-csu-december-11-2018/
6
In December 2017, Tanaya Winder and Hector Ramirez of the University of Colorado
(CU) Upward Bound Program began an initiative to invited CU departments and eventually the
administration to begin acknowledging Indigenous land in their addresses but also in their email
signatures. Currently, the CU Department of Ethnic Studies, as well as the CU Center for Native
American and Indigenous Studies, have a land statement embedded on the department and center
webpages
25
that acknowledges, “that the University sits upon land within the territories of the
Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho peoplesand continues, “further, we acknowledge that 48
contemporary tribal nations are historically tied to the lands that make up the state of
Colorado.”
26
Finally, the Fall 2018 graduation ceremonies at the Rocky Mountain College of Art +
Design also included a brief land acknowledgment that RMCAD sits on land that was once the
traditional lands of the Muache band of Ute (Simmons, 2014) and later recognized as common
land of the Arapaho and Cheyenne in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. In 1861, the land which
included what would become the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design was taken from the
indigenous people of North America by the Treaty of Fort Wise (Troyer, n.d.). However,
RMCAD and the other three institutions (CSU, DU, CU) are part of the growing national and
local acknowledgment of the original stewards of this land.
There are 15 other four-year institutions of high education in Colorado besides CSU, CU,
DU, and RMCAD. Replicating methods by Wilkes, Duong, Kesler, and Ramos (2017), internet
searches were conducted and then all fifteen were contacted and asked if the institution had a
land acknowledgment statement or if the institutions were considering a statement (institutions
25
https://www.colorado.edu/ethnicstudies/
26
https://www.colorado.edu/cnais/
7
who did not respond were also re-contacted in January 2019). Ten Colorado institutions of higher
learning did not respond.
Peter Han of the Office of the President at the Colorado School of Mines did respond
that, at this time, Mines does not have a land acknowledgment policy. Carol Osborn, Executive
Assistant to the President of Adams State University, similarly responded that ASU does not
have a current policy. Ronald Shape, President of National American University personally
responded and, after emailing further with Dr. Shape’s staff, it was determined that there was
not a current policy, but that the institution was interested gathering more information regarding
the land acknowledgment trend in higher education. Western University’s Bryan Boyle indicated
that Western does not have a land acknowledgment policy. The University of Northern Colorado
also recently responded, stating that the question would be forwarded to the appropriate office
and to expect a response in the near future.
Two state institutions did not respond to the media request for this article were Mesa
University and Metro State University who were all contacted on December 21, 2018. In
addition, eight private colleges and universities were also contacted but did not respond: Lance
Oversole of Colorado Christian University (12/11/18), Colorado Technical University
(12/22/18), Sam Fleury of Columbia College (12/21/18), Ms. Shaults of DeVry University
(12/22/18), Ms. Kochel and Ms. Shively of Johnson & Wales University (12/21/18), Naropa
University (12/21/18), Nazarene Bible College (12/21/18), and Jennifer Forker of Regis
University (12/11/18). It is unclear if the institutions have a policy or not as the media requests
were unanswered. Kantor (2007) refers to the lack of land acknowledgment as the ethnic
cleansing of the unpeopled landscape. Indeed, Kantor’s critique of the unpeopled fallacy in the
National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 and the Wilderness Act of 1964 is as relevant as ever.
8
Conclusion
Nonetheless, Marche (2007) concludes, “acknowledgment is spreading. No level of
government has mandated the practice; it is spreading of its own accord. There is no single
acknowledgment. There are many acknowledgments, depending on where you are in the
country...The acknowledgment forces individuals and institutions to ask a basic, nightmarish
question: Whose land are we on?” And crafting a land acknowledgment statement is not difficult.
Amnesty International (2017) has a simple three-step guide to land acknowledgment: (1) Name
which Indigenous territories you are currently on: (2) Explain why you are acknowledging the
land; (3) Address the relevance of Indigenous rights to the subject matter of your event or
meeting or to your activist work in general. The nongovernmental USDAC (2018) has a similar
three-step process of Identify-Articulate-Deliver.
Melissa Jacob, Ohio State University’s Office of Student Life Multicultural Center,
pointed out that the practice of a formal welcome and territory acknowledgment is an old
tradition Native American culture, particularly when hosting guests and when traveling to
neighboring tribal communities. Jacob (2018) also pointed out that land acknowledgment is
hardly an expensive or intrusive policy. The land acknowledgment movement continues to grow.
Bradford (2005) noted that Native Americans have inhabited, since time immemorial,
the lands within the external borders of the U.S., [and] remediation of historical injustice is a
pressing issue. While land acknowledgments might seem like lip-service or national back-
patting to critics, Flournoy (2016) pointed out that the effort is worth it considering the legacy
of marginalized history and rise of the rhetoric of exclusion. Since reparative justice is hotly
contested on doctrinal, political, and practical grounds [and] opponents reject the notion of
collective harm and responsibility (Bradford, 2005), perhaps the least we can do acknowledge
9
the previous custodians of the land we live, work, and pray upon. We all ought to acknowledge
our history, as we live in the present and look forward to the future.
10
References
American Library Association. (n.d.). “Indigenous tribes of Colorado.” American Library
Association. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aboutala/offices/denver-colorado-tribes
Amnesty International. (2017). “Activism skills: Land and territory acknowledgment.”
Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.ca/blog/activism-skills-land-and-territory-
acknowledgement
Bradford, W. (2005). Beyond reparations: An American Indian theory of justice. Ohio State
Law Journal, 66(1), 1104.
Burke, S. (2018). “On this land: Dance presenters honor Manhattan’s first inhabitants.” The New
York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/arts/dance/indigenous-
land-performing-arts-theaters.html
Engel, E. (2018). “Town council adopts official land acknowledgment statement.” Collingwood
Today. Retrieved from https://www.collingwoodtoday.ca/local-news/town-council-
adopts-official-land-acknowledgment-statement-1045233
Evans, H. G. (2015). We begin with an acknowledgment. Friends Committee on National
Legislation. Retrieved from https://www.fcnl.org/updates/we-begin-with-
acknowledgement-197
Farrell-Morneau, A. (2018). “Land acknowledgment.” Lakehead University. Retrieved from
https://teachingcommons.lakeheadu.ca/land-acknowledgement
Flounay, A. (2016). “What does it mean to acknowledge the past?” The New York Times.
Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/31/opinion/sunday/what-does-it-
mean-to-acknowledge-the-past.html
Fort Laramie Treaty (Horse Creek Treaty), United States of America- Oglala Sioux, Assiniboin,
Arapaho, Shoshone, Brule Sioux, Mandan, Crow, Arikara Rees, Cheyenne, Gros Ventre,
Hidatsa, and Snake Nations, September 17, 1851, Article 5.
Friedler, D. (2018). “Indigenous land acknowledgment, explained.” Teen Vogue. Retrieved from
https://www.teenvogue.com/story/indigenous-land-acknowledgement-explained
11
Goff, A. (2017). Call to worship and acknowledgment of Native American territory from
General Synod 31.” United Church of Christ. Retrieved from
http://www.uccfiles.com/rtf/ww100917.rtf
Hautzinger, D. (2018). “’Were still here: Chicagos Native American community.” WTTW
PBS. Retrieved from https://interactive.wttw.com/playlist/2018/11/08/native-americans-
chicago
Jacob, M.B. (2018). “Centering the land: The importance of acknowledging indigenous land and
lifeways.” The 2018 ACPA Convention. Retrieved from
http://convention.myacpa.org/houston2018/centering-land-importance/
Kantor, I. (2007). Ethnic cleansing and Americas creation of national parks. Public Land and
Resources Law Review, 28. pp. 41-64. Retrieved from
Marche, S. (2017). “Canada’s impossible acknowledgment.” The New Yorker. Retrieved from
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/canadas-impossible-acknowledgment
Miller, E. M. (2018). “Denominations repent for Native American land grabs.” National
Catholic Reporter. Retrieved from
https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/denominations-repent-native-american-land-
grabs
Rotondaro, V. (2015). "Doctrine of discovery: A scandal in plain sight. National Catholic
Reporter. Retrieved from https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/doctrine-discovery-
scandal-plain-sight
Simmons, V. M. (2014). “Ute Indian lands.” Colorado Central Magazine. Retrieved from
https://cozine.com/2014-august/ute-indian-lands/
Troyer, M. D. (n.d.). “Treaty of Fort Wise.” Colorado Encyclopedia. Retrieved from
https://coloradoencyclopedia.org/article/treaty-fort-wise
United States Department of Arts and Culture. (2018). “Honor Native land: A guide and call to
acknowledgment.” Retrieved from https://usdac.us/nativeland/
University of Denver Morgridge College of Education. (2018). “Land acknowledgment.”
Retrieved from http://morgridge.du.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Land-
Acknowledgement.pdf
12
Wilkes, R., Duong, A., Kesler, L., & Ramos, H. (2017). Canadian university acknowledgment of
indigenous lands, treaties, and peoples. Canadian Review of Sociology, (1), 89.
... While a formal land acknowledgment may be as limited as recognition of a historic presence on the land or a more clear rejection of terra nullius and the Doctrine of Discovery (Keefe, 2019), the public perceptions of land acknowledgment statements may be disparate. In the United States, the use of land acknowledgments is not a product of national policy as in Australia and ...
... Land acknowledgments can raise the awareness and usage of indigenous names for geographic locations and features" (Govier, 1999). Forms of land acknowledgment may be as simple as signage in lobbies or a written statement on organizational literature, to a formal recitation before meetings and events (Keefe, 2019). Anthropologist Chip Colwell wrote that he believes that "land acknowledgment is the start of action-a concrete step to bring forgotten histories into present consciousness" (Colwell, 2019). ...
... Formal recognition of the relationship between Native and Indigenous peoples and the land has become a trend among many institutions and organizations (Keefe 2019). For some, it may be an unfamiliar practice, but it has become increasingly common in the United States and standard practice in Australia and Canada (Garcia 2020). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
CWAIP Newsletter No. 7.
... Viewed this way, land acknowledgements should serve as catalysts for redressing the dispossession of Indigenous Peoples. Yet, while these acknowledgements have become more common at talks, conferences, and events, often being directed at recognizing the adversities of displaced Indigenous peoples (Keefe, 2019), there is little evidence that they result in actual progress on Indigenous land access and governance issues. Further, the in-themoment hyper-visibility of Indigenous Peoples during a land acknowledgement typically is followed by a rapid return to business-as-usual, with a subsequent lack of recognition of Indigenous justice issues throughout the remainder of the talk or event. ...
Article
Full-text available
The well-documented and forced migration of Indigenous Peoples from ancestral lands has fragmented connections to, and understandings of place. Yet Indigenous Peoples are reconceptualizing and revitalizing these connections including by leading forest landscape restoration efforts. Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) supports the design and practice of ecological restoration across rural to urban gradients – including both ancestral lands and contemporary places, with thought leaders advocating for biocultural approaches to address biodiversity loss, land occupation, and the colonial legacies of social and economic marginalization of Indigenous Peoples. To date, there are few examples in Hawai‘i, where in 1893 the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom disenfranchised most Indigenous People of land, freshwater, and coastal resources. Here we describe the Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a Community-Based Subsistence Forest Area (P-CBSFA), that was formed in 2017 to steward 34-ha of land within the Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a State Forest Reserve, North Kona, Hawai‘i Island and is led by multi-generational lineal descendants of Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a. We focus on how this stewardship initiative has relied on holistic acknowledgement in the engagement of historical context, a Native Hawaiian conceptualization of the restoration process, and a collaborative and consensus-based restoration practice that includes non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies. This initiative, the first community-based and subsistence-focused forest restoration project on State of Hawaiʻi administered lands, is using a biocultural framework to transform 34-ha of non-native and fire-prone grasses into a native species dominated dryland subsistence forest. To do this, the P-CBSFA relies on a relationship ethic to: (i) build trust among partners; (ii) articulate an exportable vision of ILK-based restoration; (iii) walk in awareness of historical and contemporary injustices; (iv) enhance cultural values of the landscape; (v) establish and rely on formal, empathy focused communication; (vi) focus on community directed benefits; and most importantly (vii) cultivate joy. From this framework, the P-CBSFA emerges to provide a multi-dimensional passageway through which lineal descendants of Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a are formalizing governance and decision-making authority over their ancestral lands.
Article
Full-text available
The number of states, corporations, and religious groups formally disowning past records of egregious human injustice is mushrooming. Although the Age of Apology is a global phenomenon, the question of reparations - a tort-based mode of redress whereby a wrongdoing group accepts legal responsibility and compensates victims for the damage it inflicted upon them - likely consumes more energy, emotion, and resources in the U.S. than in any other jurisdiction. Since the final year of the Cold War, the U.S. and its political subdivisions have apologized or paid compensation to Japanese-American internees, native Hawaiians, civilians killed in the Korean War, and African American victims of medical experiments, racial violence, and lending discrimination; a barrage of lawsuits demanding reparations from slavery profiteers is on the dockets of several courts, and more are expected. In the U.S. circa 2004, reparations is the stuff not only of litigation but legislative proposals, academic and popular articles, news editorials, town hall meetings, campus demonstrations, television programs, office water cooler debates, dinner table conversations, and cyberchat groups. If reparations is not a uniquely American remedy, it is no stretch to say that in the U.S. reparations talk is very much with us. Still, although advocates maintain that reparations is the first step in recovering history and fashioning a more equitable collective future, critics describe a divisive and retrospective movement threatening to widen racial and ethnic fault lines running through the American body politic. Consequently, reparative justice is hotly contested on doctrinal, political, and practical grounds: opponents reject the notion of collective harm and responsibility for ancient wrongs, deny linkages between the relative socioeconomic status of aggrieved racial minority groups and past injustices, and cling to limiting doctrines that deny remedies for acts and omissions that were lawful centuries ago. Reparations thus fuels unresolvable debates over the nature of minority disenfranchisement, the adequacy of civil rights legislation, the constitutionality of group entitlements, the ideal racial distribution of socioeconomic power, and the appropriate channel to pilot between the pursuit of racial justice and the preservation of social peace. Moreover, because a successful reparations movement might awaken other dormant claims, reparations debates generate resistance and backlash. Nevertheless, even if it can be realized only at the price of social unrest and the painful reopening of old wounds, reparations may well be the appropriate remedy in the case of specific meta-wrongs, foremost among them slavery. A significant element in the slavery reparations claim is the lost value consequence of the unpaid labor extracted from slave ancestors and thus it is logical that, with few exceptions, proponents of slavery reparations equate the remedy with financial compensation. Although money cannot undo history, it can ameliorate the socioeonomic conditions of the descendants of former slaves, and money is the lodestar of most reparationists. However, justice is not a one-size-fits-all commodity, and the potential suitability of compensatory remedies to the harms absorbed by any particular group is not dispositive of, nor even instructive in regard to, the question of whether reparations is appropriate for other claimant groups. Slavery is not the sole, nor the first, nor even, arguably, the most egregious historical injustice for which the U.S. bears responsibility. Moreover, cash is not the primary, or even an important, objective of some aggrieved groups. Non-monetary modes of redress may be more effective in inducing the national government to accept moral responsibility, in restoring the dignity and autonomy of injured groups, and in healing, reconstituting, and relegitimizing the nation. In other words, the specific claims posed by each aggrieved group bear examination and evaluation on their unique merits. Although the interests of groups may converge on particular issues and proposals emerging in reparations debates, what suffices to make one group whole may be wholly inadequate for, or even harmful to, another. Prevailing theories of justice, even those drafted in good-faith with the intent that they be universally applicable or at least readily malleable in transit from one application to another, may in fact be so bounded by the cultures and worldviews in which they were incubated that they are unable to recognize, capture, and remedy all the injuries inflicted upon the aggrieved group. Without judging its value as a remedy in general, reparations, as well as other theories of justice sketched and pitched at a high level of abstraction but without a comprehensive analysis of the context and history of the claims of the particular group in question, may, when applied, be useless at best and damaging at worst. Just as all politics is local, so is all (in)justice. For the indigenous people who have inhabited, since time immemorial, the lands within the external borders of the U.S., remediation of historical injustice is a pressing issue. Despite this, reparations would fail to advance, and might even frustrate, important Indian objectives, primarily the reacquisition of the capacity to self-determine as autonomous political communities on ancestral lands. Because the immense injustice at the core of U.S. national history is neither broadly acknowledged nor deeply understood, Part I of this Article provide some historical foundation and briefly sketches the necessary factual predicate to the Indian claim for redress. Part II presents and evaluate several theories of justice with respect to this claim. Part III counters the shortcomings and omissions of these theories with an indigenist theory that propounds a program of land restoration and above all legislative reform intended to accord the full measure of relief to Indian claimants consistent with the requirements of justice for all individuals and groups.
Article
At many Canadian universities it is now common to publicly acknowledge Indigenous lands, treaties, and peoples. Yet, this practice has yet to be considered as a subject of scholarly inquiry. How does this practice vary and why? In this paper we describe the content and practice of acknowledgment, linking this content to treaty relationships (or lack thereof). We show that acknowledgment tends to be one of five general types: of land and title (British Columbia), of specific treaties and political relationships (Prairies), of multiculturalism and heterogeneity (Ontario), of no practice (most of Quebec), and of people, territory, and openness to doing more (Atlantic). Based on these results, we conclude that the fluidity of acknowledgment as a practice, including changing meanings depending on the positionality of the acknowledger, need to be taken into account. Plusieurs universités Canadien pratique une reconnaissance des territoires, des traités, et des peoples autochtone en publique. Cette pratique, cependant, n'a jamais été considérée comme une enquête savante. Dans ce projet nous regardons comment les reconnaissances varie par institution et pourquoi. Nous trouvons qu'il y a un lien entre le contenu des reconnaissances et les relations traité. On démontre cinq forme des reconnaissances: territoire et titre (Colombie britannique); traité spécifique and les relations politiques (Prairies); multiculturalisme et hétérogénéité (Ontario); l'absence (la majorité du Québec); et des peoples, territoire et volonté a plus faire (Atlantique). Nous concluons que la fluidité de la reconnaissance, comme pratique, est fluide et doit prendre en considération la position de la personne qui le fait.
On this land: Dance presenters honor Manhattan's first inhabitants
  • S Burke
Burke, S. (2018). "On this land: Dance presenters honor Manhattan's first inhabitants." The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/arts/dance/indigenousland-performing-arts-theaters.html
Town council adopts official land acknowledgment statement
  • E Engel
Engel, E. (2018). "Town council adopts official land acknowledgment statement." Collingwood Today. Retrieved from https://www.collingwoodtoday.ca/local-news/town-counciladopts-official-land-acknowledgment-statement-1045233
Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • H G Evans
Evans, H. G. (2015). "We begin with an acknowledgment." Friends Committee on National Legislation. Retrieved from https://www.fcnl.org/updates/we-begin-withacknowledgement-197
What does it mean to acknowledge the past
  • A Flounay
Flounay, A. (2016). "What does it mean to acknowledge the past?" The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/31/opinion/sunday/what-does-itmean-to-acknowledge-the-past.html
Indigenous land acknowledgment, explained
  • D Friedler
Friedler, D. (2018). "Indigenous land acknowledgment, explained." Teen Vogue. Retrieved from https://www.teenvogue.com/story/indigenous-land-acknowledgement-explained
Call to worship and acknowledgment of Native American territory from General Synod 31
  • A Goff
Goff, A. (2017). "Call to worship and acknowledgment of Native American territory from General Synod 31." United Church of Christ. Retrieved from http://www.uccfiles.com/rtf/ww100917.rtf
We're still here': Chicago's Native American community
  • D Hautzinger
Hautzinger, D. (2018). "'We're still here': Chicago's Native American community." WTTW PBS. Retrieved from https://interactive.wttw.com/playlist/2018/11/08/native-americanschicago
Centering the land: The importance of acknowledging indigenous land and lifeways
  • M B Jacob
Jacob, M.B. (2018). "Centering the land: The importance of acknowledging indigenous land and lifeways." The 2018 ACPA Convention. Retrieved from http://convention.myacpa.org/houston2018/centering-land-importance/